Dog Breeds > The Great Dane

The Great Dane

The Great Dane

Alternate NamesGrand Danois, Deutsche Dogge, Great Dane
GroupPinschers, Schnauzers, Molossers and Swiss Mountain Dogs

The Great Dane Profile

Robust (Health)
Supports Loneliness
Need Exercise
Easy To Maintain
Easy to Train
Nice Child
Agreement with Animals
First Dog
Able to Guard

Physical Characteristics

Varieties: a) Fawn; b) brindle; c) black; d) harlequin; e) blue.

The Great Dane combines pride, strength, and elegance in a set full of nobility. Its constitution is big, powerful and harmonious. It has been defined as the “Apollo of canine breeds.” Its head is elongated, narrow, and well chiseled. The skull-muzzle ratio is close to 1/1, and the stop is marked. The ears are set high. Previously, they were necessarily cropped, but today they can be left whole. The trunk is almost square. The Great Dane’s length (measured from the shoulder to the croup) should not exceed 5% of the height in males and 10% in females.

Coat: short.

Color: according to variety, the color can be fawn, brindle, black, harlequin or blue.

Size: about 80 cm for the males and 72 cm for the females.

Weight: 55 to 70 kg for the males and 45 to 65 kg for the females.

Origins and History

The Great Dane’s origin is German. It comes from the old “Bullenbeissers” (bull-catchers) that, in turn, come from the “Saupacker” (boarhound) from the Middle Ages. They were all big hunting dogs used to hunt boar, deer, and bear. Their construction sought to achieve an intermediate state between the strong English type Mastiff and the flexible but fast Sighthound. Until the First World War, this breed was only called “Great Dane” because it was widespread in Denmark. In 1920, the term “Deutsche Dogge (German Mastiff)” was also adopted to recall that the massive fighter dogs of the Alani – an ancient Germanic people – were among the Great Dane’s ancestors.

Character and Abilities

The first and most obvious characteristic of the Great Dane is its size, which is useful to guard dogs. Its powerful barking reinforces its role as a guard dog, but it can also be a wonderful companion dog who absolutely loves its owner and its family. It is very gentle and protective with children, and absolutely hates loneliness. The Great Dane is also very tolerant toward other dogs and even toward cats. Easy to train but needs a strong hand to slow down its enthusiasm.

Living Conditions

Preferably indoors, especially at night and during the winter, for it to live longer. Despite its size, it is absolutely not an invasive dog and there should be no problem keeping it inside. It needs some physical exercise, but not too much. Actually, giant sized dogs need less exercise than medium or small sized dogs.


It needs a lot of attention and caring when young. Until its first birthday, the owner, or a veterinarian, needs to monitor its alimentation and its intake of vitamins. When adult, it is a robust dog that only suffers from cold. As with all giant sized dogs, hip dysplasia risks are quite high: one should only buy puppies whose parents aren’t affected. Unfortunately, the Great Dane does not live very long – eight or nine years old is already a good age.

Average life expectancy: about 9 years.

Information and Tips

The Great Dane is a costly dog, as it eats in proportion to its size and needs particular care when younger.

The Great Dane Articles


This Big Boi Just Wanted to Make Friends, but this Tiny Kitten Has Some...

Contrary to popular belief, cats and dogs can actually be great friends. They don't really have much in common, but hey, opposites attract.That being said, the tricky relationship between this large doggo and this...

You Don’t Wake Someone up at 3:30 in the Morning – Not Even this...

There's not much worse than being forced out of bed at the crack of dawn – regardless of whether it's your mom, dad, or a noisy alarm clock trying to rip you away from...

Great Dane Throws Adorable Temper Tantrum Because He Wants a Ride in the Cart

Do you want to raise giant dogs to have the attitude of a petulant child? Because that's how you end up with a giant dog who behaves like a petulant child!Someone’s not at all...

He’s Telling His Dogs They Can’t Have a Piece of His Sandwich… Now Watch...

These dogs can smell their owner's sandwich and would like a bite, but when their human refuses, they throw the most hilarious tantrum you’ll see all day! This Great Dane just won’t give up...

Watch How this Odd Couple Greet Each Other. You Won’t Believe Your Eyes!

Kate the Great Dane is friends with an orphaned fawn named Pippin. It’s truly remarkable how they interact with each other. What a sight to see!Kate's owner, Isobel Springett, describes the uniqueness of their...

The Great Dane Pictures

Don't Miss This

Join Us on Facebook