Great Dane Size Comparison: Is This the Largest Dog?

Types of Big Dogs

Written by Megan Martin

Published: November 29, 2021

Share on:


Great Dane Size Comparison: Humans, wolves, lions, golden retrievers
Great Danes have held many world records for “Largest Dog Alive”!

When it comes to these dogs, the “g” in great stands for giant! Great Danes are some of the largest dogs around, a fact easy to see with a Great Dane size comparison like this one.

From wolves to lions to other dogs and you, Great Danes easily impress with their size. However, while you may already know that a Great Dane is nearly 4 feet tall, do you know how big that really is? After all, wrapping your head around numbers can be hard, especially without the right tools for comparison.

This Great Dane size comparison will go beyond showing you just how they measure up to different animals – it’ll also do so in an easy-to-understand way with comparisons to everyday objects!

How Big is a Great Dane?

Merle great dane looking back at some sound

Great Danes are nearly 10 times larger than some other dog breeds!


While the Great Dane may not hold the title of the largest dog breed, it proves time and time again it’s the largest dog!

On average, Great Danes can weigh as much as 200 pounds. This means it can take nearly 20 house cats to balance the scale with these gentle giants! At their shoulders, they can be as tall as 34 inches. Adding on their ears and head they often measure at 43 inches tall.

The most recent Great Dane to hold the title of largest dog alive was Freddy, who passed away in January 2021.

Freddy weighed a whopping 196 pounds – the same as 4 50-pound bags of dog food, 10 Dachshunds, or 25 gallons of water. While that’s near the average maximum weight for a Great Dane, his height went above and beyond. After all, there’s a reason he could claim the title of the largest dog alive! At his tallest, Freddy measured a grand 40.75 inches at his shoulders. That’s taller than 5 water bottles stacked together.

The Great Dane’s size comes from a long history of breeding for protection and hunting some of the largest animals, such as boars. 

Human Vs. Great Dane Size Comparison

Great Dane Size Comparison: Humans, wolves, lions, golden retrievers
At 7 feet tall on their hind legs, are Great Danes taller than you?

If you’ve ever met one of these giant wannabe-lapdogs face to face, then you know just how big they are!

On its hind legs, a Great Dane can easily be as tall as 7 feet – an entire half foot taller than Michael Jordan. However, even when they’re planted on the ground with all four legs, there’s still no denying that the Great Dane is giant

With just a shoulder height of 34 inches, you can expect the average Great Dane to stand level with your upper thigh or hip. Paired with their ears and head which can make them as tall as 43 inches, a Great Dane may just be seeing eye to eye with the typical 7-year-old! 

At 200 pounds at their largest, Great Danes are only a few pounds heavier than the average adult in the United States, though they outweigh a majority of humans. However, it would take nearly 10 6-year-olds to weigh the same as a super-sized Great Dane – almost an entire kindergarten class!

Wolf Vs. Great Dane Size

Wolf in snow

When it comes to size, Great Danes and wolves are nearly neck at neck.


But how does a Great Dane size up to its wolf ancestor? Believe it or not, it’s a pretty close call.

Wolves come in a variety of shapes and sizes. While some are as small as your typical pet dog, some can be much larger than even you. However, on average, you can expect wolves to have a shoulder height of around 2.6 to 2.8 feet. This is a maximum of 33.6 inches, placing them neck at neck with the Great Dane – literally!

As for their weight, you’ll find that wolves are much smaller than you’d think. Their bodies are designed to be lean and athletic for easy hunting, placing them at a maximum weight of 175 pounds as an adult. While Great Danes can reach sizes up to 200 pounds, it’s not uncommon to find them falling into this weight range.

However, when it comes to length, the wolf soars beyond the Great Dane. While their ranges are similar, the wolf is able to grow up to a maximum length of 62 inches, nearly 1.5 times as much as the Great Dane! You probably won’t receive fun puppy hugs from this top predator like you would a Great Dane, though. 

Lion Vs. Great Dane Size

Lion Bite Force - Lion Roaring and Showing Its Teeth

With teeth like that, the Great Dane has some competition when it comes to a size comparison with a lion!


While the Great Dane may be able to stand against top predators like the wolf, can it compare to the lion?

Lions are the fourth largest land predators in the world, falling just behind two types of bears and tigers. On average, they can grow to 10 feet long and weigh as much as 550 pounds. Judging by these aspects, the lion is more than twice as long as the Great Dane and weighs nearly three times more. As for height, the lion’s shoulder height alone can be nearly four feet. That’s the height from foot to head for the Great Dane! 

The largest lion ever recorded weighed 690 pounds, around the same as a motorcycle. In comparison, the largest Great Dane only weighs around the same as a scooter, which is about 180 pounds. 

Golden Retriever Vs. Great Dane Size

Types of Retriever Dogs

With a size difference like this, it’s hard to believe Great Danes and Goldies are the same species!

© Consaul

You’ve seen how Great Danes compare to lions and wolves, but what about other household favorite pets? Great Danes have one the world-record of the largest dog time and time again, and a quick look at some of the competition will show you why. 

Golden Retrievers have a weight range of 55 to 80 pounds. This means that the Great Dane could potentially be as much as four times the weight of a typical Goldie, and even double the weight of the largest. 

And with the smallest Great Danes having a height of 28 inches at their shoulder, even the tallest Golden Retriever is still shorter, with a maximum height of 24 inches. That’s a two baseball difference! However, on average, there’s about a 9-inch difference between Great Danes and Golden Retrievers, a difference that is just a little bit taller than a standard sheet of notebook paper. 

Ready to discover the top 10 cutest dog breeds in the entire world?

How about the fastest dogs, the largest dogs and those that are -- quite frankly -- just the kindest dogs on the planet? Each day, AZ Animals sends out lists just like this to our thousands of email subscribers. And the best part? It's FREE. Join today by entering your email below.

What's the right dog for you?

Dogs are our best friends but which breed is your perfect match?


If you have kids or existing dogs select:

Other Dogs

Should they be Hypoallergenic?

How important is health?
Which dog groups do you like?
How much exercise should your dog require?
What climate?
How much seperation anxiety?
How much yappiness/barking?

How much energy should they have?

The lower energy the better.
I want a cuddle buddy!
About average energy.
I want a dog that I have to chase after constantly!
All energy levels are great -- I just love dogs!
How much should they shed?
How trainable/obedient does the dog need to be?
How intelligent does the dog need to be?
How much chewing will allow?

Share this post on:
About the Author

Megan is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is birds, felines, and sharks. She has been researching and writing about animals for four years, and she holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with minors in biology and professional and technical writing from Wingate University, which she earned in 2022. A resident of North Carolina, Megan is an avid birdwatcher that enjoys spending time with her cats and exploring local zoological parks with her husband.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.