The Great Dane

Great Dane History

It is not officially known exactly when the Great Dane first graced the earth, however, coins dated back to BC have the image of a dog with similarity to the Great Dane. It is commonly believed that the Great Dane originated in Germany, originally bred for hunting purposes.

The "Boar Hound" was one of the names used in the past before the breed was commonly referred to as what we know it to be today - The Great Dane.

Average life span

8 - 10 Years

Average size and weight

Bitch: 71cm, 50kg
Dog: 76cm, 60kg


Affectionate, loyal, gentle, compatible with other pets

Exercise requirements

It is commonly believed the Great Dane requires a lot of exercise, however this is not the case. The Great Dane requires a moderate level of exercise when fully grown, and very little whilst still a puppy due to their exceptionally quick growth.


The Great Dane comes in many colours, however some are not acceptable for showing in Australia.



Glossy black as illustrated here by Leo. White markings are not desirable for showing.
Blacks are a very popular colour of the Great Dane, however it should be noted they feel the heat more than other coloured Danes.



Colour varies from light grey to deep slate, modelled here by Jade.



As demonstrated by Malika, black & white with a solid black blanket extending
over the body, black skull with white muzzle.



Base colour of yellow gold with strong black cross stripes, ably illustrated here by Seamus.



Demonstrated in this case by Redmond, yellow gold with a black mask.
The fawn is one of the most popular colours.


Harlequin/Blue Harlequin

Harlequin - base colour of pure white with black or blue torn patches
distributed over the body. For showing, the patches should not be too large. Molto illustrates the black version.



Generally blue and grey or black and grey and can be spots, patches and strips. Spots are demonstrated here by Clifton and Millie.
This colour is not accepted for showing in Australia.

For Breed Standards for Great Danes, see here.

NOTE: The content of this website has been compiled by the committee of the GDLAWA, with many of the Dane photos provided by Simon Duggan, and while mimicry is often deemed a compliment, we do require that anyone wanting to copy or use any of the text or images, contacts us. We are usually happy to give our permission for the information to be utilised so long as the source is referenced. Please send us an email with your request.