November 20, 2019

Breed Profile: Great Dane

Known as the “Apollo of all dogs,” Great Danes are a very old breed dating back to the ancient Egyptians and Chinese. Drawings of dogs resembling the Great Dane appear on Egyptian monuments and currency from 3000 B.C., and descriptions a similar dog can be found in Chinese literature from 1121 B.C.  With their huge size and regal appearance, Great Danes are a majestic and striking breed that makes for an imposing dog.  In reality, Great Danes are really just “Gentle Giants” who are friendly and attentive with their families.

Physical Traits

Size & Weight: Male Great Danes stand between 30-34 inches at the shoulders, and females between 28-32 inches. A Great Dane’s weight can range from 100-200 pounds depending on gender, and males should have a very masculine appearance, while females should appear finer boned and more feminine.

Coat & Color: A Great Dane’s coat is short and thick with a glossy appearance. Their color can be any one of six variations: fawn, brindle, blue, black, harlequin, and mantle.

Life Expectancy: 7-10 years


Great Danes can be intimidating at first sight, but they truly live up to their nickname of “Gentle Giant.” A very friendly dog, they are gentle and loving towards people and other animals, and show great patience with children. Their charming personalities make for a great family pet, but they also possess the courage and spirit needed in a watchdog.

Something to Bark About: Over the years Great Danes have held the record for world’s largest dog many different times. The current record holder, Giant George, is a blue Great Dane who stands at 43 inches (that’s over 3 ½ feet)!


  • Great Danes are trustworthy, dependable dogs who can be counted on to love and defend their families.
  • Great Danes are easy to groom and are not excessive shedders.
  • Great Danes get along well with children, adults, and other animals, as long as they are properly socialized at a young age.


  • Great Danes are prone to congenital heart problems and have short life-spans, giving them the nickname “The Heartbreak Breed.”
  • Because their bones grow so quickly they are at risk for bone and joint problems, and should not be over-exercised, especially while they are young and still growing.
  • Great Danes require consistent training and rules from a young age so that they learn not to jump or lean on people.

If you’d like to learn more about adopting one of these Gentle Giants in your area, visit Great Dane Rescue for more information.


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