Great Dane’s, made famous by the comic strip Marmaduke, are among the tallest of all dog breeds. In fact a Great Dane held the Guinness World Record for tallest living dog in 2004. For all their size, though, Great Danes are just a gentle, loving breed. You may even find yourself with a 130-pound lapdog. Caveat: make sure you train this dog well, because up on his hind legs, your Great Dane is likely taller than you
Male: 135-160+ lbs. Female: 120-140 lbs.
Despite their massive size, Great Danes don’t need a huge amount of exercise. They will enjoy a daily walk or two, but once they get home they’ll be happy to settle down. In fact, it’s important not to overstress this breed with too much exercise, especially when they’re young, or they could face bone or joint problems.
Their short coats mean relatively little shedding. Some hair may come off when you pet your Great Dane, but don’t worry about flying hairballs with this breed. The drool factor can be a little bit of an issue, however.
Barking and Volume:
Great Danes aren’t frequent barkers, but when they unleash their impressive power bark, you’ll know it!
While they are known as “gentle giants” for a reason, the sheer size of this breed means it’s important to take them to obedience training. Great Danes have a natural instinct to guard against intruders and they require a strong leader to teach them to avoid over protectiveness. These sweet-natured dogs sometimes don’t realize their own size and should be taught not to lean against people when they want attention.
Health Factors: Great Danes are prone to bloat, tumors, hip dysplasia, cancer, heart disease, tail injuries and development issues (associated with improper diet). *A responsible breeder can help minimize the risk of genetic disorders.
Grooming: Home grooming is adequate.
Training: Some obedience training to help them control their size and tendency to protect.
Other: The most common cost-related comment you’ll hear from Great Dane parents is how much they eat. The amount of food varies with gender and age of dogs, but make sure you have a high-quality brand…and plenty of it. Put your credit card on high alert.
Brush your dog’s coat with a firm bristle brush several times a week to keep it healthy and glossy. Make sure his nails stay trimmed and check his ears periodically to make sure they stay clean, dry and safe from infection (especially if your Great Dane has un-cropped ears).
Great Danes love children and are surprisingly gentle with them. However, supervision is still recommended, as these large dogs could easily knock over a toddler without meaning to.
Friendliness: Towards Animals
This will vary between individual dogs, but Great Danes generally get along with other pets, especially if raised with them from a young age. Aggression towards small animals, while not unheard of, is not typical of the breed.
Friendliness: Towards People
This giant dog comes with a huge heart. Great Danes are loving, affectionate dogs who need lots of attention. You may even find yourself as the proud owner of a 130-pound lapdog.
BE PREPARED FOR: A good-natured, gentle giant with a (potentially heartbreaking) shorter lifespan than most dogs.