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Great Dane Behavior - What to Expect from a Dane

Contradicting all that meets the eye, Great Dane behavior may not be what you expected and often earns our breed the nickname "Gentle Giant"!

Docile Great Dane behavior with a small child, what a picture.

I say this with caution however as Great Danes can be dangerous if not conditioned to stay calm, especially around small children.

Sadly and more often than not, Dane related injuries to children are purely accidental. So take heed this caution as you grow your Dane puppy, it is important.

While our website provides an overall understanding of our breed, this particular article will provide further insight on Great Dane behavior and is based on years of actual"first hand" experience.

Credit should also be given to those of you who have written over the last few years, your questions often lead to new topics for discussion, just like this article:)

TIP: Don't forget to visit related pages and our training Great Danes section for additional articles on on behavior problems and bad habits, plus methods to resolve them.

Back to that Great Dane behavior we were talking about..

Factually stating, a dog's behavior is largely influenced by those who raises it. Knowing this, we must begin at an early age to imprint upon and condition our future giants what is expected of them as family members.

One of our site visitors wrote;
"I always tell people don't do anything with a Dane puppy you wouldn't do with a 150-pound dog!".

This simple statement is invaluable to every Dane guardian, please take it to heart! If you'd like to read about common neusance dog habits that become HUGE with Great Danes, check out our training section and related "dog behavior problem" article. This is a very interesting read and you'll discover some common sense tips on starting a young Dane off the right way.

Dogs Have a Sense..

Dogs have a keen sense of our moods and actions, unknowingly, we are conditioning our dogs to a certain extent just by following our daily routines. In a strange almost uncanny way, many canines will in some way mimic the behavior of their owners.

Black Great Dane head profile portrait.

Looking beyond the impressions left by human guidance and training, Great Danes are known for a calm, regal demeanor and in general, are better behaved than many other breeds. This trait makes many Danes a child friendly dog that forms strong bonds with kids.

Some non Dane-aware people may find it hard to fathom that such a giant imposing canine is actually sensitive, gentle, reserve and even timid at times. Folks are always amazed at how great danes and small pets can happily coexist within a home and family.

It is no surprise that our breed has earned the nickname "Gentle Giant" but why is Great Dane character so opposite this breed's intimidating appearance?

Let's not forget that just a few hundred years ago, Great Dane behavior was ferocious and aggressive. Credit should be given to dedicated breeders of old who desired a giant people friendly dog. Over the centuries and by choosing breeding stock with sound, steady temperament, they have produced the modern day Dane.


In all honesty, although Great Danes are known for their calm, easy going demeanor, branding the breed on the whole as soft, or weak willed, would be telling a lie. Great Dane character, matched with imposing size and stature make for a very intimidating family guard dog which you can read about further following related links from this section's main page.

While living in a family environment, the Great Dane dog will learn what is normal. If something is threatening, odd, or out of the ordinary, they become alert, focused and protective. It is said that a Great Dane is capable of ferociously protecting its loved ones as a powerful, fierce defender that will give its life in a fight should it come to that. Thankfully, we have never witnessed such Great Dane character and can only imagine its intensity.

Please note, our articles on Great Dane behavior & Great Dane character portray a dog with average training. If you have neglected to, or do not intend to provide basic training and obedience to your Great Dane, individual behavior and demeanor may differ.