According to the AKC breed standard - a full grown the male Great Dane should be 30 inches or taller at the shoulder. Female Danes should be no less than 28 inches at the shoulder. Most of the Danes we get into rescue tend to be on the small side. The male Danes average around 110 - 120 lbs, the female Danes average around 90 lbs. That's still a pretty big dog to most people.
About 2/3 of the Danes that are turned into rescue are pups and young adults. The main reason they are given up is that their owner wasn't prepared for their high activity level. Most Danes don't start to mature until 2 - 3 years of age, some take much longer. For younger Danes, a fenced yard is a must. We have found that younger Danes really do best in a home with another young, large and playful dog to help wear them out.
For homes with young children - we only recommend a calmer adult Dane. Younger Danes don't realize their size and tend to be too rough with younger children (and smaller dogs). We get an awful lot of younger Danes turned into rescue because they were too rough with the small children or small dogs in the home. Due to this, we rarely will consider younger Danes for homes with younger children.
Calmer adult Danes (usually at least 3 - 4 years of age) can do fine for a home without a fenced yard, or even an apartment. And as mentioned above, some calmer adults are a good option for homes with small children. In order for us to place an adult into a home with younger children, the Dane must be proven to do well living with children of a similar age. Danes as a whole are good with children, but due to their great size, we feel it's better to be safe than sorry.
Danes, as a whole, do prefer to be indoors. Their thin, short coat doesn't protect them well from the heat or the cold. They are a very people oriented breed and want to be where their family spends their time. Please make sure that you are prepared to deal with such a large dog in your home before you get one.
Great Dane Breed Information Links
Kennel Club (AKC) - Great Dane Breed Standard (opens in a new
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