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How to Train a Great Dane: Tips and Techniques for Effective Training

great dane training

Embarking on the training journey with a Great Dane requires knowledge, patience, and the right techniques.

In this article, I’ll provide a step-by-step guide on how to train a Great Dane, ensuring your giant companion becomes a well-behaved and happy member of your family!

Understanding Your Great Dane

As a Great Dane owner, it’s important to understand your dog’s personality and behavior to effectively train them. Great Danes are known for their gentle and loving nature, but they can also be stubborn at times.

It’s crucial to establish yourself as the pack leader early on to prevent any behavioral issues.

One thing to keep in mind is that Great Danes are sensitive dogs. They respond well to positive reinforcement and praise, but harsh training methods can cause them to shut down or become fearful.

Training sessions should be short and frequent, with plenty of breaks in between to prevent your Great Dane from becoming overwhelmed.

Another thing to consider is your Great Dane’s size. These dogs grow to over 100 pounds, so it’s important to start training them when they are young to prevent any unwanted behaviors.

You’ll also want to make sure your Great Dane gets plenty of exercise to prevent them from becoming bored or destructive.

Overall, understanding your Great Dane’s personality and behavior is key to successful training.

With patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, you can train your Great Dane to be a well-behaved and obedient companion!

Establishing Trust and Bond

establishing trust with a great dane

When it comes to training a Great Dane, establishing trust and a strong bond between you and your furry friend is crucial. Building a positive relationship with your Great Dane will make training sessions more effective and enjoyable for both of you.

To establish trust, it’s important to spend quality time with your Great Dane. This can include going on walks, playing games, or simply cuddling on the couch. Consistency is also key – make sure to stick to a regular routine and establish clear boundaries.

In addition to spending time together, positive reinforcement is a great way to build trust and strengthen your bond. Reward your Great Dane with treats, praise, and affection when they exhibit good behavior.

This will help them associate training sessions with positive experiences and reinforce good habits.

Another important factor in building trust is communication.

Pay attention to your Great Dane’s body language and vocalizations to better understand their needs and emotions. Use clear and consistent commands during training sessions to avoid confusion and build trust.

Overall, establishing trust and a strong bond with your Great Dane is essential for successful training.

By spending quality time together, using positive reinforcement, and communicating effectively, you can build a foundation of trust and set your Great Dane up for a lifetime of learning and growth.

Essential Training Equipment

essential great dane training equipment

As a Great Dane owner, there are a few essential training equipment that you will need to have on hand to effectively train your dog.

Here are some of the most important ones:


A sturdy leash is a must-have for any Great Dane owner. When it comes to leash training, a shorter leash is generally recommended, as it gives you more control over your dog’s movements.

A longer leash can be useful for training your dog to come when called, but should only be used in a safe and enclosed area.

For more info, here’s my full article on Great Dane leash training.


Treats are a great way to motivate and reward your Great Dane during training sessions. Look for high-quality, low-calorie treats that your dog will find irresistible.

It’s important to use treats in moderation, however, as overfeeding can lead to weight gain and other health problems.

You can find some of my recommended Great Dane treats here.


Toys can be a valuable tool in training your Great Dane, as they provide mental stimulation and help prevent destructive behavior. Look for toys that are durable and safe for your dog to chew on.

Interactive toys, such as puzzle toys or toys that dispense treats, can be particularly effective in keeping your Great Dane engaged and focused.

For ideas on good toys, take a look at my article on the best Great Dane toys.

Clicker Training

Clicker training is a popular method of positive reinforcement training that involves using a clicker to mark desired behaviors, followed by a treat or reward.

Clicker training can be a highly effective way to teach your Great Dane new commands and behaviors and can be used in conjunction with other training methods.

Starting with Basic Commands

basic great dane training commands

As a Great Dane owner, it’s essential to start with basic commands such as sit, stay, and come. These simple commands are the foundation of all Great Dane training commands and will help you establish a strong bond with your dog.

When starting with basic commands, it’s important to remember to take it slow and focus on one trick at a time. Great Danes are intelligent dogs, but they can get easily overwhelmed if you try to teach them too much too quickly.

