Skip to Content

10 Best Great Dane Rescues For Adoption

10 Best Great Dane Rescues For Adoption

Who wouldn’t love one of these gentle giants as a pet? The Great Dane dog breed does look a bit intimidating, but soon enough, you’ll be Googling “Great Dane rescues” or “Great Dane breeders.” Sure, buying a puppy from a breeder is totally okay, but adopting is even more fulfilling.

With their huge body, sweet and patient eyes, and that sad look on their faces, Great Danes are dogs that will melt your heart. Everyone should at least consider adopting one.

We’re aware adopting is a huge step and an important decision that changes lives for good. But, there’s nothing to be afraid of. We’ll give you all the information you need: a list of rescue centers, adoption tips, what to expect price-wise, and many other tips to consider.

So, are you ready to let a Great Dane into your life? Ready to have your heart and mind captured by this adorable goofball?

1. Great Dane Friends of Ruff Love (GDFRL) – North Carolina

great dane in nature

Just like their byword says, saving one until there is none, Great Dane Friends are truly lifesavers. These guys have rescued over 725 purebred Great Danes, along with mixed breed pups and even dogs with special needs and health problems. The organization has existed since 2009. The GDFRL offers foster care, second chances, as well as transparency. Fostering is a great way to socialize the dog and make it adaptable for future families and their forever homes. Every dog has its medical records and is provided with proper care. But, adoption is not always a wall in the park. YOU need to be approved for adoption too!

Here’s what you need to be approved for adoption:

• You must own a fenced yard. Even if you’re applying for deaf or vision impaired pups, you still need a secured area outside your home.

• Other pets must be spayed, neutered, and vaccinated.

• Dogs are equal family members, and as such, they live inside the house, never outside.

To apply for a Great Dane, you need to apply online, go through a phone interview and pass their house inspection. If you’re excited to see which Great Danes are listed for adoption at GDFRL, you can check their website here.

Great Dane Friends of Ruff Love (GDFRL) General Information:

Website: Great Dane Friends of Ruff Love (GDFRL)

Address: 7007 Golden Eagle Trl Iron Station, NC 28080-5720

Phone: 704-584-9257

Email: [email protected]

Social media accounts: Facebook and Instagram

2. Rocky Mountain Great Dane Rescue (RMGDRI) – Colorado

great dane posing

Rocky Mountain Great Dane Rescue is known for its rescues, rehabilitation, and rehoming in Colorado, Nebraska, Utah, Kansas, Idaho, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, Arizona, Iowa, Oklahoma, Missouri, and South Dakota.

This organization is PACFA licensed with the Colorado Department of Agriculture.
The organization has been on the lookout for Great Danes in need ever since 2000. They’ve adopted 2,269 Great Danes so far, and they’re not planning to stop at that number.

Like many other Great Dane rescues, the Rocky Mountain rescue demands a fenced yard.

If you’re planning to adopt from this organization, you will have to be at least 21 years old. If you have a family with kids, then your kid should be over 5 years of age. In case you own other pets, they should all be properly vaccinated, spayed, and neutered.

Once you apply on their website, you should fill out an online form and pay a fee of $20. It takes from 2 to 4 weeks for a reference check and home evaluation.

Rocky Mountain Great Dane Rescue (RMGDRI) General Information:

Website: Rocky Mountain Great Dane Rescue (RMGDRI)

Address: PO Box 280368 Lakewood, Colorado 80228

Phone: 303-552-0484

Email: [email protected]

Social media: Facebook and Instagram

3. Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League, Inc. (MAGDRLI) – Mid-Atlantic

black great dane in nature

The Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League or MAGDRLI has been rescuing Great Danes and Great Dane crosses in need for over 25 years. These guys have been operating in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, Washington DC, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York for over 25 years

This organization has strict adoption requirements:

• The Great Dane you’re adopting must live inside.

• All pets in the house must be spayed or neutered, as well as checked by the vet at least •once a year.

• If you have stairs, they must be slip-resistant.

• You need to have a fenced yard.

The MAGDRLI is quite serious about its fencing requirements. If you don’t have a fenced yard, the only way you can pass their examination is if you’re the best dog owner ever. Maybe you should write a letter explaining how fit you are to take care of one of their Great Danes. A letter of endorsement from your vet would also be a bonus.

When adopting without a fence, you can only consider older Great Danes, doggos over two years and above. But that’s only if your home structure can’t support a fence. If you simply don’t want one, then your only choice is a five-year-old Great Dane or older.

Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League, Inc. (MAGDRLI) General Information:

Website: Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League, Inc. (MAGDRLI)

Phone: Area Coordinator Directory

Email: [email protected]

Social media: Facebook

4. Waters Edge Great Dane Rescue, Inc. – South Carolina

South Carolina is lucky to have Waters Edge Great Dane rescue organization. All stray dogs or dogs that have been left on the streets by their owners are welcome here. These guys highly encourage you to open your heart (and front doors) to fostering, and their Great Danes are crate trained, housebroken, and show excellent obedience traits.

If you desire to adopt a Waters Edge Great Dane, you need to pass the interview, vet, and reference check and show that your home is suitable for a large breed dog. The check-up is not that troubling, but you need to make sure everything is in order, even your fence!

Once you pass their examination, you will be able to meet your Great Dane. It should take around a week, but sometimes up to a month, to complete the adoption process.

To become a Great Dane pet parent, you need to meet the following requirements:

• You should be older than 25 years.

• All dogs need to have heartworm and flea treatment.

• Charm the adoption committee by bringing a Bloat Buster to your adoption day.

Waters Edge Great Dane Rescue, Inc. General Information:

Website: Waters Edge Great Dane Rescue, Inc.

Address:PO BOX 712 Bonneau, SC 29431

Email: [email protected]

Social media: Facebook and Instagram

5. Upper Midwest Great Dane Rescue (UMGDR) – Minnesota

girl with her great dane

Finding forever homes since 2008.

The Upper Midwest Great Dane Rescue organization works in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

Great Dane dogs rescued by UMGDR get premium veterinary care, in-home training, as well as behavioral training before they go to their adopters.

If you have kids, then they should be over eight years old.

After your application, a volunteer will come and evaluate your home, yard, and your entire family. If the dog is in a foster home, then the foster family will evaluate the potential adopter.

The approval process can take up to eight weeks. There is a waiting list and a non-refundable application fee of $25.

Upper Midwest Great Dane Rescue (UMGDR) General Information:

Website: Upper Midwest Great Dane Rescue (UMGDR)

Address: PO BOX 21485 Eagan, MN 55121

Phone: 763-210-1978

Email: [email protected]

Social media: Facebook

6. Northwest Florida Great Dane Rescue, Inc. (NWFLGDR) – Florida

brown great dane in woods

The Northwest Florida Great Dane Rescue is proud of having 1,104 Great Danes that have found their forever homes. This rescue organization knows how to find the best fit for their adoptable Danes. The NWFLGDR has foster homes in the Florida Panhandle area; Mobile, Alabama; and Jacksonville, Florida.

Besides finding the perfect home for their Great Danes, this organization does its best to educate people on the importance of spaying, neutering, and vaccinating. Also, they encourage people to report anything suspicious going on, for example, dog neglect or abuse.

If you want to be a part of the NWFLGDR family, you will need to master these nine steps in the adoption process:

• Application

• Property record check

• Vet reference check

• Home visit

• Phone interview

• Matching of Dane

• Meeting the Dane

• Sleepover contract

• Finalize contract

If you go on the organization’s website, you will find an adoption application page. The NWFLGDR prefers homes with no cats or other dogs, no small children, or special needs people.

Northwest Florida Great Dane Rescue, Inc. (NWFLGDR) General Information:

Website: Northwest Florida Great Dane Rescue, Inc. (NWFLGDR)

Email: [email protected]

Social media: Facebook and Instagram

7. White Kisses Great Dane Rescue – Texas

great dane sitting

White Kisses organization has a passion for adopting and rehoming blind, deaf, and special needs Great Danes. The WKGDR promotes double merle awareness, or as you may know it as white Great Danes. Such dogs have partial or full white coats. They are special needs, but they’re still trainable, adoptable, and worthy of love.

Since this organization carries mostly special needs dogs, they are very careful and very picky about their adopters. You will need to be at least 21 years old and willing to put your Great Dane through obedience training.

Other than that, you will need to complete their adoption process:

• First, you submit your application online.

• Expect a call from a representative between two to five days.

• Pass the vet and home check.

• Lastly, pay the adoption fee, and follow the contract guidelines.

If you’re an avid dog lover, then you must know how severe heartworms may be. All of the White Kisses Great Danes are tested for heartworm and started on meds. They’re all microchipped, vaccinated, and checked by the vet prior to adopting.

White Kisses Great Dane Rescue General Information:

Website: White Kisses Great Dane Rescue

Address: PO Box 64518 Lubbock, Tx 79464

Phone: 806-831-1377

Email: [email protected]

Social media: Facebook

8. North West Great Dane Rescue (NWGDR) – Washington

great dane looking up

NWGDR rescues Great Danes in Washington, Montana, Idaho, and Oregon.

Ever since 2014, they have worked on getting a forever home for their Great Danes. And they have succeeded 120 times!

