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Great Danes

Updated on May 13, 2011
Whitney05 profile image

Whitney has over 10 years of experience in dog training, rescuing, and healthcare.

Brindle Great Dane

History of Great Danes

There are different sources that state that the Great Dane breed originates from a variety of different places. Some say that th Great Dane is from Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. While, others say that the dog was developed from the medieval boardhound or the Mastiff and Irish wolfhound.

The dog has beenin history for about 400 years.

Great Danes have been used as huntind dogs. They have, also, been known to take down wild boar.

They were seen alongside the horse and the raven, as holy icons to the kings of Denmark and England.

The Great Dane has been seen far and wide throughout Europe.

Because of their large size, Great Danes were once used as guard dogs, which at one time, caused their feard reputations. But, currently, the Great Dane is a beloved family member in many homes.

Great Dane Appearance

Great Danes can average around 100 to 200 pounds, and they can range a minimum of 28 inches at the shoulder blades. There are cases where individulars have measured over 40 inches tall. The AKC standard for the Great Dane's height is no shorter than 28 for females and 32 inches for males.

These dogs have very short, fine hair. And, because of their minimal coat, they are best at being housed indoors during the warmer and colder months of the years.

The Great Dane can have a variety of colors and patterns such as:

FawnBrindleBlueBlackHarlequinMantle (black and white pattern that resembles a Boston Terrier)

The ears can be cropped or left naturally floppy. When cropped, there are many occasions where the ears will still flop over.

Great Danes and Children

Great Dane Temperament

Although the Great Dane is a very large dog, it is a friendly dog by nature. Great Danes are generally well behaved with other dogs, animals, and people.

This is a great breed for people of all ages, from the youngest child to the oldest adult.

But, as with any breed, there are some Great Danes that aren't quite the standard in temperament. Some Great Danes may have dominance issues and may be aggressive with other dogs of the same sex. And, sometimes, they may have an affinity to chasing smaller animals.

But, with a firm hand and steady training and socialization, you can overcome any behavioral problems and concerns.

Please remember that because the Great Dane is such a large, powerful breed, keep in mind that they may accidentally injure smaller pets and children, so monitor play times.

White Great Dane

Great Dane Health

Great Danes, like most larger dogs, have a slow metabolism, which results in less energy and less food consumption per pound of dog.

Great Danes have health problems that are common to most large breeds, but with proper care and nutrition, they can live an average of 8 to 12 years.

Bloat (Gastric volvulus) is a common condition with Great Danes, as with other large breeds. It is a painful distending and twisting of the stomach that can be fatal if not addressed quickly. It is a commonly recommended practice for Great Danes to have their stomachs tacked (Gastropexy) to the interior rib lining during routine surgery such as spaying and neutering, especially if the dog or its pedigree have a history of bloat. Some claim that you can prevent bloatting by keeping food and water dishes elevated which should regulate the amount of air that is inhaled while eating. Other studies claim this will increase the risk of bloat. But make sure to refrain from strenuous exercise or activity immediately before and after meals, as well.

Another health concern that is common to the breed is hip dysplasia.

Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and many congenital heart diseases are also commonly found in Great Danes.

Some Great Danes may develop yeast infections, when not fed all needed nutritional requirements, which can then lead to recurring staph infection(s).

Great Danes can, also, suffer from several genetic disorders that are specific to the breed. For example, if a Great Dane is white near its eyes and/or ears, then that organ usually did not develop properly, which usually results in a dog that will be either blind or deaf. (Many pure white Danes are deaf.)

Three Dog Bakery Books

Three Dog Bakery

The founders of Three Dog Bakery was founded by two men and the love for a Great Dane. A white Great Dane, named Gracie. Gracie was both deaf and blind. She had several health concerns that caused for a special diet that Nutro, Science Diet, and other premium dog food brands, would not suffice. Her owners, had to come up with something special for her. They worked with their vet, and started small. Until they were able to create hundreds of different dog recipes to which they turned into a business and then a franchise.

Eventually, poor Gracie had to be euthanized, but a small Great Dane puppy was there to help her through. Of course with the other two dogs that the men owned.

You can read Gracie's story in Amazing Gracie by Dan Dye and Mark Beckloff.

Great Dane Puppy

Pictures can be found at


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    • Miss Lil' Atlanta profile image

      Miss Lil' Atlanta 

      8 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Wow, really great blog! I just love Great Danes. They're by far one of my all time favorite dog breeds. I would love to own one some day.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Sorry, he was 23 months when I got him Nov 02 2009

    • theearljr profile image


      8 years ago

      My Earl Jr blue bred gt dane is 3 and quarter, I have had him since 3 yrs old, he is 37 at the withers, needs and gets two meals a day, two park walks and is fed special large breed food, dry with meat topping, he is immensely strong, I had to save an aggressive Roti from him, he'd probably toss a pitbull in the air, I bought him to assist me as my two old female rough collies kept getting attacked by local staffs and the like, now nothing gets near my Cols without his approval.....New owners should be aware that they are immensely strong and without verbal control and the dog having due respect for your voice , can drag you into the road and cause untold problems....