To start, choose a quiet and distraction-free area to train your Great Dane. Begin by teaching the sit command. Hold a treat above your dog’s head and move it back towards their tail.

As your Great Dane follows the treat with their nose, their bottom should naturally lower to the ground. Once they are in the sitting position, say “sit” and give them the treat.

Once your Great Dane has mastered the sit command, move on to the stay command.

  • Have your dog sit and then hold your hand up in front of them, palm facing outwards, and say “stay.”
  • Slowly back away from your Great Dane, and if they stay in the sitting position, reward them with a treat.

Finally, teach your Great Dane the come command.

  • Start by having your dog sit and stay.
  • Then, walk a few steps away from them and say “come.” As your Great Dane runs towards you, reward them with a treat.

Remember to keep training sessions short and sweet. Great Danes have a short attention span, so limit each session to no more than 15 minutes!

By starting with basic commands and focusing on one trick at a time, you’ll be well on your way to training a well-behaved Great Dane.

Importance of Consistency and Patience

As a Great Dane owner, I’ve learned that consistency and patience are key when it comes to training these gentle giants. Great Danes are intelligent dogs, but they can also be stubborn, so it’s important to remain calm and patient when training them.

Consistency is also crucial when training a Great Dane. Using the same commands and techniques every time will help your dog understand what is expected of them.

This means that everyone in the household should be on the same page and using the same commands. For example, if one person says “down” while another says “lie down,” the dog will become confused and may not respond to either command.

Training a Great Dane requires practice and repetition. It’s important to set aside time every day for training sessions, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Short, frequent sessions are more effective than long, infrequent ones. It’s also important to vary the training routine to keep your dog engaged and interested.

Mastery of training techniques takes time, and it’s important to remember that progress may not be immediate. It’s important to remain patient and not become frustrated if your dog doesn’t respond as quickly as you’d like.

Every dog learns at their own pace, and it’s important to celebrate small victories along the way.

Positive Reinforcement Techniques

As a dog owner, I have found that positive reinforcement is the best way to train a Great Dane. Positive reinforcement means rewarding good behavior rather than punishing bad behavior.

This technique is effective because it helps your dog associate good behavior with rewards, making them more likely to repeat that behavior in the future.

One way to use positive reinforcement is to reward your Great Dane with treats when they exhibit good behavior. You can use small, bite-sized treats that are easy to chew and digest.

Make sure to use treats that are healthy and appropriate for your dog’s size and age. This will help ensure that your dog stays healthy and happy while learning new behaviors.

Another way to use positive reinforcement is to praise your Great Dane when they exhibit good behavior. Dogs love attention and praise, and they respond well to positive feedback.

You can use words like “good boy” or “good girl” to praise your dog when they do something right.

This will help them associate good behavior with positive feedback and encourage them to repeat that behavior in the future.

Positive reinforcement can also be fun for both you and your Great Dane. You can use toys or playtime as rewards for good behavior.

This will help keep training sessions fun and engaging, and your dog will be more likely to enjoy the training process.

Dealing with Distractions

great dane distractions

As a Great Dane owner, I know how easily they can get distracted. Distractions can come in many forms, such as loud noises, people, other dogs, or even a squirrel running by. To train your Great Dane, you need to be able to help them focus and ignore distractions.

One way to help your Great Dane focus is to start training in a quiet, distraction-free environment. Once they have learned a command, gradually increase the level of distraction.

For example, if you are teaching your Great Dane to sit, start by training them in a quiet room with no distractions. Once they have mastered the command, move to a busier room with more distractions, such as the living room.

Another way to help your Great Dane focus is to use positive reinforcement. Reward your Great Dane with treats or praise when they focus on you and ignore distractions. This will help them associate good behavior with positive outcomes.

If your Great Dane does get distracted, it’s important to redirect their attention back to you. For example, if your Great Dane starts sniffing the ground during a training session, use a command such as “look at me” to redirect their attention back to you.

It’s also important to be patient when training your Great Dane. They may get distracted or not understand a command right away, but with consistent training and positive reinforcement, they will eventually learn.

Advanced Command Training

advanced great dane training

Once your Great Dane has mastered basic obedience, you can move on to advanced command training. This type of training involves teaching your dog more complex commands that require higher levels of focus and discipline.