If you want to adopt from this Great Dane rescue, then you need to meet the following requirements:

• Your yard must be fenced and at least 5 feet high.

• If you have other dogs, you will be allowed to adopt a Great Dane of the opposite sex.

• There is a deposit to be placed in case you’re adopting puppies. The deposit will be refunded once you spay or neuter your Great Dane.

• In your online application, you need to list all your family members, pets, and provide two references.

• Once your application is approved, you will be invited to join their private Facebook group only for adopters. This is where you will be able to choose a Great Dane and take care of the dog overnight. If the dog sitting goes well, there will be a two-week trial period. In case it doesn’t work out for you, your adoption fee will be refunded.

Northwest Great Dane Rescue (NWGDR) General Information:

Website: Northwest Great Dane Rescue (NWGDR)

Address: PO Box 2103 Deer Park, WA 99006

Social media: Facebook

9. The Great Dane Rescue and Sanctuary (GDROMN) – Minnesota & Wisconsin

fawn great dane

Penultimately, we have a Great Dane Rescue and Sanctuary that rehomes only purebred Great Danes. It may take up to 6 weeks for their approval. You need to pay a $20 non-refundable fee, complete an online form, and provide two references ready to take the volunteer’s call anytime.

If you are approved to adopt, you can pick the Great Dane for you among their many adoptable dogs. If you haven’t found your dog yet, the organization will keep you on their approved adopters’ list for three months.

Besides adopting, the GDROMN is also a sanctuary for many unadoptable Great Danes.

The Great Dane Rescue and Sanctuary (GDROMN) General Information:

Website: The Great Dane Rescue and Sanctuary (GDROMN)

Address: 8238 Waldora Rd, Siren, WI 54872

Phone: 320-318-0178

Email: [email protected]

Social media: Facebook

10. Save Rocky the Great Dane Rescue and Rehab (SRGDRR) – Texas

great dane in profile

This is another rescue center that’s based in Texas but operates all over the country, besides in Massachusetts.

This organization was established back in 2011, in loving memory of Rocky, a Great Dane that was irresponsibly euthanized.

It’s overpopulation, general neglect, and unwarranted euthanization that make the SRGDRR educate people on proper dog care.

Adoptable dogs from this organization are listed on their Facebook page. You can apply online, fill out their questionnaire, and provide three references. Also, you will need to pay a $20 application fee, which is non-refundable. Then, you will need to go through many checks and visits. You can get your Great Dane if the committee decides you and your family are worthy of the dog.

SRGDRR Great Danes have excellent health care and individual rehabilitation that puts the Great Dane in great condition. All dogs are on heartworm meds, trained, and microchipped before they go to their new home.

Save Rocky the Great Dane Rescue and Rehab (SRGDRR) General Information:

Website: Save Rocky the Great Dane Rescue and Rehab (SRGDRR)

Address: PO BOX 5895 Longview, TX 75608

Phone: 903-570-8097

Email: [email protected]

Social media: Facebook

Other Sources for Great Dane Rescue or Shelter for Adoption

great dane puppy on green grass

If you can’t find the dog for you at one of these Great Dane rescues, or you simply don’t meet their requirements, then you should check out this list of other organizations that may carry Great Danes:

Adopt-a-Pet. This is North America’s largest non-profit pet adoption organization. Their website offers a network of homeless pets and future pet parents. Adopt-a-pet is partnered with over 21,000 animal shelters, pet adoption agencies, and rescue groups across the USA.

Petango. Just as other adoption organizations, Petango is a partner with over 1,800 animal organizations. This is the first adoption website offering real-time updates from the shelters. Just enter your location, and you’ll soon be able to see which Great Danes are ready for adoption in your area.

Rescue Me. A network that helps pets in need worldwide and has an incredible number of 11,364 adopted Great Danes. If you can’t find a Great Dane here, you will never find it elsewhere.

Petfinder. Petfinder is an online database of pets in need of a new home. They’re partners with over 11,000 animal shelters and adoption agencies. This organization even has its own app, which you can download to easily search for your ideal Great Dane.

Local Animal Shelters. Sometimes we go above and beyond to find something that was actually near us the whole time. That’s why you always check local animal shelters if you’re looking to adopt. Who knows when fortune will smile upon you and gift you a Great Dane puppy!

Top Tips That Will Get You The Great Dane You Want

two great dane puppies

Photo from: @greatdane.world_

Adopting a shelter dog is not as easy as it seems. Sure, there are plenty of dogs that need a forever home, but if you’re not capable of taking care of that dog, chances are, it will end up in another shelter. His life would become a never-ending cycle of rehoming and returning to a shelter. That dog suffers. This is exactly why you, as a future dog owner, must go through with your adoption application, interviews, and several exams.

