The Ultimate Great Dane Puppy Ownership Guide

16 minute read By Lucy Hughes
Reviewed by: Pawrade Team
September 05, 2023

one black and white and one gray great dane puppies sit in a grassy field

You’ve invited a dear friend from out of town to come to dinner. Ding dong! They’re here! 

Your friend is greeted by what they thought would be a dog, but instead, an animal the size of a small donkey is sniffing their elbows. You’ve tried desperately to limit your dog’s jumping, but all of a sudden, your friend is slow dancing with your Great Dane eye-to-eye, their massive paws resting on your friend’s shoulders. 

Your friend embraces your pony-dog and guides them back down to the floor, jokingly asking, “Can I ride him?” You’re used to the comments though and fire back, “Yes, let me get his saddle!” 

Great Dane puppies for sale grow into gentle giants with a noble, dignified, and sometimes downright goofy appearance. They’ve delighted centuries of admirers, and it’s easy to see why. 

Few breeds command attention quite like the Great Dane in the canine kingdom. Imagine a dog that could double as a small horse, yet demonstrates an irresistible charm and gentle demeanor. 

A Great Dane puppy’s personality is as remarkable as its size. Discover the heartwarming blend of affection and playfulness that defines their character. Uncover the secrets to caring for these extra-large pooches, from feeding tips to exercise needs, ensuring they thrive as beloved members of your family.

Join us on this journey through the world of Great Danes, where history, appearance, personality, and care converge to create a dog breed that truly lives up to its majestic moniker. Our comprehensive guide will help you learn all about Great Dane puppies for sale to see if these big babies are right for you. 

The Origin & History of Great Dane Puppies For Sale

Before we learn more about Great Dane puppies for sale, knowing where they came from may help you understand your Great Dane puppy on a deeper level. 

Most people assume a Great Dane is from Denmark. However, that’s not the whole story. The Great Dane's ancestry can actually be traced back to Ancient Greece, where massive, Molossian hounds were used for hunting and guarding. Over time, these dogs were crossbred with Irish Wolfhounds and English Mastiffs, resulting in a larger, more robust breed with the attributes we now associate with Great Dane puppies for sale.

The breed's name likely evolved from the French word "grand Danois," which means "Great Danish dog," as they were admired in Denmark and were often associated with Danish nobility. Great Danes served various roles, from hunting boars and bears to guarding estates and carriages. Their imposing size and protective instincts made them valuable assets.

Great Danes arrived in America in the 19th century, with the first breed club established in 1889. These noble dogs quickly gained popularity in the United States, thanks to their impressive appearance and loyal disposition.

Famous Great Danes

Great Danes are an iconic canine woven into American culture. With their giant bodies, hilarious expressions, and goofy mannerisms, it’s no wonder Great Danes have been the stars of people’s childhood memories across generations. 



Zeus, a 2-year-old Texan Great Dane, was declared the World’s Tallest Male Canine standing at 3 ft. 5.18 in. tall! Naturally, he was the largest of his litter and had giant paws even at birth. Attracting attention wherever he goes, Zeus likes to visit the Dallas Farmer’s Market, counter surf for tasty morsels, and hang out on the couch. 


Marmaduke, the colossal and comical Great Dane, has been tickling the funny bones of readers in the world of comics for decades. Created by Brad Anderson, this larger-than-life canine character made his debut in 1954, and he's been entertaining audiences ever since. 

Marmaduke's escapades often revolve around his gigantic size and the humorous challenges it presents to his human family, the Winslows. Whether he's attempting to squeeze into a tiny doghouse, taking over the couch, or simply slobbering with enthusiasm, Marmaduke's lovable antics and gentle disposition have made him a beloved figure in the world of comic strips. 


Astro, the lovable Great Dane from "The Jetsons," added a delightful dose of canine charm to this futuristic animated series. With his endearing clumsiness and boundless enthusiasm, Astro became an integral part of the Jetson family with his silly antics and devotion to Elroy. One fun fact is Don Messick of Hanna-Barbera voiced both Astro and Scooby-Doo. 


The iconic show "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!" made its debut in 1969, and it quickly became a beloved classic. This animated series introduced us to a quirky group of sleuths known as the Mystery Inc. gang, consisting of Shaggy, Daphne, Fred, Velma, and the unforgettable Scooby-Doo himself.

