It is often said that Great Danes have ‘short lifespans’, but we believe that’s not entirely true! 

Many people have experienced the devastating loss of a Great Dane at a young age, often to bloat, heart conditions or orthopedic problems. 

On the flip side, many people have had Great Danes live for 10 years or even longer!

There is a misperception about the lifespan of Great Danes, and we are here to fix that. Great Danes make amazing family pets in the right homes, and can absolutely live long and healthy lives. 

Read on for more information about how long Great Danes live!

HOW LONG DO GREAT DANES LIVE?

Great Danes live, on average, 8-10 years. 

Many smaller dogs live 10-15 years, for comparison. 
The average is low, but it doesn’t have to be!

Great Danes suffer from a list of health conditions that are often FATAL and nearly always GENETIC. These health conditions significantly lower the average expected lifespan.

Unethical breeding practices are to blame. 

These health conditions include: 

  • Wobblers Disease (Genetic link)
  • Arthritis (Genetic link, especially when looking at structural problems that contribute)
  • Cancer (Genetic link)
  • Bloat (Genetic link)
  • Blood Clotting Disorders
  • Degenerative Disorders
  • Heart Disease, including DCM (Genetic link)

HOW TO MAKE A GREAT DANE LIVE LONGER

 The reality here is that most of us want our Great Danes to live forever. 

There are things you can do to help them live long, healthy lives and increase the average lifespan. The most important one starts with the breeder you choose. 

Wobblers, bloat, heart issues, blood clotting disorders, anxiety, painful structural problems (including flat feet and roached back) and even cancer have genetic links that can be traced back to the lineage and careless breeding. 

Many of the breeders perpetuating these common problems are friendly, say they ‘health test’, breed often and have clean cute puppies and nice websites! 

They may even be popular, especially on social media. It’s easy to fall into this trap, and it’s unfortunate because bad genetics are like a game of telephone. It’s very hard to get rid of the bad genetics so long as they continue to be reproduced.

Breeders that show and title their dogs are among a VERY small percentage of Dane breeders that are being extremely diligent about their pedigree, genetic disorders, temperament and health conditions.

‘Health tested’ isn’t enough. Both parents should have exemplary genetics (lineage free of bloat, heart problems, wobblers, degenerative disorders and otherwise) and be tested and OFA certified for hips, heart, eyes and thyroid (verify all four test results at www.OFA.org).

Many ‘breeders’ will health test just the hips and call it a day. Meanwhile, their dam and sire have poor structure, bloat in the lineage and a tendency towards aggression. See the problem yet? 

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP YOUR GREAT DANE LIVE LONGER

All Great Danes deserve loving homes, even the ones that are already here from careless breeders. Love the Dane in front of you! Coming from a ‘bad’ breeder doesn’t automatically mean a shorter lifespan, either. Just be aware of the additional risks as a whole. 

Here are some things you can do to help your Great Dane live a long, healthy life, no matter where they came from (information based on current studies): 

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