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Are Great Danes Good With Kids? A Guide For Families

Are Great Danes Good With Kids? A Guide For Families

The Great Dane is one of the biggest and also one of the most devoted canines in the whole world. Although these giants are generally compassionate creatures, their stature can terrify some people, which inevitably leads them to ask: are Great Danes good with kids?

Well, this article is here to answer that question once and for all. We will delve deeply into the personality and temperament of Great Danes as a breed, and how that affects their behavior around children, but for now, here is the short answer:

Great Danes get along well with children.

They enjoy interacting with kids and match well with them. However, due to their size, parents should keep an eye on them when there are children about.

Additionally, Great Danes are committed family members, which is why they make excellent playmates for kids.

We’ll look at why they make such amazing pets in this post, along with some things to think about when choosing one for your home.

Now, let’s finally start answering the question: are Great Danes good family dogs?

Are Great Danes Good With Kids?

little girl sitting on Great Dane

There are many reasons to be happy if you plan to bring a Great Dane into your home. Danes are renowned for being “nanny dogs,” making them the ideal pet for parents. But bringing such a large dog into the house can be worrying if you have young children.

Although they can weigh well over 100 pounds, Great Danes are gentle giants who get along well with children. They make great playmates for older children in particular since they are intelligent, playful, and affectionate.

Even though they are calm dogs, Great Danes can accidentally hurt small children due to their great size.

Because of their high adaptive intelligence, these dogs are aware that it is vital to exercise caution around young children. But before allowing them to play, care should be exercised due to their size.

Are Great Danes Good With Babies?

As has already been mentioned, Great Danes make wonderful family pets. They adore kids, especially those that are playful and eager to amuse them. That also applies to young babies and toddlers.

Unfortunately, Great Danes don’t always recognize their size. When your children are playing with the dog, be sure to keep an eye on them.

You might also try utilizing baby gates to create a barrier between the walking areas for your children and the Great Dane. Create a gated area so that anyone can pass through it to visit your dog, but lock it if you won’t be around to watch over it.

Another recommendation is to let your dog spend the day outside. Even though they can play outside without endangering your kids, they can come inside to sleep. Large dogs thrive in backyards, so your Great Dane should appreciate the extensive play area.

You don’t need to be concerned about a Great Dane attacking your children because they aren’t known for being aggressive. They’re far more prone to whine or flee if they’re terrified or provoked.

But when your kids play with a Great Dane, you should train them to be gentle.

What Makes Great Danes So Great For Children

paw and little kid's foot

Now that we have established that Great Danes are typically good around kids, especially slightly older ones, we should probably dig a bit deeper and explain exactly what makes them so good.

People often shy away from giant dogs when they have a big family, but Danes can be great family pets, especially when compared to a breed like the Cane Corso, for example.

There are certain parts of their personality and temperament that set them up to be excellent family dogs, and we will be discussing them in more detail in the sections that follow.

They Are Dependable

Great Danes are among the most trustworthy canines for households with young children. A Great Dane is typically dependable and caring around your children (but not with small children, like toddlers or infants).

Additionally, many owners refer to Great Danes as giant nanny dogs because of how dependable they are. Despite the fact that you should never leave a toddler alone with a Great Dane, these canines can be trusted with older children.

They Are Patient And Careful

These dogs are really kind and patient, as was previously stated. Though less energetic than other dogs, they nonetheless possess sufficient energy to keep up with kids. Just don’t expect your kids to be running around with these large dogs.

The majority of the time, Great Danes are calm, laid-back dogs. The nicest part is that most of the time they don’t mind the commotion that comes with young, active children. Despite this, it’s still crucial to show them respect.

They Offer Protection

Great Danes are ideal if you’re searching for a security dog or, at the very least, extra eyes on the kids. These dogs are naturally protective, so if necessary, they’ll defend and guard the house.

The Great Danes are excellent watchdogs because they are constantly alert. Despite the fact that they don’t really bark much, they will if a stranger enters your property.

They might not be as terrifying as a Doberman, for instance, but let’s face it, nobody would want to misbehave with a 150-pound Dane looking over them.

Great Danes will go to great lengths to defend your family’s youngsters if they are properly socialized with them. They are exceptionally intelligent guard dogs that can recognize when your kids are in danger.

They Are Gentle Giants

cute girl hugging Great Dane

A Great Dane male can grow to a shoulder height of 32 inches and weigh a hefty 175 pounds. Females are slightly smaller, with heights of up to 30 inches and maximum weights of 140 pounds.

When standing on their hind legs, Great Danes can tower over many people.

Needless to say, they are absolutely massive dogs and that can sometimes be intimidating even for adults, let alone for kids. But despite their enormous physical stature, they are actually gentle creatures in their hearts.

If trained properly, they can grow to become aware of their size and adjust their behavior accordingly. They will take care not to injure small children and will always make themselves available for a cuddle on the couch.

Even though they might not actually be able to fit on the couch.

They Are Super Smart

All pet owners swear that their furry friends are the smartest on the planet, but Great Danes really are near the top of that list.

