Great Dane

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100-130 lbs
28-32"
Germany
Dane, Gentle Giant, German Mastiff, Deutsche Dogge

The Great Dane is sometimes called the gentle giant due to their calm and careful temperament. They love affection and will often try to sit on their master's lap like a lapdog. They love to please their family and are easy to train. However, you need to keep in mind that these dogs with their large size can easily reach any surface, like tables and kitchen counters. Their tails can also be an issue and can sometimes knock over something that is at their level, which is why they may do best in big homes. Unfortunately, like many large breeds, they have short lifespans.

Purpose
Watchdog, Hunting
Date of Origin
3000 BC
Ancestry
Wolfhound, Old English Mastiff, Greyhound

Great Dane Health

Sketch of Great Dane
Average Size
Male Great Dane size stats
Height: 30-34 inches Weight: 120-200 lbs
Female Great Dane size stats
Height: 28-32 inches Weight: 100-130 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Entropion
  • Gastric Torsion
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Hip Dysplasia
Minor Concerns
  • Myotonia
Occasional Tests
  • Cardiac
  • Eye
  • Hip
  • Blood
  • X-Rays
  • Physical Examination

Great Dane Breed History

The date of origin of these massive dogs is estimated to be around 3000 B.C. when drawings of similar looking dogs were discovered in the Babylonian Temples, which were built around 2000 B.C. Similar dogs may have existed in Tibet, which have written reports found in Chinese literature around 1121 B.C. It is thought that the Great Dane breed was spread around the world by Assyrians when they would trade their dogs to the Romans and Greeks, who would then breed them with other dogs of different breeds. The Great Dane is assumed to have ancestors of the Irish Wolfhound, English Mastiff and the Irish Greyhound. The first of this kind were originally called Boar Hounds, as they were bred to hunt them. They used to have their ears cropped in order to protect them from getting torn by boar tusks. Their name was changed to English Dogges in the 16th century. Later that century, however, it was common for German nobles to keep their large and handsome dogs in their homes, which led to their name being changed again to Kammerhunde, which translates to Chamber Dogs. In the 1700s, a French naturalist was travelling in Denmark, where he found a different version of the Boar hound that had a slimmer appearance and looked similar to the Greyhound. He named these dogs Grand Danois, which later on changed to Great Danish Dog. The bigger dogs of this breed were called Danish Mastiffs. Credit for refining these dogs is often given to the German breeders, and in 1880 there was a meeting with the breeders and judges that decided that the breed would be completely separate from the English Mastiff and would be called the Deutsche Dogge, or German Dog. The name then evolved into Great Dane, and it has stayed up until today, even though the breed did not come from Denmark. The Deutsche Doggen-Klub of Germany was founded, and many other countries kept the dog name. However, places that did not accept the name will call this breed by something different, like in most English-speaking countries, where they are known as the Great Dane. After all of this, the Great Danes were still different than the dogs that we all know and love today. Since they were originally bred as hunting dogs, they had a more violent and aggressive temperament. It was the wealthy German breeders who focused on changing the temperament to create a more docile and gentle dog. They succeeded, and these large dogs are now kept as loving family friendly pets. The Great Dane Club of America was founded in 1889.


Great Dane Breed Appearance

These large canines are sleek and athletic, with muscular bodies and long, narrow heads that are massive in size. Their necks are also long, graceful and set high. Their bodies tend to be as long as tall, except for females, who may have bodies that are slightly longer than their height. They have deep muzzles with black, blue/black or black spotted noses and deep, dark, medium sized eyes. The ears are set high and medium in size, and can either be cropped and standing erect, or left natural where they will fold forward and hang near the cheek. The perfectly straight front legs will end in round feet with dark toenails. The thick tails, which will thin out to a point at the end, will also be carried high. They have short and thick coats that can be a variety of colors. This includes fawn, black, blue, brindle, merle, chocolate or harlequin.

