The Most Common Questions
We Dane Owners recieve from those wanting to know about our breed:
Below you will find some questions we see often and the answers:
1. Do I need a big house and yard to have a Great Dane?
No. Despite the common misconception that a giant dog means giant space required, this is not the case for this breed. As long as your dane is properly excersised, has a fenced in yard or park you can take him/her to often, and has regular leash walks, you will make out just fine. While huge, most danes can be found lounging around the couch or your bed most of the time.
Keep in mind that pups are bound to have more energy than older dogs, will have “zoomies” and that some dogs will be more active than others, in general, they are NOT a highly active, energetic breed.
2. How much does a Great Dane cost to buy?
The answer to this question depends on a few things. One, whether you are getting your pup from a reputable, registered breeder who shows, does health testing and is otherwise involved in other areas of the breed rather than just breeding pups to sell. A well bred, health tested GD from show lines can cost up to $20oo, depending on where you live, what’s included. Example: Pups that are suitable/sold as show potential are more costly than those that are pet quality and put on spay/neuter contracts.
If getting your dog from a rescue, the price generally includes spay/neuter, any health issues being seen to by a vet and dealt with prior to adoption, along with your basic vaccinations, heartworm, flea/tick medication given. A rescue dane can be the best option for those not wanting to go through the puppy stage, or those who don’t want to pay in the thousands for a dog. Also,by going with an older Dane from a rescue, you have a pretty good indication of what personality/temperment your dog is going to have. Each rescue has their own pricing, so be sure to look around and research REPUTABLE rescues. Just like with breeders, not all are what they claim to be.
Great Dane pups can be found on adverstising sites like Craigs list and Kijiji…among others, for much less than your top, reputable breeders charge. However, before ever going that route you should always know what you’re getting into. Many times a cheaper pup ends up costing much more in the long run due to genetic health issues and temperment problems caused by in proper breeding. It’s buyer beware! Research research and research some more before ever buying a pup.
Read more about buying a dane:
3. What do I feed a Great Dane Puppy?
Many new GD owners do not understand the importance of proper nutrition, especially in a growing Dane pup. It is a big misconception, often touted by vets, that a pup should be fed a large breed puppy food. NOT SO. There are only a FEW brands on the market suitable for a growing GD, Innova Large Breed Puppy being the only one I personally know of and reccommend. Eagle Pack has one as well, but I am not a fan of that brand, nor are many dane owners now, so I will not endorse it. In actuality, a pup should be started right away on a HIGH quality, premium food, not found in grocery stores or walmart. This means…No Purina, No Eukanuba or Iams. The top reccommended brands for danes are as follows:
Taste of the Wild
Chicken Soup for the Dog Lovers Soul *Adult Large Breed*
there are more…check out our nutrition portion of the forum for more in depth info on this issue. Feeding RAW is also highly reccommended, but is not for every owner. Keep in mind that no food fits all..meaning in order to find the perfect fit for your pup, you may have to try a few before finding the one that works best. Many danes have allergies and sensitivities to certain ingredients and when changing foods, a slow transition is always the safest way to go. Read more about that in our nutrition section.
4. Are Great Danes good with children?
The short answer is, generally yes. GD’s can be raised very happily with children, provided you understand how a GD puppy works…and take precautions to keep both the pup and your children safe. Keep in mind that many reputable breeders and rescues will not sell to families with children under 12. Too many times, they see GD pups being dropped off at rescue, sold on Craigs list or sent to the shelter because they accidentally hurt their child when playing too rough. A dane in play can send a full grown adult flying across the room. Even when taught to be gentle, accidents happen! A good wag of the tail can leave welts and bruises. Many pups are nippy…and what is face level with a dane pup? Your child. So yes, while many families raise Great Danes with children and make out fine, many others do not, and it’s almost always the dog that suffers.
Another thing to keep in mind. Great Danes are by nature, velcro dogs. They NEED to be with their people and they WILL do whatever they can think of to get the attention they need and want from you. Having a GD pup is no different than having a clingy toddler who wants to be with his Mamma 24/7.
5. How big will my Great Dane get?
The answer to this depends on a few things. What size the parents were, ((although even this is just a general guide to go by, as many pups can be much smaller or larger than their parents)) Some lines breed taller, lankier dogs, where as others, breed them heavier, more bulky with less height. Below is the actual Great Dane standard size chart.
