As the tallest dog breed in the world, a common question for Great Danes is when does that growth stop? You tend to forget they are still puppies as they shoot up to towering heights when they are so young. But they have a specific growth schedule that you can monitor to be sure they are growing properly.
Great Danes typically stop growing around 18-24 months. This will include their overall height and weight. Most will reach their full height by 18 months, but continue adding muscle weight through their second year.
|Full-Grown Great Danes||Height||Weight|
While much of their growth will be completed around 18 months, they may still be filling out some of that giant structure.
So, their weight may fluctuate a little more after the 18 months due to the developing depth of their chest and breadth of their body.
Height Growth Schedule for a Great Dane
While other larger breeds may be known for their wide frame and massive features, the Great Dane is known for its length, elegance, and height.
The average heights and weights listed above for males and females are standard guidelines or averages. Keep in mind that these numbers can be higher or lower.
For example, according to Guinness World Records, the tallest dog recorded in the world was Zeus. Zeus was a Great Dane from Michigan who measured a staggering 44 inches tall and 155 pounds.
While there are plenty of dogs that outweigh Zeus, he stood tall above them all. But of course, along with size, he shared another Great Dane trait—being a sweet, loveable pooch.
That is the good news–no matter how big these dogs get, they are kind, affectionate, and nonaggressive. The bad news is you may need to go buy a new California king-size bed if you want them to be able to sleep with you comfortably.
Height is easiest to begin recording after their first two months. So, while you will track their weight during this time, it is easiest to hold off on height until six weeks – two months.
Below is a Great Dane height chart that will help to give you guidelines on their growth throughout their first year.
|2 Months||13-18 inches|
|3 Months||17-23 inches|
|4 Months||20-25 inches|
|5 Months||24-30 inches|
|6 Months||26-33 inches|
|7 Months||27-34 inches|
|8 Months||28-34 inches|
|9 Months||28-35 inches|
|1 Year Old||29-36 inches|
As you can see, some Danes may have already reached their full height by the time they are one year. They may not have fully developed everything structurally on the inside, though. There can be smaller shifts in their height as these bone structures fully solidify as adults.
Don’t be overly concerned if your Dane is a little behind or a little ahead of these guidelines. There are plenty of healthy Danes out there that don’t fall perfectly within them.
The most important thing is to monitor their size while also paying attention to their behavior and activity patterns.
If you notice they are behind or ahead of the ball when it comes to their size, along with some odd behaviors, it may be time to check in with your vet.
How Height is Measured for Great Danes
As we mentioned, measuring the height of a tiny pup can be a bit tricky. Accuracy is not always easy. When they are that small, it is more important to track their weight. But once they begin growing in height, you will want to monitor that as well.
There are always questions regarding what the height truly is? It is a common misconception that they are measured from the bottom of their paws up to the tips of those signature, perky ears.
But the proper way to measure height is from the bottom of their paws to their withers, which is the highest peak on the dog’s shoulder blades.
For dog shows, they need exact numbers so they will use wickets, aka aluminum measure sticks, that allow them to measure the dogs easily and accurately.
The American Kennel Club sells them at their website for smaller dogs. But you can also look to a simple search at Amazon to find some taller aluminum measuring sticks that will work for your gentle giants.
But for the casual Dane owner who would just like to make sure they are progressing as they should, here are some simple steps to get an accurate reading at home:
- Have the dog stand against a blank wall. If your dog isn’t one for standing still, you may ask to have a helper nearby or some treats in hand to encourage them to stay put.
- Use a carpenter’s level across the dog’s withers. You want this to be placed across the withers at the highest point on the shoulders of the dog.
- Rest the level against the wall and move it until the bubble is in the direct center to show it is even.
- Mark the wall with a small dot from a pencil and let your Dane move away (and most likely run around the house for a bit after this exercise).
- Now, you can use a measuring tape from the floor to the mark on the wall, and you will have their height.
