The Great Dane: A Complete Guide

Are you looking for a dog that is noble and large, and very well known as the “Gentle giant”? The Great Dane might be the best choice you can make.

This dog does appear terribly threatening, but that’s just the looks. In reality, they don’t get softer than this. Loves kids, welcoming to the friends of the family, really easy-going and extremely intelligent.

However, if you decide to buy a Great Dane puppy, you can’t just act on an impulse. You need to be well informed about the breed first, see if the dog’s needs match your lifestyle.

Then, you need to find a reputable breeder. Because the Great Dane isn’t a cheap breed, you want to know what you are paying for.

To help you out and save you hours of research, we have comprised this in-depth Great Dane guide. You will read about the breed and the questions you need to ask, first yourself, and then the breeder.

We will start with the puppies. And, as you progress through the guide, you will be closer to knowing if this breed is really for you. You will also know how to buy a pup and take proper care of him as he grows up.

We mean, REALLY grows up!

The Great Dane Puppies – Before You Buy…

Great Dane
The Great Dane possesses a high level of intelligence.

Before actually becoming a dog owner, you need to know how the pups of this breed react when they are a part of a human family.

Some puppies are energetic in the beginning. But, they become calmer as they grow up. On the other hand, some can be relaxed as puppies, but grow up into Alpha leaders.

You need to get to know what you are getting into before actually bringing it home. But, first, you have to make sure that the budget can handle the puppy.

What price are the Great Dane puppies?

When in the market for a Great Dane puppy, the price range you can expect is anywhere in between $600 and $3K. Of course, it depends on the quality of the puppy and the breeder.

The top end of the range is for those who want to buy a dog show champion bloodline. In case you just want a really huge pet, the price will be at the lower end of the range.

How to find reputable Great Dane breeders?

Why it’s important to find a really reputable breeder and perhaps opt for quality over price? To describe it best, we will just give you examples of what you get with a reputable breeder and what not.

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What You Get:

  • A puppy that is healthy and who’s parents are cleared for all the genetically heritable health issues that are associated with the Great Dane breed.
  • A puppy whose temperament is determined by the careful selection of both parent family trees.
  • You know that, if trained and socialized properly, your puppy will grow up into an easy-going dog that will be loyal and follow your lead.

What You Don’t get:

  • A puppy in bad physical and possibly mental shape. A characteristic example of puppy mill breeding.
  • A puppy that has been bred just for money. And, without any consideration of genetic heritage and personality.
  • A complete medical history and health tests clearings. And, a reassurance that what you buy is really what you paid for.

Now that you’ve realized how important it is to opt for a high-quality puppy, let’s take a look at some interesting, yet little-known facts about the Great Dane puppies.

3 Little-known facts about the Great Dane puppies

Great Dane
The Great Dane is a well-behaved breed and easy to go along with.

Before actually getting home with the pup, you need to make sure if you know what to expect. Therefore, let’s see if you already knew this:

  • They develop slowly

Other, smaller breeds need just a few months for their bones and muscles to grow fully. The Great Dane pups develop at a slower pace.

Since this is a big dog breed, you need to allow your pets’ bones, joints, and muscles, to grow at their predicted pace.

Therefore, don’t allow your pup to jump, or run with you while you jog, at least a year and a half.

  • Easy housetraining

This breed is well known for its sweetness and eagerness to please the owner and the entire family. The same goes for the pups as they are really well-mannered and easy to house train.

  • They like to snoop around

The Great Danes were hunters originally and that gene stayed till today.

Even though significantly milder than their ancestors, the Great Danes have that hunting, sniffing instinct.

So, don’t be surprised if your pup likes to snoop around every chance he gets.

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Physical Traits of the Great Dane

Sure, the Great Dane pups are adorable. But, how much do you know about this breed when fully grown up? Let’s check out their size and weight.

How big is a full-grown Great Dane?

You must have noticed that, when compared to the rest of the “Mystery Incorporated” team, Scooby Doo looks huge. Well, that is because, in real life, these dogs are really HUGE.

For example, a full grown male Great Dane can go from 30 to 34 inches in height.

As for the weight, you can expect some 120 to even 200 pounds. The females are notably smaller and lighter.

They can go from 28 to 32 inches in height, and from 100 to 130 pounds of weight.

What is the life expectancy of the Great Dane?

Great Dane
The Great Dane is an excellent guard dog.

Unfortunately, the Great Danes are not known for having a long lifespan like some small breeds. For example, the Chihuahuas can live up to 20 years.

With the Great Dane breed, they rarely make it past their 10th birthday. But, despite their shorter lifespan, their overall personality is something that you fall in love immediately.

And, most Great Dane owners continued to have this breed even after their first passed away.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Great Dane

This breed began its existence as wild boar hunters. But, the breeders started breading the ferociousness out decades ago and today, the Great Dane is just one big “kitty”.

He gets along with everyone and is like a big teddy bear when it comes to kids. However, despite the Great Dane’s loving personality, it can be a great watchdog as well.

It will alert you and stay on guard if he senses something bad. And, the sheer size of this dog itself will scare pretty much everyone and everything away.

You as an owner will get used to your dog’s enormous size quite soon. Others, on the other hand, might need more time to get relaxed in your dog’s vicinity.

Even though this breed has Mastiff DNA, it’s more sleek and elegant looking and more refined.

The Great Dane is also known as the Apollon of the dog world due to its elegant appearance and charming personality.