Appearance of Great Dane
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Great Dane eyes
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
blue Great Dane nose
Blue
black Great Dane nose
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
brindle Great Dane coat
Brindle
sable Great Dane coat
Sable
blue Great Dane coat
Blue
fawn Great Dane coat
Fawn
red Great Dane coat
Red
brown Great Dane coat
Brown
black Great Dane coat
Black
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Great Dane straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Great Dane Breed Maintenance

These dogs surprisingly make very good house dogs, and should not be left outside all day, especially in the colder months as they can get cold fairly easily. In fact, they might appreciate a doggie jacket or sweater while out walking in the winter. They will not do very well in a small environment like an apartment, simply because they will knock everything over with their large bodies. Great Danes will be quiet and well behaved indoors and are not excessively energetic, but will need at least one long walk each day along with some playtime in a backyard space with a tall fence. As puppies and younger dogs, about 90 minutes of exercise per day will be required. As they grow into the adult stage, 30 minutes to an hour will be enough. Depending on the age and gender, your Great Dane will need a different amount of food that is specialized for large breeds. For puppies that are five months and under, three meals a day would be best. Once they pass this age, getting fed twice a day will do. These dogs do shed a lot, but it is easily manageable by grooming them regularly. A firm bristle brush is the best type to use on this dog’s coat, and brushing frequently will lower the need for baths. A good teeth brushing should be performed two or three times a week, but daily would be best. Nail trimming will be required one or two times in a month, unless they wear down naturally. Regular ear cleaning using a cotton ball that is dampened with an ear cleaning solution will also be beneficial.

Brushes for Great Dane
Pin Brush
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Great Dane requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Great Dane Temperament

The Great Dane is definitely one of the most gentle and good-natured dog breeds known today. They are friendly and sweet, and very good with children despite their impressive size. These gentle giants will be very calm with the younger kids, especially if they have known them from puppyhood, and the only issue may be their intimidating size. They are easy to train, as they love to please their human. They are people-oriented and will gladly accept affection from any human, family and stranger alike. If they think that one of their owners are in danger, however, they can become protective. The Great Dane's tolerance of other pets will depend on the individual. In some rare cases, they may not get along well with other animals, but with the proper socialization and time to adjust, most of these dogs do just fine with other pets. They are not known to be vocal, but have powerful barks and will wholeheartedly defend any member of their family. Despite their immense size, these sweet dogs may want to be so close to their owner that they take themselves as a lapdog and won’t hesitate to hop up into your arms. They are intelligent and respond well and quickly to training.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
10 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

Great Dane Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3.5 cups
Daily Cost
$2.8 - $3
Monthly Cost
$82.5 - $90

Great Dane Height & Weight

6 Months
Sketch of Great Dane at six months
Male Great Dane size stats at six months
Height: 26 inches Weight: 87 lbs
Female Great Dane size stats at six months
Height: 24 inches Weight: 77 lbs
12 Months
Sketch of Great Dane at 12 months
Male Great Dane size stats at 12 months
Height: 29 inches Weight: 107 lbs
Female Great Dane size stats at 12 months
Height: 27 inches Weight: 92 lbs
18 Months
Sketch of Great Dane at 18 months
Male Great Dane size stats at 18 months
Height: 32 inches Weight: 160 lbs
Female Great Dane size stats at 18 months
Height: 30 inches Weight: 115 lbs

Top Great Dane Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Great Dane breeders of 2018.
Top Great Dane breeder Pacific Coast Harlequins
Pacific Coast Harlequins
Murrieta, California
Top Great Dane breeder Ellenni Danes
Ellenni Danes
Bealeton, Virginia
Top Great Dane breeder Daynakin Great Danes LLC
Daynakin Great Danes LLC
Ferndale, Washington
Top Great Dane breeder Teulu's Great Danes
Teulu's Great Danes
Port Ludlow, Washington
Top Great Dane breeder Woodson Ridge Danes
Woodson Ridge Danes
Abbeville, Mississippi
Top Great Dane breeder Maverick Danes
Maverick Danes
Raeford, North Carolina
Top Great Dane breeder Pink Star Danes
Pink Star Danes
Lakeville, New York
Top Great Dane breeder Eagle Valley Danes
Eagle Valley Danes
Morgantown, West Virginia
Top Great Dane breeder Calyso Danes
Calyso Danes
Deland, Florida

