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Weight Range:

Male: 100-120 lbs.
Female: 100-120 lbs.

Height at Withers:

Male: 32 in.

Female: 30 in.


Floppy ears (naturally)


Exercise Requirements: 20-40 minutes/day
Energy Level: Average
Longevity Range: 6-8 yrs.
Tendency to Drool: High Tendency to Snore: Low
Tendency to Bark: Low
Tendency to Dig: Low Social/Attention Needs: High


Length: Short
Characteristics: Flat
Colors: Black, fawn, blue, black, harlequin
Overall Grooming Needs: Low

Club Recognition:

AKC Classification: Working
UKC Classification: Guardian Dog
Prevalence: Common

Oh, baby! A Great Dane is truly a great dog breed–large and noble, commonly referred to as a gentle giant or as the “Apollo of dogs.” Apollo is the Greek god of the sun, the brightest fixture in the sky.

Great Danes have been around for a long time, and depictions of Dane-like dogs on artifacts date back thousands of years. Although this is a pure breed of dog, you may find them in shelters and rescues, so remember to adopt! Don’t shop if you decide this is the dog for you. Great Danes certainly hold stature in the dog world; but though they look terribly imposing, in reality, they’re one of the best-natured dogs around. For all of their size, Great Danes are sweet, affectionate pets. They love to play and are gentle with children. DogTime recommends this big, spacious crate to give your big Great Dane a place to rest and relax. You should also pick up this dog brush and massager for your short-haired pup!

The Great Dane was originally bred to hunt wild boar, but they probably wouldn’t be very good at it today. The ferociousness necessary to track down such a large, wily animal was eventually bred out of the Great Dane. They’re now a gentle soul who generally gets along well with other dogs, animals, and humans.

However, their size and their power bark will scare the wits out of a burglar. Anyone who owns one of these dogs eventually understands that while you may be used to their awesome size, others usually need a little time to get there.

The Great Dane was developed from Mastiff-type dogs, but they’re more refined than other descendants of this ancient breed. A Great Dane is sleek and elegant. They have an athletic, muscular body. Their massive head–and massive is the right word–is long and narrow. They’ve got a long, graceful neck. Some owners crop their ears, but they’re better left natural. Cropped ears are common in the US, but in other countries, ear-cropping is banned.

Their size can present problems. Eyeballing a dog who weighs as much as you makes some folks nervous. Their tail can knock over a lot of things, particularly in a small space. And given the opportunity, they’re an impressive counter surfer. Luckily, they aren’t rambunctious or highly energetic.

Size notwithstanding, a Great Dane is a sweet, affectionate companion. They love to play and are gentle with children. They have a peaceful disposition, although they haven’t lost any of the courageousness that helped them hunt wild boar. Although they aren’t particularly vocal–despite their killer power bark–they wouldn’t hesitate to defend the family.

Even given their inherent gentleness, it’s advisable to teach them good manners and attend obedience training classes when they’re young. Their sheer size alone could make them impossible to control when they’re an adult, and–as with any dog–you never know when they might see something they just have to chase.

They’re eager to please and highly people-oriented, demanding a great deal of attention from those around them. They tend to nudge people with that big old head of theirs when they want to be petted. Sometimes you’ll meet one with lapdog tendencies who sees no reason not to hop onto the sofa and drape themselves on you.

Surprisingly, the Great Dane typically doesn’t eat as much food as you’d think. And while they need daily exercise, they don’t need a huge yard to play in–although they certainly would enjoy one.

Because of their beauty and gentle nature, more and more people are discovering the Great Dane. Just be aware that because of their size, they’ve got a relatively short life span of around eight years. That means they take up a huge space in your heart for a relatively short amount of time.

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