Great Dane Breed: Costs, Care, and Maintenance

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Great Dane BreedAre the kids looking forward to a new Great Dane puppy but aren’t sure of how much they might cost initially and in the long run? Because they’re such large breeds, it’s not uncommon to think that they may cost more to care for compared to other big dogs. In this article, we discuss all you need to know about the Great Dane breed such as their appearance, temperament, care, and the costs of owning one. 

What is the Great Dane? 

Known as one of the largest dog breeds around the world, the Great Dane is also called the “Apollo of Dogs” in the dog world because of its sheer beauty. These gentle giants are also known for their massive size, large heads and muzzles, as well as their short fur, narrow bodies, and long limbs. They’re beloved for their friendly personality, loyal temperament, joyful spirits, intelligence, and regal appearance. 

Fortunately, a well-socialized and trained Great Dane will thrive in all kinds of environments and you don’t need to have a big house to accommodate your new pet. But you will need extra space that will give them space to move around in, such as a yard. However, their lifespan will tend to be shorter compared to other big dogs but you’ll know that any time with these pups will be worthwhile. 

History of the Great Dane 

The Great Dane is a hunting dog that originated in Germany, where they were used to chase wild boar. These large breed dogs are likely to be the offspring of the Irish wolfhound and English Mastiff, although some experts believe them to be of ancient origin. During the late 1800s, Great Danes were introduced into the United States, where they gained popularity and were bred to be less aggressive, which helped the breed evolve into the gentle pups they are today. 

By 1887, the standard for purebred Great Danes was established and they were recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), where they currently stand as the 19th most popular dog breeds in the country. As a testament to how much this breed is beloved, it is Pennsylvania’s state dog. Finally, the cartoon character Scooby-Doo is also a Great Dane, further adding to the popularity of this breed. 

Great Dane Appearance

These powerful dogs come with an imposing size and regal appearance where females can weigh as much as 140 lbs. and grow around 30 inches tall while males can weigh as much as 170 lbs. and stand up to 32 inches tall. They have huge heads that are narrow at the sides but flat at the top; they feature prominent brows and ears that drop forward. The Great Dane has a muscular body with slender front legs, a strong and long neck, as well as a thick, medium-length tail that keeps them balanced as they run. 

Great Danes come with sleek and short coats; their coat color can come in a wide variety including blue, fawn, black, or harlequin where black patches are present over a wide background.  

Great Dane Temperament 

Having a well-bred Great Dane will undoubtedly be one of the best dogs around; their gentle nature, combined with their sweet temperament makes them among the most loving dogs. Although they are among larger dogs, they come with less energy but will be happy to play and relax with children and will always want to spend time with their family. They also have a great desire to please their loved ones, making them easy to train, and will form a strong bond with their chosen human. 

Because they can be fiercely protective of their family, they can be excellent guard dogs, but you don’t necessarily need a large house to keep one of these pups with you. On the other hand, these dogs can be big lapdogs and will love nothing more than to rest their body on yours. However, no matter how good-natured they are, Great Danes will need early socialization to ensure that they grow up to be well-rounded and behaved dogs.  

Great Dane Care

When it comes to grooming your Great Dane, it’s no different from caring for short-haired dogs of a smaller size, but their larger frame will need extra precautions in terms of exercise. Moreover, it’s important to train these dogs at a young age to ensure that they become good dogs as adults.  


When feeding your Great Dane, it’s best to stick to puppy food that’s made specifically for large-breed dogs; this will ensure that they won’t grow too quickly. Rather than one large meal, your vet will likely recommend that you feed your pup a few small meals per day, which will help to prevent bloat. Make sure to look for high-quality dog food to help give your dog all the nutrition its big body needs. 

An adult Great Dane will need plenty of food; as much as 10 cups each day, but be careful not to overfeed these dogs. To help with your dog’s nutrition, be sure to speak to your vet about portion control and the appropriate diet based on your pup’s weight, activity level, and age to avoid obesity in these canines.  


Because Great Danes come with thick, short coats that don’t need more than weekly brushing, they’re fairly low maintenance but will shed heavily during spring and fall. Great Danes will need regular bathing, which can be done once or twice a month. Moreover, your furry friend should have their ears checked regularly since these can gather moisture and get infections when left untreated. 

Their nails should also be trimmed once every few weeks to prevent tearing or splitting and to keep them clean and healthy. Lastly, maintaining good oral hygiene by brushing your dog’s teeth a few times each week is the best way to keep gum disease away. 


