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Great Dane Puppies - Watch 'Em Grow!

Updated on June 22, 2014
Black Great Dane Puppies
Black Great Dane Puppies | Source

Great Dane Puppies

We had a litter of Great Dane puppies born on June 25, 2013. Five pups were born, but one female was just half the size of the others. She was nursing, but the veterinarian didn’t expect her to survive. According to the vet, such puppies often have congenital defects or abnormalities. Sure enough, the runt died the next day. The four remaining puppies were big and healthy. There were two males and two females. When the babies were just a week or so old, they and their mother came down with kennel cough. The mom, Kayla, was very sick and had to be admitted to our local animal hospital, where it was discovered that she had developed megaesophagus. She had to stay at the clinic for about two weeks, so we had to bottle feed puppies with puppy milk replacer. Of course, this allowed us to get very close to the little guys, and they thrived on Esbilac. To learn more, keep reading. Also, enjoy the pictures of Great Dane puppies at the end of this article!

Puppy Food
Puppy Food | Source

Best Puppy Food

Most puppies are started on puppy food around the age of four weeks. Since out Great Dane pups were without their mom for part of the time they were nursing, we started them on solid food a little earlier, at three weeks old. Even when Kayla returned home to be with her babies, she wasn’t producing much milk, so we continued bottle feeding the puppies some, in addition to feeding them puppy food.

According to our vet, the best puppy food for our Dane babies included a good brand of dry puppy food mixed with warm water and puppy milk replacer. Sometimes we used canned liquid milk replacer, and sometimes we used powdered puppy milk. At first, we’d grind the concoction in the blender to make a soupy gruel. As the pups got used to lapping and eating the gruel, we gradually made it thicker. When the pups were about four weeks old, we stopped using the blender. Instead, we just soaked the dry puppy food in the warm water until it was soft. We then stirred in a little milk replacer. At the age of five weeks, we began including a little dry puppy kibble in with the softened mixture.

As you can see in some of the Great Dane puppy pictures, pups are super messy when they first begin eating! Our babies would be covered with puppy food after chowing on a meal, and Kayla would clean them up quickly. While she was away, we had to wash the pups after each meal and dry them with a blow dryer. Of course, the pups gradually became more proficient at eating puppy food, and soon, they weren’t making such a mess. We also kept a bowl of clean water available for the babies to drink.

Our veterinarian recommended that we stop adding the milk replacer to the puppy food when the pups reached the age of eight weeks – as long as they were growing and gaining weight. There was no problem there! The Great Dane puppies were growing like weeds. By about eight weeks, the pups needed to be switched gradually to large breed puppy food.

Fawn Great Dane Puppies:

Blue Great Dane Puppies:

When Shylock had dog pneumonia, he had a port for delivery of his IV antibiotics.
When Shylock had dog pneumonia, he had a port for delivery of his IV antibiotics. | Source

Large Breed Puppy Food

When the pups were seven weeks old, we gradually began substituting part of the regular puppy food with large breed puppy food. We didn’t want to change their diet suddenly because that can easily lead to stomach upset and diarrhea. Puppies can dehydrate quickly with diarrhea, and we certainly didn’t want that to happen.

Why is it important for Great Dane pups to eat large breed puppy food? Great Dane growth should be slow, steady, and consistent. If they grow too quickly, extra stress and strain is placed on the developing bones and joints. This is true for any large or giant dog breeds – not just for Great Danes. Fast weight gains can cause permanent damage to bones, connective tissues, and joints. Since many large dog breeds are already prone to joint problems, it’s extremely important to prevent them as much as you can.

What’s the best puppy food for Great Danes and other large dog breeds? According to my vet, there are several excellent choices. Personally, we like Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy Food. It’s what we’ve fed all our Great Dane puppies, and we’ve always had excellent results. If there’s a different large breed puppy food you’d like to try, check it out with your vet first.

Great Dane Growth Chart

It’s easy to find a Great Dane growth chart online, so I’m not going to provide that same exact information here. Instead, I’m going to give you the growth rate of my Great Dane puppy, Shylock. Shylock developed dog pneumonia when he was three weeks old, and he almost died. With the right veterinary care, antibiotics, and home care, he rebounded quickly. In fact, if you compare his growth to another Great Dane growth chart online, you’ll see that his growth rate was a little above average.

Don’t get too hung up on the growth rate of your Great Dane puppy. Remember – slow and consistent is best. It might take your puppy almost two years to attain its full size, so be patient. My adult fawn male, Hamlet, was a smaller puppy than our harlequin male, Grendel was. Now, however, Hamlet is taller than Grendel and weighs just as much. By the way, Hamlet now weighs 170 pounds and is thirty-five inches tall at the withers. He’s a pretty big boy, even for a Great Dane!

