Great Dane Traits and Qualities
There's More To This Breed
Than Just Good Looks

by Ken Alden

Great Danes are some of the most loving, kind-hearted pets worldwide. However, their towering presence can be intimidating. Whether you’re simply curious or want to invite one of these lovely dogs into your home, you’ll love the interesting Great Dane traits and qualities these pups possess.

A Few Of The Great Dane Traits and Qualities

These traits and qualities include their loyalty to their owners, playful and energetic attitude, and light coat-shedding. Great Danes grow up to 120 pounds and 32 inches long, making them some of the biggest dogs around. They’re excellent family dogs, calm, curious and love children.

Throughout this article, I’ll discuss the average Great Dane’s temperament, why they might be a good fit for your household, and what you should expect from owning one. I’ll also break down their physical size and requirements.

Pro-tip: Ever try lifting a Great Dane? Their weight can hurt not only your back but their joints when they hop down from cars, sofas or even your bed. To protect your back and theirs check out the best Mastiff ramps on now.

Great Dane traits and qualities

What Is a Great Dane’s Temperament?

Great Danes can be quite intimidating at first glance. They’re much bigger than most dog breeds; they’re not too shy and are willing to run up and sniff you right away. However, there’s a reason many people refer to them as gentle giants.

Let’s dive into a Great Dane’s temperament below.

  • Great Danes are very social. Whether you have other pets, children, or guests, your Great Dane won’t hide in the backroom to stay out of the spotlight. They prefer figuring out what’s going on, who’s in the house, and why they’re there. They love attention and meeting new people, so it’d be best to socialize them when they’re puppies. 
  • They maintain a calm presence throughout the day. Chewy explains Great Danes are much more relaxed and easy-going than other dog breeds. Despite their large size, they like to think of themselves as lap dogs. They’ll climb all over you to get as much cuddling time as possible!
  • Great Danes are incredibly curious to a fault. They follow their nose wherever it leads them, so be prepared to keep an eye on them. Bring a leash for all outdoor activities and make sure you keep them on the path; There’s no telling where they might go if they catch a scent.

Overall, Great Danes are a top choice for elderly couples, young families, and everyone in between. They’re a breath of fresh air for those seeking a calm dog breed, but their physical requirements can be a bit demanding. Great Dane traits and qualities

great dane traits and qualities

This is such a great breed that we felt the Great Danes temperament was worth highlighting in it's own article which you can find here.

Pro-tip: Great Dane anxiety, aggression, destructive chewing, jumping up, fearfulness, and other behaviors can be controlled with the right training program.

Here’s a great course that addresses these issues along with many other dog training basics: Check it out now!

We’ll dive into their unique qualities in this next section to prepare you for what's to come.

The Height, Weight, and Diet of Great Danes

You’ve probably seen pictures of Great Danes and understand they’re almost as big as some humans. This extra-large dog breed doesn’t often use its size for protection, but some people have trained them to be guard dogs. When learning about their traits, it’s important to know how big they can get and what they need to survive and thrive.

So, what should you expect from a Great Dane?

great dane traits and qualities


According to Hills Pet, Great Dane males and females can grow between 30 to 32 inches (76.2 to 81.28 cm) long. When they stand on their hind legs, it adds up to one to two feet (30.48 to 60.93 cm) to their enormous size. They’re often taller than children, teenagers, and some adults. They’re not always aware of their size, which results in comically clumsy behavior.


The AKC estimates adult Great Danes typically weigh between 110 to 175 pounds (49.90 to 79.38 kg). There’s not much deviation between males and females since they end up at the same size. Some male Great Danes have slightly broader shoulders, but this breed is usually slender and tall. Their height and weight mean they require lots of food.


Growing Great Danes need up to 8 to 10 cups of food daily, whereas full-grown adults require about 2 to 6 cups. There’s no doubt their eating habits are much more expensive than the average dog breed. If you’re considering a Great Dane, it’s time to make a budget and see if you’re willing to go the extra mile for them.

How Long Do Great Danes Live?

Much like other large dog breeds, Great Danes typically don’t live into their teenage years. The American Kennel Club predicts the average Great Dane has a life expectancy of 8 to 10 years, with a few outliers making it up to 12 years or more.

Many health problems lead to them slowing down with older age. They’re prone to hip dysplasia, heart problems, digestive issues, and more. Avoid taking them on jogs or runs until they’re about two years old since it can damage their elbows and shoulders.

Preventative care includes a healthy diet suggested by your veterinarian, about 45 minutes of exercise per day, and lots of love and attention. Great Danes can feel anxious or lonely if they don’t socialize enough. 

Pro-tip: Great Dane's (and their owners) love dog crates…and for good reasons. Crates keep dogs from mischief while you're away, are perfect for house training, for traveling by car, and provide the dog a place to de-stress. Check out the best Mastiff crates on now.

Is A Great Dane A Good Family Pet?

If you have a family and wonder if you should get a Great Dane, you’re in luck! They’re excellent family dogs with lots of personality. They love being around people and pets, making them a top choice for many people who seek a unique, historically significant breed. Traced back to Germany, Great Danes have been involved with families and social gatherings for centuries.

Here’s a list of three reasons they’d make a great family pet:

  • They work well with other pets, especially if you adopted them young. Great Danes are curious and loving, so they’ll bond with everyone very quickly. They’re unlikely to snap or become aggressive unless you don’t let them socialize in their younger years. For this reason, we recommend taking them on walks as young as possible. 

  • Great Danes match your family’s daily pace and schedule. Whether you’re a fast-paced family with constant work, school, and sports schedules or a laid-back group who loves to stay at home, your Great Dane will be there for the ride; But ensure you set time aside to show them love and attention! 

  • They’re great around children. Many young parents worry if a Great Dane might be too big and energetic for toddlers. On the contrary, Great Danes are relaxed and love to play with people of all ages. The most important tip is to keep your eye on them while they play (they don’t always know their size or strength).

great danes traits and qualities

Read even more about Great Danes as a family dog, their good and bad (mostly good), and what to expect in our full-length article dedicated to just this.

Great Danes Are Gentle Giants

Whether you read it in this article or you’ve heard it a million times, Great Danes shouldn’t be judged by their size but by their kind hearts. They love people, pets, and living a playful life. They’re incredibly relaxed, which is why so many people are glad they invited them into their homes. 

Great Danes learn from their mistakes due to their intelligence. They’re quick to feel guilty if they’ve upset their owners, and they want nothing more than to make you happy.

If a Great Dane is on your list of possible pets, you’d be missing out by not choosing them. Many owners believe their only downfall is they’re not here on this planet long enough!

Great Dane Traits And Qualities...Final Thoughts

Great Danes are incredibly loving and enjoyable dogs to be around with loads of personality. They have plenty to offer to your family, including their guard dog skills, unwavering loyalty, and playful habits.

These big pups are fast on their feet, intelligent, and ready to learn new tricks. As long as you have enough food in their bowl and time to exercise with them, they’ll make a great addition to your home. 

Return to the top of this Great Dane Traits And Qualities page

About Author

About the Author...

Ken Alden, a dedicated Mastiff owner for over eight years, is acclaimed for his expertise in care, grooming, and training. Read more About Me and my dog Shadow.

Learn More About Great Dane Traits...

  1. Mastiff Guide Home
  2. Great Danes Dog Info
  3. Great Dane Traits And Qualities