Great Dane

Published: Last updated: by Great Dane standing on a girls shoulders

The Great Dane is a famously large dog breed. They're known as gentle giants and are affectionate with their family.

Average size and lifespan

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Height: 2ft 2in - 2ft 11in
Weight: 110-175lbs
Lifespan: 7 - 10 Years


  • Affection5/5
  • Kid-Friendly3/5
  • Stranger-Friendly4/5
  • Dog-Friendly3/5
  • Barking Amount3/5


  • Grooming Difficulty1/5
  • Shedding Amount3/5
  • Easy to Train3/5
  • Can Be Alone3/5
  • Exercise Need3/5


  • Cold Tolerance2/5
  • Heat Tolerance3/5
  • Apartment-Friendly3/5

Great Dane Information

People know a Great Dane when they see one. Towering over other dogs, the Great Dane is an elegant, lean dog with a gentle personality. Their strong, large bodies are surprisingly agile, and their personality is dignified and spirited. They are exceptional with children and other dogs.


The Great Dane is an old breed with a history dating back at least 400 years. It is a descendant of the German Mastiff, which was a war dog used by the Romans.

The dogs that came to England with William the Conqueror were a forerunner of the Mastiff. Some of these dogs were bred to English hunting dogs and eventually became known as Boar Hounds. These large dogs were also used for guarding estates and homes.

In Germany, these “Boar Hounds” were crossed with French hounds, creating a dog known as a Dogue de Bordeaux. This breed was then crossed to create another breed known as Le Grand Danois (the name that eventually became the Great Dane). The name “Danois” means Danish or Danish dog. The English called them German Boarhounds, while they were called French Boarhounds in Germany. It wasn’t until 1887 that they finally took on their current name – Great Dane!

Great Dane Training and Temperament

Great Danes are friendly dogs who get along with their families. They are not aggressive with other dogs but tend to be dominant. They can be challenging to train and require a firm but gentle hand.

They are good with children, and they are excellent watchdogs. They can be very playful with children, but their size means they can inadvertently knock them down.


Great Danes need a moderate amount of exercise. Be sure to exercise your dog regularly to prevent health problems. Some examples of activities your dog can do include walking, running, fetching, or playing in the yard. Be sure to check with your veterinarian before starting an exercise routine to ensure it is safe for your dog.

Great Dane Grooming Tips

The Great Dane has short hair that does not shed much. They need brushing every few days, and their nails should be clipped every month or so (if you are comfortable doing this!). Check the ears regularly for wax build-up or other problems that may indicate an infection or other problems.


All dogs have their own personality and unique training, causing them to differ slightly from these breed stats. However, please let us know if we made an error in the stats, we appreciate your help!

Breed FAQs

Can Great Danes be apartment dogs?

Great Danes aren't ideal for apartments, but might be able to live there successfully if there are enough opportunities to find larger spaces nearby to play.

Can Great Danes be left alone?

While Great Danes prefer to be around their owners, they can do fairly well when left alone if necessary.

Are Great Danes good with kids?

Great Danes can do fine with kids. They will require some monitoring and training to make sure they get along and react well to unpredictable behavior.

Are Great Danes friendly with strangers?

Typically, Great Danes are friendly with strangers. They tend to be open and willing to trust those they don't know.

Do Great Danes get along with other dogs?

Although Great Danes will mostly get along with other dogs, they may have some issues. They can typically be dealt with by socializing them with other dogs.

Do Great Danes bark a lot?

As far as dogs go, Great Danes bark an average amount. You can expect them to bark to alert you, get your attention, or when there are strangers or other dogs.

Do Great Danes shed a lot?

Great Danes shed a medium amount. They will have seasonal shedding, but aren't terrible to clean up after.

Do Great Danes need a lot of grooming?

With a Great Dane you won't need to dedicate any extra time to special grooming. Their coats are easy to deal with.

Do Great Danes need a lot of exercise?

A Great Dane will need a moderate amount of exercise to be happy. You'll need to plan some basic walks or fetch during the day.

Are Great Danes easy to train?

Although Great Danes can be a challenge to train, they can be taught with some dedicated work or by hiring some training help.

Can Great Danes handle cold weather?

Great Danes don't like the cold and will likely want some protection if outside for long.

Can Great Danes handle hot weather?

Although Great Danes can tolerate hot conditions, be careful not to expose them for too long.

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