Great Dane Owner Experiences

Jesuse
1 Week
2 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Super tall scary at night and cute
1 month, 3 weeks ago
Blue
3 Years
1 People
Condo
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
I have always owned a dog and have even owned a giant breed before but my Great Dane, Blue is by far my Favorite and best fit dog ever. He has the playful “forever puppy” personality and is gentle and very careful and aware of his size. his eyes cross as he looks down his nose at my hands during tug of war to make sure he doesn’t nip me which is priceless. 20 minutes of walk or play and he’s ready for the couch again. Highly recommend giving them a couch or baby mattress - regular dog beds aren’t enough to sleep on due to their size - i would be sore if i slept on the floor and it’s no different for Him. Total lap dog and sleeps on me like I’m in his litter lol. Highly trainable. Bell trained on front door within 2 weeks. Noise trained on baby gates - only had to drop it once - and can keep him in/out of any room and off furniture simply by laying baby gate in door way. Can differentiate between toys “Duck” “bunny” - if you ask where one is he will bring it to you. Even knows hand signals. Only verbal discipline needed. In tune with me and eager to please. Truly best dog/breed ever. Not an aggressive bone in his body. His one oddity is that he suckles on a stuffed toy at night light a pacifier- it’s weird lol. Wish I had started getting them sooner!! Best tips - Train early. Socialize and be able to spend time with them as the do get anxious when lonely. Be consistent with your training and routine and you will have a great dog!
3 months, 1 week ago
5 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Laying in the sun
Walk
They're so big but such scaredy cats! Haha sometimes I would run up to some of them and they would get spooked and just start running and looking back at me it was so cute! Maybe they don't know how big they really are, but they did very well with other dogs maybe not played with them but definitely watched them sniffed them and followed them around. For the most part they kind of just lounged around and we're just super sweet.
5 months, 3 weeks ago
3 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Fetch
Run
Dog Parks
The Great Dane I walked was a big friendly giant. He was very close to my height standing on all fours! He was such a sweetheart, though. He was great with all people and dogs. He loved the dog park. He played well with dogs of all breeds and sizes, even puppies. He was a gentle giant. His coat was gorgeous and short so easy to maintain. He was very well trained. He had toys he would bring to me and loved to play fetch with. He listened very well, too. Waking such a big dog was no issue at all. He was easy to leash up leaving the house and the dog park. He didn’t pull nor was he aggressive. He even posed for my pictures. They have great temperaments. Meeting him, he quickly became one of my dream dogs.
5 months, 4 weeks ago
4 Months
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
wrestling
Tug-of-war
Playing with toys, tug of war, wrestling
Great danes are incredibly friendly dogs with lots of personality. They are extremely talkative and love to voice their opinions. They are generally not incredibly dominant dogs. Puppies are very clumsy due to how fast they grow and may be afraid of stairs because of how likely they are to stubble on them but plenty of praise and affection will do the trick. Great danes do best with positive reinforcement and need to be trained well due to the difficulties involved with having an oversized uncontrollable dog however they are fairly easy to train and are relatively smart. These dogs range from active to lazy depending on their personality. Always give danes and dogs of larger sizes 90 minutes to rest after eating if possible because there is a possibility of them getting bloat which can lead to death. Despite their large size they are generally well-mannered gentle giants and are good family dogs.
5 months, 4 weeks ago
5 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Exploring
Jumping
Walk
I've walked two different Great Danes and they're beautiful, majestic dogs, but certainly not for the weak of arm strength while walking because these pups are strong! One of the Great Danes I've walked was much more rambunctious than the other. The wild one put me to the test when we first started walking, he jumped up and knocked the leash out of my hands with his big old paws a couple times when we first started walking. But once we got going and I showed him I wasn't giving up, he was much more cooperative and listened well when I told him to sit at the crosswalks as he was being trained to do. The other Great Dane I walked was older and much more calm, he didn't jump at all. You are bound to encounter a horse joke or two when you walk Great Danes because their size is truly impressive. They're beautiful and wonderful dogs but they sure are a commitment!
5 months, 4 weeks ago
1 Year
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Play
Walk
Fetch
Explore the city
My time with Grace was short but was such a pleasure! It was a sitting at her beautiful home. Grace unfortunately had an eye infection at the time, so she was a bit intimidating at first because of her size and her eye. Once we got to know each other a bit, she was lovely. All she wanted to do was play and cuddle! It was my first time meeting a Great Dane and after my experience with her, I would consider getting a Great Dane myself! I haven’t seen Grace since, but I would love to see her again! I hope her eye is better!
6 months ago
1 Year
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Learn a new trick
Play
Catch treats
Walk
Explore the city
