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Are Great Danes Good Family Dogs?

Are Great Danes Good Family Dogs?

Great Danes are such a special dog breed. Did you know that the cartoon character Scooby Doo is actually a Great Dane? He truly represents the breed in a true way: goofy, a bit clumsy, but loyal and affectionate. These dogs have hearts the size of their enormous bodies, and even though they may look a bit intimidating at first, this breed is the definition of a gentle giant. So it’s no wonder that so many people decide to adopt one of them into their families. But are Great Danes good family dogs? Let’s figure it out together, and see if this breed would be the right choice for you and your family members. 

Are Great Danes good family dogs?

Yes, Great Danes definitely are good family dogs. They love kids, they are calm, forgiving, warm, and affectionate. Danes are basically the biggest lap dog on earth, and as long as you have some experience and you can give them enough space, these dogs could become your new best friend. They surprisingly don’t even eat as much food as you might expect. Because they are so calm, they don’t burn off as many calories as other dog breeds. After they leave the puppy phase, their exercise needs are pretty moderate as well.

A human hand and the paw of a Great Dane

Source: Instagram (@greatdane_igtiso)

Great Danes would make a great addition to many different families. Because these dogs have such a high tolerance, they get along with older children who know how to act around such giants. It can be tricky if you own a toddler, simply because of their large bodies. These dogs would make a great companion for someone who is easy-going, works from home, and loves to cuddle!

Are Great Danes good with kids?

Although they can weigh over 100 pounds, Great Danes are gentle giants who get along well with children. They make great playmates for older children since they are intelligent, playful, and affectionate. Even though they are calm dogs, Great Danes can accidentally hurt young children due to their size.

Let’s make this clear, we would never advise allowing a Great Dane to interact with a toddler unattended for even a brief period of time. Some big canines simply don’t realize how strong and powerful they are. No matter how sweet and precious your dog is, it’s still way too risky to leave kids and dogs unsupervised. 

Your Great Dane is an animal at the end of the day. Regardless of how long you’ve raised them, it might be challenging to predict how a dog will respond to something a toddler does. Furthermore, because of their size, Danes can inflict significant harm with just a small warning bite.

Your child should be alright as long as you avoid letting the Dane and your small children play together without any supervision. Great Danes are excellent with children and don’t seem to mind the sound of a wailing baby. They are known to be nanny dogs and feel very protective of their little humans.

Great Dane dog with a little boy cuddling up

Source: Instagram (@greatdane.familydog)

How smart are Great Danes?

The intelligence of the Great Dane is pretty standard. Additionally, they are ranked as the 88th smartest dog breed by Stanley Coren because of their working intelligence and obedience. Great Danes are frequently regarded as being less intelligent than most dog breeds. However, we disagree. When it comes to intelligence, they’re simply misunderstood.

According to studies, the average Great Dane is as intelligent as a three-year-old human and is capable of understanding up to 250 words and gestures. They also pick up new commands quite quickly. Just like in many other situations, their kindness is sometimes mistaken for stupidity. Great Danes are clever, and anyone who is trying to tell you otherwise never had the chance to truly get to know one of these angels. 

Are Great Danes Loyal dogs?

Yes, Great Danes are caring and loyal to their owners. Due to their nature, they are also known as velcro dogs, and they are entertaining and simple to live with. Working side-by-side with humans for many generations may have contributed to this.

They were trained to work closely with people because they were initially developed as hunting dogs, and although they aren’t used for hunting anymore, this personality may have been passed down through the generations.

Danes develop strong bonds with their owners and require frequent interaction with their human families. They typically don’t perform well if kept in kennels outside the home because of this. They enjoy interacting and mingling with their neighbors.

Great Danes and other velcro dogs are more likely to develop separation anxiety. And proper training and socialization are crucial if you don’t want your dog to freak out and cause trouble every time you leave them alone.

Are Great Danes protective of their family? 

Yes, they absolutely are. Even though to you your dog is gentle and kind, because of this enormous size he can still scare off any intruders. In most cases. Danes won’t attack anyone, however, you still have to be careful. Don’t forget that any dog can become aggressive from time to time. And the Great Dane isn’t any different. Their bites aren’t something you want to joke around with, because they have strong jaws and can cause serious damage. 

However, it’s actually very rare for a Great Dane to bite anyone. But no matter how sweet and loving your dog is, when he is the size of a Grear Dane, you need to be careful. Sometimes people like to tease them because Great Dane puppies have a reputation for being goofy and a bit clumsy. But you have to make sure that your dog never feels threatens by anything you do or say.

A dog looking gently at the camera while his owner wonders Are Great Danes good family dogs?

Source: Instagram (@greatdane_lovers)

At what age do Great Danes calm down?

Great Dane puppies are not as serene as their adult counterparts. However, they often mature into canine gentle giants by the time they are 2 years old. A Great Dane’s lack of composure while still a puppy is partly due to its breeding as working dogs.

When a Great Dane turns one year old, you may anticipate them to become much calmer over the following six to twelve months until they are two. Even if your Great Dane is still hyper after two years, it won’t be to the same degree as when they were teenagers.