Like a lot of Mastiff breeds, they have a knack for picking things up quickly, but they can sometimes be stubborn learners.

You should lean on their desire to please their owners to achieve better success during dog training.

As long as you put in the time and effort to train them properly from a young age, Great Danes will grow up to be intelligent dogs who know their place in the household.

What To Be Careful About With Great Danes

close shot of Great Dane walking outside

It would be remiss of us not to mention some of the potential issues that might arise from Great Danes hanging around kids.

After all, no dog breed is perfect, and they all need an amount of human guidance, and sometimes surveillance, to thrive in their surroundings.

Great Danes are no exceptions, as they have certain quirks of their own. Knowing what these are and how to account for them will give you a good foundation to build a healthy relationship between your Dane and your children.

They Need A Lot Of Space

Even if your Great Dane won’t typically want to be by itself, it’s still crucial to have some room that is all of its own. Just like kids occasionally need a little time to unwind alone in their room, the same is true for your Dane.

If necessary, they can slip away to unwind or take a nap in their crate. Great Danes typically sleep 16 to 18 hours a day, so they will eventually want to sneak away for naps.

Crates can be very beneficial for keeping a puppy out of danger in addition to giving them a space to call their own.

They Need To Expend Their Energy

Although Great Danes normally don’t have high exercise requirements, it’s still a good idea for them to go outside frequently. After exercising and taking some quiet time, they will feel considerably better.

Exercise not only gives them a mental vacation from the house or the mayhem that comes with kids, but it also helps to reduce disruptive behavior.

By expending their pent-up energy in this way, they will be less likely to develop frustrations or start getting restless around the house and with your children.

They will still probably get the occasional zoomies, but their energy levels are typically not so high that they present a problem.

They Are Not Hypoallergenic

Great Dane standing outside

These gentle giants are not thought to be hypoallergenic dogs, and persons with pet allergies will probably experience adverse reactions to them.

That’s because they shed their fur, and pet allergies are primarily brought on by dander, which is a type of microscopic dead skin cells found in pet fur.

To be fair, no dog is completely allergen-free. This is due to the fact that dander, not actual hair, is the allergen. Even breeds without hair produce dander.

Hypoallergenic dogs are actually just low shedders, which means that less of their dander will be emitted in the house.

Great Danes are native to a warm area, therefore they don’t require a lot of layers of fur. In actuality, they are simply wearing a single thin layer to be warm during the day.

Their hair progressively begins to fall out when it ages or weakens. It can be challenging to locate every hair that has fallen out on a Great Dane that sheds.

Even though it might be practical for aesthetic reasons, it’s bad if someone with pet allergies can’t see the hair to avoid it.

They Tend To Drool A Lot

Great Danes are intelligent dogs, but, oh boy, can they be clumsy. If you want to get along with one of them, you surely need to have a sense of humor and understanding.

Although they drool a lot, it may be somewhat managed. Although it’s not as bad as certain other dog breeds, it’s still over average.

Adopting a Great Dane may not be the best choice if you have cleaning issues in your home. In addition to drooling all over the place, they also bump into household items like furniture and other objects. They try to be lap dogs because they sometimes don’t realize how massive they are.

They must think they’re Chihuahuas or something, who knows?

Make sure to give them adequate amounts of treats, dog food, and water. When Great Danes don’t get enough water or don’t eat enough food, they tend to slobber more.

Additionally, think about letting them out more frequently. Making them outside dogs is a good idea if your yard is large enough to accommodate their exercise needs.

If you don’t want to keep them outside, set up a gated area inside to lessen the amount of drool they leave all over your furniture.

They’re Big Chewers

Like all other dogs, Great Danes like gnawing on anything they can get their mouths on. They will attempt to chew on it as long as you don’t correct them.

This includes any items that are within reach, such as clothing, shoes, blankets, pillows, strings, and furniture.

But don’t panic; there are many methods you may use to discourage them from chewing on your possessions.

To keep them at bay, use anti-chew spray, cayenne pepper, or Tabasco sauce. Your Great Dane won’t chew on anything with any of those on it if you use just a little bit of it.

When giving commands, be firm and persistent, but use a different chew toy to divert their attention. Due to a lack of toys that they can play with, Great Danes frequently chew on objects they shouldn’t.

You might offer a puppy a tennis ball to loosen up its teeth because puppies tend to pull out their own teeth in favor of adult teeth. There are numerous anti-itch sprays available as well for their gums.

How To Get The Best Out Of Your Great Dane

little girl hugging Great Dane

A Great Dane definitely has the potential to be a very grateful and devoted pet, and it can act as a great companion and protector for your kids.

However, to help your Dane get to that level you need to know how to get the best out of it. There is no point in all that potential if you aren’t able to actually tap into it and develop it properly.

So to round out this guide, we wanted to give you some tips on how to make sure that your puppy grows up to be a wonderful adult Great Dane that behaves perfectly around your kids.

Socialize Them While They’re Young

Socialization training is the most crucial kind of training. Your Great Dane has to learn proper behavior when engaging in playtime with your children. Accidents and injuries, whether deliberate or not, result from failure to do this.

