Male vs. Female Great Dane: Which Is Better? 

Male and female Great Dane resting under a tree

If you’re thinking of getting a Great Dane, you’re probably not a stranger to the topic of comparing male and female Great Danes. If you still can’t decide between the two, stick around because this article is for you!

Generally, male Great Danes are larger than female Great Danes. They are also friendlier and more playful. While both genders are equally intelligent and trainable, females mature faster and are better for first-time owners. However, they are moody and more stubborn than males when in heat. 

In this guide, we’ll tackle the differences between the male and female Great Danes. We’ll start off with their appearance, personality, and health. In the latter part, we’ll talk about the pros and cons as well as FAQs. Let’s start!

Physical Differences

Male and female Great Dane exploring the ruins of a building

Male Great Danes

Male Great Danes can weigh from 140 to 175 pounds. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), male Great Danes can grow from 30 to 32 inches at withers. 

Male Great Danes are not very different from their female counterparts in terms of physical appearance. However, the male Great Dane may look muscular compared to the female Great Dane. 

It is already a fact that Great Danes are a large breed of dogs. Great Danes, also known as “Apollo of Dogs,” are fully grown when they reach 18 to 24 months of age.

Their sizes and appearance may also differ depending on their place of origin.

In general, European Great Danes are usually larger and lean more to their Mastiff side compared to American Great Danes.

Female Great Danes

Female Great Danes can weigh 110 to 140 pounds and stand around 28 to 30 inches at withers. Needless to say, they are a few inches smaller than male Great Danes.

Just like male Great Danes, female Great Danes have long muzzles with triangular ears that are pointing downwards. Because of its enormous size, its tail and legs are longer than other dogs, and its paws are bigger. 

That said, most physical features of female Great Danes are still smaller compared to males.

In terms of shedding, you don’t have to worry because both genders don’t shed much, thanks to their short coats. This is also why Great Danes are not suited for cold weather and require winter clothing.

Both male and female Great Danes also sports many possible coat variations, such as fawn, merle, blue, mantle, harlequin, and brindle.

Temperamental Differences

Male Great Danes

Male Great Danes are more easy-going than female Great Danes. They have their own way of expressing their playfulness, which can make them seem all over the place at home.

Male Great Danes are friendly with everyone in the household, especially if they are socialized as puppies. They are also very loyal. However, they may show aggression if they sense that their family is in danger. 

Just like other dogs, male Great Danes can smell females in heat. During this season, they may show unusual behavior, like roaming and getting into fights with other male dogs.

It is best to monitor them during this period and keep them safe at home to prevent them from roaming. Neutering is also a good option to control their unwanted tendencies. 

Not only will neutering lessen the desire of the male Great Dane to mate and roam, but it also prevents territorial marking.

Check out this video of a male Great Dane showing off its antics:

Great Dane Dog Pouts Until Mom Gives Him A Morning Hug - KERNEL | The Dodo

Female Great Danes

Female Great Danes are also affectionate and loyal, just like their male counterparts. However, they get attached only to one person in the family, usually their owner. 

They also mature faster, making them more focused during training. However, this does not make them smarter than the male Great Dane. In fact, both genders are equally intelligent and trainable. 

Female Great Danes can also sometimes be moody. This can be because of hormonal changes, pregnancy, and if they are in their heat cycle. During this time, they can be aggressive towards other females. 

Their heat season usually starts from the ages of six months to one year. During this period, it is advised to supervise your female Great Dane to prevent it from getting into fights and having unwanted pregnancies.

Behavior and Training

Male Great Dane during training

Male Great Danes

Male Great Danes are also smart and trainable, just like female Great Danes. The only difference is they have shorter attention spans. They easily get distracted by their surroundings. 

This is the reason males are harder to train compared to female Great Danes. But given the right amount of love, patience, and positive reinforcement, it is not impossible to raise a well-behaved male Great Dane. 

On the other hand, a dog trainer colleague of mine has mentioned that training a male Great Dane also requires physical strength. These dogs are really strong due to their huge size. They can tug and pull, especially as they get distracted, so you need strength for you not to be jerked away.

However, as they get deeper into the training routine and they learn to focus more, this gets easier.

Male Great Danes may also mark their territories by urinating and leaving their scent on certain objects, usually on upright objects. This behavior is often observed when there are unfamiliar scents or new objects in the house. 

Territory marking can be prevented if male Great Danes are neutered when they reach 6 to 9 months old. However, if they are neutered later than recommended, territory marking may not be curbed. 

