The ‘Apollo’ of Dogs — The Great Dane Dog Breed

The Great Dane — known as the Apollo of dogs — is one of the tallest in the world. Is a dog that size easy to train? What kind of grooming needs do they have? This guide to the Great Dane breed will answer questions about their barking habits, training, and grooming needs, among others.

Do Great Danes Bark a Lot?

Not known as nuisance barkers, Great Danes can develop a habit of barking if allowed. Other reasons a Great Dane might bark include he’s bored, he wants your attention, or he’s trying to alert you about something. There’s no doubt once you hear the bark of an adult Great Dane, you will want to shut it down quickly, unless of course, he’s scaring off a stranger. 

Because Great Danes can have a number of health issues first make sure his barking is not the result of an injury or illness. Canine Journal teaches us that the Great Dane breed is prone to stomach bloat, also known as gastric torsion, which can be fatal. Overeating and eating too fast can cause gastric bloat, so owners of Great Danes should meet with their vet as soon as they know they’re bringing them home, so they can learn about the best foods and portions to feed these giants.  

How to stop Great Danes from barking

If you’ve established your dog’s barking is not health-related, it’s time to look at other causes. If your dog is outside barking at kids riding bikes by your house, bring your Great Dane inside. Removing visual triggers is one of the easiest ways to stop a Great Dane (and most dogs) from barking. Because Great Danes are not your typical outside dog, bringing him inside will almost assuredly resolve outdoor barking issues. 

Great Danes can display negative behaviors when bored. As a Great Dane owner, you quickly recognize your pet’s needs, whether he’s hungry, needs to go potty, or he’s tired. It’s equally important that you watch for signs that indicate your Great Dane is bored, such as:

  • Demand barking — When you’re not paying attention to your dog and she wants attention, she’ll let you know with a whole lot of barking.
  • Destructive behavior — Let’s just say a Great Dane is capable of destroying pretty much anything they get their paws or mouths on.
  • Whining — A Great Dane may find whining ensures they get whatever it is they are wanting.
  • Inactivity — Instead of destroying the house, some Great Danes merely lie around uninterested (this can also be a sign of depression, which should be discussed with your vet or animal behaviorist).
  • Getting into your personal space — Great Danes have no problem getting into your face to let you know they are here and want your attention.  

While exercise is essential to keep your dogs healthy, it can also prevent them from boredom and demand barking. Add mental stimulation to regular exercise to further reduce boredom issues with your Great Dane. Chew toys and puzzle toys can keep your dog occupied for some time.

If your Great Dane is barking to get your attention or demand barking, don’t reward the behavior by speaking to him or her or touching them. The best you can do is ignore him or her until they quiet down. 

Spending time with your dog is another way to keep him from barking like a fool. Great Danes love the affection of their humans and enjoy snuggle time.

Facts About Great Danes

Often referred to as a gentle giant, the Great Dane breed ranks #16 on the AKC breed popularity list. They are friendly, patient with children, and dependable. The sweet nature of the Great Dane can make them an excellent family addition. However, it’s important to know that as an owner of a dog this size, weight, and strength requires a huge commitment on your part. While they are quick to make friends and are eager to please their humans, the Great Dane breed is courageous and protective of their families. Giant breeds, like the Great Dane, can suffer from bloat, a life-threatening condition caused by a gas buildup and possible twisting of the stomach. 

  • Size: Great Danes can grow to 28 to 32 inches in height and weigh 110 to 175 pounds.
  • Life expectancy: Great Danes live between 7 to 10 years. 
  • Coat: Great Danes have a short, sleek coat that comes in a variety of colors, including blue, fawn, black, or white, with black patches (called harlequin).
  • AKC group: Great Danes belong to the AKC working group.

Are Great Danes Easy to Train?

In general, Great Danes are considered easy to train; however, they can be slow learners. This breed is sensitive to coercive training techniques, so it’s essential you rely on positive reinforcement with praise and plenty of high-value treats. Early socialization and obedience training will help ensure your Great Dane is a well-adjusted adult. Here are a few training tips for owners of the Great Dane breed:

  • Keep training sessions short, around five to 10 minutes, spread throughout the day.
  • Always end your training session on a high note.
  • Train every day as a way to build upon the success of the last session.
  • Mix games and walks into your sessions.

Do Great Danes Need Grooming?

Given the Great Dane’s size, you will likely find a considerable amount of hair year-round, even though this breed is a seasonal shedder. To help keep some loose hairs from your clothes, furniture, and floors, most groomers recommend weekly brushing with a medium-bristle brush, a hound glove, or rubber grooming mitt. Come shedding season, expect to brush your Great Dane daily. Baths are necessary only if your Great Dane gets into something messy. Be sure to keep nails trimmed regularly to prevent them from growing too long and causing the dog pain when walking or running.

What If My Breed Is a Great Dane Mix?

Great Dane mixes can produce some wonderful and adorable dogs. However, there are a few cautionary details you should be aware of if you’re interested in a Great Dane mix. Great Danes as a breed come with a host of health issues and a short lifespan compared to other giant breeds; a mix may or may not change these characteristics for the better or worse. Before you adopt any mix, research the genetic strengths and weaknesses of the parent breeds. 

Here are some popular Great Danes breed mixes:

  • American Bull Dane — Great Dane + American bulldog
  • American Foxy Dane – Great Dane + American foxhound
  • Boxdane – Great Dane + boxer
  • Daniff – Great Dane + mastiff
  • Doberdane – Great Dane + Doberman pinscher
  • Great Bernard – Great Dane + Saint Bernard
  • Great Danebull – Great Dane + pit bull terrier
  • Great Danesky – Great Dane + Siberian husky
  • Great hound – Great Dane + bloodhound
  • Great Pyredane – Great Dane + Great Pyrenees
  • Great Shepherd – Great Dane + German shepherd
  • Weimer Dane – Great Dane + Weimaraner