The Great Dane is an enormous breed of love. They are affectionate, fun, and enjoy being part of a family. Great Danes are known as “gentle giants.” They are the tallest dog breed in the canine world. As our dogs grow, it is good to monitor their growth, especially during puppyhood, to see if they are growing up healthily. This includes their weight and the milestones that come with growing up. Understanding this is one of the best ways to make sure your dog is healthy throughout her life.
Every dog is unique; some may be bigger than the breed standard, while others may be smaller. Measuring them allows us to see if our dogs are on track. Some grow bigger faster, whereas others take longer to grow up. Keeping note of milestones gives us points of comparison to see just how well our dogs are developing. There are a few different factors that go into our dogs’ growth, regardless of gender or breed.
Our comprehensive guide gives you a look into your Great Dane’s growth throughout his early years. We’ve also provided a growth chart to serve as a handy resource to refer back to during your dog’s life. Finally, we answer the most frequently asked questions about your dog as they develop.
What To Expect
Let’s take a good look at the specifics of what to expect during their growth period. Having all this information will help you prepare for changes as your puppy grows. This is also a good time to learn the different developmental changes that happen in your dog’s life during their most crucial developmental stage — puppyhood. It is important to note that although growth charts are helpful, all dogs are different, and their growth stages may differ.
This article explores the growth patterns of a typical Great Dane. However, remember that your puppy’s results may vary. They may have growth spurts or plateaus that speed up or slow down overall growth. This is normal and is no cause for worry. Great Danes typically reach their full height at eighteen months old, though their weight continues to develop until they are 24 months old. This growth also depends on nutrition and overall health, so be sure not to overfeed or underfeed your dog. You must also keep them away from injury. Ultimately, your puppy might be slightly smaller or larger than the averages we provide. If you find yourself alarmed by this, it’s always a good idea to contact your veterinarian.
Puppy Growth Timeline
Here is a timeline of your Great Dane’s growth, plus the different developmental milestones and things your puppy may need at these times.
Birth To 2 Weeks
Your puppy is not very interactive at this time because they are both blind (due to sealed eyelids) and deaf. They are totally reliant on their mother to give them the care and milk they need. If you are also caring for their mother, be sure she is eating and resting enough in order to give the puppies good care. Allow your puppy to drink as much milk as they need. Sometime around the two-week mark, your puppy’s eyes start to open, and they begin hearing sounds.
At the one-month mark, your dog has developed much of his senses. It’s adorable to see them be more social around their littermates. This is especially important for their early development, as this is their first chance to socialize. One month old is also when they begin to wean off their mother’s milk. You can start feeding them soft, wet dog food. It’s important not to shock them with too much food at once.
- Males weigh an average of 8 pounds.
- Females weigh an average of 5 pounds.
When your puppy reaches two months old, they should be able to be separated from their mother, as they are now fully weaned off milk. You can start giving them three meals a day, with portion sizes changing according to their size and weight. You can begin teaching them basic commands and begin with obedience training.
It’s important to train them now because they are the most receptive when they are very young. This sets a foundation for a well-behaved dog later down the line. Here is the weight you can expect from your Great Dane at two months old.
- Males weigh an average of 23 pounds.
- Females weigh an average of 18 pounds.
You should continue your puppy’s training and socialization, but it may be a good idea to start leash training them now to get used to the feel of the harness and leash. Ideally, you should prepare your Great Dane not to pull on the leash, or else he will be walking you. This is also a right time to get them used to grooming. Consistency and patience are key here, so be sure to treat your puppy fairly. They are very playful and particularly mouthy. Do your best to curb bad behavior and encourage acceptable behavior.
- Males weigh an average of 35 pounds.
- Females weigh an average of 25 pounds.
Your puppy starts being a lot more playful by the time they reach four months old. At this point in time, they should also be happily settled in with you at home. You should continue their obedience training and socialization using positive reinforcement as much as possible. If you’re less experienced in training a dog like a Great Dane, you may want to enroll in training classes. You can also let your dog join in on puppy kindergarten classes as a way to teach them to behave appropriately around other dogs. This makes for a confident, friendly, and well-rounded puppy.
- Males weigh an average of 55 pounds.
- Females weigh an average of 45 pounds.
At around five months, you may be astonished at just how large your Great Day has been getting. It may be more difficult to rein them in when they are rambunctious due to their larger size. This is a stage where they learn, grow, and play at a fast rate. We encourage you to continue with the positive reinforcement, as this can really make all the difference in how your dog grows up. Great Danes grow to be very affectionate, and loving, but puppies will definitely be puppies. Patience is key here, so try to enjoy them while they’re still young
- Males weigh an average of 70 pounds.
