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Great Dane

Great Dane Dog Breed Information

Size 28-34 inches (72-86 cm)
Weight 99-200 lbs (45-91 kg)
Origin Germany
Color Yellow brindle, mottled black, blue
Lifespan 7-10 years
Suitable As Family dog, companion dog, guard dog
Personality Strong, loving, even-tempered, calm, relaxed

Great Dane Photo: Eric Gevaert/Shutterstock

Breed Characteristics

The Great Dane’s love for humans is as big as its sizable stature. They like to cuddle and seem to fancy themselves as cute little lapdogs. It’s almost like they don’t know how large they are (or they don't WANT to know). In fact, these “gentle giants” can be quite alarming to people that don’t know dogs well. But this XXL dog is very docile, affectionate and obedient.

Discipline and Training

But it needs the right training. This is especially important with the Great Dane, because such a big, heavy dog is not as easy to hold as a chihuahua is. Fortunately, it is not boisterous but relaxed and easy to train, too. Great Danes love agility, but too much training isn’t a good thing, especially when they’re puppies. Their joints are put under too much strain, which can often lead to them later having pain when they move around as adult dogs.


Great Dane Photo: David Pegzlz/Shutterstock

Pros and Cons


  • Doesn’t need lots of exercise
  • Despite size, very pleasant-natured
  • Easy grooming
  • Friendly to strangers
  • Gets on well with other dogs


  • Not a beginner dog
  • Needs careful training
  • Takes up a lot of space (home/car)
  • Drools and sheds a lot
  • Shorter lifespan than other dogs
  • More expensive to feed

Great Dane Photo: Alexandr/


Do They Get Along Well in an Apartment?

Yes, the Great Dane gets along well in an apartment, because it likes to relax close to his owner anyway. However, the apartment should be a bigger one. Small apartments are definitely not suitable. Due to its body size and its tail, it would - unintentionally but regularly - throw things over.

Health and Care

The Great Dane sheds a lot, but its coat is easy to care for.

How Old Do They Get?

Like many other large dogs the Great Dane does not get very old. Its lifespan is usually around the eight years.


Great Dane Photo: Richard/


Great Danes are available in many great colors: fawn, brindle, blue and black. There are also special fur markings, named as the "Harlequin" (black and white patches) or "Mantle" (black fur covers the body like a coat).

History and Origin

In fact, the Great Dane was bred to help with hunting wild boar. By the time huntsman prefered firearmes over dogs, they were no longer needed and have almost been „forgotten“. Luckily, the Great Dane was bred again by breeders who had a passion for specific dog breeds.

Where Does the Name Come From?

In Germany the dog is called „Deutsche Dogge“ (German Dogge). The name Great Dane traces back to the French naturalist George-Louis Leclerc de Buffon. He saw the dogs in Denmark and wrote about them. Although the Danes actually did not develop the breed, the name was kept.

Great Dane Photo: everydoghasastory/Shutterstock

Fun Facts

The Biggest Dog in the World

Let's check some records! The biggest dog that ever lived was a Great Dane. We should actually say the “tallest” dog in the world, as big could also mean wide. This was a male dog called Zeus. He measured an impressive 44 inch (111.8 cm) up to his shoulder. Sadly, Zeus died in 2014 at the age of 5. The largest female Great Dane was Morgan with 3 feet 2.6 inch (98.15 cm). But don't worry: Not every Great Dane gets as big. But don’t worry, not all Great Danes get as tall as this one.


The dog Scooby-Doo from the famous cartoon series is a Great Dane.

Comparable Breeds

Great Dane Photo: Christian Mueller/Shutterstock


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