Great Dane Vs Rottweiler: Which breed is better?

The Great Dane and the Rottweiler are both excellent dog breeds with unique qualities. 

The Great Dane is commonly known for its majestic huge size and as a gentle friendly dog while the Rottweiler is well known as a fearless guard dog.

In this article, we will show you the Great Dane versus Rottweiler facts that you need to make a decision on which breed is suitable for you.

Great Dane vs Rottweiler: Which Breed Is Better?

The Great Dane and Rottweiler are both pure breeds with good personalities and qualities.

To learn more about them, let’s examine their differences, similarities, and what makes each dog unique. 

Differences Between Great Dane and Rottweiler

a great dane and a rottweiler

Breed History

The Great Dane has its origin in Germany where they were bred as working dogs. Historically through Egyptian artifacts, they can be traced back to 3000 B.C.

They are commonly referred to as the ‘Apollo of dogs’ or the ‘gentle giant’ because of their majestic and large body frame with a sweet-natured, calm personality.

They were originally used to hunt wild boars. They were successful in this assignment.

Today they are not used for hunting purposes but are family dogs that are calm and mellow.

The Rottweiler commonly referred to as the Rottie has its origin in Germany.

The dog breed was bred as a working dog and was used to herd and drive cattle to the marketplace.

They were also used to pull carts for butchers and protect them from thieves.

As a dog breed with outstanding protective instincts, they are excellent guard dogs and have been used as police dogs as well as in the military.

They were registered by the American Kennel Club in 1931.


The Great Dane is larger than the Rottweiler. They are giant dogs with a male adult standing at 32 to 34 inches and weighing between 120 to 200 pounds.

The female Great Dane is 28 to 32 inches tall and weighs between 100 to 130 pounds. The male dogs tend to be taller and heavier compared to the female dogs.

The Rottweiler in comparison is a large dog but not as huge as the Great Dane. Their body frame can be intimidating with a bulky and stockier build.

A male Rottweiler stands at 24 to 27 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 95 to 130 pounds while the females are 22 to 25 inches tall and weigh between 85 to 115 pounds.

The male Rottweilers are also taller and heavier than the female dogs. 

Recommended reading: Doberman vs Great Dane: Which breed is better?


Both the Great Dane and Rottweiler are great dogs with pleasant personalities. However, there are personality differences that distinguish the dogs in their unique ways.

Great Dane

The Great Dane may be a gigantic dog but they are sweet-natured, friendly, gentle, laid back affectionate, devoted, and people-oriented dogs.

They love being around people and tend to suffer from separation anxiety when left alone or away from their owners. They are people pleasers and eager to please their owners.

Read More: How to stop separation anxiety in Great Danes

They are good family dogs despite their history as hunting dogs and get along with other pets and animals.

Today they are used more for companionship and protection. They love children and enjoy playing with them. 

As a protective dog, the Great Dane is not as aggressive compared to the Rottweiler, they are calmer, however, they protect their owners when needed.  

Great Danes are also intelligent dogs which makes them easy to train new skills and behaviors. Just like any other dog breed, they also require socialization and training to have to be well behaved. 

The Great Dane shares personality traits with the Rottweiler as an intelligent, protective, devoted, easily trainable, and fearless dog. 


In comparison, the Rottweilers are confident, devoted, fearless, alert, courageous, and do not make friends immediately with people by having a wait-and-see attitude with new people.

Therefore they need socialization to be familiar with sounds, people, and their environment. 

They are naturally instinctively protective and are ferocious against any threats to their owners and family.

They watch out for any threats and attacks to neutralize the threat. This is why they are commonly used as guard dogs. 

Because of prejudices against the Rottweiler’s aggressiveness, sometimes you may have to pay extra insurance and in some towns, you may not be allowed to own one or may be forced to give up the ones you may have.

They require early extensive socialization and training from puppy age to be able to get along with other pets or animals.

Without this, they are aggressive to animals or people that they are not familiar with. This is towards new animals especially other dogs of the same sex. 

They are powerful and energetic large dogs who thrive on being kept busy with a task, a lot of exercises both physical and mental stimulation.

Lack of this makes them bored and they tend to engage in destructive behavior to release energy and to entertain themselves. 

The Rottweiler is also very intelligent and highly trainable. They learn quickly and are smart in tackling tasks or assessing situations. 

They also assume a leadership position and are dominant both with other animals or people.

Because of this intelligent and dominant nature, they require a firm, assertive and consistent leader as an owner. If you are not dominant over them, they will test and exploit you to get their way. 

Despite this strong personality, they are playful, affectionate, and like to play with children. The best way to train them to get along with children is to raise them with children at a young age. 

Remember to always supervise young children with your dog because Rotties are strong and can knock them down when playing.

Recommended Reading: Are Great Danes good guard dogs? 

Grooming and Care

The Great Dane’s grooming and care are not intense as perceived by owning a huge dog. Their coats are short and shed a lot, especially during spring.

