Have you been trying to decide between getting a Great Dane and a Dalmatian? Both of these dog breeds have many similarities. However, they’re both different in some important ways.
Before adopting or buying a Great Dane or Dalmatian puppy, do your research about both breeds. That way, you can get the perfect dog for your family.
Dalmatians and the Great Danes have a similar build, although both breeds are easy to distinguish.
Dalmatians come from the non-sporting group, while Great Danes come from the working group. Both breeds have short, soft coats.
All Dalmatians have white coats with black spots, while Great Danes only sometimes have spotted coats and come in a range of colors.
Great Danes are also much larger than Dalmatians in height and weight. Great Danes are friendly, while Dalmatians are slightly aloof.
The Great Dane vs Dalmatian at a Glance
As you research dog breeds, you should be sure that whatever dog you choose will be a good fit for your lifestyle, family, and living situation.
If you like loving, affectionate, gigantic dogs, the Great Dane is a perfect match. Simultaneously, if you want a dog with an iconic appearance and an aloof personality, the Dalmatian might be for you.
Great Dane Traits
- Giant Breed
- Loving and Affectionate
- Protective and Loyal
- Certain Health Issues Possible
- Medium or Low Energy
- Various Coat Colors
- Weighs 100-200 Pounds
- Various Personality Traits Possible
- Energetic and Adaptable
- Known for Doing Well with Horses
- Distinctive Spotted Coat
- Breed-Specific Health Issues
- Weighs 48-65 Pounds
Differences Between Great Danes and Dalmatians
The main differences between these breeds are in their sizes, coat colors, temperaments, and breed group orientations. Dalmatians were bred to be versatile and easy to train.
They have been used for various applications over the last 200 years. Great Danes were bred for loyalty, dependability, and size. In fact, Great Danes are some of the largest dogs around.
Since Dalmatians are members of the non-sporting group, they have been developed to have specific companionship traits. Dalmatians were bred to do well around horses as well.
Additionally, the Dalmatian has been carefully bred for generations to have a very specific appearance.
Simultaneously, Great Danes are members of the working group of dogs. The Great Dane breed has been refined for over 400 years.
Originally, these were guard dogs used by nobility in Europe. Great Danes are some of the tallest dogs on earth, standing at 6-feet tall on their hind legs.
Similarities of Great Danes and Dalmatians
Even though these dogs are not from the same AKC breed group, they do have many similarities.
The head shapes and the overall builds of both dogs are similar. They both have broad chests and tapered hindquarters.
They also both have long tails and non-erect, floppy ears. Finally, they both have short, soft coats that are easy to care for.
However, this is basically where the similarities end. Great Danes are much larger than Dalmatians, weighing anywhere from 100 to 200 lbs.
Dalmatians typically weigh around 50 lbs. Also, Dalmatians have a smaller frame, a more tapered head shape, and higher energy levels.
Appearance, Coat, and Size of the Great Dane vs Dalmatian
Both Great Danes and Dalmatians have distinctive looks. Each of these dogs is easy to recognize on the street! The Great Dane is one of the tallest, largest dogs around.
Great Danes have a distinctive muzzle shape, broad chests, and large ears that can be cropped or left natural. Great Danes also come in a range of coat colors.
Great Danes can be brindle, fawn, gray, silver, tan, white, spotted, and just about everything in between. Simultaneously, Dalmatians have a unique look that is impossible to miss.
These dogs have bright, white coats with distinctive, black spots. The spot pattern of every Dalmatian is unique!
Dalmatians can weigh anywhere from 48 to 65 lb and are about 22 in tall at the withers. Typically, a dalmatian will weigh 55 lbs. Male Dalmatians are larger than females.
Great Danes can weigh anywhere from 100 to 200 lbs. The largest Great Dane ever was named Giant George. He measured 7 feet 3 inches from nose to tail and weighed 245 lbs! Typically, Great Danes weigh around 140-170 lbs.
The Life Expectancy of Dalmatian vs Great Dane
Without question, the way you care for your dog, what you feed it, and what its lifestyle is like will impact how long it will live. With that being said, Great Danes only have a life expectancy of 7 to 10 years. Dalmatians tend to live longer than Great Danes, with life expectancies of 13 to 16 years.
There are many reasons for this. Mainly, Great Danes are extremely large in size and suffer from various breed-specific health issues.
Great Danes can have problems with their joints, hips, and heart. Though Dalmatians also suffer from certain health problems, they tend to have much longer life spans.
Great Dane vs Dalmatian Health
Dalmatians have a few breed-specific health issues including hyperthyroidism, allergies, seizures, iris sphincter dysplasia, and urinary Stones. Additionally, Dalmatians suffer from deafness more than most other dog breeds.
Some Dalmatians are also prone to a condition known as canine hip dysplasia. To identify these issues, your veterinarian may need to run hearing, eye, hip, or thyroid exams.
It’s important to check for these issues to help your dog lead a longer, happier life. Specifically, thyroid issues in Dalmatians can lead to temperament problems and instability.
Great Danes also suffer from many health issues. Great Danes can have hip dysplasia, cardiovascular issues, and are more prone to Bloat than most other dog breeds.
Bloat is a condition that involves the twisting of the stomach. Bloat, sometimes called GDV (Gastric Dilation-Volvulus) can be fatal if left untreated.
