It’s easy to see why the Great Dane has its name – it’s truly a great dog breed in both size and personality. They’re known as the “Apollo of dogs” for their stately grace and imposing stature.
Great Danes are equal parts hardy working dog and cheerful companion. Everything about them is giant-sized: their loyalty, their courage, and their heart. Despite their imposing size and appearance, they’re playful and gentle with their human companions.
TemperamentNearly everything about a Great Dane is intimidating to people who are unfamiliar with the breed. However, despite their jumbo size, they’re actually very sweet dogs who are loyal and gentle. They generally have happy, outgoing personalities and love to be around people. While they were originally bred to hunt boar, most modern Great Danes would not do well at this task. The necessary ferocity and aggressiveness to hunt such large, powerful animals has been all but eliminated from the breed at this point. However, they are excellent watchdogs and their bark is loud enough to shake the walls of a house. The mere sight of a Great Dane is often enough to deter would-be burglars. While they are good household guardians, they also need the company and attention of their owners and family members. They are eager to please and playful, and they often take up a great deal of space both in the home and in their owners’ hearts.
The Ultimate Guide to Great Dane
The origins of the Great Dane can be traced back to ancient Egypt. There are monuments dating from 3000 B.C. that depict dogs that look surprisingly like the Great Dane. It is theorized that the modern Great Dane is a result of the crossbreeding of Mastiffs and Wolfhounds. Their name, however, is not entirely accurate. A French naturalist visiting Denmark saw some of the large boar hounds, and named them Grand Danois – which eventually became Great Dane. However, those boar hounds were not developed in Denmark, and actually came from Germany. Today, German breeders are credited with the gentle nature of the modern Great Dane, as their ancestors were ferocious, tenacious hunters intended to take down boars and hold them until human help arrived. Great Danes eventually arrived in America in the late 19th century and gradually became popular due to their gentle disposition and skill at being a watchdog. They remain one of the top breeds in the world, with appearances in pop culture and literature.
Key Characteristics of Great Dane
Nearly everything about a Great Dane is intimidating to people who are unfamiliar with the breed. However, despite their jumbo size, they’re actually very sweet dogs who are loyal and gentle. They generally have happy, outgoing personalities and love to be around people.
While they were originally bred to hunt boar, most modern Great Danes would not do well at this task. The necessary ferocity and aggressiveness to hunt such large, powerful animals has been all but eliminated from the breed at this point.
However, they are excellent watchdogs and their bark is loud enough to shake the walls of a house. The mere sight of a Great Dane is often enough to deter would-be burglars.
While they are good household guardians, they also need the company and attention of their owners and family members. They are eager to please and playful, and they often take up a great deal of space both in the home and in their owners’ hearts.
Even though their ancestors were working dogs, modern Great Danes need surprisingly little exercise to stay mentally and physically healthy. Their energy levels are moderate, and most Great Danes are perfectly content to spend most of the day lounging around the house.
A Great Dane will typically need only around 30 minutes to an hour of exercise per day. This exercise routine can be a mix of walks or runs and outdoor playtime. While it is technically possible to exercise your Great Dane indoors, it may not be advisable as their size and weight means they can easily knock down furniture accidentally.
Great Danes are excellent hiking and running companions, but you may need to wait until your Great Dane puppy is fully grown at around 2 years old before taking them on extended walks. Their large bodies can put a great degree of stress on their joints, so they should be fully developed before letting them run around.
|Great Dane Grooming||
The Great Dane has a short, sleek coat that does not require a great deal of grooming. They also do not shed as much as other dog breeds. However, the only caveat is that even minimal shedding for such a large dog is still a significant amount of fur.
Brushing a Great Dane does not take a lot of time, even considering how large they get. Regular brushing once or twice a week is a good idea to keep their shedding to a minimum.
They also don’t need to be bathed very often, and when you do bathe your Great Dane it’s best to use dog-specific shampoo to retain their skin’s natural oils. If your Great Dane isn’t particularly dirty, you may simply wipe them down with a damp towel or pet wipes.
