Breed Spotlight: Great Dane

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Life Expectancy: 7 -10 years
Dog Breed Group: Working Dogs
Weight: 100 - 200 lbs.
Height: 26 - 34 inches

Where Does the Great Dane Rank?

See where this beloved breed ranks in comparison to other breeds in 7 key categories.


The Great Dane is known to be a very easy-to-train breed.

Shedding Friendliness

The Great Dane does shed quite extensively.

Ease of Grooming

Even though the Great Dane does shed quite a bit, he is not difficult to groom and simply requires a daily brushing with a stiff brush.


Great Danes are prone to many health risks like bloat, hip dysplasia, bone cancer, allergies, skin growths and more.

Exercise Needs

Your Great Dane will need a minimum of 30-60 minutes of activity per day to remain behavior-free. This could be playing a game of fetch or going for a walk.

Good with Children

The Great Dane is very good with children and quickly becomes part of the family.

Barking Restraint

Barking is not generally a problem with this breed.

What You Need to Know About Great Dane Dogs


The Great Dane was originally bred to hunt wild boar; however, the ferocity associated with his hunting behavior has diminished completely throughout the years. He is known to be the 'gentle giant'. He loves to play and is extremely good with children. He isn't vocal to indicate an intruder; however, he would use all of his strength to protect his family.

He is extremely eager to please his family and is very family-oriented. He is very demanding of attention and tends to nudge those he wants attention from. When you are sitting on the couch, he will even come up and be your lapdog as you watch television.


Great Danes due to the eager-to-please personality, respond very well to obedience training. They are also well-known for being easy to housetrain.


The Great Dane sheds quite a bit but is easy to maintain via regular brushing. Using a firm brush will help in grooming your Great Dane.

Health Problems

Bloat - Bloat is the most common deadly illness found in Great Danes. Bloat is a life-threatening condition which needs to be examined by a veterinarian immediately. Bloat may occur if your dog eats too quickly or drinks large amounts of water at a time.

Hip Dysplasia (as found in many large dog breeds)

Cardiomyopathy - A deadly heart disease. It is common in Great Danes that both chambers of the heart are enlarged and one chamber is more severely affected than the other.

Allergies - Great Danes often have skin allergies. You will be able to notice irritation if they often have itchy skin.

Osteosarcoma - also known as bone cancer. Bone cancer can be found in all dog breeds, but it's most common in large dog breeds. The cancer is extremely aggressive and is known to spread rapidly.

10 Common Health Issues in Great Danes

  • Bloat
  • Cardiomyopathy - heart disease
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Wobbler syndrome - serious neck vertebral disease
  • Osteosarcoma - bone cancer
  • Allergies - skin irritation
  • Cataracts
  • Skin growths - non-tumorous growths regularly occur
  • Epilepsy - seizures
  • von Willebrands Disease - blood clotting

Protect your Great Dane

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances. 

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.