They require a weekly brushing of their coat for maintenance and to remove shed hair. 

They require a bath once a month depending on how frequently they get dirty based on their activity level. Dental care involves weekly brushing of teeth and trimming of nails once a month when required.  

Great Danes have moderate energy and are very laid back. They do not require intense exercise to be fit and healthy. 

A Great Dane puppy will need 90 minutes of exercise every day while an adult Great Dane will need 30 to 60 minutes of exercise. 

Moderate exercise is important because, before the age of 18 months, their bones are still growing and are delicate. This prevents injury to the bones and joints and long-term orthopedic health problems. 

Great Danes are best suited for homes with large spaces. They are not best for small homes or apartment dogs because of their large size and freedom to move without knocking items. Having a well-fenced backyard is also good for them to roam about.

Rottweilers require minimal grooming care. They have a double coat that is coarse which sheds lightly throughout the year but heavily in spring and fall.

The coat needs to be brushed at least 2-3 times a week with a bath three to four times a year or when they are very dirty and need it. 

Although Rottweilers are large dogs, they are inactive indoors. They are suited to live indoors with their owners.

As an outside dog, they may become bored easily which leads to destructive behavior and aggressiveness. You require a fenced yard to prevent them from being aggressive to people or animals they do not know. 

The Rottweiler loves to learn and work. Therefore providing them with activities for both physical and mental stimulation is recommended.

They love activities and get along well with both agility and obedience training.

They have high to moderate energy levels. High energy Rottweilers require longer exercise times and structured activities compared to moderate energetic ones who require only 10 to 20 minutes of walking each day. 


Both the Great Dane and Rottweiler are working dogs that were bred to help people with activities they were trained for. Training of both dogs is important to have well-behaved dogs.

Both dogs are intelligent and easily trainable. The Rottweiler can be stubborn at times with you or a trainer, testing if you really want them to do what you tell them.

This is the reason why they need a firm and assertive owner to give direction.

The Rottweiler thrives on activities that help them use their high energy and mentally stimulate them. 

 Early training and socialization are important for both dogs. They thrive on positive reinforcement and transform to be behaved dogs.

Health problems

Both the Rottweiler and the Great Dane are predisposed to breed-specific health problems and risks. 

When considering selecting either breed, it is vital to know the health status as well as which diseases to expect to put in place preventive measures and care for your dog. 

Ensure you locate a reputable breeder who will provide their health information. The below is a breakdown of the health problems and risks for each dog.

Great Dane

The Great Dane is a healthy dog however they are susceptible to some health problems. A Great Dane may not develop all of the diseases specific to the breed. 

It is always vital to purchase a puppy from a reputable breeder and to have all their health histories to know which diseases are likely to occur or less likely to occur. 

The diseases to watch out for in a Great Dane include:

  • Development problems in puppies due to improper diet 
  • Hip dysplasia (Bone disease)
  • Bone cancer
  • Bloat (Gastro-intestinal condition)
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy (Heart disease)

By understanding a Great Dane’s potential health problems, you will be more equipped to better care for them both through preventive measures and management.


Rottweilers are also generally healthy dogs however they are prone to some diseases that affect the breed. 

The key thing for an owner is to find a reputable breeder who will provide their health histories to confirm and determine that they have been tested and cleared of certain health conditions. 

A Rottweiler is susceptible to the following diseases:

  • Hip dysplasia (inherited bone disease)
  • Bone cancer 
  • Elbow dysplasia (inherited disease elbow joints)
  • Aortic Stenosis (heart defect)
  • Allergies (To certain foods)
  • Hypothyroidism (a disorder of the thyroid)
  • Bloat ( gastro-intestinal condition)

Not all Rottweilers will develop all or any of the diseases, however, for an owner, the awareness of the potential health conditions helps you in decision making when considering purchasing the dog breed.

See Also: Rottweiler shaking: How to help, when to worry

Final Thoughts: Great Dane Vs Rottweiler

The Great Dane and Rottweiler are both excellent dogs, each with their unique qualities.

Selecting either dog for you and your family will greatly depend on your personal preference based on the intended purpose of the dog, your home environment, and unique circumstances.

If you want a canine companion that is a laid-back, loyal, gentle, and affectionate family dog, the Great Dane is an excellent choice.

Taking care of a Great Dane will require more space and cost more compared to a Rottweiler, however, they both still require a commitment to own them.

Rottweilers are great dogs to have as guard dogs, companions, and family dogs. Despite their fierce stature, they are actually good dogs that are obedient, loyal, and good-natured.

They only need early training and socialization to have good behavior. 

 New owners should be aware of their strength and the commitment to care for a Rottie. They are better suited for experienced owners.

If you and your family are energetic, can keep up with a Rottie, and also want a loving, protective, and faithful friend, then a Rottweiler is a good fit. 

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