Breed Comparison, General info

Weimaraner vs Great Dane: What’s The Difference? (Complete Guide)


The Great Dane belongs to the Working group (AKC standard) and the Cattle Dog group by the FCI standard. On the other hand, the Weimaraner is classified as Working group (AKC) and Pointing Dogs group (FCI).

The Weimaraner reaches up to 27 inches and 90lbs, whereas the Great Dane can measure up to 32 inches and weigh up to 175 lbs. Weimaraners tend to live longer, between 10 – 13 years, Great Danes usually around 7 to 10 years.

BreedLifespanDog SizeDog WeightCoat ColorSheddingDog PersonalityPuppy Cost
Weimaraner10 – 13 yearsup to 27″up to 90 lbsgray, blueseasonalvery active$700-2500
Great Dane7 – 10 yearsup to 32″up to 175 lbsfawn, brindle, harlequin, black, blueseasonalactive$800-3000
Weimaraner vs Great Dane comparison table

The Great Dane ancestors can be seen in ancient Egypt drawings, later in 16th and 17th century they were owned only by nobility in Germany. Selective breeding created the Great Dane as we know today toward the end of the 19th century.

The Weimaraner’s origins are a bit of a mystery, but the most common opinion is that they originated in Germany by crossing other hunting breeds.

Weimaraners were used for hunting and are still used as such to this day. Great Danes were used as hunting companions and protectors.

I wrote an article about Weimaraner’s past in this article.

Weimaraner vs Great Dane

Appearance of Weimaraner vs Great Dane

Great Danes are considered to be “the Apollo of dogs” and are one of the largest dog breeds in the world. They can grow up to be 32″ in height and whopping 175 lbs in weight. Weimaraners are medium to large dogs, reaching up to 27 inches and 90 lbs.

Weimaraners are more sleek, muscular and sinewy whereas Great Danes are quite powerful and strong yet quite elegant.

Eyes

The eyes of a Great Dane are medium size and almond shaped, usually dark in color. Blue Great Danes can have lighter eyes, Harlequin-coated can have icy bluie eyes or two differently colored eyes (heterochromia).

Weimaraner has a medium sized round eyes, usually amber or blue-gray color. Weimaraner puppies usually have a striking blue eye color which dilutes a little bit as the pup ages.

Ears

Great Danes have their ears high set but still level with the skull, medium size and folded forward. In states where it’s permitted, some breeders choose to crop their ears. Weimaraner’s ears are fairly long and have a rounded tip. They are set high on their head.

Nose

Weimaraner’s nose is usually dark brown in gray dogs, dark blue in blue Weimaraners. If you’d like to read more about blue Weimaraners, I wrote a post about them here. Great Dane should have a black nose, although there are a few exceptions to the rule. Blue Danes should have blue-black nose, Harlequin and Merle Danes can have spotted nose.

Coat

Weimaraner’s coat is in shades of gray from mouse to silver and sometimes blue, though that color isn’t standard. Their coat is short, smooth and they have no undercoat.

Great Dane comes in mayn colors, from fawn (light to deep gold), brindle., harlequin (white with black patches), black and blue. Their coat is short, dense and smooth and like Weimaraners, they don’t have any undercoat.

Tail

The tail of Great Danes usually reaches to the hocks. It’s set high and hangs down with a natural curve. It’s not too thick and tapers to a point. Their tails don’t get docked unless they sustain an injury that is hard to heal. Weimaraner’s tail is thinner but it’s strong and where law permits, short-haired Weimaraner’s tail is cropped to cover their genitalia (about 6 inches).

I wrote an article about docking Weimaraners’ tails here.

Personality of Weimaraner vs Great Dane

Great Danes are truly “gentle giants”. Despite their sizes, they’re very gentle, friendly, loving and affectionate. They’re pretty docile but can be protective of their family. They can be a bit reserved with strangers but it usually doesn’t last long. They are great with children but due to their size they’re not recommended for families with little children. They are usually good with other dogs and animals.

Weimaraners are loyal to a fault to their family, very affectionate (though it depends on the individual dog), not aggressive and are great with children. They don’t like to be left alone or they can turn destructive or bark for hours on end. They are prone to developing separation anxiety. I wrote an article about separation anxiety here.