Birth - 1 pound, 8 ounces

1 week - 2 pounds, 6 ounces

2 weeks - 3 pounds, 5 ounces

3 weeks – 4 pounds, 15 ounces

4 weeks – 6 pounds, 13 ounces

5 weeks – 10 pounds, 2 ounces

6 weeks - 12 pounds, 2 ounces

7 weeks - 17 pounds, 4 ounces

2 months - 25 pounds

3 months - 44 pounds, 6 ounces

4 months - 65 pounds

5 months - 86 pounds

6 months – 95 pounds

7 months – 107 pounds

8 months – 121 pounds

9 months – 135 pounds

10 months – 138 pounds

11 months – 140 pounds

12 months – 145 pounds

During their second year, the Danes will grow more, putting on more weight. They probably won’t get any taller, but they’ll “fill out” some. By the way, Shylock is 36 inches tall at the withers!

If your Great Dane pup is healthy and fed correctly, it'll reach its full size, eventually. Be patient!
If your Great Dane pup is healthy and fed correctly, it'll reach its full size, eventually. Be patient! | Source

Great Dane Puppy Pictures

Below are some Great Dane puppy pictures you might enjoy. Most are from our June 2013 litter, but there are also a couple of pictures of my two adult Danes when they were puppies. Hamlet is the fawn, and Grendel is the black and white, or harlequin Great Dane. All the puppies from this recent litter are black. The mother is fawn, and the father is black, and the black gene is dominant. Kayla is the full sister to Hamlet, by the way, which is why we wanted to breed her. Hamlet was neutered as a puppy, but he and Kayla are such amazing dogs that we wanted more like them. Hamlet’s and Kayla’s parents are dead now, so it’s not like we could buy another puppy from the same bloodlines. Our only choice was to breed Kayla. If you’ve never owned a Great Dane, you don’t know what you’re missing!

mother of our black Great Dane puppies, Kayla
mother of our black Great Dane puppies, Kayla | Source
Kayla and Seven, the father dog, a black Great Dane
Kayla and Seven, the father dog, a black Great Dane | Source
birth of puppies
birth of puppies | Source
1 week old
1 week old | Source
2 weeks old
2 weeks old | Source
3 weeks old
3 weeks old | Source
4 weeks old
4 weeks old | Source
Shylock - 5 weeks old
Shylock - 5 weeks old | Source
Shylock at 6 weeks
Shylock at 6 weeks | Source
Shylock at 7 weeks.
Shylock at 7 weeks. | Source
Hamlet at 7 weeks
Hamlet at 7 weeks | Source
Grendel at 8 weeks
Grendel at 8 weeks | Source
Hamlet and Grendel as puppies. Grendel is three months old, and Hamlet is five months old here.
Hamlet and Grendel as puppies. Grendel is three months old, and Hamlet is five months old here. | Source
Puppies at five months
Puppies at five months | Source
6 months old
6 months old | Source
At 8 months
At 8 months | Source
at ten months
at ten months | Source
The pups at eleven months.
The pups at eleven months. | Source
Shylock at three months.
Shylock at three months. | Source
Shylock at four months.
Shylock at four months. | Source
At 5 months.
At 5 months. | Source
At 6 months.
At 6 months. | Source


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    • gerimcclym profile image

      Geri McClymont 

      4 years ago

      So fun to see them grow so thanks for the great photos! I am rather partial to Great Danes since my small dog was trained by a trainer who used his Great Dane to help my dog become comfortable around other dogs (mine is a rescue dog who needed to learn socialization skills when I adopted him). That Great Dane was calm as a cucumber and I will be forever grateful to him for helping my dog be more at ease around other dogs.

    • macteacher profile image

      Wendy Golden 

      6 years ago from New York

      Your dogs are beautiful. I have cats, so a Great Dane would not be a welcome addition, but it's great to live vicariously through someone else's photos and writing. Thank you for a terrific hub! :-)

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Those are some beautiful Great Danes. I enjoyed the pictures, watching them grow up. Awesome hub.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Habee, I just love your Danes, they are gorgeous. When I see your hubs about them I'm always tempted to go out and find me one.

      Hope you're well.

      regards Zsuzsy

      voted up, useful, interesting and beautiful

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 

      6 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      A great informative hub which made me smile a few times. They look in tip top condition, your photos an excellent and really tell the story.

      Voted up and all.


    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      They are gorgeous! And great info too, not sure I have got room for them, but I wish I did! lol!

    • mslizzee profile image


      6 years ago from Buncombe County, NC

      cute and beautiful


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