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Great Dane

Great Dane Dog Breed

Aliases: German Mastiff, Deutsche Dogge

Life Span: 6-8 years
Litter Size: average of 8 puppies, up to 15
Group: Mastiff, AKC Working
Color: solid black, solid white, black with white face and legs (mantle), irregular black patches (Harlequin), solid blue (dark gray), fawn (tan with dark mask and legs). Typically white is not permitted on most patterns unless white is in the color.
Hair Length: Short
Size: Extra Large
Shedding: Moderate Shed
Male Height: 27 to 29 inches (68.58-73.66cm)
Male Weight: 120 -200 pounds (54-90 kg.)
Female Height: 25 to 27 inches (68.58-73.66cm)
Female Weight: 100 -130 pounds (45-59 kg.)
 General info courtesy of Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.

Thyroid Disease - Medium Risk

The Great Dane ranks #33 among all breeds for autoimmune thyroiditis prevalence. While this is not a high risk breed, there is still a good chance of disease transmission through breeding. Therefore, all dogs intended for breeding should be tested first. 

 Rank Among Breeds  Number of Dogs Tested  Percent of Dogs With Disease
 #33  2,391  10.1%

You can download the full report (on all breeds) by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Here

Other Health Problems

The Great Dane has several health conditions that may be problematic in some lines. Buying from a reputable breeder as well as ensuring the puppy and the parents were health checked before deciding to buy is very important. The common issues with the breed are:

  • Gastric Torsion - also known as bloat, is common in large, deep chested dog breeds. Feed several small meals and limit exercise after eating to prevent this condition.
  • Skin allergies - this can be a very big problem with the breed. Carefully select any skin products or dog shampoos and watch for any signs of irritation. 
  • Skin tumors - this may be benign or malignant but do need checking and treatment.
  • Cardiomyopathy - heart conditions leading to possible heart attacks and respiratory problems. 
  • Canine Hip Dysplasia - ensure both parents are certified as free from CDH
  • CVI - also known as Wobbler's Syndrome. Poor coordination and painful movement, may be corrected by surgery and aggressive medical treatments. 
  • VWD - von Willebrands Disease will result in bleeding, similar to hemophilia in humans.