This might just be the simplest answer to all common Great Dane questions. Yes, like all dogs Great Danes shed! The good news is that Great Danes have a short-haired coat that is easy to maintain. With just a few minutes each week, you can keep your house clean and your Great Dane’s coat healthy.
The best way to reduce Great Dane shedding is to brush their coat once per week and provide an occasional bath. Some owners report that these simple steps reduce shedding by a whopping 90%!
Tips for Reducing Shedding
Fortunately, much of the shedding can be prevented with the simple grooming tips described below.
Great Dane Brushing
Weekly brushing is the most useful grooming tip to reduce the amount of shedding. I typically perform the brushing in conjunction with other weekly grooming such as ear cleaning and nail trimming. It’s like a spa day for your pup (that lucky dog)!
You may find that the amount of shedding varies seasonally. In particular, the transition from winter to spring is a common time for more shedding.
As a result, it may be helpful to increase brushing to twice per week during these increased periods.
Best Brush for Great Danes
Our favorite brushing / deshedding tool for Great Danes is the Kong ZoomGroom. The rubber prongs on the ZoomGroom act like magnets to pull out dead hairs, and also gives your Dane a nice massage during the brushing process. You can also use it during baths to help massage in the shampoo.
With their short hair, regular dog brushes don’t do a great job of removing dead hairs from their coat. This is yet another win for the Kong ZoomGroom! Combine that with the fact that it’s extremely affordable, and it’s a no-brainer!
Zoom-groom is the best grooming and shampooing brush available. Removes loose hair like a magnet, stimulates capillaries, and natural oil production for healthy skin and coats. Regular grooming with Zoom-groom effectively reduces shedding!
If you have other dog(s) who are not Great Danes and want a single brush, then you may want to consider something like the Furminator to accommodate them. We particularly enjoy its large size and sturdy construction.
Although they also have a “giant” breed version, it is unreasonably more expensive than the large and not worth the cost difference in my opinion.
While I absolutely want my Great Dane to look and feel great, I don’t want to spend more time on their hair than my own! I’ve found that 5-10 minutes is more than enough time to thoroughly remove the dead hairs.
Steps to Brush Your Great Dane
- The instructions indicate to use immediately after a bath. However, due to the infrequent nature of baths for Great Danes, it’s unlikely that will be an option. Simply make sure that your Great Dane’s coat is dry before brushing.
- I would also recommend performing the brushing process outdoors, or in an easy to clean room to prevent hair from spreading throughout the house.
- Hold the brush roughly parallel to their body, and make long gently sweeping strokes.
- Start from near their head, and slowly work your way down their body. Avoid using too much pressure as it can irritate their skin.
- The Furminator also has a hair eject button to push out any hair in the event that it gets clogged up.
- To finish up, I typically also quickly run my hand across their coat to knock loose any remaining loose hairs.
As someone personally affected by pet dander, I have also found the brushing / deshedding process alleviates my allergies. Our vacuum appreciates the extra help as well
Video Tips for Deshedding
Great Dane Bathing
Giving them a bath as needed will help to remove dead hair and any other accumulated gunk from their coat. Be careful to not bathe them too frequently as it can result in dry skin.
Stick to gentle, dog-friendly shampoos to help prevent this from happening. Stay away from human shampoos as they may be too harsh and upset the pH balance of their skin.
Single vs Double Coat
Hypoallergenic or not, all dog breeds will shed. The only exception here is hairless breeds such as the American Hairless Terrier. As a result, the real shedding question from breed to breed comes down to “how much”.
Breeds with a double coat i.e. two layers will generally shed more and also require more grooming. The Chow Chow, Alaskan Husky, Golden Retriever, and Labrador Retriever are examples of breeds that have a double coat.
The undercoat serves as insulation, while the top coat shields them from dirt, water, and other substances.
Lucky for you, Great Danes only have a single coat to clean up after! Compared to other dog breeds, Great Danes will shed an average amount.
However, due to their larger physical size, the volume of shedding may appear higher than that of a smaller breed with a similar coat.
For example, consider a dog that is half the size of a Great Dane. Even if they shed at the exact same rate, a Great Dane’s coat is twice as large. As a result, the total volume of shed hair also doubles.
Fur Loss vs Shedding
While all dogs naturally shed, there could be cause for concern if you notice actual fur loss.
Some infections and illnesses will result in the formation of hairless patches, while others will result in an overall reduction of the volume of their coat.
This should be easily distinguishable from normal shedding regardless of the season due the appearance and feel of their coat.
Common signs to look for include:
- Bald patches or missing clumps of hair
- Hair that breaks or falls out unevenly
- The coat is dry and brittle to the touch
- Skin rashes or other skin issues
It is possible that these changes are a result of changes in diet, allergic reactions to shampoo or medications, hormonal fluctuations (including pregnancy), or increased stress.
To be certain, you should take your Great Dane to the veterinarian for further diagnosis.
This is yet another reason why incorporating brushing as part of your Great Dane’s regular grooming routine is important as it will keep you in tune with changes to their coat.
Great Dane Dandruff
It’s almost impossible to talk about Great Dane coat maintenance without touching on dandruff. Due to their sensitive skin, dandruff can be common amongst Great Danes.
In some cases, dandruff is caused by bathing too frequently or using a shampoo that is too harsh for their skin. If reducing their bath frequency and shampoo brand does not resolve the issue, then the source is obviously elsewhere.
Poor diet is another leading cause in both dandruff and poor coat appearance. You may want to consider switching to a higher quality brand of food, or looking into a RAW diet to improve the health of their skin and coat.
Keep in mind that it will take them at least a few weeks to adapt to any new food regimens, so don’t expect an immediate result.
Others have found that the addition of an omega fatty acid (link to a great one on Amazon) to greatly improve the quality of their Great Danes skin and coat.
However, my preference would always be to try and address their overall diet and other external factors first before jumping straight to dietary supplementation.
Lastly, know endocrine disorders such as Cushing’s disease and hyperthyroidism have also been known to cause dandruff. If you weren’t able to resolve their dandruff via dietary changes or grooming habits, then it could be worth a trip to the vet to see if it’s something more alarming.
We hope that you found this information helpful. Before you go, make sure to take a look at our favorite products for Great Danes!
The Great Dane Puppy Handbook takes all of the need-to-know Great Dane info and packages it together into a single, concise resource. Save yourself time, money, and frustration by avoiding the most common mistakes made by Great Dane owners!