- Females weigh an average of 60 pounds.
At around the six-month mark, your Great Dane is getting taller and heavier. She may be asking for a lot of exercise, but since she is still growing, it is important to not overexert her, as this can injure them. More seriously, it can result in hip dysplasia. Six months means you have established a routine in your everyday life with your dog. Keep being the firm, consistent, and confident leader they need, so they can learn discipline and structure.
- Males weigh an average of 80 pounds.
- Females weigh an average of 65 pounds.
When your dog has reached seven months old, they are very set in their day-to-day life with you since you have established routine and rapport. Continue being firm in your discipline with them, and always reward exemplary behavior. You can start taking your dog on longer walks but too long to exert her, you could even split the walks into two smaller sessions. Great Danes are prone to hip dysplasia and bloat so their exercise needs to be moderated until they are two years old. You can also give your dog two meals per day now, as long as they get enough food for their age, size, and activity level.
- Males weigh an average of 90 pounds.
- Females weigh an average of 70 pounds.
When your dog gets to be around eight months old, you should have a great friendship established with them. The problem here is that they may start to get anxious when you aren’t around. This is called separation anxiety and really takes a toll on your mental health. It can also take a toll on your belongings because destructive behavior usually surfaces when dogs feel this way. It’s best to have somebody with them as much as possible so they don’t end up getting lonely. Besides this, your dog is well on the way to adulthood, close to being his final weight.
- Males weigh an average of 100 pounds.
- Females weigh an average of 80 pounds.
You can expect your dog to start behaving a little more maturely at around nine months old. This may not be true for all puppies. Still, they are calmer and are happy to behave more, as long as their needs are addressed. Toys are an effective way to provide mental and physical stimulation and minimize destructive behavior. Great Danes are people pleasers at heart so they will be more willing to obey, but training will be a big help.
- Males weigh an average of 110 pounds.
- Females weigh an average of 85 pounds.
At around ten months old, they start listening to your commands more eagerly than before, provided you have been consistent about their training. Now that their body is getting stronger, you can take them out for a longer walk. Try not to over-exert them as their bones are still developing.
- Males weigh an average of 115 pounds.
- Females weigh an average of 90 pounds.
Homelife should be very comfortable for your dog now that they are almost one year old. Great Danes are more than happy to be part of a family. You can now try to give them sixty minutes of walk time each day, split into two sessions to make it easier to manage. Try not to run with them on a leash but walk to not disrupt bone formation. Since they are well-socialized, your dog will have lots of fun playing with other dogs at the dog park.
- Males weigh an average of 120 pounds.
- Females weigh an average of 95 pounds.
It’s time to wish your dog a very happy birthday. At this point, home life has settled down since they are more behaved now. You and your dog have both done an excellent job in training and socialization. Your dog may still act like a puppy, especially since Great Danes are so playful and energetic.
- Males weigh an average of 125 pounds.
- Females weigh an average of 100 pounds.
What Happens Next?
At this point, your dog is growing up nicely. You can use the standard weights and heights listed as markers but you can always compare notes with your veterinarian to see how well your dog has grown. As long as they weren’t overfed or underfed and kept healthy throughout puppyhood, there should be no issue with their growth.
Full Grown Great Dane
Your dog has done a lot of growing during his puppyhood. Male and female dogs have similar weights throughout puppyhood but differ slightly in adulthood. A full-grown male weighs around 140 pounds, while females weigh around 115 pounds. Males are also a little taller, standing around 32 inches at the shoulder, while females average 30 inches in height.
Weight Growth Chart
|Age||Male Weight (lbs.)||Female Weight (lbs.)|
Factors To Consider
Many different factors go into your Great Dane’s growth. Understanding each one can help you better understand your dog’s growth and how it may be affected. This can also provide reassurance if the growth milestones are not what you expected.
While size is a part of their genetic line, some dogs can be larger or smaller than others. Looking at the parents can usually give you a sense of how large your dog grows, though this is only an estimation and can be way off the mark. The parents are just a small part of a giant genetic puzzle. They may have genes that result in smaller, average or larger offspring. There is no real way to tell until your dog has reached full maturity. If you prefer, you can always ask your breeder about other offspring their dogs have produced to compare notes.
