Great Dane

"The Gentle Giant"

Photo of Great Dane


Originally, this giant was a fearsome war dog and estate guard, moving into the boar hunting field which is where he became a favorite of nobility. Over the years temperament has mellowed quite a bit! He can still intimidate someone, however, through his size and booming bark.


Most are calm, quiet pets as adults, although some can be clowns. Due to the size, it's vital to search out good temperament. Some can have dominant tendencies and a few are timid. Ask to see the dam of the litter as she'll have a great influence on her pups, both genetically and environmentally. Early socialization is the key, along with good control and management. Some accept other animals with aplomb and even affections; others won't tolerate another dog or species. It's best to make introductions when the Dane is still a pup.


Dressed in a coat of rich colors – fawn, blue, black, brindle, harlequin (white with black patches) or mantle (black with white markings) – the Dane boasts striking good looks. Ears may or may not be cropped.


Early socialization is important. With a large dog, it's even more important to establish the leader of the pack and to gain control in puppyhood. Although Danes are not often top competitors in agility or obedience, they enjoy the outings and attention as much as any dog. Good manners help keep the household peaceful.

Grooming & Care

Grooming is easy care, just brushing to remove dead hair, along with the basic care. Ears are usually cropped and taped before selling puppies, but some follow-up ear care maintenance may be necessary. Talk to the breeder about feeding suggestions as bloat is a problem with many large and giant breeds. Many suggest feeding adult food even as puppies and limiting exercise around meal times to avoid a tendency to bloat.

Health Concerns

Ask whether parents have been certified free of joint and eye problems. Bloat, some cancer and heart problems are also seen in Great Danes.

Famous Great Dane

Marmaduke and Scooby Doo; several Presidents admired them, along with Buffalo Bill Cody; Doogle in “Little Lord Fauntleroy.”

Ideal Owner
Activity Level 3
Schedule 5
Home 9
Children 48
Experience 51
Quick Facts
Grooming 13
Exercise 61
Challenges Size: expensive to feed; can break their own tails if they bang them hard enough; can knock over children.
Height 32 to 38 inches
Weight 100 to 185 pounds
Life 7 to 10 years
Home Alone 20
With Kids 114
With Strangers 91
Availability 23

This client information sheet is based on material written by: LifeLearn

© Copyright 2014 LifeLearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.

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