Female Great Danes

Just like other dog breeds, female Great Danes reach maturity faster than male Great Danes. This makes it easier to teach them commands as they are not easily distracted during training. 

Like male Great Danes, females may also develop the habit of territory marking by urinating on new objects in the house. This behavior is common when they are in heat. 

Female Great Danes also tend to get attached to their main caretaker. Hence, early socialization is essential to ensure that your female Great Dane is comfortable with other members of the family. 

Obedience training and socialization may begin as early as two months old, as long as they have completed their first rounds of vaccines and deworming. These vaccines should protect them from viruses when meeting other dogs. 

In general, as both male and female Great Danes are energetic, they must be given enough exercise to release their energy. Destructive behaviors, such as chewing on things, may develop if they get bored doing nothing.

Regardless of gender, you can increase your chances of getting a well-behaved Great Dane puppy by dealing with reputable breeders who highly consider the puppies’ behavior in their breeding process.

If you want to see some of the differences between male and female Great Danes in terms of behavior, watch this video:

Male & Female Great Dane's Funny Ways Of Greeting Guest Dogs

Health Differences

Male Great Danes

Having your male Great Dane neutered not only prevents it from roaming during mating season, but it also helps prevent reproductive health complications.

Some of these health issues include benign prostatic hyperplasia and testicular cancer. 

Benign prostatic hyperplasia is the enlargement of your male Great Dane’s prostate gland. Meanwhile, testicular cancer is caused by mutated cells, which is common in intact male dogs.

Because of the male Great Dane’s large build, it is also more susceptible to joint problems like osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia. These conditions develop gradually and must be closely monitored.

They are also prone to cardiomyopathy, hypothyroidism, and bloat. However, these conditions are not gender-specific. In fact, females can also develop these issues. 

Female Great Danes

Female Great Danes are also at risk of health issues like mammary cancer and uterine infections. Having them spayed can prevent these health problems from arising. 

Spaying your female Great Dane not only prevents accidental breeding but also helps your pooch live a longer and healthier life. 

Aside from those mentioned in the previous section, both male and female Great Danes may also suffer from tricuspid valve disease, osteosarcoma, and Addison’s disease.

With Other Dogs and Pets

Male Great Dane playing with a Chihuahua

Male Great Danes

Regardless of gender, the Great Dane breed is friendly with other dogs and pets in the household. This, however, may still depend on the training your Great Dane received during its puppy stage. 

Male Great Danes are friendly with everyone. But you must also take into consideration the personality of other pets at home, especially if you have another male dog. 

Dogs with the opposite gender get along better than those with the same gender. Male Great Danes can be aggressive with other male dogs, especially when there is a female in heat.

Female Great Danes

Female Great Danes are just as friendly with other dogs as male Great Danes. However, since female Great Danes mature earlier, they may sometimes have mood swings and prefer to enjoy their personal space. 

Female Great Danes may also be aggressive when they are in heat, pregnant, or nursing their puppies. Keep in mind that female dogs rarely get into fights, but when they do, they are determined to win no matter what it takes. 

Female Great Danes can be independent and moody when they reach maturity. It is best not to have two female dogs at home. Female Great Danes get along better with other male dogs. 

With Children

Male Great Danes

Male Great Danes are not only great guard dogs for your kids but also loyal and energetic playmates. However, if you have smaller kids, it is best to keep an eye on them when they are around your Great Dane. 

Male Great Danes will not intentionally hurt kids, but they might not realize that they are a large ball of fur. They might accidentally nudge and hurt smaller children during playtime. 

The good thing about Great Danes is that they are very patient and can put up with kids playing with them, especially if your kid and Great Dane grew up together.

They also considered Great Danes as nanny dogs because their adaptive intelligence tells them to look after their pack members, in this case, your children.

However, aside from early socialization and obedience training, it is still best never to leave a small child with a Great Dane. This is to avoid accidents and distress in the household. 

Female Great Danes

Female Great Danes will protect and look after your kids due to their motherly instinct. If your female Great Dane is still a puppy, it can also be a great friend and playmate to your toddler. 

Older female Great Danes may prefer to be left at peace and enjoy their personal time. Teach kids not to bother them during these times. 

Obedience training will also help in teaching both your male and female Great Danes that aggression is not allowed at home.

Pros and Cons of Male and Female Great Danes

Male and female Great Dane with harlequin coat

Male Great Danes

There is a long list of advantages when getting a male Great Dane. For starters, they are affectionate, loyal, and friendly not only to their owner but also to other people, children, and other pets. 