Furthermore, Great Danes are muscular and athletic, yet due to their size many can’t process the fact that such a dog is friendly-oriented and not going to “eat them whole”.

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For some owners, this represents a challenge when going on walks. Most people tend to “mark” the Great Danes as dangerous.

However, the dog’s size can be an actual problem if you live in an apartment. He can break a vase with his tail. Or knock something over when excited.

Luckily for those owners, this is not a breed that is known for manic wail-waving and sudden bursts of happiness.

Now, despite their size, which is hard not to notice and not talk about, the Great Danes are gentle dogs with love in their hearts.

They are affectionate and sweet companions and can likewise be excellent babysitters. They simply love kids and treat them like their own pups.

Meaning, they are keeping them safe and even trying to teach them a thing or two along the way.

They seem calm and relaxed all the time, but don’t let that fool you, they are alert. And, won’t have a problem turning on the “beast-mode” if they need to protect your kids and the rest of the family.

The Great Danes are popular for being really calm and easy-going. But, it is always recommendable that you train and socialize your puppy as soon as possible.

Only in that way, all the great traits of this breed can surface. And, you won’t be afraid to walk him down the road just because you lack the strength to hold him if he decides to chase something.

All in all, these dogs are very people-oriented and they are eager to please their human family. They can be sometimes very attention demanding though.

And, don’t be surprised if he wants to put that big head of his on your lap demanding some petting time.

Also, they are not big eaters (hard to believe due to the size, we know).

Surprisingly, they eat small portions and don’t actually demand high-levels of exercise to stay fit. But, they will enjoy the exercise anyway, as long as you are doing them together.

The Great Dane Diet

For a relatively slow-growing giant puppy, a well balanced and nicely portioned diet is a Must. Therefore, you shouldn’t feed your Great Dane puppy with regular dog food.

It will probably be too nutrient rich for him.

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Your puppy will need food designed for large breed puppies. And, you should avoid adding supplements such as calcium.

Now, we will assume that you are going to feed your dog with food of high-quality. In that case, the daily amounts (not amounts per each meal) are:

  • 3 to 6 months: Males – 4 to 8 cups, Females – 3 to 6 cups
  • 8 to 12 months: Males – 6 to 10 cups, Females – 5 to 8 cups
  • Adolescents: Males – 9 to 15 cups, Females – 8 to 13 cups
  • Adults: Males – 8 to 10 cups, Females – 6 to 8 cups

As for the pup/adult dog difference, before reaching some 5 months, your pup should eat 3 times a day.

When he enters his 6th month, and for the rest of his life, your dog should have 2 meals per day.

How much Exercise does a Great Dane need?

The Great Dane does look lazy and like it could just lay around the whole day. However, they are like that when they are indoors.

Once you are outside, you will notice how your dog’s energy level rises.

This only means that it needs physical exercise. Though not like other, more active breeds, the Great Dane needs two or three walks each day.

Otherwise, it might start getting a bit nervous and misbehaving inside the home.

Great Danes can be perfect jogging partners, but that is allowed only after some 16 to 18 months. You need to make sure with the vet first, that your dog is fully developed and ready for running and jumping.

Also, you need to know that this breed can have problems with bloating. So, no exercise right after mealtime.

You should likewise know that Danes love letting their nose, “hold the steering wheel”. For that reason, you should always keep your dog on a leash.

And, when letting him run freely, always make sure the area is surrounded by a high fence.

As for which sports to offer, your dog will probably enjoy flyball, tracking, obedience, and agility.

Great Dane Health and Conditions

In most cases, the Great Danes are healthy dogs. But, as with every other breed, there are problems that can occur.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that your dog will suffer from the health issues that are associated with this breed. But, you do, however, need to keep them in your mind when thinking of getting a Great Dane.

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If you do choose the Great Dane, ask for the following health tests clearances from the parents.

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Development Issues
  • Gastric Torsion
  • Bone Cancer
  • Heart Disease

If the breeder shows you these clearances, your pup has a much greater chance of growing into a healthy, well-developed dog.

My final thoughts on the Great Dane

This, our Great Dane loving friend, is the end of our guide.

By now, you’ve must have made an opinion about this breed. And, you should be close to making the final call.

For those of you who still have some doubts, let’s check out some important Great Dane facts to be sure.

The Great Danes are tall dogs. When they greet you with their front paws on your shoulders, they will probably be taller than everyone in your family.

But, they are the very definition of elegance and nobility in the dog world. And, they are well behaved and easy to go along with.

Also, even though they are lovable, they are alert and will prove themselves as excellent guard dogs.

They don’t actually have to react that much because of their size. Just imagine a burglar’s face when he encounters a dog of this size. It will be, “Sorry, I have made a mistake and I am getting out Right now…”

As for kids? They love them! And, they are extremely patient even with toddlers.

Final sentence? Great, Huge dog that will stay loyal to you and your family and will give its life to protect you.

Needs training and socialization, and plenty of dedication while younger. But, thanks to a high level of intelligence, quickly picks up and does follow your lead. And, turns out to be the best choice you ever made when it comes to a pet.

Thank you for sticking with us till the end of the guide!

Feel free to share this article if you found it interesting and something you would recommend to your friends.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3

OVERALL SUMMARY

4
Cost to Buy
9
Cuteness Level
8.5
Family Safety
7.5
Friendliness
7
Health Concerns
8.5
Life Span
6.5
Exercise Required
3.5
Food Required
OVERALL RATING 6.8 / 10

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