Are Great Danes Good Family Dogs?
Top 10 Questions Answered

Great Danes are some of the biggest dogs in the world. Also known as German Mastiffs, they’re not only popular for their massive size, but their hearts are equally as big. They’re affectionate, reliable, and incredibly loyal. Despite the fact that they might look a bit scary to some people, Great Danes don’t have a bad bone in their body.

So, are Great Danes good family dogs? Yes! They can absolutely be good family dogs if you’re willing to do what it takes to train them. Their size might make it hard to deal with small children, but they’re quick learners if you try to teach them about boundaries.

Throughout this article, you’ll also learn the following information about Great Danes:

  • Are they friendly?
  • Do they need a lot of exercise and attention?
  • Do they shed and drool a lot?
  • Are they easy to train, and do they bark all the time? Read More Below...

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Great Dane having fun with girl

Are Great Danes Friendly?

There’s no doubt that Great Danes are friendly. In fact, they’re so nice that they accept new friends very quickly. Whether you’re introducing them to another one of your pets or a coworker, your Great Dane will have no problem getting along with them.

They’re dedicated to strengthening their bond with you, while also trying to find the next best way to have a good time. They often try to combine their ambitions by pulling you into a game of fetch or a long walk when you least expect it. Their energy levels are fairly high, considering their size and constant need for interaction.

Perhaps the only problem with how kind they are is that they’re a bit too big to jump around. That doesn’t stop them from attacking new guests by licking or jumping up to greet you when you get home from a long day at work.

Great Danes have a reputation for friendliness, which is why they’re such a great fit for most families. As long as you have enough space for them to be free to exercise whenever they need to, you‘ll continue to cherish the friendly nature of these massive pups. 

How Are Great Danes With Babies And Young Children?

As mentioned above, Great Danes are excellent family dogs. They love children, especially those who are playful and ready to entertain them. To a Great Dane, kids are just happy and ready to throw a ball or have some fun. 

Sadly, Great Danes aren’t always aware of their size. They get a little bit rough when the playing starts, which can lead to injuries if you’re not there to watch it all. Make sure that you keep an eye on your kids when they’re playing with the dog. Please too watch so they aren’t used as a pony which all kids would love to ride.

You could also try using baby gates to separate the areas where your kids and the Great Dane can walk. Make a gated area where they can walk through to visit your dog, but lock it if you’re not going to be nearby.

Another suggestion is to keep your dog outside during the day. They can come inside to sleep, but they’ll play outside where they can’t accidentally cause any harm to your children. Backyards are perfect for big dogs, so your Great Dane should love the extra playing space.

Great Danes aren’t known to be aggressive, so you don’t have to worry about them lashing out at your kids. Even if they’re provoked or they get scared, they’re much more likely to whine or run away than anything else. Nonetheless, you should teach your children to be gentle when playing with a Great Dane.

How Are Great Danes With Cats And Other Dogs?

Great Danes might be friendly to family and friends, but they’re not always the nicest to other pets. Unfortunately, some of them get a bit dominant and protective of their place in the family. If they feel threatened or like they’re being replaced, they’ll get aggressive and upset.

This negative trait usually only applies to males, but some females will be angry at other female pets. Same-gender aggression is a common issue with Great Danes, and it extends to other animal species as well. If you have a male cat and a male Great Dane, there might be serious problems that arise.

Here are a few suggestions to prevent tension between Great Danes and other pets:

  • Introduce your Great Dane to other pets when your dog is still young. They’re much more likely to accept other friends and pets into their lives if they’re used to seeing them from a young age. They also won’t feel as if they’re being replaced if the pet is always around.
  • Separate your pets if they’re having issues often. Great Danes are gentle, but they can be very powerful due to their size. If they see a small cat running around, they might chase it or think the cat is a toy.
  • Get a female Great Dane and a male of another pet, or vice versa. Mixing the genders will prevent your pets from feeling dominant or like they need to protect their place in the family.