Weimaraners can have a strong prey drive, so be careful around smaller animals. Though they can get along with cats and other pets just fine. Here’s an article about cats and Weimaraners. They usually get along with strangers and other dogs.

Early socialization as a puppy is important for both breeds to raise a balanced, confident adult dog.

General Care of Weimaraner vs Great Dana

Great Danes have a short, dense coat which is smooth and glossy. They have no undercoat. They don’t shed much, just seasonally, but thanks to their size it can seem like they’re shedding all year round. Weekly brushing should be enough and an occasional bath if necessary.

Weimaraners also don’t have an undercoat and shed minimally – seasonally. They practically don’t need to bathe unless they rolled in something stinky. Usually the dirt once dry just falls off their coat or you can just wipe them down.

If their nails don’t get worn out during exercise, it’s best to trim them. Regular teeth cleaning and ear check can prevent problems later on.

Training and Exercise of Weimaraner vs Great Dane

Weimaraners are a very high energy breed, so they need plenty of exercise. Just a walk around the block won’t be enough, they need at least 2 hours daily.

Great Danes are also an active breed, they might need slightly less exercise, about an hour. With a giant breed like the Great Dane, you shouldn’t overdo any training until they’re at least 2 years old. Their bones and joints are still growing, so any excessive jumping or running can problems later in life.

Both breeds are smart and are eager to please their owners. Training them should be pretty easy with positive reinforcement, harsh treatment won’t work with any of them.

Great Danes can be great guard dogs but they can excel at agility, obedience and canine sports like flyball. Weimaraners are hunters at heart, so if you want to raise a Weimaraner as a hunting companion, it will be a very rewarding for both of you.

Since Weimaraners have a great sense of smell, they can be used in rescue and as police dogs. They are also great at canicross, agility or obedience training as well. Give them a “job” and your Weim will be happy.

Both breeds generally enjoy water, though the Great Dane isn’t a natural swimmer. They can still enjoy splashing around in shallow water and cooling off on a hot day. To prevent drowning, it’s best to train the dog to enjoy water.

Lifespan and Health Issues of Weimaraner vs Great Dane

Due to their size, Great Danes unfortunately have a shorter lifespan than Weimaraners, around 7 to 10 years. The oldest recorded Great Dane is Maggie Mae at 16 and half years old.

Weimaraners generally live between 10 – 13 years, though the oldest Weimaraner was 18 years and 10 months old.

Both are large, deep-chested breeds, so both are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, bloat and gastric torsion (I wrote about bloat in this post and added a helpful video!). Both breeds can be prone to eye disorders (entropion – inward rolling of an eyelid, ectropion – eyelid gets separated from the eyeball causing ‘droopy’ eye).

Great Danes can also suffer from cardiac and thyroid issues.

Make sure you are getting a puppy from a reputable breeder who does health screenings on the parents and the puppies for these and other hereditary issues.

Average Puppy Prices

The average price of Weimaraner puppies has increased dramatically in the recent years. The average price nowadays can be anywhere between $700 and $2,600.

Great Dane puppies can go between $800 to $3,000.

The prices vary due to location of the breeder, the parents’ pedigree and lineage. Sometimes people may offer puppies above or below these price ranges but that may not be a good thing as that can indicate either an inexperienced breeder or a puppy mill.

Great Dane Rescues

If you’d like to adopt a Great Dane, there are a lot of rescues serving US states as well as international rescue groups. Check out the directories below!

Advantages & Disadvantages of Both Breeds

Weimaraner

Advantages

  • easy to groom
  • loyal
  • highly intelligent
  • easy to train
  • good guard dog

Disadvantages

  • requires a lot of exercise
  • potentially stubborn
  • prone to separation anxiety
  • can get over-excited
  • needs a solid recall
  • risk of bloat and gastric torsion

Great Dane

Advantages

  • gentle and affectionate
  • easy to groom
  • easy to train
  • excellent guard dog

Disadvantages

  • size
  • drooling might be a bit much
  • risk of bloat and gastric torsion
  • lower lifespan than most breeds

Conclusion

Both Great Dane and Weimaraner are strong, elegant breeds. They are both very loyal to their families and can be good protectors.


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