The Great Weimar is a Great Dane and Weimaraner crossbreed, sometimes with some Labrador Retriever added. With more and more ads popping up for Great Weimar puppies, you might be curious to learn more about this special hybrid breed.
A gorgeous, sensitive, and striking designer breed, they are generally calmer than the average Weimaraner and more athletically capable than the Great Dane. Excellent watchdogs with an imposing presence; these are the perfect dogs for someone who loves giant breeds but would like a dog that is still active.
Where do they come from? What special needs do they have? Without further ado, let’s jump right in and learn more about this Weimaraner Great Dane Mix.
In this article:
Origins of the Great Weimar
To understand the Great Weimar, we need to look at the history of its two main parent breeds, the Weimaraner and the Great Dane.
The Great Dane
The Great Dane—putting the ‘Great’ in Great Weimar—traces its roots to Germany. They are thought to have been around for over 400 years, and they descended from mastiff-type dogs.
The early Great Danes were popular amongst German nobility, who kept them to protect their country estates. They also made for fantastic hunting dogs, specifically adept at taking down wild boar.
However, the first of the breed to truly resemble the Great Dane we know today were intentionally bred in the 1800s.
Germans made an effort to ban the name ‘Great Dane’ in favor of ‘Deutsche Dogge.’ While Deutsche Dogge makes sense in as much as it translates as ‘German Mastiff,’ the Great Dane name stuck.
As for the Weimaraner, they first appeared in the 19th century. In the early half of the century, Weimar’s nobles were known as prolific sportsmen and hunters. Their prey constituted a variety of different animals, but especially birds like pheasants.
The Weimaraner, named for the same nobility, needed to be agile, courageous, and lightning-fast. The dogs were bred specifically for these much-desired traits as hunters and gundogs.
Their distinctive gray coats were most likely a happy accident. The nobles had initially restricted access to the breed, taking pride in their select bloodlines. The Weimaraner club was formed in response, as a way to enforce selective breeding rights.
Because of these restrictions, legends began to spread about the nobility’s mythic great gray hunting dogs.
However, during the latter half of the 19th century, things started to change for the mysterious gray hunting dog and the Great Dane.
They were no longer bred to hunt like their ancestors.
Now they would be selected for traits that saw them become more suited to companionship.
The Great Weimar is the intentional mix of the sweet-natured, devoted, sensitive Great Dane and the more energetic, sometimes highly-strung Weimaraner.
While the Great Dane is more of a giant companion dog, the Weimaraner still maintains its high prey drive. The offspring of these two can inherit characteristics and temperament from either parent.
What does the Great Weimar look like?
The Great Weimar has a distinct and sturdy body, with a muscular form and firm gait. The hound-like ears protrude from a strong head, which can differ in shape. It can lean towards the Great Dane’s rectangular shape or the longer, more pointed head of the Weimaraner.
They have a sleek and smooth short coat, usually a dust-gray to silver color, lending to the ‘grey ghost’ nickname. However, they may be any acceptable coat pattern found in Great Danes, including solid, brindle, merle, or harlequin.
Sometimes, albeit rarely, they may inherit a gene that produces a long double coat.
Height: The Great Weimar is a large dog measuring between 23 and 27 inches at the shoulder(60 cm and 70 cm).
Weight: The Great Weimar dog generally weighs between 74 and 83 pounds (34 to 38 kg, although they can grow as large as 100 pounds (45 kg) or larger if they take after the Great Dane parent. In general, bigger mothers make for bigger puppies, and the Great Weimar can technically fall anywhere on the spectrum between the size of a Great Dane and a Weimaraner.
Colors: They are recognizable by their dusty gray to silver gray coats. Other colors are possible, including black, white, blue, brindle, and fawn.
Despite their short coats, they still carry the dander that causes allergic reactions in those sensitive to dog allergens, so they are not hypoallergenic dogs.
Eyes can be light amber, gray, blue-gray, or brown.
General Care of a Great Weimar
The Great Weimar benefits from its Great Dane heritage in this regard. While the Weimaraner is a compressed bundle of energy bursting from every seam, the Great Dane is usually far less active.