One important command to teach your Great Dane is “heel.”

This command teaches your dog to walk calmly and obediently beside you without pulling on the leash.

  • To teach this command, start by walking your dog on a leash and rewarding them for walking calmly beside you.
  • Gradually increase the distance and duration of the walks while rewarding good behavior and correcting bad behavior.

Another useful command is “lie down.” This command teaches your dog to lie down on command, which can be helpful in situations where you need your dog to stay still and calm.

To teach this command, start by getting your dog into a sitting position, then use a treat or toy to lure them into a lying down position. Reward good behavior and gradually phase out the use of treats or toys.

Command training is also an important aspect of advanced training. This involves teaching your dog to follow specific commands such as “stay,” “come,” and “leave it.”

To teach these commands, start by using treats or toys to lure your dog into the desired behavior, then gradually phase out the use of rewards.

Socialization and Behavior Training

socializing a great dane

As a Great Dane owner, I understand the importance of socialization and behavior training for my furry friend.

Socialization is the process of exposing your Great Dane to different environments, people, and animals to help them develop well-rounded social skills.

It’s important to start socializing your Great Dane at an early age, ideally between 8 and 16 weeks old, to help prevent aggressive behavior and other issues down the line.

For more info on this topic, make sure to bookmark my full article on Great Dane socialization.

Understanding and Redirecting Negative Behaviors

redirect negative great dane behaviors

As a Great Dane owner, it is important to understand and redirect negative behaviors in your dog. This includes behaviors such as aggression, biting, and destructive chewing.

It is important to note that punishment is not an effective way to train your Great Dane and can actually make negative behaviors worse.

Instead, redirection is key. For example, if your Great Dane is chewing on furniture, redirect them to a chew toy or bone. If they are jumping on people, redirect them to sit or lie down.

Consistency is key when redirecting negative behaviors, so make sure to use the same commands and redirection techniques every time.

It is also important to understand the root cause of negative behaviors. Aggression can be caused by fear or anxiety, so it is important to address these underlying issues.

Destructive chewing can be a sign of boredom, so providing your Great Dane with plenty of toys and exercise can help alleviate this behavior.

Overall, understanding and redirecting negative behaviors in your Great Dane requires patience and consistency. Punishment is not an effective training method and can actually make negative behaviors worse.

By redirecting and addressing the root cause of negative behaviors, you can help your Great Dane become a well-behaved and happy companion.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to train a Great Dane?

The best way to train a Great Dane is through positive reinforcement techniques such as rewards, praise, and treats. Great Danes are intelligent and eager to please, so they respond well to positive feedback. Consistency is also key in training your Great Dane. Make sure to establish clear rules and boundaries and stick to them.

How can I get my Great Dane to listen?

To get your Great Dane to listen, you should establish a strong bond with your dog through consistent training, playtime, and affection. Use positive reinforcement techniques to encourage good behavior and discourage bad behavior. Practice commands regularly and reward your Great Dane for following them. Be patient and consistent in your training.

What commands should I teach my Great Dane?

Some essential commands to teach your Great Dane include sit, stay, come, down, and heel. These commands will help keep your Great Dane safe and well-behaved. You can also teach your Great Dane fun tricks like roll over or play dead.

How do I crate train a Great Dane puppy?

Crate training is an effective way to potty train your Great Dane puppy and keep them safe while you’re away. Start by introducing your Great Dane to the crate with positive reinforcement techniques like treats and praise. Gradually increase the amount of time your Great Dane spends in the crate and make sure to provide plenty of toys and comfortable bedding. Never use the crate as a form of punishment.

What are some tips for caring for a Great Dane puppy?

Some tips for caring for a Great Dane puppy include providing plenty of exercise, socialization, and training. Great Danes are prone to certain health issues, so make sure to schedule regular vet check-ups and keep up with vaccinations. Also, invest in a high-quality dog bed that can accommodate your Great Dane’s size.

3 thoughts on “How to Train a Great Dane: Tips and Techniques for Effective Training”

  1. Good morning, I enjoy reading your weekly newsletters and am wondering if you have any tips for crate training a Great Dane puppy??


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