Great Dane: A Complete Breed Guide and Information

Great Dane: A Complete Breed Guide and Information

The Great Dane is a very large breed of dog that was originally bred in Germany to hunt wild boar. They are one of the tallest breeds in the world, and are often referred to as the “Apollo of all dogs“. Great Danes are calm and playful, widely known for their gentleness as well as their loyalty. They are not aggressive but rather just want to please their owners so much that they will do anything for them.

Great Danes are a good choice for families looking for a pet that will fit in well with children and other household members. They can be very friendly and love to socialize with other animals. However, they are not always the best option for households with small animals like cats or rabbits because of their size and strength.

Read on to find out all about the Great Dane.

Overview of the Breed

Breed Type





Working Dogs 30-35 inches (male)

28-33 inches (female)

110-200 pounds 7-10 years $1500 to $3000 (initial purchase)


Many people assume that Great Danes must have Danish origin but this is far from the truth. In fact, they actually come from Germany where the breed was developed. It’s a mystery how these non-Danish dogs come to be called one. However, one explanation is that it comes from the French name Grand Danois, which means “Big Danish.” This story is also believed by the American Kennel Club but for those of us incapable of comprehending the jumbling concept, one thing that is certain is that they are a great breed.

Initially, Great Danes were originally bred to pursue large prey and to guard their owners which is why their size was significant for breeders. Although they are currently popular as friendly companion dogs now, their first duties were as working dogs.

Great Danes were especially used to hunting boars so they needed to be physically strong as well as brave. They are not as intense as they once were and are more tranquil which is demonstrable by their disposition. Today, they may bark and raise a fuss but are not very aggressive like their ancestors.


Great Danes are often described as having an imposing, dignified, and regal look. They are known for their distinct facial features that make them appear extremely serious. These dogs have a broad head, a strong forehead, and a long muzzle with a wide gap that can easily accommodate large meals.

The Great Dane is known for having a long and muscular body, and they’re often sought after due to this feature. In addition to their athletic forms, they tend to have a few other physical traits which boost their regal looks. With a heavy bone structure, there are two humps on the back of this dog’s skull that rise up to create an impressive ridge along the spine. Their tail is long and smooth, reaching down to the hocks. There’s a rule of thumb when it comes to their tails: the tail should never be raised higher than the back. So while the tail may sometimes come up while they run, keeping it low is important according to breed standards.

Great Danes have a sleek and short coat, but they are more known for their wide color variations. They have more accepted show/breed standards for color varieties than most breeds. The coat comes in 7 show-approved shades of fawn, brindle, black, blue, harlequin, mantle, and merle.


Expected for their gentleness and serene demeanor, Great Danes are often cherished for being amazing family dogs. They can be playful too, with an even temperament. They have a solid track record for being dependable and loyal. With their large size, they are gentle and loving but also possess a strong and imposing personality. Great Danes are generally very friendly and tolerant of children, but their size and strength can make them intimidating for small children. it is strongly recommended that you monitor the children at all times, even when they are around them. They’re so big that they can easily knock kids down accidentally when they walk.

Due to their calm and gentle temperament, they don’t typically show any signs of aggression towards other dogs. But it’s always important to socialize your pets early and be mindful of their needs. When you socialize your pet with other dogs, you’re also teaching them proper behavior and how to play with other dog breeds.

It may sound absurd judging by their size, but Great Danes are big fans of cuddling and they would love nothing more than being a lap dog. Despite their great stature even as puppies, they’re so cute and loveable that it’s easy to let them sit on your lap for some snuggle time. As they start to grow, it’s not long before the dog is bigger than you and doesn’t fit in your favorite chair. When this happens, it’s better to have a full-sized couch for cuddle time or to just give in and roll on the floor with your Great Dane.


If you are looking for a dog that is easy to train, then the Great Dane is not your best choice. The Great Dane needs a lot of patience, time, and effort before they can be trained to do anything. They should be trained from an early age to keep them happy and healthy throughout their lifetime.

Here are some tips on how to train your Great Dane:

  1. Start training when they are young – socialize them so they learn the rules and communicate with humans;
  2. Keep them busy with interactive games such as fetch or tug of war;
  3. Establish a routine that will let your dog know what comes next- this reduces the likelihood of them getting anxious or acting out.
  4. Use positive reinforcement – praise and reward your dog when they do something good, instead of punishing bad behavior.
  5. Change The Duration of Training Sessions depending upon the age and maturity of your dog.
  6. Appreciate your dog’s efforts. Being appreciative will surely motivate your Great Dane to perform better.


Great Danes are generally known for their beautiful smooth coat, but they can also be a bit of a nightmare when it comes to shedding. These dogs shed hair on a regular basis. They usually do this in small amounts, but sometimes large amounts of hair can be shed from their coats. These beautiful giants typically shed twice a year (spring and winter), though there are some that can produce up to three times.

Great Danes are not hypoallergenic as they shed a lot. This means that they need to be brushed frequently to keep them clean and prevent the spread of allergens. Although Great Danes do not cause any major allergies, people with allergies should refrain from getting one as a pet companion.