The reason for doing it this way is so there is no guesswork. You can try to use a measuring stick or tape right up against the dog, but there will always be a margin of error when you try to figure where the top of the withers are since the stick will be up along the side of the dog’s body.
Featured Download: Grab a copy of our free weight and height tracker as a free download by using the form here. It’s perfectly formatted to be easily printed off!
Weight Growth Schedule for a Great Dane
Depending on how old your Great Dane puppy is when you bring him/her home, you probably won’t be able to use a standard scale that you use for yourself.
When they are very little, they may not even register on a standard human scale, and once they are bigger, they will not be able to fit onto the small surface area.
But this is no reason to not track the weight carefully during their first few months and through their full size.
Similar to tracking their height, there may be some variances. Your Dane may not fall into these numbers perfectly, and that’s okay.
Improper weight can quickly get out of hand, though. So being diligent in your tracking is an important step to your Dane’s health journey. You should become familiar with the negative impacts that being obese can end up having on your dog over time.
PetMD has a great article regarding some of those negative, long-term effects. While obesity in animals is a serious condition, so is being malnourished or underweight.
Here is a Great Dane weight chart to help you determine healthy weights for your Dane pup as they reach their full weight:
|Birth Weight||1-2 lbs|
|1 Week||2-3 lbs|
|3 Weeks||4-7 lbs|
|1 Month||5-8 lbs|
|6 Weeks||10-20 lbs|
|2 Months||15-30 lbs|
|3 Months||25-45 lbs|
|4 Months||45-65 lbs|
|5 Months||60-85 lbs|
|6 Months||65-100 lbs|
|7 Months||70-110 lbs|
|8 Months||80-120 lbs|
|9 Months||85-125 lbs|
|1 Year Old||95-140 lbs|
How to Weigh Your Great Dane as a Puppy
As mentioned, your standard scale probably won’t accommodate your little pup. There are a variety of options for scales that will achieve accurate results.
A digital food scale
This is my favorite method for weighing a small puppy. While this clearly doesn’t last long for Great Danes, they look incredibly cute sitting on that food scale!
But…it’s also accurate and efficient for the smallest of puppies. These scales are designed to pick up on the lightest weights and will measure it down to the ounce in many cases.
Unfortunately, this approach will only work for a very short period of time, after which you’ll need to upgrade your approach!
A veterinary scale
If you want to look for some of the same equipment you will find at your vet’s office, you can find quite a few options through major retailers.
This is by far the easiest way to get an accurate weight reading for your ever-growing Great Dane puppy. At some point, they will simply get too heavy for the average scale, and too large to step onto a human one.
One can find this type of scale ranging from tens to hundreds of dollars. However, I’d recommend getting a decent one upfront rather than having to deal with several malfunctioning or dying on you. In particular, this is a great scale to consider (link to Amazon).
It’s large enough for your Great Dane to easily fit on and has a maximum weight capacity of 225 pounds (which is more than enough for most).
While there are ones with higher weight capacity and larger base, they cost several times more and frankly take up too much space in my opinion.
These are some pretty extreme options, but if your Great Dane is going to be entered into shows through American Kennel Club or you want the most accurate option available, you may choose to opt for one.
Hold the puppy on your scale
If you want to cheat the system and find a way to weigh them without any additional equipment, you can always use this tried and true method. Keep in mind that this will probably only work up until a certain size unless you happen to be a bodybuilder.
Simply scoop up your pup and try to hold them as still as possible while you step on the scale. Be sure to keep them close to your core and up against your body, and as still as possible.
Record that weight, and then jump right back on the scale by yourself and record the difference as their weight. This isn’t exactly American Kennel Club approved, but it will certainly do the job to track your Dane’s weight to ensure proper growth.
Of course, this approach will only work up until a certain point. While you may be strong enough to hold your 100+ pound puppy it will be extremely awkward.
You also run the risk of injuring them while trying to keep them scooped up nicely at this large size. Remember, this isn’t the same as trying to grip a barbell in the gym!
