Great Dane

The imposing Great Dane is one of the biggest breeds of dogs in the world as well as being one of the most placid and gentle.

Great Dane breed group


Size of the Great Dane


Colour varieties of the Great Dane

The Great Dane comes in a variety of colours and markings which include:

  • Black
  • Blue Brindle
  • Fawn
  • Harlequin
  • Harlequin Mismark
  • Mantle  

Country of origin


Time of original development

The exact origins of the Great Dane are unclear, but drawings of similar type dogs have be depicted in Ancient Egypt going back as far as 3000BC. The Great Dane was originally bred to hunt wild boar. Today, the breed is kept as a companion pet.

Size and weight of the Great Dane

Height bitch from 71cms

Height dog from 76cms

Weight (kilos) bitch from 46kgs

Weight (kilos) dog from 54kgs

Exercise requirements of the Great Dane

The Great Dane has an abundance of energy. This large athletic dog requires an active, fit owner who can provide at least 2 hours of good quality exercise daily. It’s a breed that needs plenty of living space, so unsuitable for living in an apartment or small house.

Great Dane temperament, socialisation with children, other dogs and other pets

The Great Dane is a truly magnificent looking dog. It is imposing, muscular and athletic. It’s a very mild mannered, affectionate and loyal dog that loves attention. It makes a good family pet, but due to its size, maybe unsuitable for families with small children.

The breed is rarely aggressive with other dogs, and has been known to form close bonds with cats in the family home, if socialised well from an early age. Care should be taken around other smaller pets in the family home.

Is the Great Dane a good dog for a first time dog owner?

No. The Great Dane does need an owner with a good understanding of the breed.

New owners should also be aware of the high exercise requirements, feeding costs of up to £50 per month and higher costs for routine worming treatments, vets fees and insurance costs that come with the sheer size and weight of this breed.

The Great Dane is also an impractical choice of dog in homes where space is an issue.

Great Dane coat length


Grooming requirements of the Great Dane

Low. The short, close coat requires little grooming. An occasional buff with a chamois leather or good quality soft bristle brush will add a lovely sheen to the coat. Ears should be checked and cleaned regularly.


No. This breed sheds so is an unsuitable choice for allergy sufferers.

Health Issues in the Great Dane

The Great Dane is prone to some health problems, and prospective owners should consult their breeders about the following known issues in the breed.

  • Bloat
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Heart problems

As with all pedigree dogs, it is very important to obtain a puppy from a reputable source where you can be guaranteed that it has been bred with a view to avoiding the inherent physical and psychological diseases of the breed.

Average lifespan of the Great Dane

A healthy Great Dane should expect to enjoy a life expectancy of up to 8 years.

Approximate Great Dane pedigree puppy price

Expect to pay around £600-£1,000 for a pedigree Great Dane puppy. Litters are frequently available and 991 dogs were registered with the Kennel Club in 2015. There are generally 8-10 puppies in an average litter.

Estimating how much a Great Dane would need to be fed each day

A bitch weighing 50kgs requires 509gms of complete dry food daily.

A dog weighing 60kgs requires 570gms of complete dry food daily.

The weekly cost of feeding a 50kgs bitch is around £12.50

The weekly cost of feeding a 30kgs dog is around £14.00

Our figures are based on feeding an above average quality and popular complete dry food bought from a leading supermarket. A good quality feed is suggested for the energetic dogs in the working group.

Other financial costs to consider when owning any dog breed

Remember to budget for essential pet treatments and procedures that are not covered by pet insurance policies including:

  • Worming and fleas preparations
  • Annual vaccination boosters
  • Neutering or spaying
  • Microchipping
  • Dental treatment