Great Danes are The Greatest | Complete Guide to Great Danes - PetBond

Great Danes are Greatest!

by PetBond Vet

Great Danes are Greatest!

Why Great Danes are so Great.

• Great Danes are exceptionally loyal and loving to their families
• They are exceptionally intelligent dogs
• They have mild shedding coats & don’t require much grooming
• Great Danes love to play & interact, are a little clumsy in a good way!

Points to Consider

• Not the best choice for first-time dog owners
• Great Danes are a Giant breed, and need plenty of space to express themselves
• They drool (a lot)
• Can express separation anxiety when left on their own
• Great Danes being a Giant breed have a shorter lifespan than other breeds
• This breed need a lot of exercise

Where did the Great Dane originate?

The Great Dane is the ultimate ‘gentle giant’ of dog breeds, and as such are popular as family pets and companion dogs not only in Ireland, but throughout the world. They are very kind, playful and fantastic with children of all ages. Great Danes are exceptionally loyal, and want to impress their owner at all times. Great Danes are a very dignified breed, and love to be the heart and soul of family life. They will always to join in, and know a few tricks also. The Great Dane does have a shorter lifespan, however the benefits of this breed are immense.

Records of the Great Dane go back to Ancient Egyptian times, and it is believed that the breed may well have originated in Tibet, as the resemblance to the Tibetan Mastiff is striking. it is believed that the native tribes sold their dogs to Romans and the people of Ancient Greece, whom in turn bred these dogs to breeds such as the Irish Wolfhound and English Mastiff. In fact, the breed have no links to Denmark. By coincidence, a nobleman ‘thought’ that the Danish weather had modified the appearance of a similar looking breed, and hence decided to name this ancient breed as the ‘Great Dane’! The first Great Dane breed club was formed in the UK in the late 19th century, and since then the popularity of the breed has grown and grown.

The accepted breed colours for Kennel Club registration are as follows:
• Black
• Blue
• Brindle
• Fawn
• Harlequin
• Mantle (Black Body with white on Muzzle, Collar and Chest)

Does the Great Dane have a Good Temperament?

Great Danes are well loved for their friendly and outgoing natures. Despite their physical size, they are extremely mild mannered and affectionate dogs that enjoy nothing more than lots of love &attention. Great Danes are a great choice as family pets and companion dogs although care should be taken when these larger than life dogs are around toddlers simply because they may knock a very small child over, albeit by accident.

Is a Great Dane a good choice for a first time dog owner?

A Great Dane is not the best choice for a first time dog owner, simply because they need to be correctly trained and managed by someone who really understands the breed. If not trained correctly as a puppy, these dogs can become unruly and difficult to manage due to their large physical size. They are not aggressive in any way, and are great round children.

Will a Great Dane exhibit Separation Anxiety?

A Great Dane is a sociable pet! They ideally are best suited to a household where someone can be at home all day, as they do get anxious if left alone for long periods. They thrive on company and human interaction, and require mental stimulation at regular intervals to satisfy their high intellectual drive. If boredom sets in, just like in other breeds, they can become destructive in the house as a means of venting energy.

What about prey drive?

Great Danes are social by nature and even more so when they have been well socialised from a young enough age. However, they do have quite a high prey drive and will happily chase smaller animals if they get the chance. Owners should always take great care as to where and when they let their dogs off their leads and should always pay special attention to the “recall” command when training a Great Dane and it’s a command that should be reinforced throughout a dog’s life.

Is a Great Dane suited to apartment living?

Great Danes are large dogs that need to have enough space to express themselves as they should. Therefore, they are not the best choice for people who live in smaller apartments or houses, but are quite happy to live in towns providing their owners have large, secure back gardens for their pets to romp in whenever they can. Also, if you have a car and plan to carry your Great Dane around, make sure it’s bog enough and a ramp may be a good addition.

Will a Great Dane be difficult to train?

The key to successfully training a Great Dane is for puppies to be extremely well socialised as soon as they are fully vaccinated and to use positive reinforcement methods because like many other breeds Great Danes do not respond well to harsher training methods. Owners must set ground rules for puppies so they understand what is expected of them, bearing in mind that a young Great Dane will always tests these from time to time.

Will a Great Dane be safe with Children & Other Pets?

Great Danes are known to get on well with children and are known to have a real affinity with kids of all ages, but due to their large size any interaction between dogs and children should be supervised. It is easy for such a large dog to knock over a small child, who in turn could frighten the dog as a result.Great Danes rarely show any aggression, and are compatible with cats once they have grown up together.

