Great Dane Puppies

Photo of Great Dane

A sweet, affectionate, and gentle giant

Great Danes are known as gentle giants due to their calm disposition and large size. They are one of the largest breeds registered with AKC and stand taller than most humans. They are sweet, but also make great guard dogs.

Great Dane At a Glance

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Great Dane At a Glance

  • Size: 28"-34", 100-200 lbs.
  • Lifespan: 8-10 years
  • Energy Level: high
  • Coat: Short and smooth
  • Shedding: moderate
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Dog Group: Working
  • Common Nicknames: Apollo of Dogs

Great Dane Breed Guide

Learn More About Great Danes

  • Temperament

    Often referred to as a "gentle giant," the Great Dane is large but docile, and is popular for its easygoing and eager-to-please nature. These sweet, noble working dogs are a delight to live with, easy to housetrain, and very quick learners. The Great Dane is very pleasant and friendly, and is always happy to interact with all types of people, strangers and children included. However, if they sense a problem, Great Danes are protective by nature. These dogs are generally friendly toward other dogs and pets, but should still be supervised due to their size. With proper training, the Great Dane makes a well-mannered, affectionate, and dependable family companion.

  • Health

    Great Danes are highly susceptible to gastric dilatation volvulus, also known as bloat, which can be deadly if not caught. Other health issues that affect this breed include hypothyroidism, heart conditions, eye problems, hip dysplasia, and autoimmune thyroiditis.

  • Activity Level

    Great Danes are medium-energy dogs and should get around one hour of exercise daily. They make great running companions, but you should wait until they are at least 2 years old to avoid damage to their joints. They enjoy playing in the yard, which should be fenced in to prevent them from wandering when they catch a scent.

  • Grooming

    You can keep this breed's shedding under control by brushing your Great Dane on a weekly basis. However, during seasonal changes when they shed more, Great Danes should be brushed daily. This breed only needs to be bathed occasionally, as needed.

  • Shedding

    Even though Great Danes have short coats, they can be heavy shedders. They shed year-round, with their heaviest shedding time being when the seasons change.

  • Appearance

    Great Danes are large, muscular, and sleek. They have large and narrow heads with medium-sized ears that sit high. Their coats are short, dense, and straight, and are most often black and white. They have long, straight necks that give them an elegant appearance.

  • History

    While the exact origin of the Great Dane is uncertain, it's likely that the breed is the product of the Molossus, an ancient war dog, the Greyhound, and the Irish Wolfhound. During the 14th century, the Great Dane was commonly used in Germany to hunt wild boar. Aside from their stellar hunting ability, these dogs were also admired for their graceful appearance. By the late 1600s, Great Danes could be found in the homes of many German nobles. Throughout the following centuries, German breeders continued to refine the breed, aiming to dampen the former hunting dog's aggression. They succeeded, and the Great Dane made its way to America in the late 1800s and quickly attracted attention, becoming the fourth breed to be registered by the American Kennel Club (AKC).