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Wolf Size Comparison: How Big Are They Really?

Wolves aren’t the biggest predators out there. The gray wolf, the most common wolf species, is about 80-100 pounds, 4.5 to 6.5 feet long, and 26 to 32 inches tall

Some people believe that wolves are very big creatures, a myth that most likely comes from the movies of the Twighlight Saga.

All Wolfpack Ranks (Wolf Facts) x
All Wolfpack Ranks (Wolf Facts)

However, they’re not small either.

So just how big are they? And how do they compare to humans and other animals?

That’s what we’ll discuss in this article.

How Big Are Wolves?

Wolves are the largest of the canines, and they come in a variety of sizes. The gray wolf, which is the most common species, typically weighs between 80-100 pounds but can get as big as 175 pounds. They measure about 30 inches tall at the shoulder.

Adult male wolves are about 5 to 6.5 feet long, while female wolves measure about 4.5 to 6 feet in length.

This does depend on species though, as the red wolf, as an example, is smaller than the grey wolf.

wolf size chart

What Is the Biggest Wolf Species?

The biggest wolf species is the Northwestern Wolf (Mackenzie Valley Wolf). These wolves are primarily found in Canada and Alaska and weigh between 105 to 130 pounds (74 to 58 kg). They stand tall at about 27 to 36 inches.

Related: Largest Wolf Species

Northwestern Wolf

What Is the Smallest Wolf Species?

The smallest wolf species is the Arabian wolf. They average about 45 pounds and are 25–26 inches (64–66 cm) tall at shoulder height. That’s only about half as big as the Northwestern wolf (in terms of weight).

They live in smaller groups and hunt for small and mid-sized prey.

Wolf Size Compared to Human Size

Wolves and humans are very alike in size, though wolves are generally smaller than the average man. 

The average human height is about 5 feet 9 inches, while gray wolves range from 5 to 6 feet in height. The average human weight is about 135 pounds (62 kg), while wolves weigh a little less than that.

Metric Human Wolf
Height/Length 5 feet and 9 inches (175 cm) 5 to 6 feet (152 to 182 cm)
Weight 135 lbs (62 kg) 80-100 lbs (36 to 45 kg)

These are the averages, and there are cases where wolves are bigger than the average human.

It may also surprise most people, that humans have been observed taking on wolves in one-to-one combat, barehanded even. 

Wolf Compared to Dog Sizes

Some people think of wolves like dogs, while others think of them as these big, ferocious predators.

In general, wolves are bigger than dogs. There are some dog species that can grow bigger than wolves, but these are not plentiful. Most dogs are much smaller than wolves.

Here, we’ll compare the following dog breeds with wolves:

  • Great Danes
  • Wolfdogs
  • Huskies
  • German Shepherd
  • Rottweilers
Animal Height Weight
Wolf 26 to 33” (66 to 86 cm) 80-100 lbs (36 to 45 kg)
Great Dane 28 to 33” (71 to 86 cm) 99 to 200 lbs (45 to 90 kg)
Wolfdog 26 to 33” (66 to 86 cm) 60 to 120 lbs (27 to 54 kg)
Husky 19 to 23” (50 to 60 cm) 36 to 60 lbs (16 to 27 kg)
German Shepherd 21 to 26” (55 to 65 cm) 48 to 88 lbs (22 to 40 kg)
Rottweiler 22 to 27” (56 to 69 cm) 77 to 130 lbs (35 to 60 kg)

Wolf vs. Great Dane

The Great Dane and wolves are very similar in size. They both grow to be 33 inches tall, but the great Dane weighs a bit more on average, beating the wolf with about 20 pounds at least. This large dog breed can even grow to weigh 200 pounds.

All in all, the Great Dane beats the wolf in size.

great dane

Wolf vs. Wolfdog

Wolfdogs are crossbreeds between dogs and wolves. Hence, it makes sense why most wolfdogs are about the size of a regular wolf.

However, the size of a wolfdog very much depends on what dog breed was used for breeding. If it’s a smaller dog, the wolfdog may be significantly smaller than a wolf. If it was a larger dog, then it may grow even bigger than a regular wolf.

Wolfdog

Wolf vs. Husky

Huskies are one of the dogs breeds closest to wolves in terms of DNA and looks. However, they’ve evolved to be significantly smaller than wolves.

