4 min read


Why Do Great Danes Lean



4 min read


Why Do Great Danes Lean




The Great Dane is known affectionately as a gentle giant. He is one of the giant breeds of the canine world and is a large dog who loves companionship and affection. How does he get his coveted attention? He leans into you and his size alone will make sure he is noticed. Great Danes lean on people to get their attention and when you weigh up to two hundred pounds you are going to be noticed, as you gently lean on your human family. Great Danes take up a lot of space just in their size alone, and with their easy going gentle nature, they soon make a big impression on your household. Great Danes may be large dogs, but in their minds, they fit into the lap dog category. Great Danes love to spread out on the couch or sit on your lap, if you will have them. Their capacity for affection is endless. A Great Dane hug is simply part of his leaning behavior.

The Root of the Behavior

Meeting a Great Dane for the first time can feel a bit overwhelming if you are not familiar with the breed. He is a big dog, but loveable and gentle. If he can be introduced to you, and get to know you, he will soon lean in to get closer to you. This is the Great Dane’s way of showing his affection for the people he has chosen to love. Great Danes are known for their gentle souls and they are good with other pets around the house. They can be seen, despite their size, playing and resting with smaller dogs and cats too. The Great Dane does not need huge amounts of exercise and is happy to stroll by your side as you go for gentle walks with him. Great Danes are good with children. However, the leaning behavior needs to be monitored, as a giant dog could knock a small child over just by way of his size and weight. Children should always be supervised when they interact with dogs and especially the giant breeds. 

The Great Dane loves to be with his family and does not stay home alone very happily. He gets stressed at the loneliness of an empty house and will become restless and not interested in his food. A giant breed needs special attention when it comes to feeding and so making sure the Great Dane is not stressed is vital. He may be leaning on you to try and keep you with him, so he does not feel lonely. Great Danes are not aware that they are so large, and they just like to lean on the family that they love. The Great Dane likes to nestle in and get lots of strokes for being the best Great Dane on the planet. If you bring a Great Dane puppy into your life, be prepared for some rapid growth spurts and be ready to take special care of this pup as he is growing up. While his bones and body develop into a giant breed he will need to lean on you for special attention. It is at the puppy stage the Great Dane needs to feel secure and have support for his development into adulthood.

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Encouraging the Behavior

Choosing to have a Great Dane in your home is a decision to be taken seriously. Your giant breed puppy is going to need to lean on you for his nurturing initially. Look carefully into the reasons why this breed needs support and will want to lean on you. The joys of a gentle giant leaning on you, to get your attention and show his love for you, are rewarding. However, the price for having a Great Dane depend on you is going to be felt through the volume of food he eats, and the special attention you need to pay to the rapid growth of a large breed puppy.

Great Danes are susceptible to hip dysplasia. Regular check-ups to the vet would be wise if you feel your Great Dane is leaning more heavily on you than just the normal loving creature that he is. Most registered breeders would have made every effort to ensure their breeding skills have eradicated this disease. Buying from a renowned breeder is the best choice to make if you decide to own a Great Dane. The Great Dane breeder will be available to lean on for advice, help with behavior, and any other problems that affect the breed. When you bring your new Great Dane puppy home, remember he will need your support. Let him lean on you as you begin puppy socializing and start some obedience training.

Other Solutions and Considerations

The Great Dane is a wonderful companion dog. He loves people and having their attention. When he feels your love in return for a gentle nudge or full on lean he is a very happy dog. Leaning is the Great Dane’s way of telling you he is relaxed and content, and he loves you unconditionally. Take time to train him in an obedience class because he is a big dog and needs to be kept under control. The Great Dane that is not responsive to some canine good citizen rules will do more than lean on you. He may well cause some damage in your home. The Great Dane does need to know who is boss so that he does not lean on you with any form of dominance. The appealing ‘lean on me’ attitude needs to be a loving gesture.


Now you have your Great Dane and you are totally in love with this gentle, giant breed. He knows you are there to lean on and if you ever feel discouraged, then he will gladly have you lean on him. Listen to the words of the popular song ‘Lean on me’ and it will resonate perfectly with the love of a Great Dane as he leans on you. Remember: He’ll be your friend, he'll help you carry on, because we all need someone to lean on! 

By a Rhodesian Ridgeback lover Christina Wither

Published: 04/12/2018, edited: 01/30/2020

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