Great Dane

Breed History

A large, handsome, and gentle giant has been around so thousands of years. The size of a small horse makes this dog very hard to miss and even harder to forget.

Ancient Egyptian artifacts and monuments were the first place in history to capture the appearance of a Great Dane around 3,000 B.C. That’s over 5,000 years ago there has been some documentation or picture showing the unique features of this breed.

Conquerors of the African Egypt civilization all have documentation of the Great Dane. Those countries include the Assyrians, Greeks, Romans, and finally the Arabs. Coming into Africa as invaders and taking their dogs to their homelands.

Only the rich and elite people in society own Great Danes. You wouldn’t see people who were poor or middle class own this dog at any time.

Boarhounds was one of many names they had historically because they are bred to hunt Boars. They also went by the Great Danish Dog and other names before becoming what we call them today Great Dane was a name that came from the French or Denmark.

Germany was the place the breed was given direction and became the dog we see today. Breed standards were in place many years ago when they became members of multiple Kennel Clubs in the 1800’s.

Came to America in the 1880’s and became a member of the AKC in 1889.


One of the older dogs that has been around longer than most breeds you will see them all around the world. Every major Kennel Club boast the Great Dane. Here are the Clubs that have a breed standard for this dog.


Male Weight: 110-180 pounds

Female Weight: 110-180 pounds

Male Height: 30-32 inches

Female Height: 28-30 inches

Any male or female under the minimum height requirement will be under suspicion of not being full blood. Height is one of the most important aspects of their size.

Litter Size

Mothers will have a large litter than is normal for big breeds. 8 puppies are the average with 10 plus puppies not being unusual.

Great Dane Colors

Adult Great Dane

  • Brindle
  • Fawn
  • Blue
  • Black
  • Harlequin
  • Mantle

Different Types

There are no different types you will only see different colors in the dog’s coats.

Great Dane Price

The cost per puppy with papers will cost around $1,000-$5,000. You will notice the quality difference if you choose to get a dog without documentation.

Without papers and a history of the bloodline you can expect to pay a cheaper price. Puppies can range from $400-600 without any papers. The dog may have a different dog mixed in the bloodline and you would never know.


You will notice a short and shiny coat. It is easy to groom a dog with a single coat without consulting a professional.

Brush the coat at least once a week. There is no reason to comb this dog. Bath them whenever they’re dirty. Once or twice a month is more than enough.

Trim the nails if you don’t exercise them. Exercise will trim them down. Clean the ears. Big ears catch dirt inside of them and can lead to infections. Plaque can build on teeth so keep a close eye on the mouth and gums.

Finally take them to the vet if you feel like you need to have someone else do the work due to time or commitment issues.

Life Span

Great Dane lifespan is 8-10 years of age. That is a long time to have a dog but on the short end of dog life expectancy.

Having a dog for a decade is a long time to own any dog make sure you are prepared for the long haul.

Health Issues

Elbow Dysplasia – is a painful joint condition and bigger breeds should undergo an examination from the vet to see if everything looks normal on x-rays.

Hip Dysplasia – the leg bone doesn’t fit properly inside of the hip socket. A x-ray examination will be the best for early detection and if the dog appears unwilling to exercise that would be a great sign of hip dysplasia.

Arthritis – from bigger dogs is common and will happen later in the dog’s life. Annual check ups will help assist you in determining if the dog is having the condition or not.

Wobbler Syndrome – neck and spine issues plague big dogs and the Great Dane is no exception. Stiff neck or muscle loss are common symptoms.

Bloat – expansion of the stomach will put pressure on the dog’s organs and veins. Many dogs die every single with this condition.

Breed Group

They are members of the legendary Working Group. The dogs in this group have something in common. Helping the humans with a wide range of activities that would be hard to accomplish without them.

For example, a sled dog can help bring many materials from hundreds of miles away and in freezing cold temperatures. Humans don’t have the capability to transport heavy materials in those weather conditions to long distances.

Fortunately, a working dog did have that ability and that’s why this group is so special. They are known for some herding but not exclusively.

Here are the dogs in the working group

Fearless group of dogs that have a lot of sizes mostly medium to large size.

Exercise Needs

Big dogs are fun, and the Great Dane is no exception. You don’t need to exercise them too much. Large size dogs have a harder time running and seem to mellow out quicker than little dogs.

You still need a strong program that includes a daily outlet and make sure they don’t use their energy to focus on unproductive activities.

Here is what we recommend

Morning: One hour of exercise

Evening: 30 minutes (optional)

Hour of exercise in the morning isn’t optional. All dogs should get some form of a run, walk, or treadmill. If every dog in the world had to deal with an hour of exercise the world would be a better place.

Optional method is adding an additional session for a few reasons. Youngs dogs are energetic and you will need to get them out more if the behavior is calling for it.

What I mean is that if the dog is showing signs of overexcitement or not behaving correctly the extra session can help. You want to make sure they have enough outlet from exercise to keep them in recovery mode.

Resting and laying around the house or backyard should be the imagine of the dog at the house of any breed. 

Failure to get this done or to take shortcuts will result in the dog displaying some odd behavior. Starting with not listening, jumping, biting, nipping, barking, and other behaviors dog owners commonly need help with.

Most of the time a simple walk or run every day will make all these behaviors decrease and stop altogether if given in the proper amount.


Great Danes are known to be easy to train, but you still need to train them. The right way to view a training program is to cover all the bases.

The areas you want to focus on is the exercising, commands, and discipline.

Exercising is one of the most important parts of any program. Look at any animal documentary and the only thing you see them doing is walking or running.

Behavior modification must start here to weed out a lack of effort on behalf of the owner and it solves so many problems that most of the time this is the problem with the training program.

Once we have a solid daily exercise program then it is time to move into commands.

With commands we like to use them before the dog gets to do something. Like sitting before you eat, before getting water, going to the bathroom or before going on the walk are very effective methods.

Don’t miss out on these opportunities to get them listening. This works for multiple reasons, but for the most part it is because of repetition. You can ask a dog to sit 5 times per day without even noticing it.

Discipline is the last step and that can be done with commands like sitting before you go out of a dog every single time.

Another part of discipline is getting the dogs attention. When you don’t have it issue a correction. Resources below will help you start a program and train your dog.