Great Dane

Great Dane

General Description

(German Mastiff, Deutsche Dogge) Commonly called the “Gentle Giant”, the Great Dane possesses an intelligent expression and a loving demeanor. The breed is infamous for its tall stature and powerful build, but despite their large size, Great Danes are not klutzy or awkward. Rather, the Great Dane is a noble, statuesque dog that carries himself with dignity and grace. Great Danes have a long, narrow head with a box-like snout and a comparatively large nasal canal. Their entire body is long and muscular, and their feet are round and have dark nails. Great Danes have a medium-length tail and strong legs. Their eyes are round and dark and their teeth are white, well-developed, and close in a scissors bite. Especially in the United States, a Great Dane’s ears may be cropped so they are pointed and stand upright. Great Danes feature a substantial coat of short, glossy, close-cropped hair. Great Danes are classified into varieties based on the color of their coat:· Black- The coat is glossy black.· Blue- The coat color is a pure steel blue.· Brindle- The coat is a chevron-stripe pattern of fawn and black.· Fawn- The coat is a dusty, yellow gold with a black face mask.· Harlequin- The base coat is pure white. Patches of black are evenly distributed across the whole body.· Mantle- The coat is black and white. Spots and markings on show dogs are in specific places across the whole body. Other coat colors may occur, but they are not suitable for show dogs. Thus, they are not sought after by breeders.

The Great Dane has a regal appearance. These dogs are loyal, loving, and obedient. Mantle and Fawn and Harlequin are probably the most common colours seen.

These dogs are known for their great size and kindness. They are very trust worthy too their owners.

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Great Danes make excellent companions. They are very mild and patient with children, and they can usually live well with other dogs. Their demeanor is very sweet and kind, and they seek affection from people. Also very loyal and brave, Great Danes make fine watchdogs. Very rarely are Great Danes aggressive, but they can be competitive toward other dogs of the same sex. Because of their large size, Great Danes should be obedience-trained so they do not lean on people or objects. Great Danes have a number of instinctual talents, and are capable of becoming terrific tracking, carting, and/or watchdogs.


28 – 34 inches

as large as 36 inches

Females are 30 – 34 inches, males are 34 – 36 inches, but some males can be much taller.

Females as small as 28 inches. Males are usually 32 – 36 inches. They can be much taller, however. The tallest dog is Guinness World Record Holder 42 inch tall Gibson, the Harlequin Great Dane.


100 – 200 pounds

A female Dane may be approx. 155 lbs. A larger male Dane will be approx. 190-200 lbs.

A female dane can be approx 110-150 lbs. A male can be 140-200 or more.

General Health

By nature, Great Danes are not a long-lived breed. Some Great Danes can live for 12-13 years, but their average life span is less than 10 years. Because some poor specimens are being sold to buyers that can’t distinguish the difference, buyers should make sure to purchase Great Danes from a high-quality breeder. Great Danes are prone to several diseases and injuries including bloat, heart disease, tail injuries, and tumors.

Great Danes have many potential health problems, but some (not all) can be prevented. Purchasing a Great Dane from a responsible breeder that has OFA/CERF screened dogs, healthy dogs and dogs that have correct conformation is the first step. Good conformation is a part that creates a healthy dog. A dog with a sway back, for example, will have back problems. Next, feeding your dog a natural diet or a homemade diet will keep him MUCH healthier then feeding commercial foods. Normally, Danes on commerical foods live 6-9years, usually having to be put down due to tumors, cancer or other problems, but naturally fed animals live up to 13years and have a decreased amount of cancers.


Similar dogs to the Great Dane are thought to have originated in Egypt, Rome, or Greece. Some sources say they were found on Grecian currency as far back as 36 B.C. It’s believed that the Great Dane spawned from the medieval boarhound, and/or the mastiff-like dogs that were transported to Germany by the Alans. After exhibiting great strength and abilities like killing bears and wild boars, a process of selective breeding began to take place in Germany. Dogs similar to the Great Danes were bred with Irish Greyhounds, and the result was the present-day Great Dane. Great Danes are a breed that may be about 400 years old.


The Great Dane’s short, thick hair is easy to groom and maintain. This breed’s coat should be combed with a firm bristle brush and dry-shampooed as necessary. Daily grooming is good idea if one wants to avoid the massive chore of giving a Great Dane a bath. Great Dane’s are average shedders, and their nails need to be trimmed regularly.

Keeping a large dog like the Great Dane requires lots of maintenance. These dogs are fairly easy to groom and only need a quick rub down with a rubber brush and a finishing shine with a chamois cloth.

Ideal Environment

Because of the Great Dane’s large size, he does best in spacious environments where he has room to run and play. If a Great Dane is properly exercised on a regular basis, he can tolerate a house with a smaller backyard or an apartment. Great Danes have a tendency to be inactive indoors, so it’s important for their health to spend time outside each day.

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