Great Dane

Great Dane


Great Danes are pretty big dogs, so they look intimidating, but under that formidable exterior lies a friendly and affectionate pup. They love their families, and if the need arises, they will protect them. Great Danes make wonderful guard dogs since they are alert, strong, and confident.

Lifetime Care

Breed Profile


Male: 30 - 32
Female: 28 - 30



Male: 140 - 175
Female: 110 - 140


Life Span

7 - 10




Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (HOD)

of dogs

What is it?

While your pup is growing, they can develop a condition called hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD), which affects your Great Dane puppy’s bones as they grow.

Clinical signs:

Limping, swelling, warm legs, legs that hurt when touched, tiredness, smaller appetite, fever, and no desire to play or exercise


Anti-inflammatory drugs, IV fluids, pain management, treating the symptoms, steroids, proper diet

Other risks:

It is possible for limb deformities to appear if your pup has a severe case. The disease also comes back. It can be relieved for a bit, but it appears to return sometimes as well.

Average vet bill for Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (HOD)


Reimbursement Rate

Amount a Spot accident & illness plan would cover*


Your Net payment


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*Hypothetical reimbursement examples illustrate reimbursement of an eligible vet bill at the noted reimbursement rate, assuming the annual deductible had already been met.


Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV)

of dogs

What is it?

Commonly referred to as bloat, Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) is a condition where the stomach fills with air, and the pressure that builds up prevents blood from returning to the heart, so it just pools up in the dog’s legs.

Clinical signs:

Retching without vomiting, stomach pain when touched, salivation, restlessness, and an enlarged abdomen


Flipping and deflating the stomach, gastropexy

Other risks:

Some studies have connected exercising too soon after eating with an increased chance of GDV. Other possible things that increase the likelihood of GDV are eating too fast, only one large meal a day, foods with soybean meal, oils, or fats.

Stressed or hyperactive dogs also have an increased risk of GDV.

Average vet bill for Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV)


Reimbursement Rate

Amount a Spot accident & illness plan would cover*


Your Net payment


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*Hypothetical reimbursement examples illustrate reimbursement of an eligible vet bill at the noted reimbursement rate, assuming the annual deductible had already been met.


Hip dysplasia

of dogs

What is it?

Hip dysplasia is a condition affecting your pup’s hip joint. Although it can affect small dogs, hip dysplasia is primarily seen in large and giant dogs.

Clinical signs:

Swaying gait, pain,  difficulty climbing stairs or jumping, smaller range of motion, muscle mass loss, grating in the joint, and limping


Double or triple pelvic osteotomy, anti-inflammatory medication, joint supplements, restricting exercise, femoral head ostectomy, total hip replacement, weight reduction, joint fluid modifiers

Other risks:

Puppies that grow too fast have a higher risk of hip dysplasia since they become too heavy before the joints give them proper support. Being overweight can affect dogs with hip dysplasia as well.

Average vet bill for Hip dysplasia


Reimbursement Rate

Amount a Spot accident & illness plan would cover*


Your Net payment


Click For Price

*Hypothetical reimbursement examples illustrate reimbursement of an eligible vet bill at the noted reimbursement rate, assuming the annual deductible had already been met.



Great Danes are ready to make friends with pretty much anyone. They may have issues with some strange dogs, but they are usually good around other dogs.


Great Danes are willing to face anything, especially if their family is in trouble.


Although they tend to be people-pleasers, Great Danes are very self-assured. They know what they can do, and they are confident in that.


These gentle giants are wonderful and kind to their families, and they are very affectionate. Despite their large size, they tend to think they’re lapdogs.


In order to be a guard dog, Great Danes pay attention to pretty much anything that goes on around them, so they’re prepared for whatever comes.

Lifetime Care


Great Danes have a short, smooth coat.

Coat Colors:

Silver, white, harlequin, black and white, black, brindle, mantle, mantle merle, chocolate brindle, chocolate and white, chocolate, fawn, blue, blue and white, blue brindle


No, they are not considered hypoallergenic.


A Great Dane only needs a weekly brushing, regular teeth and ear cleaning, and nail trimming when needed. They drool quite a bit, so be prepared to wipe their fur.


Great Danes are great learners who are smart and willing to please.

Lifetime Care Cost:


Great Dane: Dog Breed Information Guide 2022

Sometimes referred to as the Apollo of dogs, Great Danes are strong and majestic. They were once used as hunting or guard dogs. While they may not be used much in hunting wild boar nowadays, they are still guardians of the family.

Their size might scare off intruders, but Great Danes are usually very sweet and make wonderful family dogs. Plus, well socialized Great Danes are willing to make friends with strangers, although they may not react very well to strange dogs. However, they have a fairly low prey drive, so they do well in homes with other pets.

If you’re thinking about adopting a Great Dane, you’ll need to understand how big of a responsibility these dogs are.

At Spot Pet Insurance, we understand that the thought of all these responsibilities is a little scary. That’s why we want to help you by providing you with educational articles like this one. That way, you can be prepared to bring a new pup into your home.

This large breed deserves great care. A well-cared-for Dane makes for a happy pet, which helps make a happy home for you and your whole family.

Meet the Great Dane

One of the giant breeds, the Great Dane is the inspiration for the famous cartoon dogs Scooby-Doo and Marmaduke. Danes are known for their impressive height, and the tallest dog on record, Zeus, was a Great Dane, standing at 44 inches tall.

