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The Bigger The Newfoundland The Better? Why Bigger Is Not Always Better

How much does a Newfoundland dog weigh?

I’ve been noticing a trend lately.

Actually, it’s probably not a trend, I think I’m just paying closer attention.

I’ve been hearing a lot of people talking about Newfoundlands that weigh over 200 pounds.

“I want a HUGE Newfoundland.”

“My uncle’s cousin had a Newfoundland that was 250 pounds.” (Ok. This isn’t a new one. Everyone’s uncle’s cousin had a Newfoundland that was 250 pounds.)

“We breed Newfoundland dogs for SIZE.”

“His father was 300 pounds so he’s going to be a BIG boy!”

What the what?

Are we talking about the same breed?

Have Newfies gone on steroids?

Average Newfoundland dog weight

Newfoundlands are a giant breed dog but the average Newfoundland male weighs between 130-150 pounds. The average female Newfoundland is 100-120 pounds.

A Newfoundland over 150 pounds isn’t a fault but it’s not the average and while size is a major component of the breed, it should never come at the expense of health or temperament.

A Newfies weight should fit their frame.

They should be able to carry their weight gracefully. Not like a sack of potatoes with 4 legs.

A 250 pound Newfoundland is either very tall or very FAT.  Both will cause issues, joint and otherwise.

In his prime, Leroy weighed 170 pounds. He’s the biggest Newfoundland I’ve had. 

Currently, he weighs 125 pounds due to his health issues but I have to wonder if that loss in weight is a blessing in disguise.

At nearly 11 years old and 30 inches tall at the shoulders, Leroy struggles a bit now to lift his body up. At 170 pounds, I don’t know if that would be possible.

The bigger they are the quicker that their bodies wear out.

Their whole body.

Of course, that’s not always the case, but more often than not it is. Carrying around that much weight WILL eventually put a strain on their body, organs, joints..etc.

I’m not saying that a 200 pound Newfie doesn’t exist or shouldn’t exist, but I don’t think people should be seeking them out. Once again, when searching for a Newfoundland dog, size shouldn’t be the main consideration.

If you’re looking for a Newfie that is going to weigh more than 200 pounds you’re looking outside of the breed standards, just like if you’re looking for a dry-mouth Newfoundland.

The bigger the dog the more issues you could face in the future. Issues when they’re growing and issues when they are older. Their size could greatly reduce your time together.

Stay within the normal guidelines of a Newfoundland dog’s size. Put health and temperament first. Don’t try to have the coolest, biggest dog on the block, that’s going to happen regardless.

And if your Newfoundland is weighing in at 200 pounds, I would suggest the rib test using your knuckles as a guide.

What about those puppies?

I often see people wondering why their 6-month-old puppy only weighs 60 pounds. 

They’re concerned that their puppy isn’t growing properly, that they’re too skinny or that their puppy is going to be a small Newfoundland. 

Giant breed dogs like the Newfoundland should grow slow. 

They should be a bit on the thin side. 

Their growth plates aren’t closed yet and they don’t need that extra weight bearing down on them. 

Puppies are not going to look like adult Newfoundlands until they are adult Newfoundlands.

First, they don’t have their full coat which adds about 20 non-calculated pounds of a Newfie, (meaning it looks like they weigh an additional 20 because of their thick coat)

Second, a 6-month-old puppy still has years of growing to do!

It’s recommended that for the first year a Newfie puppy should no more than 10 pounds per month. 

If your puppy is otherwise healthy and has been checked by a vet, no known medical issues and no parasites, then odds are they are doing just fine. 

When does a Newfoundland dog stop growing?

Most Newfoundlands will stop growing around 3-4 years old.

They will reach their ideal height first and then their ideal weight. 


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Tuesday 26th of April 2016

I think people often exaggerate the weight of their dogs. The AKC standard for a large male is 150 to 160 lbs plus or minus 10%. I have raised two males both around 150 lbs and currently raising a newf pup. To put it in perspective, I have yet to see a newf equal in weight to an NFL linebacker.

Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom

Monday 25th of April 2016

I've seen a lot of - let's be kind here - oversized Labs. I don't see many Newfs around here, even walking at the park. It drives me NUTS to see them; and even more nuts to hear their owners say "there's nothing wrong with his/her weight." My heart instantly goes out to the poor dog, knowing what he's probably already dealing with or will be in the near future. And the owners are either oblivious or ignorant. Ugh.


Tuesday 26th of April 2016

I agree. It's hard to tell if a Newf is overweight without putting your hands on it because of the thick coat but I have "felt" my fair share of thick ones!

2 Brown Dawgs

Friday 22nd of April 2016

I think breeding for size alone is wrong whether it is large or small. Thunder is a larger Chessie, but he is very well put together and even at 10 still can move quite well. Yet there are people who bad mouth him being bred because he is large. As you say it is the total picture. Would I want a big Chessie? Nope. But size cannot always be predicted. Thunder has produced pups right in standard and he is such a fantastic hunting dog, I would hate to see those genetics lost simply because he is large.


Tuesday 26th of April 2016

I agree. Leroy is big. I admit that but he is sound and has beautiful movement to this day. I didn't "get" Leroy because of his size, that wasn't even a thought or a mention.


Friday 22nd of April 2016

We have a similar problem with German shepherds. At 26 inches and 91 pounds, Jedi is at the large end of AKC breed standard. Yet there is this fringe group out there breeding them at 120+ pounds. Why?


Tuesday 26th of April 2016

Gosh. I wish someone could tell us the answer to this!

Monika & Sam

Friday 22nd of April 2016

The degree to which we are 'designing' breeds is more than slightly alarming and creates far more health problems for our companions (i.e. Pugs and GSD off the top of my head as exhibit A for starters). Thank you for posting about it. The more people know about this dangerous breeder designing, hopefully the less we'll continue to see it and the problems it is creating.


Friday 22nd of April 2016

I feel that it's not only breeders but people seeking them out because they are educated about the breed. I bet that there's a lot of people in every breed that doesn't know what "average" is for that particular breed. It's sad.

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