Great Dane Size Chart ((As mentioned, this is a rough guide. Your individual dane may be taller, shorter, heavier or lighter than the info given here. WeightHeightWeight
Birth weight1 – 2 lbs 454 – 907g
Week 12 – 3 lbs 907g – 1.4kg
Week 23 – 5 lbs 1.4 – 2.3kg
Week 34 – 7 lbs 1.8 – 3.kg
Week 45 – 8 lbs 2.3 – 3.6kg
Week 612 – 20 lbs 5.4 – 9.1kg
2 Months18 – 27 lbs13″-17″ 8.2 – 12.3kg
33 – 43cm
3 Months30 – 45 lbs17″-22″ 13.6 – 20.4kg
43 – 56cm
4 Months50 – 65 lbs 21″-25″ 22.7 – 29.5kg
53 – 63.5cm
5 Months65 – 85 lbs25″-30″ 29.5 – 38.5kg
63.5 – 76cm
6 Months70 – 100 lbs27″-32″ 32 – 45.5kg
69 – 81cm
7 Months75 – 110 lbs27″-33″ 34 – 50 kg
69 – 84 cm
8 Months80 – 115 lbs27″-34″ 36.3 – 42kg
69 – 86.4cm
9 Months85 – 120 lbs28″-34″ 38.5 – 54.4kg
81 – 86.4cm
1 year90 – 135 lbs 28″-36″ 41 – 61kg
81 – 91cm
18 months – 2yrs – Adult100 – 190 lbs28″-38″ 45.4 – 86.2kg
81 – 96.5cm
Typical Dogs140 – 170 lbs33″-36″ 36.5 – 77kg
84 – 91cm
Typical Bitches110 – 140 lbs 30″-33″ 50 – 63.5kg
76 – 84cm
6. Can my Great Dane stay/live outside?
NO. It’s that simple. Great Danes are indoor dogs. They NEED to be with their people, as much as they possibly can. Leaving a GD outside alone for extended periods of time will destroy him or her. It will lead to bad habits, destructive behavior and very often, aggression. Socialization is of huge importance with this breed, and not only with those they live with in the home. A Dane must be exposed to as many people, places and other animals as possible in his/her first year, to prevent fear/aggression and territorial issues. Since everything you are reading is my OWN words, I will spell it out very clearly. Making a Great Dane an “outside” dog, no matter your climate or setup, is in my opinion ABUSE and NEGLECT. If you want an outside dog, you best find another breed or none at all, because no one who’d even consider it, knowing how these guys think and how close they are with their humans, deserves to put their fingertips on a Great Dane, let alone have one to ruin. And I’ll say that to ANYONE who even suggests leaving their dane outside for hours upon hours alone…heaven forbid, over night.
– “I heard that Great Danes have a lot of health issues, is that true?”
This is one of the hardest questions to answer properly, because there is no short answer, atleast not a complete one that’s totally honest,and most people want the short and quick answers to everything in life.
The reality is that yes, it is very common for Great Danes to suffer from a wide variety of health issues, both genetic and environmental. Inproper feeding can cause a lot of damage, as can over excersising a growing pup, or using the wrong type of excersise…….breeders who simply stick two good looking, nice dogs together without having any understanding of genetics and how things are passed on, without understanding the diseases that are common and those that may not be…are a HUGE reason we are seeing so many problems in the breed. Many top notch “reputable” breeders have been known to say that GD’s are no more prone to health issues than any other breed, IF they are properly bred, health tested, and bred for the purpose of bettering the breed. However even those top notch dogs are not always exempt from these problems. The more I meet or read about Dane Owners across the globe, the more I am beginning to see that some dogs seem to be prone to so many things, while others are not, irregardless of where they came from or how they came to be.
That being said, it is only logical and smart, to want to reduce the chances of health and temperment issues, by going with a breeder who does everything humanly possible to breed better, healthier GD’s. A breeder who does genetic screening and health testing on the sire and dam, who has an extensive knowlege of the genetic history of their dogs, back atleast a few generations. Not everything is going to be passed down from the parents..some things can skip a generation, just like with humans…so it’s really important to know your lines….to have kept track of EVERY pup who came from every breeding for their lifetime..and to know what dogs suffered from what conditions, which ones did not, and go from there. ((Not many hobby/byb do that)) Simply having a healthy Mom and a healthy Stud is not even close to a guarantee that the pups resulting from such a breeding would be fine. This is why reputable breeders harp on the BYB’s so much…because they are working hard to fix the problems caused by irresponsible breeding of generations of GD’s. So, the short answer I guess is , this is NOT the breed for you if you’re hoping to have a cake walk for 1o years in regards to health. Before ever buying a dane, rescuing one, young or old, have it straight up in your mind that you may very well be taking on a HUGE financial and emotional burden with this dog. That’s just the sad reality of dane ownership. Never assume that just because you bought from a so called top notch breeder that you’re safe from that worry. The chances might be reduced quite a bit, but they are still there, and it is irresponsible for anyone to deny that to any potential new dane owner. (IMO) A reputable breeder will guarantee the health of their pup up to a certain time frame, but really when push comes to shove…by the time you know whether your dane is going to be seriously ill or not, you’re already madly in love, have invested time and emotion not to mention much more money than the pup origionally cost…No money back guarentee is going to do much to fix what is broken. Sure, you might get a new pup…doesnt change what happened to the first one does it? Some breeders require that you send back the sick dog for a replacement pup. Um…who’s gonna do that? No one I want to know anyway. So be careful about letting those guarantees fool you into thinking that beause there IS one..your dog will never get sick. It just isn’t so. Otherwise there’d be no need for a guarantee in the first place would there?
