Great Danes are one of the largest dog breeds. Naturally, this makes them intimidating to many people and means that their behavior is under much more scrutiny than many smaller breeds.
Because of their size, many people wonder if Great Danes would be dangerous to kids. Great Danes are great with kids, and this article will tell you exactly why!
Great Danes and Kids
People love the idea of owning a Great Dane, but one of the most common questions regarding Great Danes is whether or not Great Danes are good with kids.
The short answer: Great Danes are good with kids. With a tender heart and a high level of sociability, Great Danes make excellent family pets.
Use this guide to consider the ways Great Danes work with kids, the breed’s typical characteristics, and useful considerations to make before going out and purchasing this dog.
Great Danes are Good Choice for Families
These dogs may look scary at first sight, but Great Dane owners will tell you these giants are really lovers at heart.
There are two main reasons why considering getting a Great Dane while having kids might be a good idea.
These two main reasons can be summed up in the Great Dane’s most common appellation: “the gentle giant.”
Called the “friendly, patient, dependable” breed by the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Great Dane has a temperament that perfectly counterbalances the often rash and unpredictable behavior of children.
Like Lenny in Of Mice and Men, these lions have the hearts of lambs.
They bring their hearts to their human relationships, and small kids are no exception.
With their size and “guard-dog” disposition, Great Danes have the great advantage of allowing you to sleep in safety, knowing you have a fierce and spirited ally waiting to protect you and your kids from any chance intruders.
As we mention, Great Danes place a great deal of importance on their relationships.
As such, they’ll guard these relationships with their life if necessary.
Size Is Not Everything
Great Danes widely have the reputation of being gentle giants.
Many people see Great Danes as nanny dogs. They are cautious around small animals and furniture despite their size and are also somewhat protective toward the ones they love.
In a few words, they will not hurt your kids or let anyone else hurt them either.
Male Great Danes can scale in at 30 to 34 inches and a whopping 120 to 200 lbs, while females are just a little smaller at 28 to 32 inches and 100 to 130 lbs.
A Great Dane’s size means that they are hearty enough for kids to play with without needing to be overly careful.
This is in sharp contrast to smaller dog breeds that you and your kids have to worry about.
Not only is it easy to accidentally step on or trip over them, but children playing with smaller breeds could result in injuring the dog.
Many owners also point out that kids and Great Danes have roughly the same energy levels, so they can tire each other out by the end of their days off together.
This makes life much easier for any dog-loving parent.
Most people choose to get a Great Dane instead of the plethora of other dog breeds because of their unique features and large size.
They want a large dog that can be protective, but they may need to reassure the parents of visiting kids.
The only situation where a Great Dane’s size may cause an issue is if they get excited or someone finds themselves between them and where they want to be. In these situations, the 200lbs of happy canine mass loping toward them can be intimidating.
There is rarely danger here, however.
A Great Dane could knock over a small child in these cases by accident, but it would not be in malice.
These are rare situations that are mostly harmless to anyone involved.
The temperament of Great Danes
Great Danes are affectionate and playful, further solidifying their status as nanny dogs and making them great pets in general.
This applies to kids because a Great Dane will want to play with them instead of simply tolerating them.
Dane owners report stories of their kids trying to ride their dogs or pester them to keep playing when they just want to lay down.
Even in situations where a Great Dane has finished playing, they will seldom growl or retaliate to further play.
The overall point here is that Great Danes love to play and are relaxed and comfortable enough to go along with kids playing with them even when they are not feeling completely up to it.
The term gentle giant could not fit these dogs better!
The best part is that they are a lot likely to change as they age. Great Danes are considered one of the most dependable dog breeds out there.
There is a minimal deviation from the personality traits they are most loved for. There are almost no bad apples, and their temperament remains consistent across their entire breed.
The intelligence of Great Danes
Great Danes are intelligent dogs, and that intelligence makes them easy to train.
An example of seeing their brilliant minds at work is when they are introduced to a wobbler, a stimulating toy that dispenses treats as the dog tips and turns it. Dane owners say that they can “see the gears turning” in their dog’s head.
Great Danes are smart enough to be quickly trained, and their personality means that they stick to their training quite well. Originally, people bred and trained Great Danes for big game hunting.