Many of these methods will be dependent on your dog and how willing they are to sit for certain things. At the end of the day, you can also always head to your vet for weigh-ins.
They will typically take weight no matter what the dog is in for. If they are in for a quick vaccination, they may not put them on the scales, though.
If you want to get a proper reading while you’re there though, just ask them, and they will typically have no problems doing a quick weigh-in for you.
Note: For more information about caring for a Great Dane, please make sure to consider my book “The Great Dane Puppy Handbook“.
Understanding What Affects Growth
All dogs will grow at their rate and will be dependent on different factors. Two of the main factors being; proper nutrition and exercise.
During these 18 months of growth and development, there are plenty of things you need to be doing to keep everything on track.
While your Great Dane is still growing, it is important to understand how much food they should be consuming each day and what the nutrient breakdowns should look like.
The first place to start is speaking with your vet. While all Great Danes share similarities in traits, health concerns, and growth, there may be specific nutrients your Dane is lacking or doesn’t need as much of.
Your vet will be able to recommend the best brands and types of dog food to support healthy growth. You will want to ask questions about nutrient intake for protein, fats, fiber, and if any supplements are necessary.
Here are some general guidelines for how much they should be eating at each stage of growth:
|Age||Cups Per Day||How Many Meals Per Day|
While your Great Dane is very small in the 2-month range, you want to focus on more meals throughout the day in smaller portions.
You don’t want to overwhelm their digestive system with too much food at once. After that, you can begin shifting into a twice-per-day routine.
Do Great Danes Need a lot of Exercise?
Adult Great Danes should have around 20-60 minutes of exercise daily. So, with that in mind, you want to work your way up to it as they continue to develop and grow. Too much exercise too soon can affect their joint health and bone development.
It’s a trap we all fall into easily as Great Dane owners. When they are 3 months old, they are the size of many other full-grown adult dogs. But they are still little babes that shouldn’t be pushed too far.
Great Danes are affectionate, loyal, and adventurous. Sure, they love to hang with you on the couch (aka take up the entire couch and leave you a small corner).
But they also like to be outdoors and get daily exercise and fun. They don’t have incredibly high energy like some smaller dogs do, which gives them a nice balance.
Danes are natural hunters and love to chase things down. So make sure you create a routine for them that not only includes walks but playtime that will stimulate their minds as well.
When they are in their growth stages up through 18-months, their exercise should be quite minimal. Because they have such rapid growth, their bones are constantly shifting and developing.
So, if you put too much stress on their legs and joints while they are very young, it can be painful and cause long-term issues to their overall health.
Danes are also highly social animals. So short, casual walks where they get to be by your side and maybe see some neighbors or fellow walkers is a great way to get them outside, exercising, but not pushing them too much.
While they are puppies, they will also be good at communicating to you what is enough exercise. Your dog’s body language can be very apparent and as all dog owners know, we start to learn their little quirks and how they communicate things.
So “listen” to those moments and pay attention to what your Dane is telling you. They have a very high instinctual intelligence that helps them know when things are going well or not.
Growth Should be Rapid, but Steady
An extremely important piece in the growth of your Great Dane is the rate at which it is happening. While we understand how quickly it happens, we also need to understand it should be gradual.
You can see it from the charts that explain what weight and height they should be at during certain phases. But it is worth circling back to emphasize that it should be steady.
If you notice growth has become stunted or excelled, look to your Dane’s behavior and see if anything else seems off. They may just be slow/fast on the growth spurts.
But it can also mean there is an issue within their development that can be fixed through nutrition or several other methods, depending on the core reason.
If you’re concerned about the growth and development of your Great Dane, always consult your vet.
Keeping Your Great Dane Healthy
While your Great Dane grows and develops within their first 18-months, the most important thing you can do is pay attention to him or her.
Be aware of their behaviors, track their progress, keep an open line of communication with your vet, and do your research to be sure you are helping their miniature bodies grow into the towering statures they will eventually become.