Great Dane vs Rottweiler: 9 Differences You Should Know

Have you been looking for a large, imposing, and stunning dog to bring into your family? Do you prefer big dogs with devoted and loving personalities?

If so, both the Rottweiler and the Great Dane are impressive dog breeds to consider. So which is better, the Rottweiler or Great Dane?

Rottweilers and Great Danes can be amazing dogs to own. Both of these dog breeds are large and athletic. Rottweilers and Great Danes also have short coats that are relatively easy to groom.

The Great Dane is a giant breed with a goofy, loving temperament and medium energy levels. Rottweilers are large dogs with muscular frames and inherent guarding instincts.

These large and powerful dog breeds will require experienced owners ready to put adequate time and energy into training.

The Great Dane vs Rottweiler at a Glance

At first glance, Rottweilers and Great Danes are both big imposing dogs. The Rottweiler is a large breed, while the Great Dane is a giant breed.

Rottweilers usually weigh about 110 lbs, while Great Danes can weigh anywhere from 100 to 200 lbs. With both breeds, female dogs are usually slightly smaller than male dogs.

The personality of the Great Dane is loving, friendly, devoted, and somewhat silly. Great Danes definitely have a goofy side and can do well in a family setting. Great Danes tend to be accepting of strangers.

Rottweilers are naturally protective of people and property. As such, Rottweilers are more likely to be suspicious of strangers. They tend to need training and conditioning to be safe and dependable in a family setting.

The Great Dane suffers from a range of giant-breed-related health issues. Great Danes usually have shorter life spans, with life expectancies of less than 11 years.

Alternatively, Rottweilers are prone to joint problems. Rottweilers will usually live anywhere from 8 to 13 years.

Most Great Danes have fewer behavioral issues than Rottweilers. However, due to their large size, consistent training is essential if you want to own a Great Dane.

On the other hand, Rottweilers sometimes suffer from anxiety, aggression, and other breed-related temperament issues. With that in mind, most Rottweilers adjust well to the settings in which they are raised. Rottweilers are arguably easier to train than Great Danes because of their high intelligence.

Great Dane Traits

  • Loving, affectionate, and loyal
  • Fun, goofy side
  • Generally accepting of strangers
  • Short life span
  • Giant breed
  • Many coat patterns and colors
  • Weighs 100 to 200 lbs
  • Medium to low energy levels

Rottweiler Traits

  • Fiercely protective of property and people
  • Highly trainable
  • Devoted and motivated
  • Fearless and motivated
  • Muscular and powerful
  • One coat color likely
  • Weighs 80 to 140 lbs
  • Low, medium, or high energy possible

Why Get a Great Dane or Rottweiler

If you have been looking for a large and protective dog that has a striking appearance and distinctive personality traits, both the Rottweiler and the Great Dane are good options to consider.

If you bought a giant dog that has a silly side, short coat, and loving disposition, the Great Dane is a good choice to consider.

If you want a powerful and imposing guard dog breed that will be fiercely devoted to your family, the Rottweiler is a good dog to consider getting.

Some awesome Great Dane traits include a gentle personality with a silly side. They also come in many stunning coat colors. Great Danes are also very large, with body lengths often in an excess of six feet.

Rottweilers are lovely because they are powerful, muscular, brave, and loyal. They are known for protecting their families from danger and can make wonderful companions.

Rottweilers have one main coat color and a dense, short, double coat. Rottweilers can do well with families if they are raised with them from a young age.

Why Not Get a Great Dane or Rottweiler

There are a few reasons that both of these breeds might not work out for you. If you want a small dog, for instance, neither breed is a good choice. Both the Great Dane and the Rottweiler will inevitably grow to a large size.

Also, both of these breeds must be trained consistently from a young age. Otherwise, their powerful builds can make them difficult to control.

Rottweiler’s problems include anxiety, aggression, fear of strangers, and temperamental stubbornness. Great Danes can also have these issues but to a lesser extent.

For most Great Danes, strangers are not a big issue. However, Rottweilers must be socialized with care to accept affection from strangers.

Great Dane vs Rottweiler Breeding and History

Rottweilers and Great Danes both have fascinating histories. The formal history of the Rottweiler breed starts in the early 20th century.

The Club for Leonbergers and Rottweiler Dogs was created to showcase the first standard in the breed.

However, Rottweilers have a history that dates back even further than formal breed recognition. Rottweilers may even be related to the ancient guard dogs of Rome.

In the middle ages, Rottweilers were used as butcher dogs. These dogs were constantly around people, protecting the shops of butchers and other tradesmen.

At this time, the crucial guarding skills and loyal nature of the breed were developed and refined.

Great Danes have a history that stretches back at least 400 years. Sometime about 400 years ago, Great Danes were used by royal nobility to protect their lands, properties, carriages, and homes.

Great Danes were also once used to hunt wild boars. This is likely why they were bred to grow so large.

Traits and Personality of the Great Dane vs Rottweiler

The first impression of the Rottweiler is one of solidity, strength, and capability. Rottweilers have massive heads and expressive eyes.

These dogs were selected and bred for guarding and protection work. A well-socialized Rottweiler can get along well with people, other pets, and children. Rottweiler’s personalities range from calm to excitable.

However, male Rottweilers tend to be more aggressive toward other dogs and protective of property. Active, intelligent Rottweilers are usually confident and independent. Rottweilers can be wonderful dogs if trained consistently and socialized properly from a young age.