Does your Great Dane have issues with anxiety, destructive chewing, aggressiveness, jumping up, barking or fearfulness?
Brain Training For Dogs is an excellent online training course that
addresses these behavioral issues as well as dog training basics.

Are Great Danes Good Guard Dogs?

Great Danes are gentle and loving, but they can turn into protective guard dogs if they need to be. You should train your dog from a young age if that’s your intent. In most cases, a Great Dane won’t attack intruders unless they harm their owner. However, you can teach them to sound off like an alarm or attack if it’s needed.

Although they’re very silent during altercations, it’s not uncommon to see a Great Dane use their size to their advantage. They have enough force to take down a fully grown adult, and they’ll do so if you want them to.

The most important thing to remember is that you should never intentionally put your dog in harm’s way. Some owners prefer to teach their Great Danes to be protective and aggressive, but this can be a huge issue if an attacker tries to hurt them. Do your best to simmer down a situation that might cause problems.

In short, Great Danes make for excellent guard dogs, but you can also have them be an alarming protector. The sight of such a large dog is enough to worry potential attacks and robbers, but it’s always comforting to know that you Great Dane is ready to protect you when you need it the most. 

Note: If you’ve always shown affection and pampered your Great Dane, don’t expect them to be a ferocious guard dog out of nowhere. It takes months or years of training to make a guard dog responsive.

Learn More About Whether The Great Dane
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Are Great Danes Chewers?

Great Danes, like all other dogs, love to chew on whatever they can get their mouths on. As long as you don’t correct them, they will try to chew on it. This includes furniture, shoes, clothes, strings, blankets, pillows, and anything else within reach.

Don’t worry, though; There are all sorts of tactics that you can try out to stop or prevent them from chewing on your belongings. Here are three common suggestions:

  1. Use Tabasco sauce, cayenne pepper, or anti-chew spray to keep them away. Just a small amount will keep your Great Dane from chewing on anything that has any of those on it.
  2. Be firm and repetitive with your commands, but distract them with another chew toy. Great Danes often chew on other things that they shouldn’t because they don’t have enough variety of toys to play with.
  3. If they’re a puppy, they might need something to soothe their itchy gums. Puppies try to remove their own teeth in favor of adult teeth, so you could give them a tennis ball to loosen them up. Also, there are several anti-itch sprays for their gums.

Before you start trying any of these tips or others you find on the internet, try to find the source. Every dog has its own reasons that they chew on your valuables. Sometimes, it’s just because nobody has told them not to. Do your best to locate the source of the problem, that way you can respond appropriately.

Are Great Danes Easy To Train?

Great Danes are very easy to train, in most cases. They respond well to commands, especially when they come from their primary owner. Once they develop a bond, they’re filled with respect and understand, wanting nothing more than to impress you by following your training suggestions.

However, there are a few outliers who don’t respond to training as well. Some Great Danes, mostly males, can be a bit stubborn during the sessions. Whether they prefer to play more than listen to your commands, or you aren’t being firm enough, stubborn Great Danes will take a bit more teaching than others.

That being said, they’re widely known to be much more receptive and intelligent than the vast majority of other dog breeds. They work hard and learn very quickly, which makes helpful commands and potty training a breeze. There’s no reason to assume that you can’t potty train a Great Dane in only two to three weeks.

Every dog is unique in the sense that they might require more time than others. If your Great Dane isn’t learning as quickly, they might need a little bit longer to figure everything out. When they’re introduced to a new environment, it’s a lot to take in. Remember that it’s always easier to teach young dogs than it is to teach older ones.

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Do Great Danes Shed Much?

Great Danes come from a warm climate, which means they don’t need multiple layers of fur. In fact, they only have one thin layer to keep them warm during the day. Since they don’t have to deal with a thick coat or multiple layers, they don’t shed nearly as much as other dogs. 

When their hair dies or becomes weak, it slowly starts to fall off. Perhaps the only issue with a shedding Great Dane is that it can be hard to find all of the fallen hair. It might seem convenient for cosmetic purposes, but it’s terrible if someone with pet allergies can’t see the hair to get away from it.

