Are Great Danes lazy? What you can expect from this giant breed

Great Danes are one of the most popular breeds in the world and for a good reason! They are intelligent, kind, and suitable for families. However, with their immense size, Great Danes have some special considerations to account for as well. Are Great Danes a lazy breed, and what does that mean for you as an owner?

Are Great Danes lazy? Many large and giant breed dog breeds have lower energy levels compared to smaller breeds and this remains true for Great Danes. While their puppy selves may possess more energy, adult Great Danes are notoriously lazy dogs. To put this in perspective, it’s not uncommon for a Great Dane to sleep 16-18 hours per day!

Many of the qualities that Great Danes possess have made them so beloved by their owners and general fans of the breed. Although Great Danes have a lazy streak, there are some owners who may strongly benefit from that quality.

Let’s talk about why Great Dane’s are lazy, if it is such a bad thing, and what you can do to keep your Great Dane active and healthy.

Are Great Danes Lazy?

Great Danes are one of the largest dog breeds in the world. Commonly referred to as gentle giants, they are known for their common disposition, and yes, their lazy personalities!

Just because your Great Dane probably doesn’t want to run a 5k with you, they still make great companions that are ready to stick by your side through just about anything. 

It is normal for large breed dogs not to be as energetic as smaller breeds. Their size and demeanor often keep them much calmer than others, and they really just want to spend time with you.

Don’t get me wrong, they’ll still have their moments of energy! In case you haven’t heard, Great Danes are also known for their zoomies 🙂 This is where they sprint around frantically sprint back and forth for anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

Not familiar with the zoomies? Take a look at this dedicated article on Great Dane zoomies if you’d like to learn more.

While it shouldn’t come as a surprise, Great Danes do not require excessive exercise. This makes them perfect for people who love large dogs but may not have a large home or apartment for them to call home.

Laziness is not necessarily a bad trait in Great Danes. If you have a dog that is over 100 pounds, you most likely do not want them to be wild and cause damage or injury to you, your home, or themselves.

What Causes Great Danes to Be Lazy?

There are tons of reasons why your Great Dane may be lazy. These reasons could be as simple as them just being themselves, or it could be something more serious.

Knowing what to look for can be the difference in your pet being healthy and happy or having a poor quality of life.

Great Danes are Large Pets

The main reason Great Danes are lazy is because of their immense size. With most weighing over 100 pounds, excessive movement and exercise can actually cause injuries to their bones and joints. Exhaustion is especially a case if the Great Dane is overweight.

Great Danes also grow at a rapid rate to get to their infamous size, which can sometimes cause those same bones and joints to be more delicate than others.

Their diet you feed your pet can also reflect on the energy of your Great Dane. Make sure you are feeding them a healthy and well-balanced diet. A high diet will keep them feeling their best, and it will help to reduce the chance of any future health concerns.

Potential Medical Causes of Laziness

While their massive size is the primary source of most laziness, there are also scenarios in which medical issues could also lead to increased “laziness”. I note that in quotes because overtiredness can also be mistaken for general laziness.

There is a large number of reasons that could result in lethargy but a few include:

  • Infection
  • Dehydration
  • Anemia
  • Bloat
  • Hormonal changes

Because identifying the source can be difficult, it’s extremely important to visit a veterinarian if your Great Dane begins exhibiting vastly different behaviors.

Is Laziness Such a Bad Thing?

Most people love that Great Danes are not a high-energy pet. Due to their size, it can be challenging to fit them into your life otherwise.

The amount of room they would need in order to fulfill their exercise needs would be impossible for those living in large cities or small homes. Great Danes have a low energy need, which keeps them content with just hanging around with you.

Their laziness is also ideal for those who use them as service dogs. They are happy just sitting around, and for those who have mobility concerns.

Combine that with their low grooming needs, large size, and intelligence, and you have the perfect service dog. The owner of the pet will not feel like they are doing a disservice to the dog by not regularly exercising the pet.

Although you want your pet to be as healthy and active as possible, just because they are sleeping or laying around does not mean they are not healthy.

How Can You Keep Your Great Dane from Being Lazy?

Although you cannot keep our Great Dane from enjoying a good nap on the couch, there are a few things you can do that will keep you Great Dane active and healthy. The most important thing is to be able to understand your dog’s needs.

Sometimes they do just want to have a nap on the couch. Other times, they are just bored and have nothing to do.

An easy trick is to keep enrichment toys around where you live. Enrichment toys are those that are created to challenge your pet or excite them more than their favorite stuffed bear.

You can get puzzle toys where your pet has to find a hidden treat, tunnels to help them learn agility, or something as simple as a ball, which can help them learn new commands and get some exercise in as well.

Another easy way to keep your dog from sleeping all day is to make sure that you are spending time with your pet. Having designated time to play with your pet or walk your pet not only gives them something to look forward to, but it also builds the bond between you and your pet.

Taking them to the dog park, going on a walk, or just playing with their favorite toy can go a long way with your Great Dane.

What are the Typical Exercise Requirements for Great Danes?

As with any breed, they need some sort of activity to keep them happy and healthy. Most of the larger breeds need a lot less activity than you think. For Great Danes, a half-hour daily is a good target to shoot for.

You could do this by merely walking around the neighborhood, or if you have a yard, give them some time outside to run around and play. If you are walking your pet, make sure you take the time to leash train them as they are large animals that can easily overpower their owner.

Dog parks are a great place to take your pet as well. For tips on taking your Great Dane to the dog park, make sure to take a look at our dedicated article here.

If you are looking to take your pet on hikes and trips with you, start small and work up their stamina so that they can enjoy the time spent with you.

Zach Reed

Hi everyone, I'm the founder of GreatDaneCare.com! As a Great Dane owner and advocate, I want to help spread my love and knowledge about these wonderful giants around to others through my writing!

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