Great Dane Mastiff Mix (Daniff): Info, Pictures, Traits & Facts

Great Dane Mastiff mix standing on a log
Image credit: rossiandchilli.thedaniffs / Instagram

Literally taking the spotlight when it comes to size is the Great Dane Mastiff mix, also known as the Daniff. This massive hybrid appeals mainly to those who love big dogs with gentle appearances. 

It bears a mix of qualities from its parent breeds, making the Daniff an even-tempered, gentle giant that’s intelligent and protective. The sheer size and loyalty qualify the Daniff as a dependable guard dog. 

Have a closer look at the English Mastiff mixed with Great Dane to thoroughly understand why it’s quickly gaining popularity. Getting to know its nature starts by learning its history, traits, needs, and more. Read on!

Breed Overview

Height:27 – 33 inches
Weight:115 – 190 pounds
Lifespan:8 – 12 years
Coat Colors:Black, fawn, brindle, harlequin, blue, mantle
Temperament:Protective, intelligent, lovable, playful, confident, gentle, devoted, friendly
Suitable for:Experienced owners; families with older children

What Is a Great Dane Mastiff Mix?

Daniff puppy wearing a harness
Image credit: benjen_the_daniff / Instagram

The Mastiff Great Dane mix, also called the Daniff, is the cross between an English Mastiff and a Great Dane. Despite its intimidating size, the Daniff is affectionate, and its appearance takes after either of its parents. This hybrid dog is also called Mastidane, Great Daniff, and English Daniff.

Naturally, a Daniff will look more like an English Mastiff or a Great Dane. Nevertheless, this dog bears a kind and distinct appearance, which draws people to it. It’s sociable, too, so it’s no problem befriending this dog. 

Playing is one of its favorite pastimes. While this dog is aware of its size and careful when making movements, monitoring its interaction with kids is critical to avoid accidents.

On a different note, the Daniff isn’t a purebred dog. This means it can’t be recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Because of this, it cannot compete in conformation events and other AKC-hosted events.

Fortunately, some other clubs and organizations cater particularly to hybrids. The Designer Breed Registry (DBR) and American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC) are among these.

Great Dane Mastiff Mix Origin and History

The Great Dane Mastiff mix is said to have been purposely bred around 10 to 15 years ago in the United States. However, only a little is known about why the Daniff was created. 

It could be that breeders wanted to see what offspring the English Mastiff and the Great Dane would produce. To further learn more about this crossbreed, it takes looking into its parents’ individual history.

For starters, the English Mastiff is a dog that was recognized by the AKC in 1885. This dog breed hailing from England comes from the line of an ancient dog called the Molossian Hound

With its sheer size and physique, the Mastiff served as a guard dog, protecting livestock from wild threats. Later, it was used as a fighting dog in bull-baiting arenas until dogfights were banned in 1835. 

When World War II broke out, the English Mastiff started to go extinct. Luckily a pair was imported to Canada, and the puppies were instrumental in reviving the breed.

Meanwhile, the Great Dane developed in Germany about 400 years ago. It descends from Mastiff-like dogs, which explains well why it’s a sizable canine. 

With its dependable attitude, alertness, and courage, the Great Dane was widely used for boar hunting. 

In the 18th century, it transitioned from a hunting dog to a guardian of estates and carriages. Eventually, this breed got recognized by the AKC in 1887. 

Despite the parents’ history as guarding and hunting dogs, this Great Dane mixed with Mastiff is a lovable family pet that’s docile and gentle.

Great Dane Mastiff Mix Appearance

Mastiff Great Dane mix puppy sitting on fallen leaves
Image credit: benjen_the_daniff / Instagram

There’s no established appearance for the Great Dane Mastiff mix as it’s a crossbreed. It can have a balanced appearance from its parents or take on more from its Mastiff or Great Dane parent. 

Generally, the Daniff is known for its large, muscular build and long legs. It also sports a large, broad head, a long tail, and a short, square-shaped jaw. Meanwhile, its coat is often short and can be either a single or double coat. 

There can be a few wrinkles on its face, and its jowls usually hang low. Meanwhile, the Daniff’s ears droop and rest on the sides of its face. It’s also remarkable how inquisitive and expressive its dark eyes could be. 