It’s important to groom your dog to keep them healthy and happy. Regular brushing helps distribute the natural oils from their skin evenly throughout the coat, which keeps it healthy and shiny. Great Dane grooming is a process that takes patience and dedication. It’s necessary to have the right tools in order to get the job done. A typical grooming kit for your dog includes items such as brushes, combs, clippers, and even a bathtub for the dog. Some of these items should be replaced regularly so that your Great Dane is kept healthy and shiny.

Here are 6 Grooming Tips That Can Help Your Great Dane Stay Healthy & Happy:

  1. Brush your dog’s hair before bathing
  2. Bathe your dog regularly
  3. Use a slicker brush to smoothen the coat
  4. Use a wide-tooth comb to remove dead hairs
  5. Brush your dog’s teeth regularly
  6. Use Nail clippers to prevent nail infection


Given their short and smooth coat, Great Danes are well known to adapt to hot climates. They must be, however, looked after during extremely hot weather conditions, which can cause dehydration and heatstroke.

On the other hand, Great Danes may not tolerate cold weather well, as they do not have an overcoat coat to protect them from the harsh winter conditions. If you live in a colder region, make sure that you warm up your dog with warm clothes and sweaters.

Apartment Living

Great Danes are not the kind of dog that you want to live in an apartment with. They need a lot of space and they can be extremely destructive. But, with some planning and creativity, it is possible to raise a Great Dane in an apartment. Here are five tips on raising a Great Dane in an apartment:

  1. Prepare to move the furniture for a larger space
  2. Give your Great Dane plenty of exercise and space
  3. Provide Crate training
  4.  Give your dog plenty of toys
  5.  Be prepared for accidents

Novice Owners

Great Danes are known for their friendly nature and pleasing personality. They are easy-going dogs who make great friends with first times/ novice owners. If you are someone who can handle the size and strength of this giant dog and fulfill their basic needs, then the Great Dane can be your very first canine companion!


The cost of buying a Great Dane from a pet store can range from $1,500 up to $3,000 for the initial purchase and then $200-300 per month for food, vet care, and other necessities. Also, there is an annual fee to register your Great Dane with a breed registry which can range from $20-60 per year depending on where you live.

Great Danes are large dogs that require a lot of time and attention from their owners. They need to be fed on a regular basis with high-quality food and they need to be walked at least three times per day. They also need regular veterinary care in order to maintain their health throughout their lives. The cost of owning a Great Dane can also vary widely depending on where you live, as well as what kind of care your dog needs. There are main 3 factors that determine the price of a Great Dane puppy:

  1. Age of the puppy
  2. Your or breeder’s location
  3. Quality of the puppy


The average lifespan of a Great Dane is 8 to 10 years, with some living only 6 or 7 years. Although they are generally a healthy breed, there are some health issues associated with the breed, which are discussed below:

1. Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia can be found in all breeds of dogs but it is most commonly seen in large-breed dogs such as Great Danes. It is a condition where the hip joint is not properly formed. It can happen in any breed of dog, but it usually occurs in large and giant breeds. Hip dysplasia can cause pain and arthritis which may lead to poor mobility and difficulty with walking, running, jumping, or playing.

2. Elbow Dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia is a type of joint disease that affects the elbow joints. It is a hereditary condition that mostly affects Great Danes. They also have a high percentage of weight-bearing joints in their body which puts them at an increased risk for developing elbow dysplasia due to their large heads and large eyes.

3. Cardiomyopathy (a heart condition)

Cardiomyopathy is a disease that affects the heart and its ability to pump blood. It can be inherited or it can develop as a result of stress or other factors. Cardiomyopathy in Great Danes has been on the rise for a few years now. There are many possible causes, including genetics, diet, obesity, and environmental factors like heat and humidity.

4. Epilepsy (seizures)

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects the brain of Great Danes and causes seizures.

In the past, epileptic dogs were euthanized because of their severe seizures, but now there are various treatment options for them. These include anti-epileptic drugs, surgery, and dietary modifications. Many veterinarians have started to use the ketogenic diet as an alternative treatment to help epileptic dogs with their seizures.

5. Thyroid Problems

Thyroid problems are often caused by genetic conditions, but they can also be caused by environmental factors such as diet and climate changes. A Great Dane with a thyroid problem will usually have a bloated stomach and a distended abdomen. They will also be very lethargic and may have trouble breathing or swallowing.

6. Bloat

Bloat is a condition that makes the abdomen of a dog very large and distended. It can be seen in some breeds of dogs but is most common in giant breeds. Bloat can be caused by several factors but mostly by eating too much food, drinking too much water, and not exercising enough.

7. Cancer

Osteosarcoma is a type of bone cancer that affects the bones and causes them to become brittle and break easily. It is a malignant tumor that originates in the cells of the bone. The condition can be found anywhere in the body but most commonly occurs in bones like those found in the skull, spine, or pelvis. In recent years, the incidence of osteosarcoma in Great Danes has increased dramatically.

