Great Dane: Dog Breed Profile and Information

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The Great Dane is a giant dog breed and is one of the biggest dog breeds. The Great Dane is a magnificent, intelligent, and loyal dog that has a warm temperament.


This dog breed is often referred to as gentle giants and is loved for their radiant spirit and tender companionship.

Great Danes have ode attachment with their owners, and they make incredible family pets. A properly trained dog will get along well in most households.

Owners do not necessarily need extra large space to accommodate a Great Dane, but notwithstanding, this is a dog that needs enough space, majorly because of its tail.

Unfortunately, just like other large dogs, the breed’s lifespan is regrettably shorter than the average dog. Nonetheless, lovers of Great Dane know that each time spent with the dog is worth it.

Breed Overview

  • Group: Working
  • Height: 28-34 inches at the shoulder
  • Weight: 100-200 pounds
  • Coat and color: Short hair in dawn, brindle, blue, harlequin (white with black patterns), black, or mantle (white and black)
  • Life expectancy: 6-8 years


  • Affection Level: High
  • Friendliness: High
  • Kid-Friendly: High
  • Pet-Friendly: High
  • Exercise Needs: High
  • Playfulness: High
  • Energy Level: Medium
  • Trainability: Medium
  • Intelligence: Medium
  • Tendency to Bark: High
  • Amount of Shedding: High

History of the Great Dane

This amazing dog originated in Germany. Although there are rumors that the breed has ancient origins, they most likely developed from the Irish wolfhound and the English Mastiff.

Despite having “Dane” in its name, the dog was breed as a boar hunter. Strong boar requires an equally strong dog to subdue the prey until hunters arrived.

As time went by, Great Danes were no longer considered hunting dogs but became companions and watchdogs. German breeders focused on making them less aggressive, leading to their gentle temperament most common today.

Great Danes were introduced in the United States in the late 1800s and have gained popularity over time. It was later officially recognized by the AKC in 1887.

Great Danes have topped the list of the Guinness World Records for “the world’s tallest dog.” A current holder is Zeus, which stood at 44 inches. In general culture, the comic-strip character Marmaduke and Scooby-Doo are both Great Danes.



Great Danes are characterized by their short, thick coat that generally requires routine grooming as well as weekly brushing. They are heavy shedders, especially during the spring and fall. This is a breed that requires bathing at least once a month.

Great Danes with flight eats require routine cleaning and ear checks. While some owners would rather surgically the ears of their Danes, this practice has grown to be less frequent and has been banned in some countries.

Your dog’s nails should be trimmed every couple of weeks to help maintain them and keep them from tearing and splitting. Good oral hygiene should also be maintained to help keep your dog’s teeth healthy. Brushing your Dane’s teeth a few times per week would help to prevent gum infections.

Proper socialization and training are vital for your dog. It would be difficult to manage this large-sized dog if not appropriately trained. Danes do aren’t aware of their size, so caution is needed when preventing them from leaning, jumping, and leash pulling.

Great Danes are very playful and vigorous when young. To help keep their developing bones and joints fit, owners would have to prevent them from jumping and running till they are at least 18 months old.

Once they’ve gotten to this age, their energy level must have normalized. Great Danes require routine exercise that includes daily walks to help them remain healthy and strong.

Great Danes are easy to house-train, and they prefer to stay indoors with their family instead of being alone in the yard.

Great Danes are generally gentle with kids, but care is needed since, as large dogs, it is easy for them to knock a child over. Children shouldn’t be put in charge of controlling such a large breed on a leash.

Common Health Problems

Responsible and reputable breeders aim at maintaining a high breeding standard as recognized by kennel clubs such as AKC. Great Danes bred by these standards are at reduced risk of inheriting health complications.

Notwithstanding, the breed can still suffer from some hereditary health issues. The following are some health problems owners need to be aware of:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Gastric dilatation-volvulus
  • Elbow hygroma
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)
  • Caudal cervical spondylomyelopathy (also referred to as wobbler syndrome and cervical vertebral instability)

Diet and Nutrition

Extra attention is needed when considering the diet of your Dane. Even as puppies, Great Danes have a large appetite for food, but owners need to be mindful of how they feed them.

Controlling how fast they grow is really important, so it would help to discuss your Great Dane’s diet with your veterinarian. Puppies need to be fed at most three meals per day.

Adult Great Danes will need a lot of food—up to ten cups every day. It is essential that they are given two or more times each day instead of feeding them one large meal. It is also crucial that their feeding is controlled.

Great Danes are prone to gastric dilatation-volvulus. This implies that the breed may experience bloating when they eat too fast or too much. This can cause stomach torsion, which can cut off blood supply and hold in gas.

It requires an emergency response when this happens.


  • Wonderful with kids
  • Tolerates other pets
  • Extremely gentle and loving


  • Reduced lifespan
  • Expensive to feed
  • Requires enough energy to guide in a leash

Adopting or buying a Great Dane

It would be helpful by contacting reputable breeders if you have the intention of adopting a Great Dane. There’s also the option extending your search to rescues, such as the Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League, or the Great Dane Club of America.

More Dog Breeds

Ensure to do plenty of research before you adopt any Great Dane if you think the breed is right for you. Meet with other owners of Great Dane, reputable breeders, and rescue groups to find out more about the breed.

If your interest is in similar breeds, then you can look at the folly to compare;

Do you have a Great Dane? What does caring for one feel like? Would you recommend Great Danes to families and friends? Share your opinion with us in the comments below.

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