The Daniff hybrid also usually inherits the Great Dane’s coat colors, which come in brindle, black, and fawn. Some Daniffs can bear a solid or mottled coat color of fawn and brown. 

Great Dane Mastiff Mix Size and Weight

The English Mastiff Great Dane mix is a giant dog that typically weighs around 115 to 190 pounds and has a height ranging between 27 and 33 inches when fully grown. 

As a massive hybrid dog, the Daniff would take approximately 18 to 24 months to reach its full size. This slow growth period is due to its large bones needing some time to develop fully.

Surprisingly, despite the incredible body measurements of a Daniff, this hybrid suits an apartment style of living. That is, if it’s spacious enough to accommodate its size and if it gets regular walks outdoors.

Great Dane Mastiff Mix Temperament and Personality

Great Dane Mastiff mix with pink collar
Image credit: eludaniff / Instagram

The Great Dane Mastiff mix is described to be affectionate, loyal, and gentle in disposition. It can do well with large families and can also thrive happily in a one-person household. 

Though this giant dog can make anyone take a step back due to its incredible physique, it won’t take long before it warms up with new people. 

It can sometimes be apprehensive when a stranger approaches its home. Still, a Daniff would only show its protective nature when threatened.

Otherwise, a socialized Great Dane Mastiff will go out of its way to ask for a cuddle. 

This behavior is reinforced through proper training and socialization. When exposed to new faces and scents during puppyhood, the Daniff is less likely to react negatively at the sight of unfamiliar people or animals. 

Great Dane Mastiff Mix Lifespan and Health Issues

The Great Dane Mastiff mix is a relatively healthy dog that can live for about 8 to 12 years. If it was bred from a healthy English Mastiff and Great Dane, this hybrid dog could even go beyond this range of lifespan. 

Although this hybrid is generally, it can still be prone to several medical issues, which can either be inherited or develop at a certain age. 

Here is a list of the common health problems of the Great Dane Mastiff mix:

  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia: The Great Dane English Mastiff mix is largely at risk of developing elbow and hip dysplasia. This genetic condition happens when the ball and the socket joints don’t fit properly. Some dogs can experience dysplasia as young as four months old and exhibit decreased range of motion, limping, stiffness, and pain. 
  • Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV): Gastric dilatation-volvulus is a serious medical condition wherein a Daniff’s stomach flips, dragging the pancreas and spleen along with it. This leads to a stop in blood flow, which results in shock or sudden death. Some indications that your Daniff is suffering from bloat include restlessness and enlargement of the abdomen.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): An English Daniff suffering from progressive retinal atrophy will likely develop blindness. The dog will start having low night vision, worsening slowly over time. This is a non-painful medical condition wherein the photoreceptor cells deteriorate. Currently, there is no effective treatment for PRA.

To ensure that your Great Dane Mastiff is healthy, you must get it from trusted sources. On top of that, the dog should be given a healthy lifestyle and regular vet check-ups.

Early diagnosis of health problems increases the chances of recovery. And to help you out with your emergency vet bills, enrolling your Daniff in pet insurance greatly helps. 

How to Take Care of Your Daniff

Great Dane Mastiff mix on a wooden bridge
Image credit: benjen_the_daniff / Instagram

Before getting a Daniff for your family, you must learn how to meet its needs. Giant dogs like the Daniff would require extra care compared to smaller dog breeds. 

If you’re ready for this commitment, below is an in-depth guide regarding its food, grooming, training, and exercise requirements. 

Food and Diet

The Daniff ideally requires an enormous amount of quality dog food formulated for active dogs of its size. 

Generally, this hybrid benefits from meals that contain six essential nutrients. Ensure that it gets enough high-quality protein, vitamins, carbohydrates, minerals, fats, and water to aid it in its growth.

You can also add Omega 3 and 6 oils to keep its coat glossy and smooth. 

On a different note, aside from commercial dog food, a Daniff can also do well in a BARF, or home-cooked diet, provided they are complete and balanced in nutrition. 

Some owners prefer to prepare their dogs’ meals themselves. Some of its basic components are boiled chicken with fruits, vegetables, and supplements. 

You may have to consult with your pet nutritionist if this is your preferred approach in feeding your Daniff. 

Cleaning and Grooming

The smooth, short coat of the Daniff makes it a low-maintenance dog. Still, shedding occurs all year round, and keeping up with it would require weekly brushing. 

