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Great Dane

The Great Dane is one of the largest breeds. The combination of his regal appearance and friendly temperament have made him a popular companion in the U.S.

Try out our new Dog Breed Chooser Tool to help you select a breed.
Physical Characteristics
  • Large, powerful build
  • Strong legs and large chest
  • Dark, almond-shaped eyes
  • Ears may be cropped and stand erect or natural and folded flat
  • Long, narrow tail hangs low
  • Coat: Short, shiny hair comes in fawn, black, blue, brindle, harlequin and mantle
  • Height: 30-34 inches
  • Weight: 100-200 pounds
  • Average lifespan: 10 years
  • Courageous, friendly, loyal, dependable, playful
  • Interaction with people: Loves people
  • Training: Can be difficult to train; needs early obedience training
  • Protection: Good watchdog
Medical Conditions
While the listed ailments may be common in this breed, not all members of the breed suffer from these conditions. Responsible breeders screen for orthopedic and genetic diseases.
At Home
  • Happiest in rural areas, but can adapt to apartments
  • Needs long daily walks and playtime
  • Do not over-exercise until bones have fully developed
  • Average shedder
  • Brush with a firm bristle brush
  • Dry shampoo when necessary
  • Clip nails regularly
Other Facts
  • The name Great Dane comes from the French grand Danois, meaning "big Danish"
  • The Scooby Doo character was based on a Great Dane
  • Nicknamed "Apollo of dogs"
  • Considered a "giant" breed
Breed History
  • Native to Germany
  • A similar dog was depicted on Greek currency from 36 B.C.
  • Developed from the Irish wolfhound and English mastiff
  • Used as a boar hound in the 16th century
  • Named the national breed of Germany in 1876
  • The Great Dane Club of America was founded in 1889 in Chicago
For more information about this breed and breeder referral contacts, please visit the Great Dane Club of America For breed rescue opportunities, visit Rocky Mountain Great Dane Rescue
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