Great Danes are a giant breed of dog that tells you that they get very large and very quickly too.
They go through explosive growth spurts very early in life until they are full-grown at the age of 2 years. Read on to find all the information you need on the Great Danes and their growth.
When Does a Great Dane Reach Maturity?
Great Danes keep growing taller until they reach about 1.5 years old, and they may look a bit gangly at this time. Between the final height and maturity at 2 years old, your gentle giant will start filling out and gaining weight until he stops growing around 2 years old.
So, How Tall is a Great Dane?
At maturity, female Great Danes reach about 28 to 33 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 100 and 140 pounds. The males are larger at 30 to 36 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 140 and 200 pounds.
Some factors can affect your puppy’s final height and weight at maturity.
Great Dane Appearance
According to the AKC, a Great Dane is highly muscled throughout his entire body. He is described as being square, proportioned, and powerful. It’s easy to spot a Great Dane in the correct proportions as he will have a very slender appearance.
While your Great Dane puppy is still growing taller, he will likely look like he’s too thin and has long legs that don’t look quite right.
This is because he doesn’t add weight to keep up with his height until he’s 2 years old. As a pup younger than 2, you shouldn’t be able to see his ribs or see any of his bones clearly through his coat and skin, but he should not be overweight.
Looking at his back from above, his shoulders should appear strong and taper back to a narrow waist with strongly defined hips.
Great Dane Puppy Health Issues
It’s important to realize that your Great Dane puppy will look quite thin compared to other dogs that will be much shorter when they mature.
It will help if you are looking for several signs in your giant breed puppy to ensure he’s getting the food and nutrition he needs to grow and has strong bones and a strong body.
If you notice that your pooch appears lethargic or tired and has vomiting or diarrhea as well as gas and soft stools, he may need his food changed.
These can be signs of an allergic reaction to an ingredient in his food. Pets can be allergic to different ingredients, just as humans can.
If your pretty puppy has a dull coat and eyes, is itching a lot, and is on flea and tick medication, he may also be exhibiting signs of a food allergy.
If your Great Dane puppy looks too thin and you can see and count, his ribs and hip bones are showing, or if he is extremely round suddenly, he needs a visit to the vet.
Thinner dogs may have parasites, and dogs with extended bellies can suffer from bloat, which Great Danes often do.
Great Dane Growth Chart
Looking at a growth chart for your dog breed will help you decide if he’s growing at the rate he should.
However, some puppies will be over or under the average height and weight on the chart for genetics or other reasons.
Male and Female Great Dane Average Growth Rate
The male and female Great Danes will grow on average at about the same rate until they are 2 months old, and then the males will grow faster to reach a taller height and heavier weight than the females at maturity.
Females will generally be at the lower end of the spectrum and males at the top in height and weight.
At birth, Great Dane puppies weigh an incredible 1 to 2 pounds. At 1 week old, they average 2 to 3 pounds; at 2 weeks, they reach between 3 and 5 pounds.
In the third week, Great Dane puppies weigh about 4 to 7 pounds and increase to 5 to 8 pounds in the fourth week.
At 6 weeks old, a puppy weighs between 10 and 20 pounds; at 8 weeks, puppies will weigh between 15 and 30 pounds.
Great Dane Average Height Growth Rate
As in the weight category, most of the male Great Dane pups will be taller than the females. Here is an average of their height and age:
- 3 months 17 to 23 inches
- 4 months 20 to 25 inches
- 5 months 24 to 30 inches
- 6 months 26 to 33 inches
- 7 months 27 to 34 inches
- 8 months 28 to 34 inches
- 9 months 28 to 35 inches
- 1 year 29 to 36 inches
Why is My Great Dane Puppy Smaller?
The above growth rates in height and weight are only samplings of an average for Great Dane puppies. Some reasons your puppy may be smaller or larger than the average number.
If your particular pup was the runt of the litter, they would likely be smaller than average. The same is true if your puppy had a rough start and needed to be bottle-fed for some reason.
If your puppy’s parents are larger than Great Danes, your puppy is likely to be on the larger side of average also.
When is My Great Dane Fully Grown?
Just as human children may have growth spurts, so do dogs and puppies. Most Great Danes reach their full height at 1.5 years old and their final weight at 2 years old, at which point they are mature and have finished growing.
However, if your dog is in agility or strength work when he becomes an adult at 2 years old, he may keep adding weight and muscle until he’s 3 years old and be a massive dog.
Bigger is Not Better
Some new dog owners believe that if they feed their puppy extra food, the extra nutrition will allow him to be an even bigger dog.
This isn’t true, but it can make your dog overweight, which is horrible for a giant breed dog such as a Great Dane because he already has a lot of weight on his joints.
Being overweight can lead to hip and elbow dysplasia and other musculoskeletal conditions that harm your precious pooch.
It would help if you stuck to the right stage of life for puppies and large breeds for your Great Dane’s food.
Choose an approved puppy food and then, when he is 2 years old, switch him gradually to a large breed of food.
Follow your vet’s advice or the chart on the bag of dog food, so you know how much to feed your gentle giant for his weight.
Effects of Spaying and Neutering and Great Dane Growth
Spaying or neutering your Great Dane can cause it to grow extra large because it affects the growth plates in your dog’s bones, so they don’t close when they usually would.
This ends up allowing your dog to grow more than usual, and, in a Great Dane, it would make your dog extremely tall.
Veterinarians recommend that females be spayed after their first heat cycle, and males should be neutered when they reach 2 years old and no sooner for each of them.
When a Great Dane grows incredibly tall, he may look even bigger than life, but it can exacerbate joint problems and cause great pain.
It’s not worth causing your four-legged family member pain to make him grow taller than he should.
Great Dane Genetics and Size
Of course, your Great Dane puppy’s lineage will determine his height and weight. Smaller parents equal smaller full-grown pups, and larger parents will give you a larger-than-life Dane.
There are also two different types of Great Dane bloodlines as well. American Great Danes are smaller and lighter in weight while also less muscular than the European Dane, which takes after their big, beefy Mastiff ancestors.
Adopting a Great Dane that isn’t registered or an adult Great Dane with no background on the parents may be smaller than expected at maturity.
Since Great Danes are giant breeds, you may have chosen a puppy that looks like a Dane but doesn’t have papers and maybe a mixed breed.
Almost all other dog breeds are smaller than the Great Dane as a giant breed, so if you adopt a mixed breed pup, he will likely be smaller than a purebred and registered Great Dane.
These guidelines should help you determine the approximate size, height, and weight your Great Dane puppy will achieve.