A Great Dane should be socialized as frequently and early as possible. Even as newborn puppies, they should be encouraged to play around with their littermates

Bring them to places where they can interact with kids of all ages and other dogs, such as dog parks, pet daycare facilities, and family activities.

Give them every opportunity to interact with kids when they’re young. But make sure to watch over them at all times and correct any inappropriate behavior. They will learn how to act around children by doing this.

Getting your kids and your dog to engage in activities together is a terrific approach to fostering a close relationship between them. Have your children play fetch, catch, or go for a stroll with your Dane, for instance.

Give Them Proper Training

Training a Great Dane is one of the most crucial things you can do, which should come as no surprise. A well-trained Great Dane knows its role in the family and pays attention to commands.

Focus on obedience training and make sure that you offer plenty of positive reinforcements. All dogs react better to this type of training method, but Great Danes in particular will want to be rewarded.

Otherwise, they will constantly be attempting to determine what is correct on their own, which will frustrate you and make them angry.

In fact, one of the most frequent causes of anxiety in Great Danes is improper training. A trained Great Dane, in contrast, is assured and secure in their movements. resulting in a reduction in aggressive behavior, outbursts, and a host of other detrimental effects.

Teach Your Kids How To Act Around Them

girl playing with her Great Dane

When problems do arise, many people are eager to point the finger at the dog, but this isn’t always the case. Children must also learn how to interact and play with dogs in a friendly and respectful manner.

As they get older, the connection between your kids and the Great Dane will improve as a result of their increased interaction. However, respect is a two-way street, therefore children frequently need training as well.

Despite the fact that Great Danes are less delicate than, say, Beagles, this does not justify kicking a Great Dane puppy. You’d be shocked at how many kids would engage in such behavior.

You must set limits for your kids when they interact with the dog, just like you do with your Dane. This means that there should be no kicking, pushing, or pulling on the tail.

Due to their large size, many kids might be persuaded to attempt to ride, hold on to, or jump on a Great Dane.

This needs to be strongly avoided because it can hurt the dog and the kid.

Although Danes are undoubtedly considerably more tolerant of rough play, regulating this behavior will reduce play-related danger. Your Dane shouldn’t develop a fear of or hostility toward children as an adult.

Furthermore, even while the majority of Great Danes don’t exhibit food aggression, it’s still a good idea to teach your kids not to interact with the dog while it’s eating.

Additionally, it just seems like a bad idea to stress Great Danes about their food and water intake, given the greater occurrence of bloat in this large breed.

Read Next: 10 Best Dog Foods For Great Danes: A Giant Dog Worthy Feast

Provide Enough Exercise

Even while Great Danes typically require relatively little exercise, it’s still a good idea for them to leave the house regularly. They will feel much better after getting some exercise and spending some time in silence.

The good news is that most Great Danes only need to go for a short stroll to get enough exercise. It’s not usually necessary, but you can take them to the dog park or on a run.

In contrast to high-energy breeds like Huskies, Border Collies, and Australian Shepherds which may practically run for hours at a time, most Great Danes only need a brief 15 minutes of walking or fetching each day.

Despite the fact that it may seem like very little movement, it doesn’t take much to exhaust yourself when you’re that big.

Exercise is great for reducing disruptive behavior in addition to providing a mental break from the house or the mayhem that comes with kids.

It also reduces the risk of various potential health issues.

Are Great Danes Good Around Other Pets?

Great Dane and cat

Although Great Danes may be amicable with family and friends, they aren’t necessarily the friendliest around other animals.

Unfortunately, some of them develop a tendency to be a bit bossy and possessive of their position in the family, which is an extension of their natural inclination to protect and defend.

They will become hostile and agitated if they feel threatened or if they are being replaced.

Typically, only male Danes exhibit this undesirable trait, however, some females might be hostile against other females.

Related: Male Vs Female Great Dane: Which One Is Your Choice?

To combat this type of behavior, introduce your Great Dane to other animals while it’s still a puppy.

If they are accustomed to seeing friends and animals from an early age, they are far more inclined to accept them into their lives.

Additionally, if your pets frequently have problems with each other, consider separating them.

Despite their mild nature, Great Danes have enormous physical power. They might chase other pets, such as small dogs or cats.

To Recap — Are Great Danes Good With Kids Or Not?

Great Dane sitting outside

This guide was written with potential first-time Great Dane owners in mind, in an attempt to explain how they can become great family dogs.

By the way, if you are one of those potential first-time owners, you might want to know what the cost of owning a Great Dane is, so here is a great article that covers that topic.

If you have young children, it may be unsettling to bring such a large dog indoors. That’s why we’ve decided to write this guide and clear up any misconceptions about this wonderful breed, as well as provide some handy tips on how to get the best out of them.

Great Danes are quiet dogs, but because of their size, they have the potential to accidentally harm young children.

These big dogs have high levels of adaptive intelligence which allows them to understand the importance of using caution around young family members. Due to their size, caution should be taken before letting them play.

Hopefully, after reading this article, you are better prepared to welcome a cute little Dane puppy into your loving household.