Great Dane FAQ
No one quite knows why the Great Dane – a German hound bred for hunting wild boar – became associated with Denmark, but one thing we do know: they are one of the best breeds in the world! Excellent guardians and companions, Great Danes are courageous and spirited, but exceptionally friendly and patient, making them exceptional family dogs. And we love that they are a little goofy, too!
Size, Grooming, & Temperament
Weighing between 110 and 175 pounds and ranging from 28-34 inches tall at the shoulder, Danes are one of the largest loungers around! They love a good sofa (or countertop…) to rest their heads as they hang out with their family. Gentle and empathetic, they make both a great family dog and excel as therapy/service dogs as well because not much fazes them. They are “people dogs,” meaning that they love being with their families in the house or out on adventures, but do not handle being “yard dogs” well.
They are minimal shedders, but due to their size, you can still expect a fair bit of hair around the house. Great Danes do not require the regular bathing or professional grooming that many breeds do (a bath as needed is just fine), but brushing them weekly with a medium bristle brush or grooming mitt will help keep shedding to a minimum. As with all breeds, their nails should be trimmed regularly, as well as their ears and teeth cleaned.
Danes do tend to get cold easily, so investing in a coat is recommended if you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors in the snow. We also recommend booties for extreme heat and cold – gotta protect those precious (huge!) paws!
Training & Exercise
Because Great Danes are so large, they do require training and socialization from a young age. While they are not aggressive, their sheer size does mean they could accidentally hurt someone without the proper training. However, because they are bright and eager to please, Danes are easier to train than many other breeds and respond well to positive reinforcement and consistent training methods.
Compared to other dogs in the working group, Danes tend to be on the lower end of the energy spectrum. They love to play, but are also more than happy to curl up and hang out with you. But this doesn’t mean they’re 24/7 loungers! A brisk walk or two and playtime every day is a great way to keep them healthy and happy. They make excellent jogging and hiking partners (do not begin training them to jog with you until they are at least 2 years old to avoid damage to their growing joints), and also enjoy participating in sports such as agility, flyball, scooter- and bike-joring, obedience, and weight pulls.
They are not natural swimmers, however, with their long legs and neck, so any water activities require closer supervision than other dogs.
Medical & Health
Like any purebred dog, Danes can be prone to various medical complications such as hip dysplasia, cardiac diseases, hyperthyroidism, and bloat. This is why we do extensive health testing on the dogs we breed – we want to ensure the healthiest (and happiest!) puppies possible – as well as ensuring that they go to good, safe homes with families that will take excellent care of them.
At Good Life Great Danes, we have followed the from the Great Dane Club of America and the American Kennel Club recommendations for testing to ensure that your healthy hips, hearts, thyroids! We also do genetic color testing to know what genes each dog carries for breeding purposes.
Additionally, we practice Early Neurological Stimulation with each of our pups, which has been proven to improve cardiovascular performance, helped to strengthen adrenal glands, resistance to disease, and greater tolerance to stress.