– “Are Great Danes good with other dogs/animals?”
Generally speaking, most GD’s do just fine with other dogs and animals, provided they are given ample socialization from the time they are at the breeders and long after they have gone to their new home. There are some GD’s who seem to be more dog aggressive, same sex aggressive or both, than others. DA does not appear to be a wide spread issue with the breed. Training and seeking a skilled behavioralist can often times resolve these issues…although in rare cases the dog is genetically, mentally flawed and no amount of work will completely remove that DA. Some danes have a higher prey drive than others. Many live quite happily and harmoniously with cats, while others not so much. Every dog is an individual at it’s core. The environment, how they are trained from day one is extremely important in determining just how well the dog will do with other animals.
“Are Great Danes Expensive to keep?”
Truthfully? Yes. Even a perfectly healthy dane is going to cost you more at the vet’s office, because most things are charged by weight/size. Then you have the cost of food, which as already stated above, needs to be either RAW, or a premium brand kibble, both of which are not cheap. That being said, if fed a good food, a GD is not going to eat as much as a higher energy dog with a much higher metabolism, like a Lab for instance. They certainly eat more than a shih tzu though
A lot of people seem to think that it would be cheaper for them to feed their dane a lesser quality, grocery store food, as the price is less…but in all actuality, they will end up feeding much MORE of the food, costing them more in the long run, so there’s no escaping it…it’s not going to be a ten dollar a month food bill for your dane.
If you have a GD with any health issues at all? Expect big bills. BIG bills. Even the simplest of proceedures can cost in the hundreds if not thousands for a dane. Spay/Neuter is much more than a normal breed. So keep all that in mind when considering a GD.
-“Do Great Danes Need A Lot of Excersise?”
No. This is another common misconception of the breed. Great Danes are a moderate-low energy breed that does not require constant excersise and stimulation the way other breeds like a GSD or Border Collie, or even a Lab would require. Most danes are content to spend the majority of their time lounging around the house, on the couch or bed, snuggling up with their people. And sleeping of course. They do A LOT of that
They of course need regular walks and a run in the park once a day or so…but no heavy duty excersise. In fact, until the age of 2, when the growth plates begin to close, a Dane pup should never be forced to over exert him/herself. This means NO jogging on pavement, or hard surfaces of the like. Restrict jumping off of things or too much stair usage. It doesn’t take much for a growing dane to pull a muscle, tear an ACL or damage their joints. I always advise puppy owners to monitor the play between their pup and other dogs, both at home or with doggy friends, carefully so as to prevent injuries. Some dogs play very rough and can do a lot of damage in a short amount of time. A good free run in the park and a steady walk for a half hour is just plenty for most danes. You may have a dog that requires less or a bit more, and you can adjust your excersise to fit those needs.
********Dog sports like agility are becoming more and more popular around the globe in recent years, and many dane owners want to take part in these activities. I do NOT reccomend to any owner with a GD under two years old to do any agility, flyball, dock diving or anything that requires continuous jumping, running for long periods of time or excersise that otherwise puts a lot of pressure on growing joints and bones. Some dissagree, and a few have entered their pups in these activities with seemingly no problems ((atleast not as yet)) but for me it’s simply not worth it. Anyone who’s seen how a dane with joint and hip pain suffers would agree with me
~Other Important Info To Consider~ (Not written by me)
Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Great Dane Puppy
In choosing a purebred puppy you assure yourself of many characteristics, which your adult dog will have. A healthy puppy is round and robust. It should be friendly and outgoing-a bundle of kisses and tail wags. At the puppy stage, they should be playful. The coat should be shiny and the eyes bright. A mentally sound puppy should not be shy or reserved. This may be the sign of an unsteady or nervous temperament.