It was a crisp fall morning. It was early still, 7am, but, after rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I was ready to start my work day. Emily, a Great Dane, was on the docket. Emily's mother had already harnessed her up, attached a vibrations/shock collar to her neck, and handed over the collar's remote and Emily's leash. Her gangly puppy body, those long legs, that lack of coordination: she was everywhere. Once we'd made it down the stairs and out the door she realized that I, a stranger, was her companion and not her mother; she was attached. She was reluctant to stray far from the house and was strong enough to prevent me from having much sway over her conviction. As with most situations in which stubbornness arises, I used my handful of treats and worked on basic tricks: sit, lay-down, stay, and shake. It worked. We were finally able to start making some distance. Emily hadn't yet been taught the full range of leash skills and had a major tendency toward pulling, which is why I had been supplied with a vibration/shock collar (the shock element was never used). She'd get a direction in mind and was difficult to sway. When strangers, dogs, squirrels, or cats passed by she was mildly interested in saying hello, but was more interested in her steady trajectory forward more than anything else. Despite her sweet nature and mild curiosity, she did strike alarm in people we passed by; it was important to keep this in mind while choosing our path. Though I am accustomed to the lumbering giant, it is important to see her from the eyes of individuals who are not and, as such, crossed the street when people neared us. Though challenging in her strength, Emily was a great walking companion and a fantastic way to wake up--nothing like a challenge first thing! Her sweetness, willingness to work on tricks both new and old, and her goofiness will charm even the sleepiest soul. As we got close to the end of our walk time, we found a stick and romped with it. This brought out her big-pawed trotting, her gentle batting, and her interested in playing keep-away. She lost interest fairly quickly, but the brief moments of play were both hilarious and enjoyable. She was thrilled when we made it back to her house and ecstatic to see her mother. I thanked them both and headed off to my next walk.
6 months ago
3 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Run
Fetch
I love Great Danes because they are the gentle giants of the dog world. They will happily play with smaller dogs and do so at a toned down level of intensity. They never abuse their great size. Their temperament is great, they are so friendly with everyone. But if you walk past a squirrel, well, you better have a good grip on the leash! Of course with great size comes great responsibility. They don't do well in small apartments unfortunately. Also, they eat a ton of food, and they produce a lot of excrement. Owning one can be tough because often, they don't live as long as smaller dogs. But they pack a lot of great life, affection and love into the years they do give you.
6 months ago
8 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walk
Explore the city
I love walking Great Danes. They're good walkers, don't move too quickly, and are focused on walking. I walked a Great Dane with a very energetic mix-breed terrier once. The Great Dane was not phased at all by the pulling on the leash on behalf of the terrier. The Great Dane just moseyed along and explored its surroundings.
6 months ago
4 Months
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walk
Oh my! Mr iLo. What a great puppy. A great BIG puppy. At the age of 4 months he was a little hard to walk. Just a few words of encouragement and a tight leash can make the walk very doable. Train them early and walk them a lot. These gentle giant are lovable and very loyal. Big puppy paws means I am growing into a large dog. I need attention and room to grow. We really focused on staying on task as we were walking. Not stopping every 2 seconds to smell new things. Not pulling. I have found this breed to be very friendly. They want to say hello to every one as we walk. I have found that as I am walking them to say to them that not every one wants to pet you keeps the PEOPLE from encouraging the Great Dane to come to them. Such a good breed for the right person.
6 months ago
1 Year
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Jumping
Kisses
Running
Playing
As long as you walk in welcoming to them, they are as loving as can be. It’s true what they say, they are gentle giants who will walk right up to you for pets. When they’re outside they take in smells in between enjoying the walk in itself. Very very sweet pups!
6 months ago
4 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Play
Walk
I have walked several Great Danes and all but one were extremely friendly and great for their walks. They are usually very gentle and perfect walkers, with no pulling. People love to stop and stare or comment on their size. They can have issues with their joints and such due to their size, but overall are a healthy breed.
6 months ago
4 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Sniffing
Walks
playing in the yard
He was very excited around other dogs, to the point I was worried he was aggressive. (I have walked another Great Dane who did not have this problem, in fact she was far more timid) He liked to really look for them too, but once I muscled him along we were fine. He was also a great protector, even though we barely knew each other he seemed to guard me when a shady man was walking towards us. Very sweet and cuddly with people and gave very good hugs!
6 months ago
2 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
I have experienced great danes before but never walked. I am not sure if this dog was very poorly trained , or young or both. I am a strong woman and I could barely keep this dog next to me, and definitely was injured on the walk. This dog was also DEAF. So, what i did learn was he responded very well to TOUCH. I would keep my hand on his shoulder and he would walk slowly and beside me , I Would have to keep his attention but it would help. With difficult dogs like this it is about trying to speak their language. If a dog cannot hear, try using another sense. and in this case, touch.
6 months ago
2 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