Other than that, you can maintain a Great Danes shedding by brushing them once a week. When the winter passes, you might need to brush them twice a week to remove the winter coat. A short, soft-bristle brush should be more than enough to remove the excess dead and weak coat.

Health issues such as dandruff, flaky skin, itchiness, weak fur density, and anxiety can cause rapid hair loss in Great Danes. If you notice dead skin flakes or an excessive amount of hair constantly falling from your dog, make a visit with the veterinarian to get medication for your pet.

Do Great Danes Need Exercise?

Great Danes need more exercise when they’re puppies, but their requirements decrease as they get older. It’s a common recommendation to walk a Great Dane for 90 minutes per day before they reach adulthood. Then, you can walk them for about 30 to 60 minutes, depending on their size.

Most Great Danes will let you know when they’ve had enough, or vice versa. If they’re panting and running around or barking all the time, this could be due to a lack of exercise. On the other hand, most Great Danes will sit down in place when they’re done exercising. You can take them back home then, or stick to a scheduled time length.

Another way to get a good exercise routine with your Great Dane is to split the times apart. You don’t need to walk them for an hour all at once. Instead, try to walk them for 20 minutes in the morning, 20 around noon, and 20 before bed time. This split will prevent them from storing pent up energy.

If you have a big yard, feel free to play fetch with your Great Dane. Walks aren’t the only form of exercise that they benefit from. It’s important to remember that they’re too big to go on runs often. Running too fast or jumping over obstacles can put too much pressure on their joints and muscles.

Great Danes do need exercise of course, learn more just how much...

Do Great Danes Drool Much?

Despite their intelligence, Great Danes are rather clumsy. You definitely need a sense of humor and understanding if you want to get along with one of them. They drool a lot, but it can be controlled a bit. It’s not as bad as other dog breeds, but it’s definitely more than average. 

If you’re worried about keeping your house nice and clean, then you might not want to adopt a Great Dane. Not only is their drool going to get everywhere, but they also bump into furniture and everything else around the house. They’re much bigger than they think, so they’ll try to be a lap dog if it’s possible.

Here are a few suggestions to deal with the drool of a Great Dane:

  • Provide enough food, water, and treats for them. Great Danes produce more slobber when they’re not drinking enough or eat the proper amount of food. By giving them what they need throughout the day, you can help to cut down on the amount of drool they produce.
  • Consider leaving them outside more often. If you have a yard that’s big enough to support their exercise requirements, then it’s not a bad idea to make them outside dogs. Set up a gated area inside to reduce the amount of drool they leave everywhere if you don’t want to have them stay outside
  • Leave napkins, paper towels, or tissue boxes around the house. If you’re able to wipe the drool from their face, you don’t have to deal with the mess that it causes. It can be gross to deal with, but it’s better to stop it from the source than to find drool surprises all over the place.

Read More...
We couldn't just leave you dripping for more on this topic so we wrote a whole article on helping you control your dogs slobber.

Do Great Danes Bark A Lot? 

While they don’t bark often, Great Danes have a very deep, long-distance bark that carries throughout the neighborhood. If you’re worried about this habit, it’s best to start training them to not bark unless there’s danger from a young age.

The good news is that it’s not in their nature to bark for no reason. If there’s a threat, they’ll bark to alert you. Otherwise, you shouldn’t have to worry about loud barks throughout the day.

Conclusion...

Great Danes are some of the best family dogs around if you have enough space for them to run around. Be prepared for lots of drool and hilarious clumsiness, but you’ll also receive unparalleled loyalty, love, and attention from these adorable giants.

This post should’ve taught you that Great Danes can be trained easily, they don’t bark often, and they get along with other pets if you introduce them at a young age. However, they’re chewers when they’re young, and they never quite understand how big they are. 

Despite the challenges that come with owning a Great Dane, there’s no doubt that they’re lovable and fun to live with!

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