Where wolves typically weigh about 80 to 100 pounds, huskies only weigh about half of that, about 36 to 60 pounds. They’re also shorter in height, measuring 19 to 23 inches from their paws to their shoulders, whereas wolves stand tall at 26 to 33 inches.

Related: Husky vs. Wolf

Husky dog portrait

Wolf vs. German Shepherd

Compared to domesticated dogs like German Shepherds, wolves are quite a bit bigger. German Shepherds weigh anywhere from 48 to 88 lbs pounds and stand about 22-26 inches tall at the shoulder. The smallest gray wolves typically grow to be 26 inches tall, outgrowing the german shepherd.

German Shepherd

Wolf vs. Rottweiler Size

The Rottweiler is a large dog, measuring in at 77 to 130 lbs and 22 to 27 inches. In terms of height, they’re beaten by wolves, but when it comes to weight, the two animals are very alike. Some Rottweilers are bigger than wolves though.

Rottweiler

Wolf Size Compared to Coyote Size

Wolves and coyotes are both in the Canidae family, which means they’re related. They look similar but there’s a big difference between their sizes. Wolves are generally bigger than coyotes.

A wolf can weigh as little as 80 pounds or as much as 200 lbs (45 to 91 kg). Coyotes only weigh 25 to 40 lbs (11 to 18kg). 

Wolves also stand taller as they reach about 30 inches tall (76cm) while a coyote is about 23 inches high (59 cm).

There are however very small wolves, which are about the same size as coyotes.

Related: Wolf vs. Coyote

Coyote

Wolf Size Compared to Dire Wolf Size

The dire wolf was the largest in North America. While they died out during the last ice age about 12,000 years ago, they were very big animals. Some believe they were bigger than the wolves we know today, while others suggest they were smaller.

One study suggests that the dire wolf weighed about 75 to 150 pounds (34 to 68 kg), was 4 feet and 1 inch in length (125 cm), and stood tall at about 30 inches (80 cm).

These measurements are very alike the common gray wolf.

Wolf Size Compared to Fox Size

Wolves are much bigger than foxes. Where wolves weigh about 80 to 100 pounds, the average red fox weighs only 10 to 15 pounds (5 to 7 kg).

Foxes tend to be taller than they are wide. They’re very slender animals, and their shoulder height averages 13 to 20 inches. This is still much less than wolves, which are about 26 to 33 inches tall. 

Wolves and foxes are related, as both are members of the Canidae family. There’s some discussion about when foxes came to be, but some sources suggest it was 9 million years ago, while others claim it was 1.8 to 3.5 million years ago. [1]

fox scavenging

Wolf Size Compared to Tiger Size

Tigers are generally bigger than wolves, weighing significantly more and standing some inches taller. Tigers are also known to prey on wolves in habitats where both live.

Wolves typically weigh in at around 80-100 pounds and stand at about 36 to 33 inches tall. Tigers, on the other hand, can weigh anywhere from 200 to 680 pounds and measure in at 27 to 47 inches tall. 

All in all, tigers are definitely larger animals than wolves.

Related: Tiger vs. Wolf

Siberian bengal tiger

Wolf Size Compared to Lion Size

Wolves are significantly smaller than lions, with the average wolf weighing in at around 80-100 pounds, while the average lion weighs in at around 400 pounds. 

Wolves also stand much shorter than lions, typically measuring in at just 30 inches tall at the shoulder, compared to a lion’s height of 40 to 48 inches. 

Despite their relatively small size when compared to other predators like lions and tigers, wolves are still incredibly powerful animals whose bite force is among the strongest of any land mammal.

In terms of sheer size, however, there is no doubt that lions reign supreme as the king of the jungle. With males growing up to weigh over 400 pounds and standing nearly four feet tall at the shoulder, they are easily one of the largest cats on the planet.

Related: Lion vs. Wolf

lion

While wolves may not be as large as lions, they are still one of the largest predators in North America and should never be underestimated. 

Their keen intelligence, powerful jaws, and pack hunting tactics make them a force to be reckoned with for any prey animal that dares cross their path.

About Dennis Stapleton

Dennis Stapleton has a passion for animals, especially dogs, and their relatives. He’s intrigued by their social structure and loves to write and teach about the world's most popular pet animal.