Scooby-Doo, whose full name is Scoobert "Scooby" Doo, is more than just a pet; he's Shaggy Rogers' loyal best friend. Scooby-Doo's endearing trait is his ability to talk, adding a unique twist to the show's mysteries. Whether it's helping to uncover clues or eagerly indulging in a Scooby snack, he's an integral part of the gang's escapades.

The brilliant mind behind Scooby's creation is Iwao Takamoto, a talented animator at Hanna-Barbera. Takamoto, however, didn't embark on this creative journey alone. He received valuable insights from a colleague at Hanna-Barbera who happened to be an expert in breeding Great Danes which played a pivotal role in shaping Scooby-Doo's character design.

Scooby-Doo the Great Dane continues to delight newer generations with several reboots of TV shows and movies even into 2023.

What is Life with a Great Dane Puppy Like? 

We can assure you that life with a Great Dane puppy is never dull, boring, or lacking in entertainment! Going through life with a Great Dane puppy by your side takes a special person to devote to their needs. Here are a few tidbits Great Dane puppy owners want you to know about choosing a Great Dane puppy for sale and living with this fantastic dog breed. 

The “Apollo of Dogs”

Great Danes are one of the largest dog breeds, known for their striking height and powerful build. Typically standing up to 32 inches tall and weighing up to 175 pounds, they truly are the size of some farm animals out grazing in the fields! 

Their elegant yet muscular physique, along with their gentle temperament, has earned them this comparison to Apollo, the Greek god associated with beauty, strength, and grace. This nickname reflects the Great Dane's unique combination of size and elegance, making them truly the "Apollo" among dogs.

Colors and patterns galore

While Marmaduke and Scooby-Doo are the same shade of a brownish fawn color, there are so many other colors and markings a Great Dane can display. The AKC lists 10 show standard colorings with 7 other acknowledged colorings and 3 standard markings with 8 other possibilities. Great Danes can be born with a variety of striking coat colors, including fawn, brindle, blue, black, harlequin, and mantle. These colors can be accompanied by various markings, such as black masks, white chests, and even spots or patches, adding to the breed's distinctive and eye-catching appearance. There truly is a Great Dane puppy for everyone’s preferences. 


Cropped or floppy ears?

Great Dane puppies for sale are born with big ears that fold down, and it is up to the breeder or owner to opt to crop their ears, making them stand up like bat ears. Great Dane puppies historically had their ears cropped to keep them out of the way when hunting dangerous animals like wild boars, but today, it’s performed due to aesthetic preference. Great Dane puppy owners will need to be committed to changing dressings and wrapping the ears for 6-12 months to get them to stand up fully.

Exercise needs 

Great Dane puppies for sale will need about 30-45 minutes of activity a day. They love going on walks, playing with other dogs, and engaging in mentally stimulating activities like puzzles and interactive toys. 

While Great Danes do like to be active and get the zoomies, too, you will have to monitor their exuberant romping around to make sure they don’t overexert themselves. Because they’re so large, it takes longer for their bones to grow into their adult size, and they have an extended puppyhood compared to smaller breeds. You wouldn’t want to hurt their legs and arms or cause unnecessary skeletomuscular stress. 

Size does matter

For obvious reasons, Great Dane puppies for sale do well in houses that have enough space to share with such a giant dog. They will take over all your furniture, so be prepared to give up half your couch or your favorite easy chair. They’ll also need lots of room to roam. For these reasons, they aren’t the best choice for people with small living spaces or no access to outside spaces. Check your lease agreement, as some places have weight restrictions on some larger dog breeds. 


A small dog trapped inside a large one

Great Dane puppies for sale have no idea how big they are. They “suffer” from thinking they can do what regular-sized dogs can do, which is not always the case and results in some hilarious mishaps. Great Danes will try their best to climb up in your lap for some snuggles. Another endearing thing they might do is to try and hide behind an object much smaller than they are. They also love playing with other dogs but may scare them with their huge, imposing size. They just want to be loved! 