To help prevent your Great Dane from getting GDV, make sure that they rest after meals and are fed with care.
It can be helpful to talk with your veterinarian and learn more about gastric dilatation-volvulus before adopting either a Great Dane or a Dalmatian. Although rare, Dalmatians also sometimes suffer from Bloat/GDV.
Small Living Space Adaptability of Great Danes vs Dalmatians
Depending on what your lifestyle is like, you may need a dog that can easily fit in with a range of situations and in many settings. Dog adaptability usually has to do with how well a dog can get along in your home.
Consider what your household is like, how much room you have in your home, and how well you expect your dog to do as you lead your normal life. For instance, not all dogs are geared toward apartment living.
Neither Great Danes nor Dalmatians are ideal for those who live in apartments. Surprisingly, the Great Dane is better suited to apartment living than the Dalmatian.
This is because Great Danes tend to have calm temperaments and medium to low levels of energy. Still, Great Danes are very large dogs. As such, they will need plenty of room to get comfortable and spread out.
History and Breeding of Great Danes vs Dalmatians
Knowing how a dog was bred and what it was bred for can help you better understand what it will be like to own.
Dalmatian and the Great Dane both have very different origin stories. While both of these dogs have equally fascinating histories, each breed was developed for an entirely different purpose.
Dalmatian History and Breeding
The distinctively spotted Dalmatian has been documented across various cultures and continents. In fact, spotted dogs with appearances similar to the Dalmatian can be seen as far back as 3700 BC in Egypt.
The origins of Dalmatians are a mystery. Even the origin of the name of this breed is uncertain. Some believe that the name comes from the proration province of Dalmatia, where the breed surfaced in the mid-1800s. Others believe that the Dalmatians come from 16th century Serbia.
Dalmatians have been and still are, used by firefighters because they get along well with horses. The Dalmatian was the ideal choice when firefighters needed a dog to run along with a fire wagon.
Firefighters found that the dogs did not mind the sirens, loud noises, or intense activity and helped to keep the horses calm. Dalmatians have held a place of honor among firehouses since the 1900s.
Great Dane History and Breeding
Great Danes are often called “the Apollo” of dogs. This is due to their noble appearance and stately grace. The Great Dane is often associated with Germany or Denmark.
However, these dogs are not actually Danish. No one is quite sure why these dogs are frequently associated with Denmark. However, we do know that German nobles used to use Great Danes for hunting wild boar.
Later, these dogs became famous as protectors of homes, loved ones, and families. They would even accompany the families of German nobility as they traveled in carriages across long distances.
In time, the personality of these dogs became fiercely loyal, loving, and devoted. Great Danes have been around for at least 400 years, though they may have been around for much longer.
Great Dane vs Dalmatian Grooming
You will be pleased to hear that both the Great Dane and the Dalmatian are easy dogs to groom. Since both of these dogs have short, soft, single-layer coats, they are easy to brush, wash, and care for.
In fact, you will only need to bathe a Great Dane or a Dalmatian as needed depending on how much physical activity they have received recently.
In general, you can expect to bathe a Great Dane or a Dalmatian about once a month. Since the Dalmatian has a white coat, it is prone to certain discoloration problems. So, you will want to use shampoo for a white-coated dog.
Both of these dogs may also be susceptible to certain skin allergies. As such, be careful which shampoos and conditioners you use on your Great Dane or Dalmatian until you are sure they are free of allergies. Other than that, these short-coated dogs do not shed very often and are fairly easy to groom and care for!
Temperament and Training Traits of a Great Dane vs Dalmatian
Knowing how a dog will behave and what its personality will be like can be very helpful when trying to find the perfect breed for your family. However, keep in mind that each dog is unique. A dog’s personality will often be shaped by its environment and experiences.
Dalmatian temperament traits can differ greatly from dog to dog. Some Dalmatians are aloof and temperamental. Others are friendly and happy-go-lucky.
The behavior of each Dalmatian is developed through a combination of genetic background traits, environmental factors, and owner handling.
That is why sometimes you will hear Dalmatians being described as dignified, dependable, and affectionate dogs. Other times, you will hear that Dalmatians are high-strung, aggressive, stubborn, and temperamental.
Some people believe the Dalmatians are great with children, While others feel that Dalmatians are not good dogs for families.
Likely, the various traits reported in the Dalmatian breed are impacted by the fact that this dog is so smart and adaptable.
Since Dalmatians adapt to the environment around them, they could develop a range of personality traits.
Usually, Dalmatians are easy to train and have intelligent minds. These dogs tend to be eager to learn and enjoy new environments.
Great Dane Temperament
In comparison, Great Danes tend to have more stable personality traits. Great Danes are known for being loyal, loving, dependable, and affectionate. Great Danes are famous for being good with children and at peace in a family setting.
Great Danes also tend to be protective and appreciative of snuggles. In fact, Great Danes will often cuddle up next to you on the couch as if they don’t know how large they are! They might even try to crawl on your lap.
Since Great Danes are people pleasers, they are usually eager to make you happy. This makes them easier to train than many other breeds.
However, some people report that Great Danes can develop a stubborn streak.
To avoid this, be sure to use lots of positive reinforcement and train your Great Dane with sensitivity and consideration. These dogs are gentle giants, after all!