Great Dane Lifespan: How Long Do Great Danes Live?

Written by Jennifer Gaeng
Updated: October 12, 2023
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close up of a Great Dane

One of the world’s tallest dogs, the Great Dane, is known as a gentle giant.


The Great Dane is a gentle giant. They are loving and nice with kids, and they’ll protect their home. If raised with other animals, Great Danes normally get along with fellow pets. However, if you want a pet that will live a long time, this may not be the dog for you. Sadly, the Great Dane lifespan averages just nine years.

How Long Do Great Danes Live?

best big dog - Great Dane

Great Danes have an average life expectancy of about 9 years.

©Claire Plumridge/

Compared to other large breeds, Great Danes suffer a raw deal when it comes to lifespan. The Great Dane lifespan is eight to 10 years but may be as short as six or seven years. Rarely, some live up to 12 years.

While elephants and whales are extremely large animals, they are among the longest-living species in the natural world, So, why are dogs so different? Does their giant size effect how long a Great Dane lives? How long do Great Danes live if provided with every advantage? Read on to find out how to provide the best life for your Great Dane.

Why Do Great Danes Have Such a Short Lifespan?

Scariest Dogs

Scientists don’t know why, but they do know that huge dogs seem to age faster than tiny ones.


Aside from scientific uncertainties, Great Danes are susceptible to several health issues that can reduce their lives. We cover a few of them below.


The Great Dane is prone to bloat, a potentially fatal illness caused by stomach twisting and blood supply being cut off. Bloat recurrence is common in dogs, so ask your vet about bloat symptoms and how to avoid it if you own a Great Dane.


The term “large heart” has a darker, more literal meaning when it comes to Great Danes. Cardiomyopathy, a condition of the heart muscle that causes the heart to expand, is common in Great Danes.

Joint & Bone Disease

With their massive proportions, Great Danes are prone to joint and bone problems, such as hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis. These illnesses often develop gradually, requiring owners to make decisions concerning their dog’s quality of life.

Thyroid Problems

Additionally, Great Danes are at risk of developing thyroid issues. Hypothyroidism in Great Danes is frequently caused by autoimmune thyroiditis. Fortunately, your dog’s thyroid levels may be checked by your veterinarian using simple blood tests, and the disease can be treated and controlled with medication.

How To Help a Great Dane Live Longer

Merle great dane looking back at some sound

A balanced healthy diet, regular exercise, and vet visits can help your Great Dane live a full and happy life.


Balanced and Healthy diet

Bloat is the number one killer in Great Danes, which is why feeding them large meals more than twice a day is not recommended. Great Dane puppies typically require three meals per day. What you feed your Great Dane directly affects its lifespan also. The best meal for a Great Dane is breed-specific chow.

Regular Physical Activity

You can plan a variety of physical activities for your Great Dane to guarantee a long and healthy life. It is possible to create a daily regimen for your Great Dane that includes both exercise and a walk. The Great Dane does not need a lot of physical activity. The Great Dane could get by with some light exercise once daily. Also, avoid taking your Great Dane dog for a stroll immediately after its supper.

Regular Vet Visits

The Great Dane is a large breed with severe health hazards. Regular veterinary visits to check on the dog’s health are advised. If the dog’s activity, diet, or mood changes, the vet will investigate the cause. Veterinarians can create a specific care plan just for your Great Dane. In addition, the vet can check for latent ailments that your Dane may contract.


Great Danes, according to experts, need to clean up their breeding records. When it comes to breeding your Great Dane, exercise caution. The risk of hereditary illnesses in Great Danes must be considered while breeding to avoid any further issues for this dog.

Are Great Danes Good Companions?

Great Dane puppy laying outside in a chair

Great Danes have a gentle, sweet temperament.

© Manuel Souto Blanco

Although they do not live as long as other family dog breeds, they are a fantastic companion for people who can accept their loss when the time comes. The Great Dane is an adaptive learner. It also notices its owners’ affection. To be a good companion for the Great Dane, owners must be capable of providing for its needs while giving lots of love and attention.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Al_Er/

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About the Author

Jennifer Gaeng is a writer at A-Z-Animals focused on animals, lakes, and fishing. With over 15 years of collective experience in writing and researching, Jennifer has honed her skills in various niches, including nature, animals, family care, and self-care. Hailing from Missouri, Jennifer finds inspiration in spending quality time with her loved ones. Her creative spirit extends beyond her writing endeavors, as she finds joy in the art of drawing and immersing herself in the beauty of nature.

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