Great Dane - "The King of Dogs"

A family loving, reliable, giant dog breed.

Great Dane picture

Breed History:

  The Great Dane or Deutsche Dogge (German Mastiff) was developed in Germany not Denmark.  It is a very old breed which has been a distinct type for probably more than 400 years.  The German nobility wanted a super dog to protect their country estates and hunt the very dangerous, savage, and swift wild boar.  In 1880 the Germans banned the name "Great Dane" in favor of "Deutsche Dogge" but English speaking people have always ignored this name.
Early Great Danes were a bad tempered lot.  It was the Americans who have been credited with changing the Great Dane into the dependable, even-tempered breed it is today.  They are very popular family pets and watchdogs, intelligent, spirited, courageous, always friendly, never timid or agressive.  They come in several colors, Brindle, Fawn, Blue, Black and the Harlequin Great Dane.  They tend to bond with the entire family, and are rated excellent with children.
Dog:  32 in. or more (81cm +) preferable height.
Bitch:  30 in. or more (76cm +) preferable height.
Weight:  100 - 120 lb. (45.5 - 54.5 kg).
Activity Level:  Moderate.
Affection Level:  Very affectionate.
Playfulness:  A bit playful.
Exercise Needs:  Moderate daily exercise.
Grooming:   Minimal.
Trainability:  Good.
With Other Dogs:  Usually friendly.
With Other Pets:  Usually friendly.
With strangers:  Very friendly.
With children:  Excellent.
Protection:  Good.
Watchdog:  Very good.
Other Names:  Deutsche Dogge; German Mastiff
Cold weather tolerance:  Not very good.
Hot weather tolerance:  Not very good.
Life Expectancy:  6 - 8 years.

Great Dane Temperament:

  The Great Dane is strong-willed, fearless, affable and trustworthy. It is usually good with kids, but with its boisterous outgoing advances, can be overpowering for small children. It is usually friendly with regard to family dogs and pets. Of course, as with all large dogs, supervision is mandatory. A well taught Great Dane makes an enjoyable, mannerly household companion.


  The Great Dane is majestic in looks and merges great size and command with style. It is square proportioned and well poised. Square means, it is as high at the withers, as it is long in the body. Its pace is strong and formidable with long, easygoing strides. These characteristics are essential in a dog required to catch and then subdue rather fast and challenging prey. Its coat is short, dense and shiny. The Great Dane is most remarkable for its stunning presence and facade. It is important to note that inspite of its appearance, this large size dog or giant size dog is not an outdoors dog. It needs to be kept inside with its folks. It is acknowledged to be the Apollo of dogs.

Finding other breeders:

Do you want more information on this large dog breed, the Great Dane, and Great Dane breeders who have Great Dane puppies for sale?  See the Great Dane breeders section. If there are no breeders nearby with available puppies, see the Canadian Great Dane dog club, Great Dane rescue. See also the American Great Dane club or American Great Dane rescue, for other Great Dane breeders with puppies.

Great Dane Health Issues:

There can be some serious problems with elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasia in this breed, so it is wise to choose your Great Dane puppy from a breeder who tests for this. Feeding your Great Dane puppy the proper food for big boned breeds is also very important. There are other important health problems with the Great Dane, such as, cardiomyopathy and the deadly gastric torsion, which is all too common in deep chested breeds. Good eating habits, such as several smaller meals instead of fewer large size servings is mandatory, followed by a good rest before any strenuous exercise or play. This is a necessity to avoid gastric torsion, which can be, and often is, deadly. Great Dane breeders should be testing their breed stock for heart, elbows, hips, eyes and blood before breeding.

Great Dane Specific Health Issues:

Great Dane major concerns:   Gastric Torsion, cardiomyopathy, osteosarcoma.
Minor concerns:   CHD; (Canine hip dysplasia is characterized by a loose and unstable hip joint giving rise to arthritis lameness and pain.)   Cataracts; (same as in humans.).   CVI (Wobbler's syndrome).   OCD (Osteochondritis dissecans),   Hypothyroidism.
Occasionally seen:   vWD, (Von Willebrand's disease is the most common inherited bleeding disorder of both man and animals. Blood platelets clotting.), Entropion.

Great Dane Suggested Tests:

All breeding stock should be tested, prior to breeding, for the following:
Cardiac, hips, eyes, thyroid.