They also have enough energy to keep up with you if you are living an active lifestyle. Their naughty, sweet, and funny antics will surely keep your day happy and full of laughter. 

In terms of their downsides, male Great Danes can be aggressive when they are triggered and when there is a female in heat. Their enormous size can be overwhelming for the owner during these events. 

Because of their size, they are not recommended for apartment living. Moreover, you need a house with a fenced yard if you want to own a male Great Dane. These dogs need enough space to play, exercise, and release their energy. 

Unlike females, male Great Danes do not mature easily and can be defiant and stubborn during training. In addition, their curiosity can give them difficulty focusing on training. 

Love to playCan be too rough during playtime
Highly EnergeticTend to chew on things if it gets bored
Quite IntelligentHard to train
Very FriendlyAggressive during mating season

Female Great Danes

Just like their male counterparts, female Great Danes are also friendly and playful. Their motherly instincts will surely give you help in looking after your kids. 

They are also easy to train, so you don’t have to worry about discipline. Giving them the right amount of exercise and space to play will give you a well-mannered female Great Dane. 

However, some problems may arise when your female Great Dane is in heat or pregnant. It can be aggressive towards other pets and strangers. Its size can be a challenge when dealing with these situations. 

Female Great Danes are also very dominant when they get into fights. Female dog fights are scarier and far more difficult to handle than male dog fights. 

Very affectionateCan be moody
Protective of its ownersCan be aggressive due to motherly instincts
Very intelligentCan be stubborn when in heat
Friendly towards othersVery aggressive during dog fights

Should You Get a Male or Female Great Dane? 

Deciding on getting a male and female Great Dane can be quite tricky. Not thoroughly understanding their differences can get you off-guard and leave you overwhelmed.

If you are living an active lifestyle, a male Great Dane is a good match for you. It will surely appreciate long walks and other outdoor activities with you. If you have older kids, they will also love the playfulness of the male Great Dane.

However, if you prefer a calmer vibe, a female Great Dane will fit the bill! Female Great Danes have their own way of showing their appreciation for their loved ones. They can also be excellent guard dogs for the whole family. 

Aside from understanding their personality and matching it with your lifestyle, you must also consider the temperament of other pets in the house. Do not get another dog if you have an aggressive pet at home.

It is also important to know that the traits mentioned here are not carved in stone. Each individual dog has its unique personality and may further develop depending on its training and environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Male and female Great Dane resting on the ground

Are Male or Female Great Danes Calmer? 

Female Great Danes are calmer than male Great Danes. Although both genders are playful and energetic, this may change for the female Great Dane once it reaches its first-year mark. 

This is because female Great Danes mature earlier than male Great Danes. During this time, female Great Danes may want to spend more time by themselves or only with their handler. 

Are Male or Female Great Danes More Affectionate? 

The Great Dane breed is known for its loving personality, but male Great Danes are better at showing their affection. Since female Great Danes reach their maturity early, they show their affection in their own unique way. 

Unlike male Great Danes, they can be showy in expressing their love, while female Great Danes may show their affection by silently guarding your kids but will not appreciate being held too much. 

Are Male or Female Great Danes Easier to Train? 

There is no doubt that female Great Danes are easier to train than male Great Danes. This is due to the fact that females mature faster than males. Females are more focused and receptive to commands than males. 

However, female Great Danes may forget all the lessons they were taught when they are in heat. They become ready to mate and may show dominance toward other dogs, especially toward dogs of the same gender. 

But one must also remember that this does not mean that the male Great Dane is not intelligent. Male Great Danes are also very smart, but since they are very playful and curious, they are sometimes stubborn during training. 

Final Thoughts

Regardless of gender, Great Danes are large and energetic dogs. You must not only be mentally and physically prepared before getting one, but you must also be financially prepared. 

Their gigantic size also means they need a lot of food and water to stay healthy. A large space where they can freely play and exercise is also important. All these things will add up in cost!

A female Great Dane is best for a laid-back lifestyle, while a male Great Dane is best suited for families with an active lifestyle. Do not get this breed if you are too busy or lazy to meet its training and exercise requirements. 

Lastly, never get a dog just for the sake of having one. Keep in mind that they also need loving families. Having a dog is a lifetime responsibility and not just a hobby. 

Was this article able to help you in your decision? Let us know in the comments your take on the topic of male and female Great Danes!

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