Great Danes are indeed great in size. When they stand on their hind legs, they’re taller than most humans. This breed is actually German in origin, which is why it’s sometimes called a German Mastiff.
These are hard-working hunting dogs. European nobility used them to catch animals like bears, but don’t let that fool you. These pups are gentle giants.
This breed’s height can reach above 32 inches, though most of their heft is in their weight. A male Great Dane might weigh up to 180 pounds. These dogs have muscular, well-built bodies. Their ears are floppy, though breeders used to crop their ears to prevent injuries during hunting.
Surprisingly, their movements appear elegant despite their size. When a Great Dane runs at full speed, you’ll see a loping grace reminiscent of a horse’s gallop.
Contrary to what you might expect of a fearsome predator of wild game, Great Danes are famously good-natured and affectionate. The only “danger” most of these pups present is the possibility that they’ll squish you a bit when they sit on your lap. Dogs of this breed are cuddlers extraordinaire. They’ll happily snuggle under the covers with you, though you might need to purchase a larger bed.
Great Danes are good guard dogs because of their loyalty. In normal circumstances, though, they have a low prey drive. These canines generally get along well with children and other animals, particularly those with whom they were raised. Outside the family home, Great Danes are sometimes shy.
Though it’s sad, this breed’s average lifespan is only six to eight years. Larger dogs tend to have shorter lives.
During those years, most Great Danes enjoy good health. However, there are a few breed-specific issues. These dogs sometimes experience heart problems like dilated cardiomyopathy, in which the heart is enlarged and has trouble pumping blood. Additionally, a few have something called “wobbler disease.” Wobbler disease is a casual name for a variety of vertebral abnormalities.
These canines require space. If you have a small home but want to adopt a Great Dane, prepare to go on lots of walks to let your dog stretch its legs. Leg stretching aside, this breed must get at least 20-40 minutes of exercise a day.
Great Danes need high-quality obedience training. All dogs do, but it’s essential for ones of this size. A disobedient giant can knock things — and people — over without meaning to.
Because of their size, these pups have a fast metabolism. They need a lot of food.
Great Danes’ have enormous bodies and the sweetest personalities you’ll ever find. If you’re looking for a cuddle buddy who’s almost as big as you are, this breed might be a perfect fit.