You should inquire about the health of the Great Danes in the breeder’s line and the temperament of the dogs. Although it is not always possible to meet the sire of the puppies it should usually be possible to meet the dam. Her manner will provide you with a good indication of the temperament of the line. A good breeder knows the background of the puppies and should be a good source of information to the to the purchaser. They should be available for support throughout your dog’s life. All breeders with years of experience will have encountered some health issues. Any long time breeder who claims to have never had health issues should be avoided.
Registration of your new Great Dane is the responsibility of the breeder of your dog. The Canadian Kennel Club is the registration body for puppies born in Canada while the American Kennel Club is the registration body in the United States of America. In Canada, the Canadian Kennel Club under the jurisdiction of the Federal Department of Agriculture’s Animal Pedigree Act administers the conditions of registration. This Act states that registration papers must be provided for any animal sold as purebred, at no additional cost to the purchaser within six months of the date of sale. The Act provides for stiff penalties for those persons not adhering to these conditions.
Terms of Sale
The terms of sale of your Great Dane puppy should be in writing between you and the breeder. This agreement should contain information about the expectation that the breeder has of the purchaser such as the signing of a non-breeding contract, the diet to be fed, the immunization protocol to be followed. For example, there it may be wise to discuss the matter of ear cropping. Although many breeders !crop the ears on the puppies they sell, they are others who refuse to allow any of their puppies to be cropped. Most breeders tend to be more flexible.
If you are uncertain about any of the terms of sale it is important that they be clarified prior to the sale. If you cannot accept the terms it is best not to proceed with the purchase until both you and the breeder are in agreement over the terms of the sale. Details may become very important if a problem does arise in the future. Even the with most conscientious breeders problems may arise. Some breeders feel that if any part of the agreement is violated that the whole agreement is invalid.
Great Dane Breed Standard: http://www.gdca.org/standard.htm
The Great Dane combines, in its regal appearance, dignity, strength and elegance with great size and a powerful, well-formed, smoothly muscled body. It is one of the giant working breeds, but is unique in that its general conformation must be so well balanced that it never appears clumsy, and shall move with a long reach and powerful drive. It is always a unit-the Apollo of dogs. A Great Dane must be spirited, courageous, never timid; always friendly and dependable. This physical and mental combination is the characteristic which gives the Great Dane the majesty possessed by no other breed. It is particularly true of this breed that there is an impression of great masculinity in dogs, as compared to an impression of femininity in bitches. Lack of true Dane breed type, as defined in this standard, is a serious fault.
Size, Proportion, Substance
The male should appear more massive throughout than the bitch, with larger frame and heavier bone. In the ratio between length and height, the Great Dane should be square. In bitches, a somewhat longer body is permissible, providing she is well proportioned to her height. Coarseness or lack of substance are equally undesirable. The male shall not be less than 30 inches at the shoulders, but it is preferable that he be 32 inches or more, providing he is well proportioned to his height. The female shall not be less than 28 inches at the shoulders, but it is preferable that she be 30 inches or more, providing she is well proportioned to her height. Danes under minimum height must be disqualified.
The head shall be rectangular, long, distinguished, expressive, finely chiseled, especially below the eyes. Seen from the side, the Dane’s forehead must be sharply set off from the bridge of the nose, (a strongly pronounced stop). The plane of the skull and the plane of the muzzle must be straight and parallel to one another. The skull plane under and to the inner point of the eye must slope without any bony protuberance in a smooth line to a full square jaw with a deep muzzle (fluttering lips are undesirable). The masculinity of the male is very pronounced in structural appearance of the head. The bitch’s head is more delicately formed. Seen from the top, the skull should have parallel sides and the bridge of the nose should be as broad as possible. The cheek muscles should not be prominent. The length from the tip of the nose to the center of the stop should be equal to the length from the center of the stop to the rear of the slightly developed occiput. The head should be angular from all sides and should have flat planes with dimensions in proportion to the size of the Dane. Whiskers may be trimmed or left natural. Eyes shall be medium size, deep set, and dark, with a lively intelligent expression. The eyelids are almond-shaped and relatively tight, with well developed brows. Haws and mongolian eyes are serious faults. In harlequins, the eyes should be dark; light colored eyes, eyes of different colors and walleyes are permitted but not desirable. Ears shall be high set, medium in size and of moderate thickness, folded forward close to the cheek. The top line of the folded ear should be level with the skull. If cropped, the ear length is in proportion to the size of the head and the ears are carried uniformly erect. Nose shall be black, except in the blue Dane, where it is a dark blue-black. A black spotted nose is permitted on the harlequin; a pink colored nose is not desirable. A split nose is a disqualification. Teeth shall be strong, well developed, clean and with full dentition. The incisors of the lower jaw touch very lightly the bottoms of the inner surface of the upper incisors (scissors bite). An undershot jaw is a very serious fault. Overshot or wry bites are serious faults. Even bites, misaligned or crowded incisors are minor faults.