Sensitive scaredy cats

Despite having a powerful bark and massive bodies, Great Dane puppies can sometimes be wary of experiences that might not make sense to their owners. For example, Pepper the Great Dane in NC is terrified of shower drains, balloons, and rain and won’t go outside to face the raindrops head-on. Her owners always have to practically push her out the door so she can do her business. Other Great Danes can be afraid of fireworks, thunderstorms, garbage trucks, or being separated from their owners. It’s best to desensitize your Great Dane puppy to the regular noises they will encounter as they grow up to reduce fear. 

Nothing on the counter is safe

You might not realize that a Great Dane can scarf down an entire pizza left on the counter in about 2 seconds. Great Dane owners can also tell awful yet hilarious tales of their Great Danes interfering with holiday meals if they’re left unsupervised around the delicious foods. Don’t forget about your bathroom counters, either – we’ve heard of Great Danes eating tubes of toothpaste as snacks! 

greatdanecover (1).webp

Exuberance for life

A Great Dane puppy is never a sullen, standoffish dog. They want to be right where the action is and will be over-enthusiastic about whatever it is you are doing. They absolutely love life and bring a certain joy to people. They’re also dependable, friendly, and like to make you laugh. 

Their expressions are hilarious

You haven’t experienced true judgment unless you’ve been a victim of a Great Dane’s side-eye glance. Great Dane owners will swear their Great Danes make human-like expressions, often giving away their feelings of surprise, disappointment, or guilt for eating those birthday cupcakes off the cooling rack. 

Drool factories

You’ll notice right away if your Great Dane puppy is a big drooler with strings of glistening saliva hanging down from their jowls. While not all Great Danes are droolers, go ahead and expect yours will probably fall into the Droolers category. They’re also really sloppy drinkers and may spill their water everywhere when they drink from their bowl like a horse drinks from a trough. Their drool can be slung everywhere, such as the walls, ceilings, your car windows, the furniture, and yes, even you. Be prepared to keep cleaning supplies handy for frequent wipe-downs. 

Your best buddy

There’s no denying that Great Dane puppies for sale are some of the sweetest, most loyal puppers around. They are totally devoted to their families, mild-mannered, and are excellent companions for children. However, always supervise them around kids because someone could get hurt or knocked over during playtime. Great Danes will become your shadow, so be prepared for the largest “piece” of Velcro you’ve ever seen! 

Train and socialize them well

You already know you’ll attract a crowd the second you go out with your Great Dane puppy. We cannot emphasize enough how crucial it is to start teaching basic commands and socialization skills from Day One. A Great Dane needs to be able to follow commands and behave due to their colossal size. An unruly Great Dane, however friendly, is a liability and disaster waiting to happen. Be prepared that many people might even be scared of your giant dog, so it’s on you to ensure your Great Dane puppy has great manners and can harness their unbridled enthusiasm for life. 

Eager to please

Great Dane puppies are known for their desire to please their owners. They are highly trainable and respond well to positive reinforcement, making them excellent candidates for obedience training. Because they are so sensitive, never use harsh training methods. 

Caring for Great Dane Puppies For Sale 

When you bring home your Great Dane puppy after doing careful research, your quest to provide them with the best life possible has begun. 

One of the factors new Great Dane puppy owners might not fully understand is how much you may spend on your Great Dane. From food to supplies to healthcare, you should be financially prepared to raise a puppy before you look into your desired dog breed. 


High-quality nutrition

These puppies sure can eat! Since they are so large, they will need high-quality food to aid in their healthy growth – and a lot of it! Great Dane puppies should be fed multiple smaller meals a day to minimize the risk of bloat, a common concern in deep-chested breeds. They also need specially formulated food to provide enough calories and nutrients to sustain their huge sizes and encourage healthy growth. 

Supplies and Accessories

With a bigger dog comes the need for huge items that are meant specifically for their size. Some items may not be big enough in your local big box pet store, and you might have to get creative with some supplies.

Great Dane owner Denise Doorlag notes, “The only downside is that everything costs more; the food, medicines, transport. We had to get a van to be able to transport him, oh, and if he steps on your foot - he leaves bruises!" Doorlag owns what was once the tallest Great Dane (also named Zeus), who was 44 inches tall – as big as a donkey! 

It’s a great idea to crate train your puppy so they have a safe space to go when you are not home or when they get overwhelmed. You can make a choice when selecting a dog crate to buy a few in each size or the largest one you can find that comes with dividers that can be moved as your puppy grows. Measure your Great Dane puppy’s current size and see how big they’re anticipated to grow based on their parents’ weights if you are ordering the largest size for a one-and-done purchase. You can also borrow different sizes of crates from friends or family, or buy secondhand and resell again when your Great Dane puppy outgrows it. 

