If you’re considering adding a Great Dane to the family, then it’s important to take into consideration the reasons that you shouldn’t get a Great Dane. This giant breed of dog is extremely special, but they don’t come without their own set of unique challenges.
This is not to say that Great Danes are amazing animals that will bring an immense amount of joy to your life, just that you should be aware of the potential challenges that you may face. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the 7 reasons why you should not get a Great Dane!
#1 Home Alone
Every breed of dog loves spending time with its family. That’s one of the many reasons that they’re such great pets!
While virtually any dog prefers to spend time with its family, Great Danes do not do well when consistently left alone for long periods. They are an extremely social breed, who need to interact with others.
Sure, having another dog present for a companion will help. But it’s your human presence that they specifically want and need! Sadly, a lack of human interaction is often one of the leading reasons for Great Dane anxiety.
This is not to say that you can’t ever leave them home alone, just that it shouldn’t happen the majority of the time. They crave attention and interaction just like we do!
So be kind, and make sure that you have the ability to spend time with them before choosing to bring a Great Dane into your family.
#2 Tight Finances
This may sound crude, but I have to be upfront in saying that Great Danes are not a cheap breed to care for. Between their food, veterinary bills, vaccines, toys, and the many other areas that will cost money, the expenses can quickly add up.
As a giant breed, they have elevated occurrence rates for diseases such as bloat, cancer, Wobbler’s syndrome, and hip dysplasia as just a few examples. Treating any one of these could cost thousands of dollars!
For this reason, many Great Dane owners choose to purchase pet insurance to help cover the cost of potential bills, but this in itself is also an added expense! I
f you choose not to leverage pet insurance, then you’ll want to make sure that you have a pet savings plan of some form to ensure that you’re able to cover thousands of dollars in emergency medical costs if they did arise.
Food alone often costs $100 per month to feed an adult Great Dane. While you could choose to feed them cheaper food to lower the food bill, this often results in more costly health issues down the line.
#3 Shy Guy/Gal
This may seem like a funny thing to bring up, but having a Great Dane may not be the best fit for you if you’re an extremely shy individual. Great Danes are a special sight, and any public outing is bound to draw a LOT of attention your way!
Like it or not, people will flock to you and your Dane to ask questions, ask if they can pet them, etc… As previously mentioned, Great Danes are very social dogs so they tend to love this type of interaction.
If this type of interaction makes you extremely uncomfortable, then it may be worth considering choosing a dog breed that draws less attention to you.
On the flip side, if you’re actively looking to break out of your shell then a Great Dane may be great choice for you! Having a giant canine sidekick may be just the trick needed to help you break through your own social discomforts.
#4 Space Is A Premium
Despite their large size, Great Dane’s take up surprisingly little space inside ones home. They’re notorious for simply liking to lounge around and hang out, without extremely high energy or exercise needs (past the puppy phase anyway).
That being said, you do need to ensure that you have large enough areas available to dedicate to a full-size crate or bed. These are roughly equivalent to the size of an infant mattress or crib, so make sure you’ve got plenty of room for them to have their own space!
In addition to the space inside your home, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve got outdoor space for them as well. While they don’t need hours of exercise, they do need to have enough room to safely run around.
While small yards are fine for allowing them to relieve themselves, they’ll need a large open space to run in and play. Ideally, an off-leash dog park or safe open space is best for this type of outing.
This is not to say that you need to own such a large area, just that you’ve got one or more within reasonable distance to your home.
It’s also worth pointing out that your vehicle will also need to be large enough to hold your Great Dane once they’re fully grown. As a best case, you’ll only make a trip to see the veterinarian once per year.
However, you’ll need to ensure that you’ve got a way to make that trip happen!
#5 Training Required
When it comes to Great Danes, training is not optional – it’s mandatory! Having an unruly human-sized dog is a recipe for both dogs and humans getting injured.
Not only could this result in expensive medical bills, but you also run the risk of getting sued, or worse… Worse as in your dog running across the road and getting killed by a car kind of bad.
Yes, that’s just how important it is to make sure that adequate time is spent in this area to ensure that your large strong dog is well-trained.
Furthermore, training is something that you can’t simply put off until later when you’ve “got more time”. It needs to start as soon as they join your family and be practiced several days per week at a minimum.
Daily is even better!
It’s worth pointing out that training doesn’t have to be a solo endeavor. There’s nothing wrong with working one on one with a trainer or attending a group class to supplement your knowledge.
#6 Short Lifespan
Many people will bring up the point about a Great Dane’s shorter lifespan first, but I don’t see it as a primary reason to not get one.
Yes, your dog’s passing will be a sad and sorrowful event, but this is also true for other dog breeds as well.
