Contrary to what many people think, Great Danes are gentle giants that thrive in apartment living. Despite their size, they actually don't need that much activity. If any of this sounds appealing, then the Great Dane might just be for you. Here's everything you need to know about one of Australia's favourite breeds.
Size Large dogs (54-90kg)
Coat Great Danes shed an average amount and they're easy to groom due to their short hair.
Energy Contrary to what it looks like, the Great Dane is quite the couch potato. They still need daily walks to stay happy and healthy.
Lifespan 8-10 years
Country of origin Germany
Breed type German domestic dog. Temperament: Super friendly, gentle and affectionate.
Other names Boarhound, German Mastiff, Deutsche Dogge, Dane
Great breed for
• Apartment living
• Families with kids
• Lazier lifestyle
What is a Great Dane?
Great Danes are a German breed that are famous for their large size. It all began in Austria and Germany where Molossian hounds, Suliot dogs and other types of dogs from Greece were imported to bred to create large boardhounds. Danes were bred for hunting bears, deer and boars as well as companionship for German nobility. Great Danes would often sleep in the bedchambers of their lords. Kammerhunde (german for chamber dogs) were adorned with beautiful collars and accessories.
What do Great Danes look like?
The first thing people instantly notice is their size. They are the largest dogs in the world, but don't be fooled! Their loveable and gentle nature will have you cuddling them for days. Both males and females weigh about 50-82kg and on average stand 76-79 centimeters.
Danes have floppy, triangular ears and they're all limbs. When they play, they're all legs and paws. Back when Danes were used for hunting boars, their ears were cropped so they'd have less injuries to that part of their bodies.
Great Dane's fur comes in a few different colours including fawn, brindle, black, mantle, harlequin and blue. They're sometimes spotted, one colour or striped (brindle).
What makes Great Danes special?
Great Danes are mostly known for their size, but they also have a cultural significance. Some of the most beloved characters are Great Danes. For example, Scooby-Doo, the dog Einstein from Oliver & Company and Hagrid's pet dog Fang from Harry Potter are all based on the Great Dane. They also hold the record for the tallest dog in the world. A Dane named Zeus (he passed away in 2014) came in at 111.8 centimeters tall. The tallest living Great Dane is named Freddy and he's 103.5 centimeters.
How often do I need to groom my Great Dane?
Great Danes are very low maintenance. They don't require regular grooming or washing. They can be bathed every 6-8 weeks and if you don't want to do it yourself, you can take them to a groomer! Danes shed like many dogs so to limit the amount of hair you see around the house, it's recommended to give them a brush weekly. Pet Cloud offers grooming and clipping services from $60 to keep your doggo clean and tidy!
How often should I walk my Great Dane?
Great Danes are great at lounging and hanging out indoors. Even though they have a lazy nature, it's important they get at least 30-60 minutes of exercise daily. Great Dane puppies are great jogging buddies or if you prefer biking, letting them run on a leash beside is another option! Don't forget to have fun and play with your Dane. They love playing with dog toys and running around in open spaces (yards and fields).
How do I train my Great Dane?
As soon as you get your Great Dane, whether it's a puppy or already an adult, you need to establish boundaries. Great Danes are rated average on the intelligence scale but that doesn't mean you can't teach them cool tricks and commands. With tons of love, patience and consistency comes a happy dog! It's recommended to use positive reinforcement techniques like praise, treats and enthusiasm. Pet Cloud offers dog training classes in blocks of six-week, one-hour sessions with registered trainers. You can check out the RSPCA guidance to teach your puppy.
Quickfire Great Dane Questions
How long will my Great Dane live?
The average lifespan for a Dane is 8-10 years.
Can my Great Dane be left home alone during the day?
Once they're out of the puppy phase, Danes are great for being left home alone. When they're home alone as puppies, they can be rambunctious and uncoordinated. They also have very strong jaws and can make a chew toy out of your furniture. When you do need to leave your house for a few hours, it's important to take them for walks prior to you leaving. Another recommendation is dog proofing your home so you don't come back to any surprises!
Are Great Danes "barkers"?
Typically, Great Danes aren't yappy or barky dogs. When they do bark, it's very seldom and it's the loudest, deepest bark you'll probably ever hear.
What kind of health risks do Great Danes face?
Like most large dogs, Great Danes have very fast metabolisms. This results in tons of food consumption compared to smaller breeds. With a big appetite comes bloating. To avoid excessive bloating, your Dane should rest for about an hour before exercising after eating. Another common health condition for Great Danes is hip dysplasia.
Where can I get a Great Dane?
Now that you've decided to go with a Great Dane as your new companion, you have two choices! You can either adopt or go through a breeder. Check out the RSPCA's adoption guide for more information.
If you're wanting to buy your Great Dane from a breeder, be sure to do your research to make sure they're responsible and you're not supporting a puppy farm. The RSPCA also has a handy guide for finding the right breeder.