It’s during the spring and fall seasons when shedding gets worse, so always ready your slicker brush. Giving it a bath every 6 to 8 weeks also helps remove loose and excess hair. 

Aside from this grooming routine, ensure that your Daniff’s nails are trimmed regularly. Be careful of injuries when grooming the nails to maintain a pleasant grooming experience for your dog. 

Keep its ears clean as well, ensuring there are no signs of infection or colored discharges and unpleasant odor. 

Give attention to its teeth by brushing this dog’s teeth at least twice or thrice a week. Proper dental care will keep your Daniff from developing oral problems such as gingivitis.

Training and Exercise

Training your English Daniff comes with several challenges. It tends to be stubborn, but one way to mellow down this behavior is by starting training as early as possible. 

Establish house rules firmly and make the rest of the family members get involved in it. Use only positive reinforcements like praises and rewards, such as dog treats or crackers, to motivate your Daniff to act properly. 

Catch a glimpse of a Daniff named Roman, who is featured in a puppy camp dog training video demonstration:

Roman (Mastiff/Great Dane Mix) Puppy Camp Dog Training Video Demonstration

When it comes to exercise, an hour each day will suffice. Divide this into two smaller sessions to avoid over-exhaustion. 

Take it out for a walk, or let it play in the backyard to release pent-up energy. This prevents boredom which is a common cause of behavioral problems.

Despite being deemed a couch potato, the Daniff still needs regular exercise to help it maintain its muscle mass. 

How Much Does a Great Dane Mastiff Mix Cost? Puppy Prices & Expenses 

The Great Dane Mastiff mix is a relatively new hybrid dog that can cost you between $600 and $1,500 if you partly base it on the price of a Great Dane. 

If one or both of its parents have superior lineage, a Daniff breeder may increase the price of the puppies. 

On top of this purchase price, recurring costs come with owning a Great Daniff. 

The table below shows the initial expenses associated with owning a Daniff puppy:

Type of ExpenseCost
Food and Treats$80 – $150
Bowls$15 – $40
Toys$30 – $100
Beds$50 – $300
Collars and Leashes$15 – $50
Crates and Carriers$60 – $500
Grooming Essentials$50 – $250
Initial Vet Visits$100 – $500
Initial Vaccine Shots$50 – $300
Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications$40 – $300
Neutering or Spaying$50 – $500
Microchipping$40 – $60
Dog License$10 – $20
Other Essentials$30 – $80
Total Initial Cost$620 – $3,150

You must also prepare a certain amount for emergencies and other ongoing costs. Your Daniff might need to undergo certain surgeries in the future or get sick at a certain period; hence, you should plan out your finances well. 

Places to Find Great Dane Mastiff Mix Puppies for Sale and Adoption

Great Dane Mastiff mix puppy running fast
Image credit: eludaniff / Instagram

Your Great Dane Mastiff mix puppy should only come from a legitimate breeder. There is an assurance that the Daniff you’re acquiring is healthy and well-socialized. 

That said, here are some of the reputable sources where you can buy a Daniff puppy:

  • AKC Marketplace – You can meet a lot of Great Dane and English Mastiff breeders when you visit the AKC Marketplace. Although they primarily breed purebred puppies, you might chance upon a breeder that produces Daniff puppies.
  • Pine Edge Kennel – The Pine Edge Kennel is a state-licensed kennel whose Daniff puppies under their care are well taken care of, vaccinated, and dewormed. You must wait until the puppy you choose reaches eight weeks old before it’s allowed to be brought to your home. 
  • Big Sky Danes and Daniffs – Big Sky Danes and Dannifs breed Great Danes, but they also have Daniff puppies available. Their pups are raised on an 8-acre land on the outskirts of Great Falls and on a 10-acre property outside of Cascade.

On the other hand, adopting a dog is also an option. Below lists the organizations where you may find a Great Daniff for adoption:

  • Great Dane Rescue – Great Dane Rescue is a non-profit organization established in 1993. They take in unwanted Great Danes, possibly including mixes like the Daniff. They cover Michigan, Toledo, Indiana, Illinois, and Ontario. Look through their listings of available dogs to see which suits your preferences the most.
  • Southern States Mastiff Rescue – Driven by the dedication of its volunteers, the Southern States Mastiff Rescue is a sanctuary of old English Mastiffs. Around 1,300 Mastiffs have been rescued and placed into loving homes. They likely have a Daniff under their care so take time to see if they have any. 
  • Save Rocky the Great Dane – Adopt a Great Dane Mastiff mix from Save Rocky the Great Dane Rescue. They occasionally have a few available, so don’t miss that out. All their dogs are altered, microchipped, vetted, and tested against heartworms before being rehomed. 