In fact, I’d argue that Great Danes cram more love, affection, and good times into their comparatively shorter lives to help make up for it!
It’s still going to break your heart when they pass away, but once you feel the love of a Great Dane it’s unlikely that you’ll turn back 😉
#7 You Think They’re “Cool”
Just in case it hasn’t already come across, I’ll restate this more plainly – Great Danes are a LOT of work!
If your primary reason for getting a Great Dane is because you think that they’re “cool dogs” then that’s just simply not enough. There are a lot of other cool breeds out there that require far less care and due diligence, so you might as well make things easy on yourself!
While they are certainly an amazing, loyal, and loving breed, there’s no “wingin’ it” when it comes to caring for them. If you aren’t ready to commit a lot of time and money to their care, then you’re just not ready to have one.
While that may sting for some people to hear, I say it because I want what’s best for the dog.
Every year in the United States alone, there are approximately 3.3 million dogs taken in by shelters.
What’s even more heartbreaking about that number is that 80% of those dogs are in fact healthy. Meaning that in most cases they were simply abandoned by their family.
My ask is to simply better educate yourself before jumping into big decisions like owning a Great Dane, because at the end of the day it’s the dog who suffers when we make bad choices.
So, good on you for reading this article!
As you can see, it’s not all roses when it comes to owning a Great Dane.
If you’re not able to commit to the items previously mentioned to provide the necessary care for a Great Dane then the breed may not be the best fit for you. This isn’t to say that you can never have a Great Dane in your family, just that it may take time and changes to occur before you’re ready for them.
For more information about caring for a Great Dane, please make sure to consider my book “The Great Dane Puppy Handbook“.
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!
When or if that does happen, it will make having waited for that much joy knowing that you did what was best for them!
If you’re looking for a list of reasons why you should get a Great Dane, then make sure to take a look at my article HERE.
7 thoughts on “7 Reasons That You Shouldn’t Get a Great Dane”
i think that these should be more reasonable I love dogs and you should right one on why we should have a great dane
I did! You can read that post here -> https://greatdanecare.com/why-get-great-dane/
Every thing you stated on why not to have a Great Dane is True. I am on my 11th Great Dane now and I am in my 70s. I just absolutely Love Great Danes, but I would add 1 thing, training a new puppy when you are old is darn tough and will make you sore till the dog is trained, they are extremely strong and have a lot of weight to push & pull you till trained. They do learn quickly as they try hard to please. They don’t know how big they are and act as if they are little dogs. They need and love human attention, without it they sulk and are very sad. They are worth the extras to have one !!! A awsome breed !!!!!!
Thank you for the sound advice.
Zuko is our first great Dane puppy, having experienced an adult rescue and simply missed his large presence, we wanted to experience ALL of the great Dane’s life.
Again, I appreciate your insight; Mr. Zukes is a wonderful, loving addition to our dog family (boxer pup, Giant Schnauzer 2.5 y.o & 6 y.o. jrt.), your words remind me of the needed daily training focus, thanks!
Yes, they are a lot of work. But it’s worth it if you’re ready. If you want to get all philosophical about it, learn the meaning of life, get a great dane puppy. Then raise and care for this puppy it’s entire life. When it’s old, and wise, look into it’s eyes as it looks into yours, everyday as you pet it. Be there for it’s passing. That last gaze you share, that’s the meaning of life. No words are nessessary, only that gaze. Now you are ready to acend to a higher spiritual level. I hope I’m good enough to be reincarnated as a great dane in my next life.
There are no truer words. We lost our Great Dane, Ella, 3 weeks ago. She was 8 years old but passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. We rushed her to the vet as soon as we realized something wasn’t quite right, but she did not make it. Her spleen had ruptured, but she had been her wild sweet self up until that moment.
We got Ella when she was 6 weeks old. She was by our sides through the worst and best days of our lives. She was our greatest protector, comforter and supporter. Truly our very best friend, especially for our 3 year old little girl. There was so much trust and love when we looked into each other’s eyes and by each other’s side. Life has already been so tough without her. The love of a Dane is incomparable and irreplaceable.
If you have the love and care to give, get a Great Dane. They will change your life for the better in so many ways, but they will absolutely break your heart when they leave. ❤️
Sorry for your loss we also lost our Great Dane Zorro 8 years old from cancer, he was our great suporter and protector, and yes the most breaking heart from having a Great dane is their short life span, we lost also Smoky 3 years old from Eddison deases the only reason that we get over sadness that we still have Zorro’s son Hulk 3 years old and Zues 18 month and Junier Smoky 18 month
for me I can’t imagine my life without them