If left to their own devices, these dogs may bark, dig, or become destructive. Rottweilers were bred to work. This means that they can have intense personalities and lots of energy.

Moreover, the temperament of the Rottweiler varies dramatically. So Rottweilers are calm and mellow, accepting strangers and newcomers happily. Other Rottweilers are fiercely protective and intensely suspicious of strangers.

In contrast, the personality of the Great Dane is usually more predictable. Great Danes are generally happy to meet new people and enjoy new experiences with their owners. Great Danes are known for being gentle giants and often have a silly, fun side.

Like Rottweilers, Great Danes were also bred for protection and guarding. However, Great Danes were originally used to hunt in groups. This means that the Great Dane is more likely to get along well with other pets.

You can expect most Great Danes to be friendly and easy-going. This is a dog with a personality that blends into the surroundings that it was raised in.

If socialized from a young age, Great Danes are very accepting of new people and places. However, these dogs can also be stubborn, oversensitive, and anxious. It will all depend on the unique personality of your specific dog.

Great Dane vs Rottweiler Size and Appearance

If you look at a Great Dane next to a Rottweiler, you will immediately see some very notable physical differences.

Great Danes are tall and lanky, with slender necks and tapered hindquarters. Great Danes also have long tails.

Great Danes come in many coat colors and have wide chests. As a giant breed, Great Danes will almost always weigh over 100 pounds.

In contrast, Rottweilers are stocky, blocky, and muscular. They have large heads and distinctive markings on their faces. Rottweilers can have long or docked tails.

Rottweilers are almost always mostly black with tan markings on their chests, paws, faces, and eyebrows.

Coat Type and Grooming of a Great Dane vs Rottweiler

Rottweilers and Great Danes both have short coats that do not shed heavily in comparison to other breeds.

However, the Rottweiler is likely to shed a bit more than the Great Dane. This is because many Rottweilers have a dense, double coat.

This wiry, double coat, tends to shed more in the spring and fall. With that being said, some Rottweilers have shorter, smoother coats.

On the other hand, pretty much all Great Danes have very short, single-layered coats. Great Danes do not shed very much comparatively.

However, because Great Danes are so large, you are likely to notice the shedding anyway. Great Danes are slightly easier to groom than Rottweilers, in theory. The thing is, they are so big that grooming can seem like a hassle.

It’s also important to note that Rottweilers sometimes develop an aversion to the water. This means that giving your Rottweiler a bath can be a problem if they do not enjoy getting wet.

To navigate this difficulty, it is best to make bathtime a positive experience when your Rottweiler is still a puppy.

You can do this by giving your Rottweiler treats as they sit in the bathtub and slowly adding water without making your dog nervous or uncomfortable. Otherwise, giving your Rottweiler a bath can be a real struggle.

Honestly, this tactic is a wise one to use for Great Dane puppies as well. Since both of these dogs will be heavy, you will want them to willingly get into the bath when the need arises.

It may also be wise to condition both dogs to the sound of the blow dryer when they are puppies.

Health and Lifespan of the Great Dane vs Rottweiler

The life expectancy for a Rottweiler can range from 8 to 14 years. It will all depend on how healthy your dog is and whether they have any genetic health issues.

In comparison, Great Danes usually only live about 9 years with a lifespan ranging from 7 to 11 years on average.

Great Danes suffer from heart issues, joint issues, and are prone to a condition called bloat, otherwise known as GDV.

Although both of these dogs suffer from certain breed-specific health problems, the Great Dane is the less healthy of the two.

Great Danes can easily fall victim to various health issues and will likely require close veterinary monitoring throughout their lives.

Mostly, Rottweilers will only suffer from health problems if they have been bred poorly. With that being said, most Rottweilers are healthy and will lead relatively long lives.

Great Dane vs Rottweiler and Other Pets

Rottweilers and other pets can get along well, provided you put in the training effort. For instance, if you adopt a rottweiler puppy and raise it around cats and other dogs, it will likely get along well with other pets as an adult.

However, your Rottweiler may not get along well with strange dogs that you meet on walks. As such, socialization is very important with the Rottweiler breed.

On the other hand, Great Danes usually get along fine with most other animals, including strangers.

Known for their gentle personalities, Great Danes can do well with cats, other dogs, and smaller animals. To be safe, it is still best to socialize your Great Dane with other animals while they are young.

Great Dane vs Rottweiler Care, Activity Levels, Energy, and Food Requirements

The energy levels of a Rottweiler can vary greatly. Many Rottweiler owners claim that these dogs are mellow, calm, and easy-going. However, some people state that Rottweilers are hyper and easily agitated.

The same goes for Great Danes. A Great Dane’s energy can vary dramatically depending on the personality and temperament of each unique dog.

For the most part, Great Danes have moderate energy levels. They are neither overly hyper nor overly lazy.

It is important to remember that each individual dog is different. Expect both of these breeds to require regular physical activity and daily walks. Neither of these breeds is particularly well suited to apartment living.

Training a Great Dane vs Rottweiler

Great Danes and Rottweilers are both fairly easy to train. However, most would agree that Rottweilers are easier to train than Great Danes because they are naturally keen to learn new tasks.

This is because Rottweilers are among the working group class of dogs. This makes them highly motivated and capable of learning various new tricks and behaviors.

On the other hand, training a Great Dane can be a rewarding experience if you have time, patience, and consistency.

Remember to make training a positive experience and always reinforce positive behavior.

It is especially important to teach your Great Dane to walk well on a lead from a young age. This will help you prevent leash-pulling later on.