We are highly Intelligent

Great Dane Health & Vet Matters

A Great Dane is expected to have a lifespan of 8 to 10 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.

As a breed, the Great Dane is susceptible to well documented health conditions, as are other breeds. The conditions most well documented in Great Danes are…

• Dilated cardiomyopathy (DM) – (where the heart is enlarged) – Heart tests will detect this
• Bloat/gastric torsion (GDV)
• Hip dysplasia – All breeding dogs should be tested for (HD)
• Wobbler syndrome – A neurological condition
• Sensitivity to specific anaesthetics
• Addison’s Disease (where adrenal gland produces less cortisol)
• Glaucoma
• Osteosarcoma

Take note that breeding harlequin Great Danes to white, merle, piebald and tweed coloured dogs could result in puppies carrying the gene mutation responsible for deafness, blindness and skin issues. As such, breeders are strongly advised not to carry out such breeding programmes.

Do Great Danes suffer from weight problems?

Some Great Danes gain weight after they have been spayed or neutered and it’s important to keep an eye on a dog’s weight regularly just in case they do. Older Great Danes can gain weight much more quickly, and therefore need plenty of exercise and a suitable diet to prevent this.

Will a Great Dane need alot of grooming?

Great Danes need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition, bearing in mind that they are known to suffer from flea allergic dermatitis. Brush the coat well once a week. They do not shed alot, however need to be groomed. As in most breeds, shedding occurs most in Spring & Autumn.

What will I need for my new Great Dane puppy?

It is a good idea to buy the basic needs for your pet before it arrives home. Once it settles in, then decide on what other toys and resources your pet will need.

• Good quality puppy or baby gates to fit on doors
• A good well-made, robust playpen that’s large enough for a puppy to play in so they can really express themselves as puppies like to do
• Lots of well-made toys which must include good quality chews suitable for puppies to gnaw on, bearing in mind that a puppy will start teething anything from when they are 3 to 8 months old
• Good quality feed and water bowls which ideally should be ceramic rather than plastic or metal
• A grooming glove
• A slicker brush or soft bristle brush
• Dog specific toothpaste and a toothbrush
• Scissors with rounded ends
• Nail clippers
• Puppy shampoo and conditioner which must be specifically formulated for use on dogs
• A well-made dog collar or harness
• A couple of strong dog leads
• A well-made dog bed that’s not too small or too big
• A well-made dog crate for use in the car and in the home, that’s large enough for a puppy to move around in

How much Exercise will a Great Dane need?

Great Danes boast having alot of energy which they need to expend and therefore should to be given a minimum of 2 hours exercise every day. Having a good sized garden where a Great Dane can potter about will allow them to relax and express normal behaviour as they choose. Ensure that the walls are high, and fence is dog proof, as these dogs will try and escape if they get the notion! It is important not to over exercise young Great Danes, as their bones and joints should not be unduly stressed. To do so, would increase the risk of complicated conditions which would require veterinary intervention

Feeding a Great Dane

Feeding the correct diet to Great Dane puppies is essential, to ensure optimal growth & development. All dogs should be fed from a stand, as this puts less pressure on their neck. Also, a Great Dane should never be fed immediately before or after exercise, as this dramatically increases the risk of gastric torsion (GDV), which is a veterinary emergency.

If you choose to Buy a Great Dane puppy and beware of Dogs for Sale adverts.

When visiting and buying any puppy or dog, there are many important things to consider and questions to ask of the breeder/seller. Petbond will have screened all breeders and their pets, and you will be provided with the critical information before you collect your pup. We also advise that you never pay for a puppy without having seen it in it’s home, and with it’s mother present.
Beware of online scams which other websites offer and you may see online adverts by scammers showing images of beautiful Great Dane puppies for sale at very low prices. However, the sellers ask buyers for money up front before agreeing to deliver a puppy to a new home. Never ever buy a puppy unseen and should never pay a deposit or any other money online to a seller. Remember, people will pressurise you into handing over money for a “Done Deal” without having even seen a puppy which is contraindicated.


Please note that good breeders will really care about the health and welfare of your prospective puppy, and will have DNA tested the puppies, mother & father to ensure that health limiting conditions have been avoided as much as possible.
Sourcing your puppy from a safe, ethical and trusted breeder who is not engaged in puppy farming is always the number one priority, and Petbond is the only online platform that offers you this peace of mind.

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