    • Whitney05 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Georgia

      Up to 18 months, sometimes longer depending on the dog

    • prepgurl83 profile image


      8 years ago from Marinette Wisconsin

      these dogs are so awesome.... so so loveable. i think it all depends on how u train them is how they come out to being also.... bit the great dane i have iv gave a lot of love to.. & he gives it right back. hes a year & 4 months... and he is still so very hyper. when do they start to calm down?

    • Whitney05 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Georgia

      Great Danes are a great dog. They actually are fairly docile and low-key. My aunt has two that she keeps as inside-outside dogs. Definitely keep in mind that they have thin coats and do best inside during weather extremes.

    • My Odyssey profile image

      My Odyssey 

      9 years ago from Somerset, Kentucky

      Great hub!! Me and my Husband plan on searching for the perfect dog for our family when we move to a bigger house with a big yard. We have been talking about looking into buying a Great Dane. Your Hub makes me feel confident that with the right dog and the proper training, that we would love to own a Great Dane!

    • Whitney05 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Georgia

      It will all depend on the dog. No all Great Danes get along with all dogs, people, and cats. It will all depend on the dog's training and personality.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      would a male great dane do well with a 13 year old, 2 cats, and a female lab???

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      This is an excellent article! We have a harlequin with baby blue eyes and he is the best! Very spoiled and completely loyal and loveable. I will never have a different breed!

    • profile image

      unforgiven bully kennels 

      10 years ago

      Danes were developed from Mastiffs and Greyhound cross breeding. Danes of today however are not the danes pictured in midievil paintings or tapestries. The original breed was lost long ago. I own 2 and my mother in law owns 19. Fantastic pets , completely individual personalities , and of course large. They make suprisingly great pets for small homes/apartments. Though not particularly strong (about that of a lab but nowhere close to the power of a pitbull) they are clumsily agile. my 285lb 39" male can jump to touch the 8'11" ceilings with his nose. My advice to prospective dane owners- never allow them on your bed or your furniture. You will never reclaim it.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I have a great dane that has become too much for my family and i. And i was wondering if i could ask if you could refer me to someone who would like to purchase my dog he is black 1 and half years old well behaved and does a few tricks i have his papers and all that so if you could get back too me my e-mail is

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      is a very lare big dog

    • profile image

      Chris Miller 

      11 years ago

      Love this photo! these dogs are so cute

    • Whitney05 profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Georgia

      Darkside- I have seen the pictures of you girls. I'm so sorry to hear what happened. She was very pretty.

    • darkside profile image


      11 years ago from Australia

      My beautiful girl was a Great Dane crossed with a Bull Mastiff. She threw towards the Dane side of the family. Sleek lines on the back end. She wasn't yet two and was filling out more Mastiff in the chest. Large ears like a dane, but floppy like a Mastiff, in fact floppier because they're so big.

      The Mastiff isn't the smartest looking of dogs and thankfully she had those beautiful intelligent eyes of the Dane.

    • moonlake profile image


      11 years ago from America

      Enjoyed your hub. We had two great danes and they loved us and our kids. They were beautiful and smart.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Your knowledge about dogs and love for them is amazing.Thumbs up!

    • compu-smart profile image

      Tony T 

      11 years ago from London UK

      Great Hub for such a great dog:) Indeed they are very majestic looking:)

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 

      11 years ago from Portugal

      I always thought that horses are too big! :D

      I really prefer Great Danes or Grand Dane Noir as we call them here in Portugal ;)

    • Jackilyn profile image


      11 years ago

      I use to have a great dane. I'll put a picture of it in Cute puppy pics. okay check it out!

    • Michele Engholm profile image

      Michele Engholm 

      11 years ago from Hutchinson

      Fabulous Hub! I always wanted a Great Dane ever since I was a kid and watching " The Ugly Dachshund" I am well...( I really do mean well) into adulthood and no great dane...a bouvier and a border collie though. I wouldn't trade my girls in for a new will just admire the GD's from afar. Thanks for this hub!

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      11 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Man-oh-man that's what I call a big dog. I'm thinking if I had a Great Dane I'd have to move out of my house and buy something bigger or build on another room or three. They are such beautiful animals. (By-the-way I never knew they came in white) I like the fawn color best though.

      Great HUB

      regards Zsuzsy

    • MrMarmalade profile image


      11 years ago from Sydney

      Love them. They are one of the most Majestic looking dogss

      Thank you

      Have a great Christmas and the best New Year you have ever had


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