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Great Dane


Origin | Drawings resembling the Great Dane have been found in Egyptian caves dating back to 3000BC and in Babylonian temples from 2000BC. There are also similar reports tracing their origin to Tibet from literature dating back to 1121BC. They were traded by the Assyrians to Greeks and Romans who bred them with other dogs. These dogs used to go by the name Boarhounds because they were bred specifically to hunt boars. Over time the Germans nobles began keeping these dogs as royal pets.

Later Developments | The modern version of the Great Dane arose in the 1700s. Historians credit German breeders for refining this breed into an elegant, well-balanced dog breed. Throughout the late 1800s, the wealthy German breeders continued refining its appearance and function. They mainly focused on honing their gentle temperament, and succeeded.

Traits | This is a large German breed reared as a domestic dog and known for their giant sizes. Their German name is the 'German mastiff' or 'Deutsche Dogge'. It is one of the tallest dog breeds in the world and has a lifespan of between 6 and 8 years. The females have a height of between 71 and 81cm, while the males have an average height of between 76 and 86cm. The females weigh about 52kgs while the males weigh about 77kgs.

Personality | When well-bred they are one of the best-natured dogs you can ever have. They can be gentle, affectionate, sweet, and love to play with kids. They have a great desire to please which makes them easily trainable. They are people oriented, which includes kids and strangers; they always want to be where the family is. The moment they feel you need defending, they can turn from sweet dogs to the most fiercely protective animals you’ve ever seen.

Care | The hilarious thing about great Danes is that they often want to be treated as lapdogs, despite their size. As good natured as they are, they definitely need early and appropriately planned socialization. You could sign them up for a puppy class if you don’t know how to go about it. They should be exposed to a variety of smells, places, and people so that they develop their social skills. Great Danes require lots of space; therefore, the ideal home should have a great backyard. Even then, they aren’t outdoor dogs and will need to stay alongside the family, indoors.

Adult Size

  • Huge
  • Large

Amount of Shedding

  • Sheds Little

Appropriate Environment

  • Apartment
  • Fenced In Yard
  • House
  • Invisible Fenced Yard

Behavior if Left Alone

  • Doesn’t Like Being Left Alone

Breed Group

  • Working Group

Coat Length

  • Very Short Coat

Coat Quality

  • Smooth Coat


  • Black
  • Black & White
  • Blue
  • Brindle
  • Fawn
  • Harlequin
  • Mantle
  • Merle
  • White


  • Drools Occasionally
  • Drools Regularly

Energy Level

  • Energetic

Exercise Needs

  • Needs Occasional Exercise
  • Needs Regular Exercise

Full Grown Height

  • 27-30″
  • 31-33″
  • 34-36″

Full Grown Weight

  • 101-110lbs
  • 111-120lbs
  • 121-130lbs
  • 131-140lbs
  • 141-150lbs
  • 151-160lbs

General Health

  • Breed with Many Health Issues
  • Not a Very Healthy Breed

Good Choice for New Dog Owners

  • Good Dog for Your First Dog

Good Dog for Cold Weather?

  • Doesn’t Do Well in Cold Weather

Good Dog for Hot Weather?

  • Can Manage in Hot Weather

Good With Children?

  • Good with Kids
  • Great With Kids
  • Very Good With Kids


  • Doesn’t Require Grooming


  • Smart


  • Affectionate
  • Very Affectionate


  • Playful
  • Very Playful

Recommended OFA Tests

  • Autoimmune Thyroiditis – OFA evaluation
  • Congenital Cardiac Database ARCH – ACVIM Registry of Cardiac Health – or – OFA evaluation
  • Eye Examination by ACVO Ophthalmologist
  • Hip Dysplasia OFA/OVC Evaluation or PennHIP

Social Behavior with Dogs

  • Socializes Sometimes with Other Dogs

Top Life Expectancy

  • 10 years
  • 11 years
  • 8 years
  • 9 years

Training Tendencies

  • Easy to Train

Vocalization Tendencies

  • Barks or Howls Appropriately