Great Dane Mixed Breeds

Breeders all around the world have been breeding the Great Dane with other dogs to create a dog of their choice. Let’s get to know more about these mixed breeds, shall we?

Great Dane Chihuahua Mix

Has it ever occurred to you that a big giant dog can be crossed with a small loving breed to create just the perfect medium-sized dog? If it hasn’t, then, meet the Most Unthinkable and Controversial Designer Dog: The Chi-Dane-Dane dog. The natural breeding process of the Great Dane and the Chihuahua is somewhat impossible considering the huge size difference between the two breeds. Therefore many persistent breeders have resorted to the Artificial Insemination process to create offspring with a female Great Dane.

Chi-Dane-Danes are medium-sized dogs with long bodies and short legs, resembling somewhat like a Daschund or a Corgi. They have a large head like the Great Dane but a slightly shorter nose, and straight, pointy ears like that of the Chihuahua.

Great Dane Mastiff Mix

A Great Dane Mastiff mix dog has the elegance and beauty of the Great Dane mixed with the massive size and power of the mastiff. They are big dogs with well-balanced builds, strong bones, muscles, and powerful body structures. They have a distinctive head with a broad forehead, short muzzle, and strong jaws. Their eyes are medium-sized and dark brown in color. The ears are set high on the head, which makes them look majestic and powerful. The tail is long and bushy but not curled over their back as some other breeds do. The coat can be either short or long with colors ranging from fawn, brindle, black and white, and even merle and harlequin color patterns.

Great Dane German Shepherd Mix

The Great Dane German shepherd mix is a breed of dog that is a crossbreed between the Great Dane and the German shepherd. The dogs are large and muscular, with long legs, a long back, and a tail that curls over their back. If a Great Shepherd leans more to their Great Dane parent, then they will likely have a broad head, strong legs, a short single coat, and almond-shaped eyes. They will have bonier jaws, natural floppy ears, and a deep-set muzzle. While on the other hand, if the breed takes more after the German Shepherd, then they will have a long snout, triangular ears, a long body with double coats. Or, the Great Shepherd will look anything in between.

Great Dane Doberman Mix

The Great Dane Doberman mix, also known as the Doberdane is a crossbreed of a Great Dane and a Doberman Pinscher. These dogs are usually quite large and have a lot of energy, making them perfect for jogging and other high-energy activities. Considering the mix of two exclusive breeds, the Doberman holds a distinctive appearance. They carry heavy bones and strong muscles in their sturdy body which is relatively long that it is tall. Their head is similar to their Great Dane parent that holds a sure muzzle and natural floppy ears (although many Doberdanes in the US may have cropped ears). Doberdanes have a short and smooth coat. The coat color can range from black, brown, red, fawn, and brindle.

Great Dane Rottweiler Mix

Great Dane Rottweiler mixes, also known as Weiler Danes, are heavy, stocky, and muscular dogs, thanks to their parents’ physical structure. They have a rounded heads with large eyes and long ears. The tail is also usually long as well as the legs. Great Dane Rottweiler Mixes typically have a short and either smooth or coarse coat that is found in any color from black to white, brown, and tan. The coat color, markings, and patterns can vary depending upon which parent breed the dog takes after the most.

Great Dane and Poodle Mix

Great Dane and Poodle mixes are known as the “Great Dane Poodle mix”, “Great Danoodle”, or the “Dane Doodle.” The mix makes for a large, fluffy, and intelligent dog. Whether you want to adopt a fur baby who loves nothing more than to please their owners or want a life-long companion who will be with you through thick and thin, the Great Danoodle is the perfect match for you.

Great Dane Greyhound Mix

A Great Dane Greyhound mix would have a mix of both Greyhound and Dane traits. They are usually larger than their purebred parents, with a long body, slender legs, and an athletic build. They also have long necks and large heads, which make them look more like a Great Dane than a Greyhound. This solidly built mix has erect ears and a long snout. They sport a gorgeous coat that can be either smooth or rough, depending on which type of coat you want as your pet.

Great Dane Labrador Mix

The Great Dane Labrador mix, also known as the Labradane, is considered a giant dog with a sturdy build. They are known for their short, thick coat and their strong legs. Labradanes can be found in a variety of colors like black, tan, brown, or silver with white markings on them. Labradanes have floppy ears that can curl up when they’re happy or scared. They also have wide-set eyes that give them an alert look when they’re looking out for danger.


Great Danes are big giants with equally big hearts. They make excellent family pets, thanks to their loving, affectionate, and pleasing personalities.  If you want to add one of these versatile breeds to your family, make sure that you give them equal love, care, and exercise to keep them happy and healthy.

Great Dane VS Other Dog Breeds

Here are some comparisons of the Bernese Mountain Dog with similar other breeds.

Great Dane Vs Irish Wolfhound

Thank you for reading the article.

Also, check out the 10 Amazing Great Dane Facts That Make Them Truly Special!

Do you have a Great Dane?  How do you care for them? What is their training routine? We would love to hear from you. Please share with our community by leaving a comment below!

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