Is a Great Dane a good first dog?

For a first-time pet owner, a Great Dane might not be the best companion. They are enormous, intelligent canines who, if not properly stimulated and socialized, can easily turn into a hassle. We would suggest getting a Great Dane only if you have some experience with owning a larger dog breed. Yes, Great Danes have a calm temperament and are quick to learn, however, these dogs get very clingy, and can throw a tantrum. 

These dogs need a lot of attention, and you need to be experienced enough to know how to react in those moments. A Great Dane can be extremely clingy when it wants your attention. When they require something from us or our full attention, dogs will make an effort to catch our attention. An attention-seeking Great Dane will do things like cry, bark, paw, or follow you everywhere.

What’s the easiest dog to own?

If you are a first-time dog owner then we would definitely suggest getting a different dog breed. There are plenty to choose from. Some we would suggest, and that are generally considered easy to own in the dog world include: Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Doodle mixes like Maltipoos, Cavapoos, Labradoodles, Goldendoodles, German Shepherds, Corgis, or Pugs. All of these dogs have certain breed traits that make them easy to take care of. All of them would make great family dogs and are considered to be some of the best breeds in general.

Dog laying on a bed while his owner wonders how big do black great danes get

What is the hardest dog to own?

In most situations, larger breeds with a massive size and a lot of strength are considered to be hard to own. That’s simply because it’s harder for us humans to deal with them. These breeds include the American Pit Bull Terrier, Rottweiler, and Bullmastiffs, but also smaller and stubborn breeds like the Beagle and Jack Russel Terrier. While they are still excellent family dogs, they need to be in the hands of experienced dog owners to show their full potential. 

Are Great Danes easy to train?

Great Danes are generally easy to train, but occasionally it can be challenging due to their enormous size and laid-back demeanor. You can’t compel a Great Dane to stand up if they don’t want to, and they rapidly learn this. To capture and hold their attention, motivation in the form of rewards, compliments, and play is essential.

That’s why you have to start the training process right away after bringing your Great Dane puppy home. They are still small enough for you to be able to train them. And the learning process will be so much quicker. 

The easiest method to correct your Great Dane is to tell her flat-out no and then deny her what she wants most: your attention. On the other hand, give her a reward immediately away for good behavior. One of the most successful training methods is positive reinforcement. 

That’s why we would never suggest yelling or raising your voice at your dog. Great Danes are sensitive dogs, and they won’t feel motivated to complete a task after you yell at them. Make sure that you make the training process fun and short, so that your dog doesn’t see it as work, but more as a way for the two of you to grow closer together. 

Do Great Danes bark a lot?

Great Danes generally don’t bark all that much. This breed is not known to develop loud behaviors, although they may warn their owners if there are strangers outside the house or in unusual circumstances if they receive basic training to curb barking in puppies. They don’t have a reputation for barking, but if they become concerned, they will let you know.

Dogs can bark for many different reasons. Sometimes, they will bark necessarily when they are bored or have some extra energy left to burn out. However, sometimes our dogs are trying to tell us something with their barking. So make sure that you check on your dog, and see if he might be hurt. On other occasions, your dog may try to get your attention to let you know that his water bowl is empty, or that he needs to go outside and potty.

Dog with owner while she wonders Are Great Danes good family dogs

Source: Instagram (@greatdane_lovers)

Can Great Danes be left alone?

Theoretically yes, but they don’t do too well when they are left on their own. Great Dane puppies are prone to developing separation anxiety. These calm dogs have a gentle nature and just take it personally when you leave them alone for longer periods of time. If you do have to go to work, definitely try to find a dog sitter. Ideally, a member of your family should stay with the dog. So he knows that there is someone with him that he can trust. 

Can Great Danes be left alone for 8 hours?

This is way too long for these gentle giants to be left alone. They love spending time with their owners. And no dog should be left on their own for longer than 4-5 hours. They will need a long walk, and a way to go to the bathroom. So if you know that you will be gone for such a long time, a good option would be to hire a dog walker. 

What owning a Great Dane says about you

If you decide to get a Great Dane, we believe that you are a warm person who has his heart in the right place. Great Danes make great family pets for people with calm personalities, who enjoy a slower pace in life. Great Danes make a great choice for different people, from young adults to older and experienced folks. You just have to be familiar with what it takes to own such a large breed. These dogs have good manners and crave affection, so if you want a huge cuddle buddy and a lap dog that might be bigger than you are, this breed will be the right fit. 

However, as a future Great Dane owner, you also have to be aware of all the downsides that come with owning this dog. First of all, all of them sadly have a short lifespan. Because of the size of Great Danes, this comes as no surprise. Large dogs mature more quickly and therefore don’t live as long as smaller dog breeds. They are also prone to certain health issues, such as hip dysplasia, heart disease, gastric torsion, osteoarthritis, and more. 


My name is Katy and I am 27. I love to travel and you would be surprised how good I am at karaoke. 🙂 Passionate dog lover and a "mother" to a beautiful toy puddle named Zara. I work as a volunteer in a local shelter and I am a veterinary assistant helping our four-legged friends every day.