Breed Spotlight: Great Dane

Hundreds of years ago, Great Danes were used by German nobles to hunt wild boars, later becoming famous as protectors of their homes and loved ones. Great Danes are also commonly referred to as the “Apollo of Dogs” because of their stature. While they are certainly large dogs, they are also known to be gentle giants. They have a sweet and affectionate nature, despite their size, and are great for those who want a large, loving pet. Are you wondering if a Great Dane is the dog for you? Read on to learn more.


While initially bred to be hunting dogs, their hunting capabilities and tough-guy attitudes were eventually bred out. They are now gentle souls who get along well with other dogs, animals and humans. They are sweet and affectionate, love to play and are gentle with children. Despite the loss of their hunting skills, their courage has remained, making them good guard dogs for families. They are eager to please, but do demand attention from their loved ones, taking on some lap dog tendencies.


The average female Great Dane ranges from 28 to 30 inches while the average male ranges from 30 to 32 inches. Females tend to weigh 110 to 114 pounds, while males can reach up to 175 pounds. Overall, Great Danes are fairly healthy and can live from 7 to 10 years on average. Like all breeds, there are some health conditions that can occur in Great Danes. Some of these include development issues, hip dysplasia, gastric torsion, bone cancer and heart disease. Purchasing dogs from responsible breeders and regular visits to the vet can help Great Danes remain in good health.


Early socialization and obedience training are a must with Great Danes. Socialization will help them become comfortable being around other dogs and humans, which is important due to their large size and strength. They are sociable, friendly and eager to please and respond well to consistent, positive reinforcement training methods.

Exercise Needs

Great Danes are large dogs that need a lot of room to run and play. They need long walks at least once a day or a large yard where they can spend 30 to 60 minutes a day exercising. Great Dane puppies need even more time to run off energy, with a recommended 90 minutes of daily exercise. Due to their size and exercise needs, Great Danes are not suited for small apartments or homes, where they may knock things over as they play.

For those with space for a large dog where there is plenty of room to run and play, a Great Dane may be a great choice for a pet. Families who have time to dedicate to training and socializing a dog are best suited for Great Danes and will likely find their protective, loving nature a perfect fit within their home.

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