What Is the Difference Between a Labrador & a Weimaraner?

by Jane Meggitt
The Weimaraner's head is more refined than that of the Labrador retriever.

The Weimaraner's head is more refined than that of the Labrador retriever.

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The Labrador retriever and the Weimaraner are both large dogs originally bred for hunting, but you'd never mistake one for the other. Both are high-energy breeeds who make good pets for active people and families. While the Lab was developed as a bird dog in Newfoundland, the Weimaraner was bred to hunt large game in his native Germany. The modern Weimaraner is more likely to hunt small game and birds than his ancestors.

Breed Origins

The Labrador retriever's origins in Newfoundland date back to the early 19th century. The Lab breed descends from water dogs found in the region; Labrador types were imported to Great Britain in the 1830s. As every Lab owner knows, the breed has never lost its love for swimming and playing in water. The Weimaraner, meanwhile, dates back to the second half of the 19th century, with the bloodhound making up a significant part of its ancestry. Weimaraner breeding specimens were imported into the United States shortly before the outbreak of World War II.

Comparative Sizes

The Labrador retriever is smaller and stockier than the Weimaraner. Adult male Labrador retrievers stand between 22.5 and 24.5 inches tall at the point of the shoulder, with females standing between 21.5 to 23.5 inches high. Males weigh between 65 to 80 pounds, with females at 55 to 70 pounds. At maturity, male Weimaraners stand between 25 to 27 inches tall, with females also slightly smaller at 23 to 25 inches in height. The American Kennel Club standard does not include a weight range for Weimaraners, but weight and height should be proportional. Overall, the Weimaraner is far more refined in appearance than the Labrador retriever.

Coat Colors

Labrador retrievers come in solid shades of black, yellow or chocolate. Any sort of silver Lab isn't recognized in the breed standard. Weimaraner coat colors run the gamut of gray, from mouse to silver, according to the breed standard. Black or bluish Weimaraners are not permitted. Either breed might have a small white spot on the chest, but that's it as far as allowed markings.

Eye and Nose Color

Yellow and black Labs should have brown eyes, while chocolate Labs might also have eyes of a hazel hue. The Weimaraner's eyes are as distinctive as his coat and are often a similar shade. Besides gray and blue-gray, light amber is a permitted color. The Weimaraner's nose is gray. Black or yellow Labs have black noses; the chocolate Lab sports a brown nose.

Photo Credits

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About the Author

Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.