While they’re young, Great Danes can be energetic and playful, but if you want to keep their joints and bones healthy, it’s best not to make them jump. It’s also a good idea to keep them away from activities like going on a long run until they’re at least 18 months old. As they get older, these dogs maintain moderate energy levels, so daily walks should be enough to keep them healthy and fit; playing for an hour or two will add a welcome change of pace. 


Giving these giant breeds proper socialization and training is essential; the large size of these dogs will often make them hard to manage if they’re not trained properly. Unfortunately, some of these dogs won’t recognize their own strength so make sure to pay attention to them to ensure they won’t jump, pull the leash, or lean too much. Luckily, they always want to please their owners so training them will be easier compared to other breeds. 

When getting a new puppy, crate training should be one of the first things you teach them since it can be a problem when big dogs like this aren’t aware of the space they can move in. 

Great Dane Health Problems

A responsible breeder will always strive to maintain the highest standards for this breed as outlined by the AKC. These pups will be less likely to inherit health conditions and genetic issues from their parents. However, there are still a few genetic conditions that can occur in these dogs, which include the following: 

  • Heart disease 
  • Gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV or bloat)
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow hygroma
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Wobbler syndrome
  • Degenerative lumbosacral stenosis

Unfortunately for these big dogs, their hip joint will need the most care and attention since they can be injured easily. Going on routine check-ups should help protect your dog from the health problems above and will help to keep its hips strong and healthy. 

Are Great Danes Good with Children?

When given basic obedience training and early socialization, Great Danes can become wonderful family dogs. Because these dogs are known for their friendly nature and gentle temperament, they will do well with small children and even small dogs. However, it’s still important to keep them under supervision in case they forget how big and strong they can be. 

Because of their calm personality, they aren’t usually aggressive dogs and will be easy to train although they can be stubborn at times. Enrolling your pup in an obedience class can be a great way to prepare them for a life of good behavior. 

Finding Your Great Dane

Great Dane puppies cost around $1,000 to $2,000, but their price range can go higher depending on factors such as the dog’s lineage, pedigree, availability, and geographical location. Moreover, a Great Dane breeder can set a higher price around $6,000, depending on how reputable they are. If these prices are too high, you can look into adoption although there will be minimal adoption fees or you can try local shelters and rescue centers where you might find a free dog. 

Because there are so many dogs in need of a loving home, adoption is a great way of adding a new dog to your family. You can check out the Great Dane Club of America, AKC Great Dane Breeders, and the Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League to help get you started. 

Great Dane Cost 

If you’re positive about buying one of these dogs, you need to understand that they’re not just pets, but a financial commitment too. The cost of a Great Dane doesn’t just involve the initial purchase price of these dogs but one-time costs as well such as supplies, vaccinations, and early set-up costs to get your home ready for one of these canines. While the first year for these dogs will cost the most, caring for and maintaining them should get more affordable in the next years. 

Great Dane Food

It’s important to keep in mind that your Great Dane will need to eat and drink every day, so you will need to meet its nutritional needs every day. This means additional costs which is something you’ll need to think about since these big dogs come with a big appetite. Depending on their age, these dogs will need around 3 to 8 cups of food for puppies or 6 to 10 cups of food for adults. 

This is a lot of food and will cost an extra $30 to $50 for high-quality food around 40 pounds which should last between 2 to 4 weeks, depending on the age of your dog. Once your Great Dane is an adult, you may need to pay as much as $100 per month for food and treats. As such, it’s a good idea to consider this factor when you want to determine the total Great Dane price.   

Great Dane Supplies

Supplies will also cost around $75-$200 but the good news is that these will usually last for some time before you need to replace them if at all. Consider buying them a kennel which should cost around $100 to $200, while toys will also cost a few more bucks. Don’t forget the basics such as food and water bowls, collar and leash, dog shampoo, and other basic items.  

Health Costs

Keeping your pooch healthy is also an important part of being a good dog owner; the best way to do this is to see your vet for preventive medications and to schedule regular vet visits. On average, you may need to pay around $200 to $300 each year in vet bills but these medical costs will only cover basic care. Should these large dogs get sick or develop unexpected health issues, you may need to pay more for their care and treatment. 

A great option for Great Dane owners is to get dog insurance; the right pet insurance company will be able to cover the costs of veterinary care for your canine companion while helping you save on costs. 


Reputable breeders will be able to ensure pet quality before handing over your new Great Dane, but the price of a Great Dane isn’t the only thing you need to consider. When thinking about the initial cost for these dogs, their health should be an important factor, so be sure to get a pup without any genetic conditions. Once you’re sure that this is the right dog breed for your family, everyone will surely appreciate their loving nature and gentle temperament.