They have short coats that come in many colors. The most famous color for this working dog is harlequin, a pattern with black and white fur.

There are many different markings that Great Danes can have, including:

  • chocolate mask

  • black mask

  • blue mask

  • Piebald

  • brindle markings

  • merle markings

  • fawn markings

  • chocolate markings

  • black patches

  • blue markings

  • white markings

These large dogs are surprisingly sweet and gentle. Although they’re great with kids, their size might be a cause for concern when they are playing with smaller children.

Where do Great Danes come from?

Great Danes are the descendants of war dogs like the mastiff and dogs that resembled greyhounds. They first came into being around the middle ages, and the combination of mastiff and greyhound made the Great Dane a formidable hunter since they are both strong and swift.

They became very popular with the nobility of Germany around the 1300s since they were excellent hunting dogs. They were also used to guard the noble’s estates. They eventually made their way to England.

The origin of the name Great Dane isn’t known either, but they were initially called the German boarhound in England, which later changed to Great Dane. In Germany, they are called the Deutsche dogge since that is what authorities declared it to be in the late 1800s.

Around the same time that the German authorities were declaring the official German name of the Great Dane, they arrived in America. In 1887, the American Kennel Club (AKC) declared them an official breed.

What are some potential health conditions for Great Danes?

Great Danes can sometimes inherit conditions from their parents. Reputable breeders have been trying to screen their stock so that common health issues don’t get passed along, but it’s best to be prepared to recognize potential issues.

Some issues Great Danes can have are Wobbler Syndrome, cardiomyopathy, heart disease, bloat, osteosarcoma, and hypothyroidism.

Great Danes are particularly prone to HOD. Usually, it will affect longer bones, like the tibia or radius. Each of these bones has something known as a growth plate. It begins as cartilage so it can grow with your pup, and then once your dog reaches adulthood, it will harden and become bone.

When a dog has HOD, the region with the growth plate has blood flow issues. Because of these problems, the growing areas of the bones can’t harden properly, so when the next section, so to speak, starts growing, it causes a lot of pain due to inflammation.

Great Danes are also prone to bloat. When the stomach is bloated, it can flip, bringing the pancreas and the spleen along with it. This cuts off blood from the heart to the hind end. Since the pancreas isn’t receiving any fresh nutrients, it begins to send out toxins.

Hip dysplasia is also common in Great Danes. Hip dysplasia occurs when the ball and socket of the hip joint don’t form properly while a puppy is growing. Since it isn’t formed correctly, the joint’s movement is no longer smooth, but it makes a grating noise.

As time goes on, the grating continues to affect the joint by making the condition worse, which can eventually lead to loss of function in the affected leg. It can also lead to arthritis.

While we can’t help you care for your dog physically, we can help you in the case of an emergency. Spot plans can also cover chronic and hereditary conditions, as long as they aren’t pre-existing.

How to be the best pet parent for a Great Dane?

The best pet parent is the prepared pet parent, so researching the type of dog you want to adopt is an excellent first step. You should also research where you adopt your dog to make sure the breeder is reputable, or you could try to find an animal shelter to adopt your pup from.

How much does a dog or puppy cost?

Adoption fee: $50-$3,500

[Expense: first year, following years]Food: $360-$750, $255-$810

Water/food bowls: $10-$40, N/A

Treats: $125-$715, $125-$715

Collars: $10-$40, N/A

Leashes: $10-$30, $0-$30

Dog bed and crate: $80-$275, N/A

Toys: $50-$155, $0-$155

Vaccines and routine care: $440-$1,785, $525-$1,075

Heartworm and flea prevention: $175-$300, $400-$650

Total: $1,260-$4,090, $1,305-$3,435

Know more about how much does your Great Dane costs in 2024.

Basic training and behavior etiquette for your dog

All dogs need to be proper socialization, including the Great Dane. By introducing your dog to new people, dogs, and places from a young age, you can help them learn to interact with the world.

As big dogs, it’s very important to teach your Great Dane basic commands like sit, stay, come, and heel. When training your Great Dane, you should be firm and consistent, but don’t be too harsh.

It’s also important to spend plenty of time with your Great Dane since they like being around their humans.

What type of foods should a Great Dane never eat?

Some of the foods that are toxic to dogs are:

Exercising tips to keep your dog to stay fit and healthy

Although Great Danes have fairly low energy levels, they do have daily exercise needs. This could take the form of a couple of walks per day. You could also take them on longer hikes, but you have to wait until your pup reaches two years old since their joints are still growing, and you don’t want their joints to be damaged.

If you have a yard with a tall fence, you can let your Great Dane run around there. You could also play games or take your pup to participate in agility, obedience, or tracking events.

It’s best to keep your Great Dane on the leash if they aren’t in an enclosed area since they have a tendency to follow interesting smells wherever they lead.


  • Bloat (or GDV) in Dogs — What It Is and How it's Treated | American Kennel Club

  • Common Health Problems of the Great Dane | Dog and Cat Care Tips

  • Dangerous Foods for Dogs | American Kennel Club

  • The Great Dane Cost Guide (with Free Calculator) | PetBudget

  • Great Dane Dog Breed Information |

  • Great Dane | VCA Animal Hospitals

  • Hip Dysplasia In Dogs: Prevention, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment |

  • Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy in Dogs (HOD in Dogs) | PetMD

  • Rankings of Dog Breeds Suffering From Hip Dysplasia |