Nail trimming is a bit of a challenge due to their exceedingly large nails. Investing in a heavy-duty nail clipper may be necessary if you plan on clipping their nails yourself. Tooth brushing is also advisable, at least three to four times a week, if not daily.
|Great Dane Training||
Great Danes are very trainable, but they can also be independent thinkers who take some time to decide whether or not they want to follow your commands. This does not mean that they’re unintelligent – on the contrary, it’s their smarts that make them think about their own way of doing things.
As a result, patience is one of the traits a Great Dane owner will need to have to achieve the best results during training. Consistency and positive reinforcement will also go a long way toward getting your Great Dane to follow commands quickly. If you are able to make it clear to your dog that there is a reward for obedience, they’ll begin performing better for you.
One key to success is to start training your Great Dane puppy soon after they come home with you. The reason for this is twofold: first, they’re more open to new experiences as young dogs. Second, they’re easier to handle when they haven’t grown to full size.
|Great Dane Lifespan And Health Issues||
Great Danes are generally healthy but have a relatively short life expectancy for dogs, with a lifespan of 8 to 10 years. Great Danes may be prone to:
|Great Dane Size and Space Requirements||
The standout feature of Great Danes is their size. While they are exceptionally large, they aren’t too bulky or muscular, and are relatively sleek in build. Their heights range from 28 to 32 inches at the shoulder for male Great Danes, while females are slightly smaller at 27 to 29 inches. A male Great Dane can weigh between 140 and 180 pounds, while a female weighs between 110 and 150 pounds.
Great Danes don’t do well in tight, cramped spaces. While they are gentle animals, their sheer size and weight allows them to knock over bookshelves, chairs, and even tables. Their tails are long and heavy, and can sweep aside almost anything in their path. A larger home with lots of open space is preferable when owning a Great Dane. Great Danes are adaptable enough to be kept in large apartments so long as their owner is around for most of the day to watch over them.
Alongside their need for open space indoors, they need only a moderately sized space outdoors. Ideally, this would be a secure, fenced yard – due to their hunting dog heritage, Great Danes have a relatively strong prey drive that may be activated when they see smaller animals such as squirrels or rabbits.
- Great Danes are known for leaning against their friends and family members. While this close physical contact is a sign of affection, it may be dangerous to the elderly and young children who cannot brace themselves against the weight of such a large dog.
- As with all giant breed dogs, the costs involved in owning a Great Dane are larger than usual – accessories, transportation, and accommodations will all have to be larger and, as a result, more expensive.
- Great Danes do not eat quite as much as other giant breed dogs.
How can I take good care of my Great Dane or Puppy?
Like other giant breed dogs, Great Danes may be able to inadvertently cause harm due to their size and strength. So that your Great Dane puppy learns to be polite and gentle, it is important to socialize them early on. The period between 8 to 12 weeks is crucial as this is the time when your dog is most open to new experiences. Socialization work may begin at 8 weeks old even if your puppy has not yet been cleared to play with other dogs.
Great Dane puppies have a lot of growing to do before they reach their adult size and weight, so it is important to give them high-quality, premium dog food. A good rule of thumb is to let your Great Dane puppy eat as much as they want within 15 to 20 minutes, then take away an excess so that they don’t overeat. Slow feeders and puzzle feeders for an adult Great Dane may help prevent bloat. Your dog’s nutritional needs may vary according to their health, so your veterinarian may have more specific recommendations.
Vaccination schedules will vary depending on the prevalence of common transmissible dog diseases in your area. Consult your veterinarian for an appropriate schedule and follow it to the best of your ability.
Most Asked Great Dane Questions
+How Much do Great Dane Puppies Cost
Most Great Dane puppies for sale from reputable breeders will cost between $600 and $3000. Due to the prevalence of heart conditions in Great Danes, there are numerous health checks and tests that must be performed on both the mother and the puppies before any puppies are sold. Ethical breeders will ensure that their dogs are getting tested properly and passing those tests before making the sale. Getting your Great Dane puppy from ethical breeders will help give your pup the best start in life and prevent future behavioral or health issues.