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Are Great Danes Good Apartment Dogs: A Surprising Match?

Great Dane apartment living

Explore the reality of raising a Great Dane in an apartment setting, challenging the common belief about space and size. This article breaks down what makes these gentle giants suitable for apartment life, offering practical advice for potential owners!

Great Danes and Apartments

You’d be surprised to discover that the bigger the dog, the better they may be suited to urban living. This is partially due to their lower energy and exercise requirements.

Great Danes’ large and impressive size makes them very mellow, low-energy dogs who love to lounge around. Also, their short hair is easy to maintain and leads to less shedding than long-haired breeds. Less clean-up is always a good thing! 😉

Don’t worry about having a big backyard for them to play in. Taking your pet on frequent walks around the complex or to the dog park will meet their exercise needs.

Otherwise, they’re just as content lounging next to you throughout your next Netflix binge 🙂

With Great Danes, size is the obvious obstacle when it comes to living in an apartment! With a giant three-foot-tall frame, long legs, and a hefty head, there will surely be times when your pup is sure to bump into a few things or knock breakable (and valuable!) items over.

Once you can pet-proof your house, the rest is smooth sailing.

How to Dane-Proof Your Apartment

Before welcoming a Great Dane, either puppy or adult, into your apartment, it’s important to prep the area and to be aware of how their size can affect your living situation.

Although they may not intend to be reckless, Great Danes have bodies with minds of their own. They may inadvertently take down anything and everything in their path!

Remember that their happy tail is swinging at a much higher height than the average dog!

Start with crate training

If you have a Great Dane puppy and live or plan to live in an apartment, crate training will be your friend. Even though they are known for being docile, a puppy is still a puppy.

That energy needs to be tempered and will require training to teach them their boundaries. However, it shouldn’t take them too long to grow accustomed to the apartment lifestyle.

Although not the most appealing addition to an apartment, crates are necessary tools for every dog owner. These not only prevent messes, they also establish a space in your apartment for your dog to call their own.

Start out by getting a crate large enough to accommodate your enormous pooch as they grow. They should be able to get up and have enough room to turn around. Make it inviting and comfy with a bed, soft rug, or blankets and pillows.

Their crate should be placed in a location where you hang out often. Living rooms are often good places as a good chunk of time is spent watching TV or socializing there.

Begin the process of introducing your puppy to their new “room” by putting him in his crate at night and when you are away for short periods of time. Before long it will become their favorite place to hang out!

As soon as your pup is old enough and able to be trusted not to get into things or leave messes in your living room, the crate can be used whenever you deem necessary.

Don’t forget about toys!

Great Danes are just like any other puppies—playful and rambunctious! So it’s no surprise that they require toys to keep them entertained.

With big puppies come, you guessed it, big toys!

Be sure to have your pet’s favorite playthings nearby in a bin or basket for organization and easy accessibility. Toys can be kept on top of their crate or to the side. Pick somewhere logical depending on your available space.

Here’s a list of our favorite toys for Great Danes to help get you started!

Check high…

Once crate-trained and trusted to roam freely, Great Dane puppies will quickly grow out of their rowdiness and become cuddly couch potatoes.

However, they are still colossal animals who are sometimes oblivious to their own size. Countertops are fair game for them and often the items sitting on top fall victim to their giant bodies and slobbery mouths.

Double-check that delicate items such as dishes, vases, electronics, or anything that would be destroyed if they fell are not left out. If necessary, you can remove them from counter spaces while your pet is out of their crate.

Although they may not mean to, accidents do happen. If something on your counter can fall and break, chances are that it most likely will.

Along with removing breakables, refraining from storing food on counters is also not a bad idea. Dogs have a keen sense of smell and Great Danes have an advantage when it comes to finding unattended treats.

…and low!

If you thought the floor was safe from Great Danes, guess again. If you’re still planning on wearing your favorite pair of flip-flops or cozy slippers, remember to hide them so they don’t become Scooby’s next chew toy.

Other items like laundry baskets and children’s toys should also be out of your puppy’s range.

In particular, Great Dane puppies are notorious sock stealers. Keep a close eye out for this as it can cause intestinal blockages and serious health issues.

Be Prepared for Accidents

Be extra observant of their eating and drinking habits. Train them to go to the door when they need to go to the bathroom. This allows you ample time to lead them outside to do their business.

We all know accidents are bound to and do happen. It’s better to be prepared for when the occasion does arise. Stock up in advance on cleaning supplies like urine remover and bleach in case one does arise.

Puppy gates are also great ways to train your dog and minimize the possibility of accidents. Put them up to block out certain areas such as your bedroom, bathroom, or laundry room.

