all about GREAT

Great Dane Breed Intro

There's more to the Great Dane breed than just 160 pounds of mayhem! Take a closer look and uncover interesting traits that may surprise you..

Fawn Great Dane breed dog in a natural wooded setting.

When it Comes the Great Dane breed dog..

You can't judge a book by its cover and you may be surprised to learn a Great Dane is not what you expected!

Second in height only to the Irish Wolfhound, Great Dane breed dogs are the GIANTS of all canines! Yet amazingly, with such size and power, Great Danes can be reserved and gentle and are well adept to living among people, small children and other small animals.

Tall, muscular yet streamlined, powerful and graceful, the Great Dane breed dog is a real attention getter. A simple walk through town will often become an event do to Great Dane size alone! Be prepared to meet allot of people and answer questions to the approaching awe struck stranger.

TIP: We've written quite a few additional articles here for you to get to know the Great Dane breed. I've included links throughout this article but remind you that links are also listed under "Related Articles" in the right column of this page. (Mobile visitors the end of this article.)

Breed History

Is quite interesting and we're often asked about Great Dane history, "What were these dogs bred for?". Funny but true, the Great Dane breed is not Danish and has nothing to do with Denmark. And, ancient Great Dane history is also pretty amazing as writings of Dane like dogs in Chinese literature date back to around 1120 BC!

As Dane owners..

We're often asked things like; "Is that a horse?", "Where's the saddle?", or "How much does he eat?". My response to the last question is typically.. "as much as he wants!" :) Seriously though, most Great Danes will soak up and enjoy all the attention they receive and at times, even lean up against their new admirers. "If he leans on you he likes you", is always my advice. Even better, I can talk Great Dane facts all day long and love the conversation with new found "fans":)

I stress the word "socialized", this is a giant breed dog, heavier in weight and larger in size than most humans. Early socialization and training cannot be stressed enough with this breed! Gather more information on these topics by following links to Training Great Danes and Great Dane Puppy sections of this website that are available via the right column "Main Navigation" and top "Mobile Nav" menus.

Great Dane dog running in water.
"To watch this amazing animal in full stride is incredible! The the balance of power, speed and gracefulness can only be compared to a racing thoroughbred!"

Breed Specific Concerns

Special attention should be given to diet with the Great Dane breed! This is extremely important for a growing Dane puppy and through the first few years of life. Your Great Dane will go through many different development stages and growth spurts. Unlike anything you've witnessed before, your giant breed dog will actually "grow like a weed" at certain stages of development. This is absolutely incredible to experience..

I remember a month when my pup Bruiser put on 18 pounds of body weight!

Rapid growth phases in the Great Dane breed is the reason feeding a premium quality, well balanced diet is essential. Don't miss our Feeding Great Danes section and our site's main navigation menu for dozens of articles to help you out with your Great Dane's diet.

Nuances of a Dane

Being such a tall dog, a Great Dane can easily clear your counter tops of any food or morsels if left unattended. A full-grown Dane has a mighty tail, a whip that can snap violently when your dog is exited. Can you guess how my pup Bruiser earned his name? :)

Rest assured however, with guidance and love your Dane will soon learn "house rules" and should be quite mellow, almost lazy when indoors. The Great Dane breed dog thrives as a family member who is always up and alert participating in family day-to-day activities if allowed to do so.

Danes are know as a child friendly dog and I'm certain you'll come across some photos here of Great Danes and small pets as well. Looking for a back-yard beast family guard dog to keep people away? While a Great Dane's physical size will intimidate many, the easy going Great Dane temperament this breed exhibits suggests Danes are not the best choice.

Great Dane dog bedding down with a Chihuahua

Activity Level

The Great Dane breed dog bonds with its human companions, Great Dane behavior is customarily energetic outdoors and in general, the breed requires minimal exercise. A few times a day in the yard for instance, and then back inside to watch TV or lay at a sunny window is perfectly OK.

"Possessing awesome power and strength, a confident calm guardian who is yet gentle enough to nuzzle the smallest of creatures."

Great Danes seldom bark, when they are alerted or spooked, let's call it, shall we say, a low rumble. Most Danes will accept strangers in your home and can sense if a visitor is okay with its owner. Sensitive to their families moods, it's common for some Danes to scurry off to another room during a family quarrel. The Great Dane breed seems to be very attentive and aware of every situation.

A word of caution

One bad apple spoils the bunch and no two dogs are the same. Please remember, a Great Dane breed dog is second to the largest dog on this planet and can be quite a handful if not raised properly! The Gentle in "Gentle Giant" is already within our Danes, you are the one that must nurture this instinct. If you are truly considering this giant companion, please visit the training Great Danes section of our site for important information on things not to teach a Dane.

Again, all Great Danes are not created equal, there may be an occasional "bad apple" that has temperamental issues, this is common for any breed. However, if you purchase a quality Great Dane puppy from a reputable breeder, socialize it, offer basic obedience and give it lots of love, you will be rewarded with a super sized pet and loyal friend.