The Great Dane is a breed also known as the German Mastiff. It is one of the largest breeds in the world. Great Danes are as short-lived as most giant breeds; their average life expectancy is 7 to 10 years.
Great Danes are very good with children, but require early socialization, because otherwise they can acquire fear of unknown things and develop aggression.
Do Great Danes Have Health Issues?
They are generally healthy and resilient, but like all other breeds, Great Danes are prone to certain health issues. The health issues that have been reported in Great Danes over the years are the following:
- Orthopedic issues: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, osteoarthritis, cruciate ligament (CCL) tears, cervical spondylomyelopathy (CSM) /Wobbler syndrome
- Skin problems: demodectic mange, non-tumorous growths
- Eye disorders: blindness
- Ear disorders: deafness
- Gastric issues: bloat
- Autoimmune diseases: Addison’s disease, autoimmune thyroiditis,
- Heart diseases: dilated cardiomyopathy, mitral valve defects, tricuspid valve disease, subaortic stenosis, patent ductus arteriosus, persistent right aortic arch, heartworm disease
- Blood clotting diseases: von Willebrand’s disease
- Cancer: osteosarcoma
- Cushing’s syndrome
The health problems we listed above are not ranked according to any specific criteria, which means that issues at the top of the list do not occur more often than the ones at the bottom. This list has been compiled with the aim of informing Great Dane owners about potential problems that may occur in their dogs.
However, it does not mean that these diseases will necessarily occur in every Great Dane. It’s impossible to predict whether and when a dog will get ill, but by purchasing puppies from a responsible breeder you can reduce the risk of hereditary diseases.
Like most large breeds, Great Danes are predisposed to stomach torsion, so it is recommended to schedule daily meals in several smaller doses and to avoid training for about an hour after a meal.
It takes some time for the bones and joints of Great Danes to fully develop and stop growing, so keep in mind that your pet should not be exposed to activities such as jumping or jogging, for example, until the puppy is at least a year and a half old.