I've walked several great Danes but the one that stands out the most is a nervous two-year-old great Dane named bear. He was quite active and his owner liked to walk him at least three times a day. He was very nervous dog which I think is because he was a rescue and startled easily with loud noises. Other dogs triggered him to lunge after them even if they were behind a fence. He was a sweet dog and was soothed when I would pet his head and hold his leash close. With constant reassurance he walked well on his leash almost as if he was prancing or in a parade. He had a beautiful coat and held his head high when walking. His demeanor was that of a show dog less the aggressive behavior towards other dogs. I thoroughly enjoyed this dog even though there were a few moments I was caught Offguard by a dog behind a fence that bear lunged for causing me to lose my balance. Due to the size of the dog it is very imperative that the Walker maintains full control. Bear was a joy and as sweet as can be but I am biased towards big dogs. As the owner of large dogs great Danes have always appealed to me and my husband grew up with two great Danes as a child.
6 months ago
5 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Exploring
smelling
Walking
They all seem to be gentle giants. I’ve never walked an aggressive Great Dane or even a hyper one. They never pull on the leash and they’re pretty calm about almost everything!
6 months ago
6 Months
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walk
Play
treats
Belle is a puppy so very over-excitable, but listened extremely well to general commands. She was interested in other people and dogs and would pull if she smelled something interesting- which is difficult as she was easily over one hundred pounds. Towards the end of the walk she was no longer interested in walking, and kept lunging to play with her brother Beast, who is an 8 month old Newfoundland. Overall, she was a sweet and gentle dog, but like other puppies she was hard to manage.
6 months ago
4 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Running
Chasing Cats
I've only walked one Great Dane and I'm not sure I would want to again. Just for the sheer fact that this one young pup outweighed me and came up to my chest in height. She wasn't that well-trained which made walking her even more terrifying because she would pull and lunge and there wasn't much I could do about it. She was very sweet and listened well, for the most part, unless there was a cat nearby (then all heck broke loose).
6 months ago
3 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Fetch
Play keep away
Walking
Great Danes are gentle giants that are great to walk. They might be big, but are very gentle and easy to walk.
6 months ago
6 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
walk around the block
Sniffing around
Great Danes are giant dogs but surprisingly not that active. They get tired quickly and also for a dog of such giant size it's important to remember that their average lifespan is significantly shorter than other breeds, so a 6 year old great dane probably behaves more like a 10 year old dog of other breeds! Great Danes are excellent companions and have a very sweet and calm disposition
6 months ago
6 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
walk around the block
Sniffing around
Great Danes are giant dogs but surprisingly not that active. They get tired quickly and also for a dog of such giant size it's important to remember that their average lifespan is significantly shorter than other breeds, so a 6 year old great dane probably behaves more like a 10 year old dog of other breeds! Great Danes are excellent companions and have a very sweet and calm disposition
6 months ago
10 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Nap
Walk
Eating Snacks
I love Danes. They are such gentle giants. It can often be a surprise to open the door to a dog the size of a small horse but they always greet you with a smile. They’re surprisingly sluggish dogs. They don’t like to move super quickly. They do enjoy walking though. And sniffing. And peeing. Lots and lots of peeing. They’ll mark their whole neighborhood if you let them. They love getting pets from people on the streets. They don’t seem to ever care about the other dogs along the way though. They like to stick to their own agenda.
6 months ago
4 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
petting
Walking
The Great Dane I walked through was such a loving and sweet dog. I was quite intimidated by the size as it stood about three feet tall, but they are such a loving and sweet breed. I was scared it was going to walk very fast and pull, but it was very well mannered and stayed right by my side. The breed sticks to a slower pace but loves to be out and about.
6 months ago
13 Weeks
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
The Great Dane's large and imposing appearance belies its friendly nature. They are known for seeking physical affection with their owners, and the breed is often referred to as a "gentle giant".[2][41] Great Danes are generally well disposed toward other dogs, other noncanine pets, and familiar humans. They generally do not exhibit extreme aggressiveness or a high prey drive.[42] The Great Dane is a very gentle and loving animal and with the proper care and training is great around children, especially when being raised with them. However, if not properly socialized, a Great Dane may become fearful or aggressive towards new stimuli, such as strangers and new environments.[43] Great Danes are a breed recommended for families provided that they get trained early and onwards, regarded by animal experts due to their preference for sitting on and leaning against owners as "the world's biggest 'lapdog'."[41]
6 months ago
5 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
i walk this great dane named Diesel very often. despite his massive frame, he's so sweet and affectionate. he has become one of my closest friends and is just really fun to go on walks with. he has a nice calm energy to him. one night i walked him at 11 at night for an hour which was super awesome. the sky was clear so there was so many starts visible which made the experience for us epic. good times with Diesel
6 months ago
Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd