Information about Great Danes

Known as gentle giants, this large dog breed has the big heart to match its big frame. Despite their intimidating size, Great Danes are generally sweet and affectionate and have been known to try and clamber onto their humans’ laps. Patient and loyal, Great Danes can make perfect family pets for those who have the space in their hearts and homes.

Want to learn more about this breed? Read our guide below to see if Great Danes are the pet for you.

Great Dane breed information

If you’d like to get to know the breed a little more closely, here are a few key traits and facts about the Great Dane:

How long do Great Danes live?

Due to their size, Great Danes have a short life span of about eight years with some living up to 12.

How big do Great Danes get?

Great Danes are the tallest dogs in the world. Males can reach up to 80cm shoulder height and weigh almost 80kgs. Females are slightly smaller at about 75cm shoulder height and weighing almost 65kgs.

Do Great Danes shed?

Great Danes are considered moderate to heavy shedders despite having a single layer short coat. The amount they shed depends on the season with heavier shedding occurring in the change from Winter to Spring, and the change from Autumn to Winter.

Should I get a Great Dane?

While Great Danes are usually laid back enough to live in apartments, it’s best to ensure the space is big enough as a small apartment might start to feel very cramped. If you have a yard, ensure the fence is high enough to keep them in. Great Danes are not known to be jumpers, however, their size can make it easy to jump a small fence.

Great Danes are sociable and generally easy to train. As with all dogs, temperament differs with each individual dog and is impacted by the level of training and lifestyle.

Great Dane personality

Great Danes are usually confident and tend to do well with children and other dogs. Loyal and affectionate, Great Danes are often goofy and act as giant lap dogs. Due to their size, training is recommended. They are generally easy to train and known to be calm, particularly when they age out of puppyhood.

Taking care of a Great Dane


Great Danes require minimal grooming. For shedding and upkeep of fur, brushing once or twice a week is recommended.

They may suffer from dry skin or sensitivity so bathing too frequently is not recommended. Bathing once a month with appropriate dog shampoo should suffice.


For an adult Great Dane, a daily 30 to 60 minutes of exercise can be optimal. Puppies and adolescents require more exercise at about 90 minutes of daily exercise.

This can include a walk or a play in a large yard, however, a daily walk is best as it also stimulates their other senses and allows them to use their keen sniffing skills. Ensure you do not over exercise Great Danes when they’re young as their bones are still growing and this could lead to overexertion or health issues when they are older.


Food designed for larger dogs can be a good option for this breed. The amount you feed will depend on the size of the dog and the type of food. You could feed your Great Dane kibble or meat depending on their nutritional needs. Consult a vet and determine the right diet for your dog.

They are a large breed that are prone to bloat – a life-threatening condition that results from eating too much or too quickly. Feeding more than once a day mitigates this risk as the amount of food is smaller and they are less likely to scoff it too quickly.

Common Great Dane health conditions

Like most dog breeds, Great Danes are susceptible to certain health conditions. Here are some examples:

Hip dysplasia

Due to their large size hip dysplasia can be a common health condition for Great Danes. Hip dysplasia is a result of the femur bone not fitting in the hip socket correctly. It's a chronic condition that almost always leads to arthritis later in life. Both conditions can be managed but not cured. Hip dysplasia can be diagnosed with an x-ray.

Hip dysplasia

Gastric torsion/bloat

Gastric torsion, also known as bloat, is a serious condition resulting from overeating or eating too quickly, resulting in a build-up of food, fluid, or gas, and twisting of the stomach. Bloat acts very quickly and is often fatal, so it is essential to know the signs and symptoms. If you see any of these symptoms, take your dog to the vet immediately.

Gastric torsion/bloat

The cost of insuring a Great Dane

If you’re thinking about getting pet insurance for your Great Dane, factors like age and location could affect the cost of your premium. Everyday Pet Insurance offers Basic, Standard, Comprehensive and Comprehensive Plus cover that helps protect you and your furry friend. Check what each insurance cover includes.

Need Pet Insurance for your Great Dane?

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Cover is available for the life of your pet provided you renew your policy each year without any break, lapse or change in the level of Cover. This means once your pet is insured with us and as long as we continue to offer the product, you will be able to renew your policy for that pet for life and your cover level will not be reduced as your pet ages provided you continuously maintain the cover. Cover is subject to the terms and conditions of your renewing policy. See details in your PDS.


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