Great Dane Information
If you're thinking about adding a Great Dane to your family, I think you'll find this information useful. I've owned and bred numerous Danes over the years, and so has my daughter. I absolutely love the breed and consider these dogs to be the best in the world. Because of my experience, I'm often asked questions about these huge canines. Below, you'll find some of the questions I receive, along with answers. Please remember that the responses are based on my personal experience with our dogs. Your experience might be different.
Do Great Danes Drool?
I've heard that some Danes drool, but this hasn't been a problem for us. Of all the dogs we've owned, none have been regular droolers. We've had two, however, who drooled when we ate in front of them. The rest of the time, they didn't drool at all.
How Much Do Great Danes Eat?
This is another popular question. Because of their immense size, most people assume that a Great Dane would consume an enormous amount of food, but in reality, it doesn't. Currently, we have two neutered adult males, and they eat about the same amount that our golden retriever eats. This is largely due to the Danes' slow metabolism. Adult Danes are real couch potatoes!
Just be sure to feed an appropriate diet, and be especially careful with feeding a Great Dane puppy. You don't want your Great Dane puppy to grow too quickly.
How Big do Great Danes Get?
According to the standard, a female should be at least 28 inches tall at the withers, and a male should be at least 30 inches tall. Our smallest Dane was a female, Kayla, who stood 28 inches tall and weighed 90 pounds. Our tallest dog has been Shylock, who's 36 inches tall and weighs 208 pounds. Our heaviest dog so far is Brutus, who tips the scales at 245 pounds! Yes, Brutus is overweight, but he's the only overweight Dane we've ever had.
Are Great Danes Smart?
For the most part, I'd say this breed is slightly above average when it comes to canine intelligence. We've had just one dog that wasn't very bright. On the other hand, I had one named “Hamlet” that was the smartest dog I've ever known. He was truly a doggie genius. I was always amazed by how quickly he learned commands I taught him and by how he picked up things on his own.
Are Danes Easy to Train?
These dogs are very easy to train because they're such people-pleasers. Just make sure your training is consistent, and be firm but gentle. Establish yourself as pack leader as soon as possible, too. You'll find that Danes respond well to rewards and praise, but they don't respond well to any harsh methods. They're very sensitive and get their feelings hurt easily.
A well trained giant dog is a must. You don't want a dog that size being unruly. Whenever we take our dogs out in public, people always make remarks about how well behaved our pooches are.
Are Danes Aggressive?
We've never known an aggressive Dane, although some of our dogs were protective. These giant lap dogs love everybody and everything, including cats. We've had a couple that were a little wary of strangers in our home, but it didn't take the dogs long to warm up once they saw that we were okay with the visitors.
Even when ours were being protective, they didn't try to bite. They simply took a position between us and the potential perpetrator, stood their ground, and growled.
Do Great Danes Make Good Watch Dogs?
Most of our dogs have been excellent watch dogs. Their huge size is intimidating, and their booming voice can be downright scary. Another characteristic that makes them good watch dogs is their awareness. They notice anything different or out of place in their surroundings, be it a strange person or animal, a strange car, or a road cone in “their” street.
Do These Dogs Bark A Lot?
Danes are generally quiet dogs. Ours only bark if a person or animal approaches our house. Some of ours have tried to “talk,” however, with whining sounds and a friendly sort of growling.
Are Great Danes Good with Kids?
All of our dogs have loved kids – especially our ten grandchildren. They seem to have a special connection with children and are extremely patient with them - even with babies. Even so, you shouldn't leave your Dane alone with small children. A dog that size could accidentally knock a kid down.
Gentle Giants and Babies
Are Danes Affectionate?
Great Danes are the most affectionate dogs I've ever known, and I've dealt with a lot of dog breeds. They want to be beside their humans almost 24/7. DO NOT get one of these gentle giants if you plan to leave it in the yard most of the time. They thrive on human companionship and want to be with their family.
Great Dane Affection
How Long Do Danes Live?
The tragic part of owning one of these magnificent animals is their short lifespan. On average, A Great Dane will live just 6 – 8 years. There are some reputable breeders, however, who are claiming to have bloodlines with a longer life expectancy, with some dogs making it to 12 years.
Is a Great Dane the Right Dog for Me and My Family?
Danes are the most wonderful dogs on the planet. They're very adaptable and can be happy almost anywhere, as long as they have air conditioning in the summer, heat in the winter, a comfortable place to sleep, proper feeding and watering, and adequate health care. Most of all, they need to be with their people. If you work and will have to be away from home for hours at a time, I strongly suggest having a companion for your dog. This could be another dog, or even a cat. Even if you live in an apartment, a Great Dane could be a great choice, as long as you're willing to walk the dog daily. A well balanced and properly trained Dane will be the most loving, loyal, devoted canine you'll ever know!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 06, 2018:
It is obvious to me after viewing your photos that you love your Great Danes and they love you in return. We have some good friends who had one at one time and they echoed what you have written. They are the gentle giants among dog breeds.
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on July 27, 2018:
Very informative. My cousin raised Great Danes and had two that were pets. They were lovely but I was a bit intimidated by them when I first met them. You see, they thought they were lap dogs. O my. But they really were gentle and well behaved. Angels are on the way this evening. ps
Barbara Bethard from Tucson, Az on July 27, 2018:
Holle this is wonderful!
Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on July 27, 2018:
Linda, our golden retrievers have always been super affectionate, but our Danes are even more loving than the goldies! Yes, the short lifespan is terrible, but I'd rather have 7 or 8 years with a Dane than 20 years with any other breed.
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on July 26, 2018:
The Dane sounds like a wonderful breed. The short lifespan might be difficult to deal with, but I love the breed characteristics that you've described. I didn't realize that the dogs could be so affectionate.
Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on July 26, 2018:
Dan, all our Danes have been great with other dogs! Get yourself a good Dane, and you'll never regret it!
Dan Reed on July 26, 2018:
Habee - I love Danes and my wife and I have looked at having one multiple times. We currently have a mutt but had a St. Bernard before who we just loved so are not afraid of having a big dog. Your article has me just about sold on finally getting one. You mention cats and people and I assume but will ask anyway...how are they with other dogs? My current dog is great with other dogs so am hoping they aren't just good with their own breed. Thank you in advance.