A large, black dog with a flat, narrow head, small triangular ears flopped down and a strong, large neck wearing a bright pink collar, stands side on in a fenced green space, with their eyes focused intently on something in the distance.

Great Dane

9 June 2023

Meet the Great Dane, a colossal dog with a heart to match. Whether you’re thinking of borrowing one or getting your own, we’ve pulled together lots of fun and interesting facts you should know about the biggest dog breed in the world.

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What is a Great Dane?

The world record holder for tallest dog is a Great Dane, so it’s no surprise that this breed is larger than life. Also known as the “German Mastiff”, their enormous body comes in a variety of colours, including fawn, black, blue, brindle or harlequin (black and white), but don’t let their size fool you. They’ve been given the nickname “world’s biggest lapdog” due to their gentle nature and desire to lean against their owners.

A Great Dane might be the largest dog in terms of height but a Mastiff is the world’s heaviest - any ideas for the next three in our top 5 list of big dogs?

How much exercise does a Great Dane need?

Great Danes grow very large, very fast, which puts them at risk of joint and bone problems. Because of this, it is important not to over exercise this breed, particularly when young, but owners or borrowers should still ensure Great Danes enjoy the recommended 2 hours of activity per day.

A tall, black, short haired dog with a large muzzle and floppy ears stands proudly in a park

What is the temperament of a Great Dane?

Despite their size Great Danes are gentle giants and, according to the Kennel Club, make excellent house-dogs. They’re truly sweet dogs: devoted and attentive to their family and always looking for attention.

A tall dog with prominent jowls and a beautiful mottled grey, black and white coat sits in a garden

“Bluebell is a typical Great Dane - gentle, playful, loving and so affectionate. She loves to be with you and is keen on the sofa, especially if you are nearby. She’s most content just wondering around the garden, and then coming back in and looking out of the window.“ -Justin, Owner of Bluebell

Are Great Danes easy to train?

Great Danes are an intelligent, eager-to-please breed. When trained consistently from a young age, they’re very obedient dogs. Given their size and quick growth rate, it is worthwhile getting training right from a young age to avoid having problems with control later on. Obedience classes and online tutorials can be a great way to learn all about dog training.

“Stanley is a gentle giant and very loving. He never pulls on the lead and does as he's told all the time and straight away. He loves cuddles and hates being in trouble.” - Vicky, Owner of Stanley

That being said, here are a few funny quirks that some of our members’ pooches have:

Sarah, Owner of Squeak

Although a big dog, Squeak likes to sit on your knee.

Rachel, Owner of Angus

Angus is a huge lapdog who is incredibly placid, loving and cuddly. He loves to play with his ball, run around and be chased, but also spends a lot of time sleeping.

Most common big dog names for Great Dane names on BorrowMyDoggy:

  • Bella
  • Angus
  • Hector
  • Oscar
  • Merlin

Learning to manage your large family dog’s strength when out for a walk? Why not try out Hound Hack training trick “About Face” to train your Great Dane to not pull on the lead.

High paws to our lovely community for letting us share these facts about their Great Danes. Paws crossed you found them helpful :)

Looking for the pawfect Great Dane to join you on a walk? Or would you like your Great Dane to make a new friend? Why not sign up to BorrowMyDoggy today.

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