If you still find yourself unsuccessful in adopting a Mastiff Great Dane mix from these animal welfare charities, there are also ways to find free puppies in your area. Just drive around your neighborhood to find local rescues and breeders near you.

Pros and Cons of Owning a Daniff

The Great Dane Mastiff mix is not for everyone. Like most dogs, it is not perfect, so you must know what you’re getting into before bringing home one. As with any dog, the Great Daniff has its fair share of pros and cons.

For starters, here are the advantages of owning a Daniff:

  • Protective: The Daniff is a fit guard dog for your home. It has the physique to intimidate and pin down intruders. With its loyalty, homeowners can trust that their Daniff will protect them in times of danger. 
  • Calm and gentle: The calm and docile disposition of the Daniff makes it capable of forming bonds with people easily. It is usually non-aggressive like its English Mastiff parent. 
  • Affectionate: With the Daniff’s high affection level, family members would constantly receive cuddles from this dog. In fact, despite its size, this Great Dane Mastiff mix would think it’s a lap dog.

Here are the disadvantages of owning a Daniff:

  • Tends to be stubborn: Due to the smart nature of a Daniff, there will be times when it will show you its stubborn behavior. With that, it would need firm handling and thorough training to become a disciplined dog.
  • Has drooling tendencies: The loose jowls of the Daniff are why it drools more than any other dog breed. That said, you should always have your dog wipes near your reach and wipe off the saliva from its mouth.
  • Short lifespan: Big dogs have relatively short lifespans than smaller dog breeds. This explains why a Daniff, predisposed to become a giant dog, usually lives a shorter life.

Owning a Daniff is a lifetime commitment. It’s important to weigh and consider the pros and cons of owning this mix since this determines the success of your relationship with your dog.

Frequently Asked Questions

Great Dane Mastiff mix sitting on the snow
Image credit: eludaniff / Instagram

Do Daniffs Shed a Lot?

No, Daniffs shed very little, so expect that you won’t have to clean up a lot of pet hair in your home. Their coat is short, and their fur won’t be too noticeable when it’s blown off.

However, the shedding rate may change when the shedding season starts.

Are Daniff Dogs Hypoallergenic?

Daniff dogs are not considered to be hypoallergenic. They shed minimally, but the fur they blow off makes them not ideal for those who suffer from allergies. 

This is primarily due to their grooming behavior. If they lick their coats, their saliva, which contains allergens, gets transferred. Any hypersensitive family member that comes in contact may experience allergic reactions.

Are Daniffs Good Family Dogs?

Daniffs are good all-around family dogs. They can watch over your home, show you genuine affection, and play with your kids. Their calm nature makes them safe around people and even other dogs.

To help them become better family companions, training and socialization work wonders.

Are Daniffs Aggressive?

Daniffs are not aggressive dogs. Although they can be cautious toward unfamiliar people, they assess their actions first and determine whether the person is safe or a threat. 

They’re not truly dangerous. However, they can protect their loved ones when the need arises. 

Are Great Danes and Mastiffs Related?

Great Danes and English Mastiffs are strongly related. It is believed that the Great Dane was bred from the English Mastiff and the Irish Wolfhound.

Although the Great Dane has been developed as its own breed for 400 hundred years, similarities are observed between it and the English Mastiff. These include size and temperament. 

Final Thoughts

The Great Dane Mastiff mix is a sure head-turner considering its massive size and uncanny resemblance to the Great Dane. And while it’s undeniably a beauty to behold, taking care of it shouldn’t be underestimated. 

This dog would need a spacious home to accommodate its proportions and a family that can commit to providing it with important dog skills and training. 

It will also consume a lot of dog food. That said, the right owner should be financially capable of providing the Daniff’s basic needs. In return, you’ll have a dedicated four-legged giant that will cuddle you any time of the day. 

Are you thinking about adding this dog to your family soon? Let us know your thoughts about the Great Dane Mastiff mix by leaving a comment below!

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