Great Dane | Dog Breed Guide

Great Dane | Dog Breed Guide

by Scritch

These gentle giants make great family pets. Great Danes are known for their reserved, friendly, and confident nature. When socialized early and regularly, they are calm, moderately playful and make fantastic companions. Even though they are quite large, they don’t require a lot of space, which makes them good fit for apartment living. 

Weight - Female: 99-130 pounds, Male: 120-200 pounds

Height - Female: 28-32 inches, Male: 30-34 inches 

Life Expectancy: 8-10 years

Group: Working group

Temperament: devoted, friendly, reserved, loving

Energy Level:

Ease of Training:

Grooming Requirements:

History and Personality

Great Danes are one of the largest of dog breeds (only bested by the Irish Wolfhound, which can grow taller). They command a lot of attention, but just because they are large, doesn’t mean they are mean. When socialized from puppyhood to be around other dogs and humans, Great Danes can be the gentlest family dogs around. 

Aside from being very large, Great Danes have big floppy ears, a square head, and droopy jowls. They have short hair, broad chests, and very long legs. 

Originally called “Boar Hounds,” Great Danes originated in Germany during the 16th century. They were bred to hunt (you guessed it) wild boars. They were also allowed to sleep in their master’s chambers to protect them from potential assassins. But as hunting became less and less prevalent in Europe, aggression became less necessary in the Great Dane, and was purposefully bred out of the breed to create the gentle giant. 

Today, Great Danes are known for their affectionate nature and deep family devotion. They are curious and confident, friendly and loving. They love to get literally close to their family members and are often times referred to as “the world’s biggest lapdogs.” 

As puppies and teenagers, Great Danes can have a lot of energy. They should be carefully monitored, as they grow very quickly and can gravely injure themselves, or accidentally injure children. They can be very rambunctious in their adolescence, but calm down significantly as they mature. As for training, Great Danes train easily and have little resistance to housebreaking. 

Danes aren’t known for barking, but if left alone for long periods of time, may begin to bark out of frustration and boredom. 

They are great with other pets, especially when raised together. 


Danes don’t need much grooming. A weekly brushing and an as-needed bath can be enough. Great Danes aren’t very interested in bath time and will resist it. 

Energy Level

As puppies and adolescent dogs, Danes have a lot of energy and get what’s known as “zoomies.” It’s imperative to be careful and not over exercise them, because that can hurt their fast-growing joints. Adult Danes need regular lengthy walks around the neighborhood to stay in shape. 

Health Concerns

  • Bloat and gastric torsion 
  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Wobbler’s Syndrome 
  • Hypothyroidism 

Bloat and gastric torsion is very common in Great Danes and can be very dangerous, if not fatal. This breed bloats more than most. To help prevent this issue, we recommend feeding your Dane three small meals a day, and encouraging rest for an hour after each meal.