This makes it easy to keep your eye on them and only clean up one designated space. You can slowly remove the gates as they prove trustworthy around your home.

One home accident that is common amongst Great Danes is their propensity for eating socks! As gross as this may sound, it happens are a frightening rate! For more information on this topic, make sure to take a look at this article from Jackie at BigDogDen who covers this sock-debacle in more depth.

Great Dane Apartment Living Considerations

Before settling into an apartment with your Great Dane buddy, consider the points listed below.

These will ensure that you are able and ready to accommodate and provide a healthy, fun life for your pet.

  • Puppies are very energetic and love to play and run around. Plenty of exercise and training will be required in the first year of its life. Will living in an apartment hinder your ability to give a puppy the attention it needs?

    Unless you work from home or have an arrangement with your employer, leaving a puppy home alone all day is not ideal. You might want to reconsider a dog if you are not able to dedicate time to train and exercise them.
  • Adult Great Danes also need exercise. Albeit typically not as much as their smaller, more energetic counterparts. Do you have roommates or a dog walker who can stop in midday or when you are gone?
  • Great Danes need to be socialized with people and other dogs from a young age. This will help them fare well with others as an older dog. This means going to dog parks to get familiar with being around others. This will come in handy in highly populated places such as apartment complexes.
  • If your dog is older and has bad joints and ligaments, walking up and down stairs will take its toll. What would happen if they get sick or injured and can’t walk on their own? Would you have to carry them? Consider requesting a ground apartment close to open and grassy areas. Otherwise, look for an apartment with an elevator.
  • What will you do when you go on vacation? Is your dog trained and comfortable in kennels? It’s easy to neglect this aspect when first signing a lease. But it’s important to account for if you are someone who travels frequently.
  • Many complexes have size limits for dogs (more below). As you might expect, giant breeds like Great Danes usually surpass those limits.

More On Size Limits

Although Great Danes are great for apartment living, they may not be allowed by your leasing policy. It might be tricky to find a place that accepts dogs of that size.

You may want to talk to your landlord and come to an agreement. Alternatively, you can start hunting for other housing such as studios or affordable single-family homes.

Even though Great Danes are as sweet as can be, finding an apartment complex that allows these massive cuddle bugs can be difficult.

If you do find a complex willing to comply, be aware that owning them in an apartment is no small feat.

There needs to be proper planning and preparation. However, once that is completed, your Great Dane will be the best roommate you’ve ever had!

We hope that you found this information helpful. Before you go, make sure to take a look at our favorite products for Great Danes!

Are Great Danes good indoor dogs?

Great Danes are very well suited to being indoor dogs!

Despite being surprisingly athletic and loving the outdoors, their short coat and ease of overheating in hot temperatures make them less suited to extreme conditions outdoors.

In addition to not being well-equipped to brave the elements outside, their often lazy nature and desire to be around their human family members makes them an excellent fit for spending more time inside than out.

It’s not uncommon to find a Great Dane simply wanting to lie on a bed or couch with their family indoors, instead of chasing birds or sticks on their own outside.

Of course, this is not to say that a Great Dane should ever spend the entirety of their time indoors!

They still need daily activity in the form of walking or playing outside to help maintain muscle mass and mobility, while also helping to keep them at a healthy weight.

4 thoughts on “Are Great Danes Good Apartment Dogs: A Surprising Match?”

  1. Hi Zach,
    Good evening, as I write to you from New Delhi, India. At the outset congratulations, you run a lovely website on the gentle giants. It is very informative. I have never gone through my school or college text book as intently as I have gone through your site. I am convinced that a Great Dane, is the breed I want to own.
    To give you a historical perspective—- on his wedding my father’s best mate was not a man, but a German Shepard.
    Also I bought my first pup, on instalments — a Labrador, I had named her Pearl and she was ‘ best of show’ on two occasions— that was long time back,
    I am aware you charge for consultation, but if possible if you could please let me know
    What are the physical features that I should look for to figure out if the pup is healthy, am 53 now and don’t want a show dog, I want to own one because I just love them.
    Also, is there a way to find out if the pup would be good tempered ( here in India the belief is if the dog has even number of nails it would be good tempered),
    Also why am making these queries is because here there are fraudulent breeders who for greed (Danes cost a lot here) can palm off a pup which not as good a pedigree.
    Would be happy to if you could please guide me how to go for a good quality pup, however the vet from whom I am planning to bring home the pup is trustworthy.
    Many thanks for the lovely site and the videos. I love watching them.
    Would love to hear from you.
    All the best. Much regards

  2. Any suggestions for a puppy who until 8 months was living in a very small town. Now he lives in a city like Toronto and scared of every sound. Small walks and treats/verbal rewards are the best way to go? Thanks for you time


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