That same wit, dependable nature, and discipline is present today.
The combination of their excellent temperament, friendly demeanor, and intelligence makes them very conscious dogs when it comes to their size and how it affects their interactions with people.
Training a Great Dane from a young age is essential for making sure they know you and your family well, but this is mainly just to teach them to be aware of their own size and excitement.
There is little need to curb aggression with these dogs.
Part of training a Great Dane is socializing them, so they know how to behave around people.
We will cover this in a later section, but it is something that their intelligence and breeding make easy.
The Great Dane Social Life
Great Danes make an excellent family pet with good training, especially if the family has small kids.
Why? One of the aspects of Great Danes that makes their owners love them is they generally have a high level of sociability.
The Great Dane loves attention from its family! It wants to be a pet and receive compliments and love. It wants to learn and obey.
A Great Dane can be an excellent aspect of family life because the temperament of the Great Dane and the temperament of the child level one another out.
In other words, kids love social interaction as much as Great Danes. They’re a perfect match for each other!
Because Great Danes can be trusted to be gentle with young children, children and Great Danes are in a sense a match made in heaven.
Picking Great Dog Breeds for Your Family
To expand the scope of the discussion ever so slightly, the question of if the Great Dane is good with kids is symptomatic of a larger distrust of man’s best friend.
People often wonder about certain types of dogs being dangerous due to size or reputation.
In most of these cases, the reputations in question result from bad owners corrupting good dogs.
There are tons of great dog breeds out there, and there is at least one for every family and living situation. No dog is inherently dangerous to children or adults, despite what some people may claim.
Great Danes may seem intimidating to some people due to their size and the impression that they could overpower a person easily.
Yes, a Great Dane is physically capable of overpowering an adult or child, but they will seldom do that. Their intent is not to harm anyone, and they are great and loving pets even with a lack of training.
As great as Great Danes are as family dogs, they are ultimately still animals, and you can’t always perfectly predict their behavior.
We can confidently say that a Great Dane would never try to harm any small child, but they might accidentally do so.
For this reason, it is advised not to leave your Great Dane unsupervised with babies or toddlers.
The worry, in this case, is not that the dog will show aggression, but more than an accidental tail swipe or move of the paw could leave your small child in tears.
Great Danes are large dogs, and they sometimes do not know their own strength. This can cause problems like the one described above.
However, it is important to say here that your Great Dane wanting to be close to, guard, and love your child will likely be the source of accidents far more than any form of aggression.
They are just big dogs that don’t always realize it.
Even in these situations, you should still let your Great Danes interact with your kids where you can supervise them.
As important as it is to be cautious, it is even more critical that your Great Dane get acclimated to your kids and learn their smells.
Doing this will train your Dane to see the kids as part of their pack, meaning they will look out for them as they get older.
Due to their size, it is important to socialize a Great Dane in general. They need to learn how to respect people’s boundaries and not jump on everyone that they see.
They also need to learn not to lick. While it might seem endearing, their size and weight tend to make this form of greeting a problem.
With all this said, the intelligence mentioned above means Great Danes are not difficult to train or socialize.
With a little bit of patience, your Dane will be a joy for people of all ages to be around.
Great Danes are wonderful dogs, both for adults and kids.
The simple answer to the title question is: Yes, Great Danes are great with kids. But now, you have plenty of evidence to support this point of view.
Some people may find the size of Great Danes intimidating, and some might even assume that it makes them dangerous.
This simply is not the case. Great Danes are widely regarded as nanny dogs and gentle giants because they are not dangerous or aggressive despite their size.
They are intelligent and dependable dogs, making them easy to train even for people with limited experience training dogs.
Once trained, their training sticks, and you have a great dog that will love and protect your family no matter what.
Obvious precautions still must be taken, especially with babies and toddlers, but Great Danes are overall solid pets for most families under most circumstances.
Most Dane owners say that they have never had problems with aggression or any injuries letting their dogs and kids play.
It is always essential to research the facts of what dog breeds are actually like from people who have them and care for them rather than going off of gossip and reputation.
Great Danes are an excellent dog for all ages!
Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
Other articles you may also like: