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Is a Great Dane the Right Breed for You?

 Photo by Stacie Knudtsen

Photo by Stacie Knudtsen

How big will a Great Dane get?
Big! Even a small Dane is large compared to most peoples’ standards. An average adult bitch will weigh between 100 and 140 pounds and be about 30 to 33 inches at the shoulder. An adult male will be larger, weighing in at about 140 to 200 pounds. He also will be taller, ranging from approximately 33 to 37 inches at the shoulder. A Dane will usually reach their adult height between 12 to 18 months of age. Danes are usually matured, or “bodied out” by 2 to 3 years of age.

How much do they eat?
An adult female will eat about 8 to 10 cups of quality dry food per day. A male will eat about 2 to 3 cups more. Many Dane breeders add meat to the diet of their adults; but never to puppies. Care must be used when feeding puppies, as a diet too “hot" can often cause bone and growing problems. Some older or altered Danes will only eat about 4 to 6 cups. per day. Danes should never have their ribs or backbone showing! The amount of food consumed will vary with the age, temperament and activity level of the Dane.

How long do they live?
Danes have an average life span of between 7 to 10 years of age. A ten year old Dane is an old dog. Quite often a younger dog will have a sprinkling of gray around the muzzle, giving the illusion he is older than he actually is. The condition of the teeth are generally a good indication of age.

Many people feel the short life span is a fair trade-off for the wonderful personality.