Neck, Topline, Body
The neck shall be firm, high set, well arched, long and muscular. From the nape, it should gradually broaden and flow smoothly into the withers. The neck underline should be clean. Withers shall slope smoothly into a short level back with a broad loin. The chest shall be broad, deep and well muscled. The forechest should be well developed without a pronounced sternum. The brisket extends to the elbow, with well sprung ribs. The body underline should be tightly muscled with a well-defined tuck-up.
The croup should be broad and very slightly sloping. The tail should be set high and smoothly into the croup, but not quite level with the back, a continuation of the spine. The tail should be broad at the base, tapering uniformly down to the hock joint. At rest, the tail should fall straight. When excited or running, it may curve slightly, but never above the level of the back. A ring or hooked tail is a serious fault. A docked tail is a disqualification.
The forequarters, viewed from the side, shall be strong and muscular. The shoulder blade must be strong and sloping, forming, as near as possible, a right angle in its articulation with the upper arm. A line from the upper tip of the shoulder to the back of the elbow joint should be perpendicular. The ligaments and muscles holding the shoulder blade to the rib cage must be well developed, firm and securely attached to prevent loose shoulders. The shoulder blade and the upper arm should be the same length. The elbow should be one-half the distance from the withers to the ground. The strong pasterns should slope slightly. The feet should be round and compact with well-arched toes, neither toeing in, toeing out, nor rolling to the inside or outside. The nails should be short, strong and as dark as possible, except that they may be lighter in harlequins. Dewclaws may or may not be removed.
The hindquarters shall be strong, broad, muscular and well angulated, with well let down hocks. Seen from the rear, the hock joints appear to be perfectly straight, turned neither toward the inside nor toward the outside. The rear feet should be round and compact, with well-arched toes, neither toeing in nor out. The nails should be short, strong and as dark as possible, except they may be lighter in harlequins. Wolf claws are a serious fault.
The coat shall be short, thick and clean with a smooth glossy appearance.
Color, Markings and Patterns
Brindle–The base color shall be yellow gold and always brindled with strong black cross stripes in a chevron pattern. A black mask is preferred. Black should appear on the eye rims and eyebrows, and may appear on the ears and tail tip. The more intensive the base color and the more distinct and even the brindling, the more preferred will be the color. Too much or too little brindling are equally undesirable. White markings at the chest and toes, black-fronted, dirty colored brindles are not desirable.
Fawn–The color shall be yellow gold with a black mask. Black should appear on the eye rims and eyebrows, and may appear on the ears and tail tip. The deep yellow gold must always be given the preference. White markings at the chest and toes, black-fronted dirty colored fawns are not desirable.
Blue–The color shall be a pure steel blue. White markings at the chest and toes are not desirable.
Black–The color shall be a glossy black. White markings at the chest and toes are not desirable.
Harlequin- Base color shall be pure white with black torn patches irregularly and well distributed over the entire body; a pure white neck is preferred. Merle patches are normal. No patch should be so large that it appears to be a blanket.
Eligible, but less desirable, are black hairs showing through the white base coat which give a salt and pepper or dirty appearance.
Mantle–The color shall be black and white with a solid black blanket extending over the body; black skull with white muzzle; white blaze is optional; whole white collar is preferred; a white chest; white on part or whole of forelegs and hind legs; white tipped black tail. A small white marking in the blanket is acceptable, as is a break in the white collar.
Any variance in color or markings as described above shall be faulted to the extent of the deviation. Any Great Dane which does not fall within the above color classifications must be disqualified.
The gait denotes strength and power with long, easy strides resulting in no tossing, rolling or bouncing of the topline or body. The backline shall appear level and parallel to the ground. The long reach should strike the ground below the nose while the head is carried forward. The powerful rear drive should be balanced to the reach. As speed increases, there is a natural tendency for the legs to converge toward the centerline of balance beneath the body. There should be no twisting in or out at the elbow or hock joints.
The Great Dane must be spirited, courageous, always friendly and dependable, and never timid or aggressive.
Danes under minimum height.
Split nose. Docked Tail.
Any color other than those described under “Color, Markings and Patterns”
Approved January 11, 2011
Effective March 1, 2011