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Also Known As
Gentle Giant, The Apollo of Dogs, Big Danish
Area of Origin
Breed Birthday
1121 B.C.
Breed Type
Personality Traits
Gentle, Sweet, Affectionate
Related Breeds
Cane Corso, Neapolitan Mastiff, Antolian Shepherd Dog, Doberman Pinscher, Giant Schnauzer
Best Breeds For
Family companions. Like all dogs (and especially big dogs) keep an eye on them when they’re around kids.
Easy to house train. They respond best to positive reinforcement.
Despite their stature, Great Danes are mellow enough to be good house dogs, though they’re probably too big for tiny apartments.

Breed Popularity

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Miniature Pinscher
Great Dane
Australian Cattle Dog
Rat Terrier
Based on DogVacay data

Top Great Dane Name

Based on DogVacay data
History of Great Dane


Purportedly, an 18th century French nature writer saw the dog while on a trip to Denmark and dubbed the dog Grand Danois or “Big Danish.” The name stuck even though the breed was likely developed in Germany as a boarhound. Today in Germany, the Great Dane is called a Deutsche Dogge or German Mastiff.
Facts about Great Dane

Good To Know

They don’t really need much exercise, especially when they’re puppies. Experts recommend limiting the stress placed on a growing puppy’s joints. Be careful with jumping and jogging. They eat less than you’d expect for their size. They eat about as much as a Lab or Shepherd, but they eat significantly more when they’re young and growing.
Great Dane health and care

Health & Care

Height: 28” to 34” at the shoulder
Weight: 100 to 200 pounds
Lifespan: 7 to 10 years
Most Great Danes are healthy pups, but some will face health issues like hip dysplasia, eye and cardiac disease, bloat, and Hashimoto’s disease. Great Danes are also very fast growing, so they often have growing pains or inflammation when they’re young. If your Great Dane needs surgery, look for a vet who has experience with giant-breed dogs and ask for a presurgical blood test that includes a clotting profile. It’s not a test that’s typically done, but it’s a good idea for Great Danes.
Great Danes do shed a lot. Keep the coat looking great (and minimize baths) by brushing regularly with a firm bristle brush.
Great Dane personality


Great Danes are big in size—too big for most apartments—but they’re also really big-hearted. They were first bred as superdogs who could help hunt a swift, powerful, tusked opponent: wild boar. It’s also why many Great Danes had their ears cropped; it kept their ears safer when chasing the tenacious boars. Today, Great Danes are still massive super dogs, but their major occupation is being gentle, loving, and affectionate with their families.

Top Great Dane DogVacay Hosts

Jay V.
2 miles from you
6 Reviews
Why Jay is a great sitter:
Kaitlin W.
2.9 miles from you
Why Kaitlin is a great sitter:
Joan M.
3.9 miles from you
171 Reviews
Why Joan is a great sitter:
Remember, adopting is always an option, even if you’re looking for a particular breed (or a classic mutt). If you can rescue a pup and give him a loving home, why not? There are breed-specific rescues all around the country. Search for rescues near you here.
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