Every dog needs a soft, comfy bed for lounging or napping in the sunshine. However, you may have a difficult time finding a bed big enough for your Great Dane! Some people have gotten clever and use a toddler-sized crib mattress with a washable cover as their Great Dane’s bed. 

Because Great Danes have thin skin, you may want to purchase a dog jacket or sweater if they will be outside for more than a quick walk. Extra large accessories mean more fabric and detail, so they may cost more than an outfit for a smaller dog. Likewise, harnesses and leashes may be designed to handle strong, powerful dogs and will cost more than a simple chest harness or retractable leash. You’ll need large, durable dog toys for heavy chewers, and avoid toys that are too small that could be choking hazards. A tennis ball can easily disappear into a Great Dane’s mouth – and they’ll try to fit as many of them as they can in their mouths! 

We’ve even heard “tails” about people having to upgrade to a larger vehicle because their growing Great Dane grew right out of fitting in the car! You’ll need to be able to transport your Great Dane places, so add that to what to consider when bringing home a new puppy if you choose Great Dane puppies for sale for your next furry friend. 

Grooming a Great Dane is easy

Great Dane puppies for sale are low maintenance when it comes to grooming needs. You won’t have to worry about haircuts or blowouts. All they need is a good brushing, a bath when they start to get stinky, and regular ear, nail, teeth, and eye care. Even though they have a single coat, they still can shed moderately. 


Addressing Health Conditions

In general, larger breeds tend to suffer from potentially serious health problems. For this reason, attend regular vet visits and keep your Great Dane puppy current on shots and parasite prevention. 

Sadly, Great Danes have a shorter life expectancy than most other dogs, only living 7-10 years and often fewer. Their unique health challenges may include: 

  • Bloat (Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus, GDV): Great Danes have deep chests, making them more susceptible to bloat. This life-threatening condition occurs when the stomach fills with gas and twists on itself. Rapid medical intervention is critical to save the dog's life.
  • Hip & Elbow Dysplasia: This hereditary condition is prevalent in large breeds like Great Danes. It involves an improper fit of the hip or elbow joint, leading to arthritis and pain. Regular hip & elbow evaluations are essential.
  • Cardiomyopathy: Great Danes are predisposed to dilated cardiomyopathy, a heart condition that can result in congestive heart failure. Regular cardiac check-ups are crucial.
  • Osteosarcoma: This aggressive bone cancer is more common in Great Danes than in other breeds. It often occurs in the legs and requires swift medical attention.
  • Growth-Related Disorders: Great Dane puppies grow rapidly, which can lead to developmental issues like panosteitis (growing pains) and hypertrophic osteodystrophy. Proper nutrition and controlled exercise during growth stages can help.


Happy Pawrade Customer Brian B. and his Great Dane puppy, Sophia 

Where Can I Find Great Dane Puppies For Sale Near Me? 

Convinced that you need a gentle giant to call your own? Pawrade is here to help! 

We work with an extensive network of trusted Great Dane breeders who pass our rigorous selection process. These breeders have demonstrated that they are knowledgeable about the breed, care about the well-being of their Great Dane puppies, and raise them in a sanitary, loving environment to prepare them for a great life with you. 

Pawrade makes the process of buying Great Dane puppies for sale easy and seamless. From our Puppy Concierge Team to travel options, Pawrade is with you every step of the way. We even offer a comprehensive health guarantee and only accept payment through a secure transaction management system,, to fight scams and offer full transparency and communication during the adoption process and beyond.

Don’t spend hours trying to conduct research on your own, only to be left frustrated and even worse, scammed. Turn to Pawrade! We’ve done all the hard work for you. Search our Great Dane puppies for sale to find your perfect house pony – oops, we mean Great Dane! 


Lucy Hughes profile picture

Lucy Hughes

Lucy Hughes has been teaching and writing professionally for half her life. She has a passion for helping people choose a puppy and lead an exciting life with their new furry companion. She enjoys spending quality time with her family and her beloved Golden Retriever, Bowie.

All Author Posts

Available Great Dane Puppies