In general, they only need about one to two hours of moderate exercise.
Deciding if you want a Great Weimar:
Get one if:
You are looking for a pet with manageable exercise requirements but have time for moderate daily exercise.
Don’t get one if:
You are an active owner looking for a full-time outdoor exercise companion. These dogs may need special care of their joints if they are on the larger side and may not be ideal for running long distances.
Also, these dogs are not ideal for somebody only willing to walk around the block.
The Great Weimar is a large dog that takes up a lot of space. It is also a very intelligent breed that requires enough room to play and keep busy.
Get one if:
You can offer a dog a spacious yard and lots of attention and mental stimulation.
Don’t get one if:
You live in an apartment and don’t have a lot of time to spend with this dog.
The size of the Great Weimar, along with its intelligence and need for stimulation, means that it is not the best choice for those living in small spaces.
The Great Weimar requires a diet consisting of high-quality proteins.
At 80 pounds, a Great Weimar needs around 1800 calories per day. Keep in mind that kibble for larger dogs usually contains fewer calories.
Hence, it is best to stick to the large dog options that cater to its age, size, and medical conditions such as allergies or joint issues.
Like most dogs with short coats, grooming the Great Weimar is pretty simple. Their coat is water-resistant and unlikely to soil easily.
Both parent breeds have less ‘doggy’ smell than most dogs. The Great Weimar inherits this trait and does not need frequent bathing.
On the downside, they do shed year-round. This means that even though a brush down is easy, your pup will require grooming frequently.
Ears, teeth, and nails should be checked regularly and cleaned, brushed, and trimmed, respectively. Be sure to get the order right, though.
Temperament & Intelligence
Their Weimaraner side makes the Great Weimar an intelligent and robust dog well suited to training. However, they can be stubborn and require patience. They may also take a long time to mature and may only start calming down around their second year. This is why they aren’t on our top 10 list of the most intelligent dog breeds.
The Great Dane side doesn’t hurt, lending loyalty and a desire to please. They are prone to boredom and may require that extra bit of attentiveness during training sessions.
Most importantly, this is a sensitive dog that will not take well to harsh treatment. Consistent positive reinforcement is the best way to get results from this dog.
Sociability with other pets
The Great Weimar is generally considered a friendly breed, although they may be aloof with strangers.
Proper socialization from an early age will help ensure amicable relationships with other pets, particularly other dogs or smaller animals they may regard as prey.
Their predisposition may depend on the dominant parent breed. Still, both can be brought up to be friendly with other pets.
Suitable Home for a Great Weimar
Great Weimars make for fantastic family pets. Their size means that play with small children should be monitored, but only for the risk of bruises and bumps due to their strength. Despite their hunter heritage, they prefer staying close to their human parents and should be monitored for separation anxiety.
Crates are not recommended, as they prefer to sleep in the vicinity of their family. They are ideal for families with sprawling, fenced yards. Small spaces may be too cramped, and un-fenced yards present a risk of them wandering off out of curiosity.
Common Health Concerns
- Cryptorchidism is a condition where one or both testes fail to descend.
- Von Willebrand Disease makes it harder for blood to clot, leaving your dog at risk of severe bleeding if wounded.
- Bloat happens when a dog’s stomach fills with gas, food, or fluid, making it expand. The stomach puts pressure on other organs, posing serious risks.
- Hip Dysplasia results in the loosening of the hip joint. It occurs during growth and can cause severe pain and discomfort. A complete hip replacement is often the only viable method of treatment.
- Cardiomyopathy causes the heart to become enlarged, thick, or rigid.
Uncommon Health Concerns
- Nictitating Membrane
- Eversion Persistent Right Aortic Arch
- Pituitary Dwarfism
- Retinal Atrophy
The expected lifespan of the Great Weimar is between 10 and 12 years.
If you are looking for a Great Weimar puppy from a reputable breeder, you can expect to pay around $1000. To reserve a first or second pick from a specific litter may set you back $1200.
A final word
The Great Weimar is a striking and majestic mixed breed. They make for dedicated and loving companions and make a fine addition to the family looking for a larger dog.