Great Dane


The Great Dane or German Mastiff is the gentle giant of dog breeds. Danes are very large and strong dogs that lumber around the house and can do a lot of drooling and slobbering. In Canada and the U.S., the Dane’s ears are usually cropped but left naturally hanging elsewhere. The Dane’s tail is natural. Male Danes stand at least 32 inches tall and females stand at least 29 inches tall at shoulder height. The Great Dane’s weight will vary according to height but is normally between 110 and 160 pounds. Danes have short, smooth and glossy coats. Colors can be brindle, fawn, black, blue and harlequin (white with black patches). Great Danes are members of the American Kennel Club (AKC) Working Dog Group.


Great Danes were not developed in Denmark, as the name implies, but in Germany where they are known as German Mastiffs. Large mastiff-like dogs were known in ancient Greek and Roman civilizations and were probably brought to Germany. During the Middle Ages, the German Mastiff was developed to hunt boar. Since these Mastiffs were such impressive looking animals, medieval aristocrats liked to use them to guard their castles. Great Danes were ranked 27th out of 154 dog breeds in 2004 AKC registrations.


The Dane is gentle, quiet, well-mannered, loyal and affectionate towards its family. This breed is wonderfully devoted to its family and it would rather lean against you for a pat, than be aggressive towards anyone. The Dane is great with family children but small children must be supervised carefully. The Dane is so large that it must be socialized and trained to behave very cautiously around children and pets. Because the Dane is so large early obedience is essential to prevent it from exerting dominance. Young Danes, up to three years old, can be boisterous and need strict supervision. Danes make excellent watchdogs gut shouldn’t be trained to be guard dogs as they are too large to be aggressive. Great Danes are best suited for experienced dog owners.


Danes are very adaptable and can even live in a large apartment if they have lots of daily running and exercise. This breed’s fast growth makes them prone to injuries – so exercise them carefully when they are young. Great Danes love to be warm and comfortable and need a very soft bed. They can adapt to being left alone during the day if they get lots of exercise and human companionship in the morning and evening.


Danes need minimal grooming except during shedding when you should remove dead hairs with a rubber brush. This breed is a moderate shedder.

Health Considerations:

The Danes giant size puts a strain on their health and few large males live longer than 7 or 8 years. Feeding expenses are high and vet bills can also be high. Common health problems are many and include hip dysplasia, joint dislocations, cancer, eye problems, thyroid problems and heart disease.

Article type: xdogbreed