Can A Great Dane Be A Good Family Guard Dog?

Great Danes are famous for their giant size, as well as their gentle demeanor. While a dog known as a gentle giant may not sound like a great choice as a guard dog, the reality is that Great Danes can be very protective of their families.

If you want a family dog that is also an excellent guard dog, then a Great Dane is an ideal choice for you. While a dog known as a gentle giant may not sound like a great choice as a guard dog, the reality is that Great Danes can be very fierce when protecting their families. This fierce loyalty, combined with their enormous size and strength, makes a Great Dane capable of protecting you and your family.

Great Dane standing

If you are planning to get a dog, it’s essential that you take the time to learn about the breed, what their needs are, and what their temperament is like. This is especially true if you are thinking of getting a Great Dane since the large size of this breed has its own unique challenges. Now, this doesn’t mean you should be worried about buying a Great Dane, it simply means that you need to be prepared to care for this giant of a dog that will soon be a member of your family. 

Do Great Danes Make Good Guard Dogs?    

While a Great Dane may not be the first choice for people looking for a guard dog, they should be your first choice if you are looking for a family dog that can also serve as a guard dog. As a family dog, Great Danes are known for their compassionate nature and their loyalty. These traits make them very protective of their families. While they may be known as gentle giants, should someone threaten their family, they will aggressively protect them. Great Danes are very powerful animals, and there aren’t many people that would want to tangle with one of them. But, if someone threatens you or a member of your family, then that’s precisely what they are going to do since your dog will do whatever he can to protect you.    

While a Great Dane is more than capable of overpowering most would be attackers, their first instinct is to bark instead of attack unless they are forced to. This actually makes them an ideal guard dog. A guard dog’s primary purpose should be to alert you to the presence of danger. Great Danes have excellent hearing, and if they think that there’s something wrong, their loud and imposing bark will definitely let you know about it.     The loud bark of a Great Dane is also a highly effective deterrent for any criminals that may be thinking of breaking into your home. A criminal does not want to be caught, and a barking dog is just the kind of thing that will draw attention to a home. Not only will it alert the homeowners that something is wrong, but a Great Dane’s bark is also so loud that every house near yours will hear them. Plus, you have to remember that when a criminal hears a Great Dane bark, they are probably going to be quite intimidated by it. Not many criminals will break into a house once they know that there’s a large dog inside waiting for them.    

Are Great Danes Good With Families And Children?    

If you have children, then one of your main concerns when choosing a breed of dog as a pet should be their temperament. Children are playful and can be irritating to a dog, so you need a dog that has the patience to deal with them. Fortunately, Great Danes definitely fit the bill here. They are known as gentle giants because of their patient and loving nature. Most Great Danes are perfectly happy just laying around the house near their families, and they rarely let minor disturbances bother them. While all dogs are a little different, for the most part, Great Danes are great family dogs with the perfect temperament for being around small children.

Great Dane standing with child near fence

The most important thing you can do as a Great Dane owner is to expose them to children from a young age so that they are used to their behavior. Once your dog is accustomed to being around your kids, they’ll adapt to them, and you shouldn’t have any worries about your dog being too aggressive toward them.    

Are Great Danes Good With Other Animals?    

Much like Great Danes make great family dogs due to their temperament, the same is largely true regarding their behavior around other animals. Great Danes are a social breed that gets along well with other dogs and most other pets. The key here is to get them to socialize with other pets from a young age so you can teach them appropriate behavior while they are still young. This is much easier than trying to teach a 200 lb. dog to get along well with others. 

Great Dane running with other dog in a field

Obedience Training Is Very Important When You Own A Great Dane    

Obedience training for every dog is essential, but for a Great Dane, that can be over 200 lbs. when fully grown, it’s even more critical. Great Danes are intelligent dogs and are easily trained, so long as you take the time to do so, and you are consistent in your approach. It’s important that you train your Great Dane using a firm approach, but at the same time, you want to be patient and show affection to your dog. You should never abuse your dog or yell at them. Instead, you should correct bad behavior and reward good behavior. Something as simple as petting your dog on the head and telling him he did good will go a long way toward reinforcing good behavior. Remember that dogs are pack animals, and once he recognizes you as the alpha, he will do everything he can to please you.    

With proper training, you can teach your Great Dane a variety of verbal commands. You can teach him to not use the bathroom in the house and to do just about anything else you would hope for from your pet. It’s also essential that you teach your Great Dane how to walk on a leash. Given the size and strength of the breed, the last thing you want is to have a 200 lb. out of control dog dragging you down the street when you go for a walk. Make sure that you start early, that you are consistent, and that you show affection to your dog while training him. If you follow this approach, you should have a well-behaved pet instead of a dog that drives you crazy.        

Caring For A Great Dane Requires A Good Deal Of Effort On Your Part    

It takes time and effort to care for any dog, but when it comes to Great Danes, you can expect to commit a good amount of your free time to care for them. They need regular exercise to remain healthy, and ideally, you’ll have a large home and yard for them to roam around in. While most Great Danes are happy laying on the couch, they still need ample room to move around. They also have very slow metabolisms, which means regular exercise is vital. You need to be able to devote the time to take your dog on regular walks if you want him to remain healthy and strong. You should also plan to allocate a sizeable portion of your budget toward feeding your Great Dane. As a giant dog, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that your new pet will have a voracious appetite.     

Is A Great Dane The Right Dog For Your Family?    

Getting a dog is a big commitment, it just happens to be a bit bigger when you are getting one of the biggest dog breeds in the world. Great Danes make great family pets, but they aren’t the right choice for everyone. If you live in a small home or apartment, you probably shouldn’t be thinking about getting a giant dog. If you don’t have the time to properly care for your dog and make sure that they get the exercise they need, then a Great Dane is not for you.  But, if you are looking for a beautiful, intelligent, and regal animal, then few dogs can compare to a Great Dane. They are fantastic family dogs well known for the gentle nature, so if you have small children, you shouldn’t have to worry about them being around your dog.

They also make excellent guard dogs since they have a loud bark, and their enormous size makes them the kind of obstacle that no criminal wants to try to overcome. A Great Dane has the potential to be a fantastic addition to the family and can quickly become a pet that all of you are deeply attached to. The most important thing to remember is that Great Danes aren’t like other dogs, their large size means that they have unique needs. If you are ready to meet those needs and are prepared to buy a Great Dane, then you’ll probably quickly fall in love with your gentle and giant new family member.

Great Dane standing near fence

Related Questions

Are Great Danes intelligent dogs?

While Great Danes are great companion dogs, they aren’t the smartest dog, having about average intelligence. Dr Stanley Coren conducted a study on dog intelligence including 131 breeds of dogs, and the Great Dane was tied for 48th smartest with the boxer.

How big do Great Danes grow?

Great Danes are classified as a giant breed of dog and can grow as large as 32 inches and 100 to 120 pounds for male dogs and 30 inches and 100 to 120 pounds for female dogs.

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