Great Danes are a giant breed of dog so that in itself tells you that they get very large and very quickly too.
They go through explosive growth spurts very early in their life and it continues until they are full-grown at the age of 2 years. Read on to find out all the information you need on the Great Danes and 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.
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 a bit larger at 30 to 36 inches tall at the shoulder and weighing between 140 and 200 pounds.
There are some factors that can affect the final height and weight of your puppy 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 either.
When you look at his back from above him, 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 in comparison to other dogs that will be much shorter when they are mature.
There are several signs you should look for in your giant breed puppy to make sure he’s getting the correct amount of food and nutrition that he needs to grow and has strong bones and a strong body.
If you notice that your pooch appears lethargic or tired a lot 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 types of ingredients, just as humans can.
If your pretty puppy has a dull coat and eyes or 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 clearly see and count his ribs and hip bones are showing or if he is extremely round suddenly, then he needs a visit to the vet.
Thinner dogs may have parasites and dogs that have extended bellies can be suffering from bloat, which Great Danes often do.
Great Dane Growth Chart
Looking at a growth chart for your breed of dog will help you to decide if he’s growing at the rate that he should be.
However, some puppies will be over or under the average height and weight on the chart, because of 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 end 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 and 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 will weigh between 10 and 20 pounds and, 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 a bit 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 rates of growth in height and weight are only samplings of an average for Great Dane puppies. There are some reasons why your puppy may be smaller or larger than the average number.
If your particular pup was the runt of the litter, he or she will 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 quite 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 actually keep adding weight and muscle until he’s 3 years old and be a massive dog.
Bigger is Not Better
Some new dog owners are of the mindset that if they feed their puppy extra food, the extra nutrition will allow him to be an even bigger dog.
This simply 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 are harmful to your precious pooch.
You should stick 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 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 normally 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 spayed 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 in actuality, it can exacerbate joint problems and cause him great pain in his joints.
It’s not worth causing your four-legged family member pain just to make him grow taller than he should.
Great Dane Genetics and Size
Of course, the lineage that your Great Dane puppy comes from 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 and beefy Mastiff ancestors.
If you adopt a Great Dane that isn’t registered or an adult Great Dane with no background on the parents, it may be smaller than expected at maturity.
Since Great Danes are giant breeds, you may possibly have chosen a puppy that looks like a Dane but doesn’t have papers and it may actually be a mixed breed.
As a whole, 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 be able to help you to determine the approximate size in height and weight that your Great Dane puppy will achieve.