For a more successful adoption process, here are some tips you should take into consideration:

Do your homework. People from the shelter would be impressed with your knowledge about the Great Dane dog breed. You should do your research prior to meeting with them. Get to know the breed’s temperament, health issues, and general needs. It would be even better if you could talk to some Great Dane owners and hear out their advice. First-hand experiences are always the best information sources.

Be as detailed as possible. When filling out your online application, which can be quite long, you should be as detailed as you can. Also, you must be honest and transparent. Each answer should be complete and detailed.

Yes, you should have a fence. Since Great Danes are big dogs, they really need that exercise time. Being outdoors is important for them. This is why that fence you have or don’t have is crucial. While some Great Dane rescues might approve you without having a fence, chances are, you’re gonna need it. Having a fence also improves your chances of getting the Great Dane you love.

There are no stupid questions. When talking to the shelter personnel, you should be as engaging as you can. You can show your interest by asking questions about the dog, its background, personality, general habits, etc. It shows how much you’re interested in adopting that particular Great Dane.

Go see your favorite Great Dane in person. Seeing a dog in person always beats seeing it online. If possible, go to the shelter or foster home, ask to spend some time with the dog. Seeing it in person will help paint a better picture of how it will be living with a large dog breed. Also, extra points will be awarded on your adoption application.


black and white great dane puppy

Photo from: @greatdane.world_

1. Why do such loving dogs end up in rescue organizations?

The Great Dane is truly a loving giant, but no matter how sweet some of them are, they still end up in shelters. Why?

The answer lies in the following reasons:

• The owner is a good person but has to move away and can’t bring them along.

• The owner’s new home doesn’t have enough space or a fenced yard for a Great Dane to live there. Living in such a condition would negatively affect the dog.

• The cost of having a Great Dane has gone over the top, and their budget can’t take it anymore.

• Too many pets already live in the house.

• A baby or a new family member doesn’t get along with the dog.

• The owner’s health becomes problematic, or their lifestyle changes for the worse, preventing them from taking care of the Great Dane.

• The dog suffers from too many health issues.

• The dog shows aggressive behavior.

A dog being ill or showing signs of aggression aren’t reasons you should be afraid of adopting them. Aggressive behavior can be curbed with proper training by a professional, and health issues can be treated or eased. In fact, many shelters or foster homes will put the dog through medical treatment and training before further adoption.

2. How much does it cost to adopt a Great Dane?

Adopting is not for free, but it’s also not that expensive. Many rescue programs are non-profit organizations and require only a minor fee. You can expect to pay from $300 to $500 for a shelter Great Dane. That’s nothing compared to the $1,700 to $3,000 you pay with commercial breeders.

Here’s a detailed list of all the adoption expenses:

Expenses Average Cost
Vet Check-ups$50–$100
Rabies Vaccination$15–$25
Distemper Vaccination$60
Heartworm Test $15–$35
Flea/Tick Treatment$50–$200
Collar and ID Tag $5–$10

3. Is adopting a difficult process?

When it comes to adoption, the two most important factors you should consider are your willingness to go through with the adoption and the adopting process of the shelter itself.

Most Great Dane rescues have a strict screening process to ensure their Great Danes go to the right hands.

There are many interviews you will need to go through, references should be provided, photos of your home, or real-life visits, etc.
Taking care of the Great Dane is not an easy task. They’re generally sweet-tempered, but it’s their size that can cause problems, especially in the senior days. If you believe you’re not able to take care of such a large dog, then don’t do it. Dogs need a forever home, not just a field trip to another house.

Don’t lose all hope with this strict adoption process. It’s for the best. These requirements can only ensure you will end up with the perfect dog that will stay with you forever.

Final Thoughts: Which Great Dane Rescue Organization Is The Best For Me?

Adopting is a huge step, as huge as the Great Dane itself. The decision to adopt should be taken seriously. You shouldn’t play with the dog’s heart!

Adopting is definitely an easier choice if you ask your bank account. The process is not tax-deductible; however, it’s more fulfilling. The money you’d spend on a commercial breeder can go into something else, like your dog’s comfy bed or fun toys.

When choosing a Great Dane rescue, you should always check your local rescues first. Being close to the Great Dane rescue or the foster family is always a bonus on your application.

If you can’t find a Great Dane rescue center in your area, try seeing if the Rising Above’s coverage area includes you. This Great Dane funding and rescue is always open to adopting worldwide.

Sure, the process is a bit bumpy, but every evaluation step brings you closer to the Great Dane of your dreams! Maybe that brindle or that mantle Great Dane you just saw is your future family member.

Read Next: Great Dane Rescues in Ohio