Great Dane

The origin of the Great Dane has always been a controversial subject. Most of the credit is given to Germany, as they were basically responsible for the Great Dane as we know it today. History has proven that Dane-type dogs existed in Russia, Poland and middle Germany. In the middle ages large packs of wild boar roamed the European forests and it is well known that Royalty of the day formed packs of these large dogs similar to Great Danes and they became known as Boar Hounds, due to their capability of pulling the boar to ground.

Over the generations, the Great Dane's nature has changed to the present day type that is known as the ‘gentle giant’.


Average lifespan
The Average lifespan for the Great Dane is 9 to ten years of age.

Average size and weight
71cm to 76cm
41kg to 46kg

Care requirements

Breed personality, characteristics & temperament
The Great Dane is an elegant and muscular animal, with a look of dash and daring, of being ready to go anywhere and do anything. Elegance of outline and grace of form is most essential. It carries its head and neck high with an alert expression and it has a powerful majestic action when moving.

Compatibility with other pets
Excellent. But it must be remembered that it is the owner's responsibility to keep their dog under control.

Care requirements
The coat of the Great Dane is short, close and sleek looking. Daily grooming of five to ten minutes will be ample to keep the coat under control. It has a single coat, therefore as the dead coat is falling out, the new coat is coming in.

Decision time

Ideal owners
It is a misconception that the Great Dane requires estate sized living quarters or a huge exercise area. It is quite happy living in a flat or unit, but they must be given exercise by walks or running if possible. Due to the exceptional quick growth of a Great Dane puppy, it should not be given too much exercise before 12 months of age. Make sure your property is well fenced. When away from your well-fenced property they should always be kept on a lead. The Great Dane can jump fences quite easily, but this is contrary to their nature.

Click here for advice on adopting a rescue dog and finding a breeder. All information has been provided by the Kennel Club.
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