Nutrition is the foundation for staying healthy. This is a significant determining factor in how big or small your dog will grow. The amount of food your Dane consumes will depend on his size, age, and energy levels. This does not mean that overfeeding your dog guarantees he will grow as large as healthily possible. It’s important not to overfeed this breed because he will eat as much as you feed him. They already carry enough weight, so he doesn’t need any more weight added to his frame. It can also lead to further health problems and add pressure to his cardiac system. This paves the way toward obesity and may even create other orthopedic ailments.
The most important consideration for his nutrition is to feed him a high-quality kibble that provides him with a well-balanced diet. This is especially true when he’s a giant breed puppy, and will need a denser nutritional formula to support the rapid growth of a giant breed. A well-balanced diet should involve high-quality meats, fiber, carbohydrates, healthy omega fats, vitamins, and minerals.
Growth Spurts And Plateaus
Growth spurts and plateaus can happen at any given time during your dog’s growth. This either speeds up or slows down the growing process. You cannot exactly count on these things to happen when you want to since they occur randomly. Just understand that your dog is growing at his own pace. Simply doing your best for your dog allows them to grow to their full genetic potential. If you are wary of any changes in your puppy’s growth, it’s always best to ask a veterinarian to see if your pup is developing healthily.
Neutering And Spaying
Spaying or neutering your dog early in his life does not really do anything to stunt his growth. However, their joints may be affected. Some studies show that early neutering or spaying affects your dog’s growth plate. This delays its closure and may make your dog grow taller than he usually would. This can predispose them to joint disease later in their life. Be sure to ask your veterinarian when the best time is to spay or neuter your dog. This way, they can finish their version of puberty and adequately develop.
Puppies who were not well for an extended time may have stunted growth. Poor health does not allow the body to reach its highest potential, so you should always check in with your veterinarian to ensure that your puppy is as healthy as possible. Injury can also be a factor in the growth of a Great Dane. Do not allow them to overexert themselves as they are growing. Always give your dog plenty of space to play so they don’t accidentally bump into anything and hurt themselves in the process.
Frequently Asked Questions
When will my Great Dane stop growing?
Their physical growth stops between 18 months and 2 years. This breed often reaches its adult height around eighteen months but continues to gain weight until two years of age.
How fast can I expect my Great Dane to grow?
Your Great Dane grows at a pretty steady pace, ending up being larger than many other dogs. They may have a growth sprint between four and six months but each doggie is different.
Will my puppy experience growing pains?
Studies show that puppies do not exactly experience growing pains, but certain orthopedic conditions may give them pain. If you notice limping, swelling, a strange way of movement, and a hesitance to join normally engaging activities, then there may be something wrong. It’s worth going to a veterinarian to get a closer look so that you can sort out whatever it is that is ailing your puppy. It’s also worth noting that your dog can get injured if allowed to play too rough or exercise too much.
What are some conditions common to growing Great Danes?
One common condition your dog may be predisposed to as they grow up is hip dysplasia. This is a disease where your dog’s thigh bone does not fit properly into their hip socket. This can cause a lot of pain and often leads to degenerative arthritis later on in life. You can spot hip dysplasia in your dog if you notice limping, strange posture, or an unusual way of walking.
You should bring your dog to the vet when they are two years old to check if they have developed hip dysplasia. Fortunately, good breeders screen for hip dysplasia and do not allow any dogs who have it to breed. If you have received your dog from a responsible breeder, then they are likely safe from hip dysplasia.
Great Danes also suffer from Bloat or Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV). GDV is fatal and can be life-threatening. It is unsure as to why they develop this condition but some possible ways to help prevent the onset of GDV include not overfeeding and exercising the dog before or right after a meal.
What do I do if my Great Dane isn’t the correct weight?
If you find your Great Dane is not growing at a healthy pace, check with your veterinarian. Numbers don’t always indicate if your dog is a reasonable body weight or not. They also gain more weight as they grow older. To test if your dog is overweight or underweight, check his ribs. You should not see them, as this is a clear indicator that your dog is dangerously underweight. You should be able to feel the ribs, not immediately, but by applying light pressure when pressing down on them. This must be corrected with diet and exercise. Underweight dogs need immediate veterinary assistance since they may need to be dewormed in case of internal parasites. Ultimately, you should consult your veterinarian for treatment plans for your overweight or underweight doggie.
Great Danes are beautiful and majestic dogs. It is important to have the right information on their development and growth to ensure they grow up healthy and happy.
It’s good that you have done your research to understand your Great Dane’s growth so you are informed and can prepare accordingly. Getting to know the different growth factors also soothes anxieties. Our final recommendation is to bring your puppy in for his routine checkups at the vet. This way, you can closely monitor if your dog is growing to his full potential.