How to Prevent Knuckling in Great Danes in 7 Easy Steps

Knuckling in Great Danes is a serious issue, but one that is very treatable! Today we’re talking about how to prevent knuckling in Great Danes.

While catching it early is important, ideally you want to prevent knuckling in the first place! 

Before we get started, you may also be interested in information about whether or not your Great Dane is knuckling and how to treat it.

Is My Great Dane Puppy Knuckling?
How to Fix Knuckling in Great Danes
Is My Great Dane Puppy Too Small?
Great Dane Puppy Growth Chart

Read on for our tips to preventing knuckling in Great Danes! 

How to Prevent Knuckling in Great Danes


Avoid hard and slick surfaces.

This includes wood, tile, and yes, concrete! Puppies need soft places to rest their joints, walk and exercise. Do not allow your puppy to slide around on floors or jump off furniture. Healthy play on soft, varied terrain is appropriate and will help strengthen joints!

Put down lots of area rugs keep joints safe and cushioned. We love washable rugs from Ruggable; they are perfect for homes with puppies, look beautiful and offer just enough softness and traction.

Strengthen Toes and Feet

Strong feet are important to ensure that your puppy has a solid foundation to grow on. Walk and play on soft surfaces such bedding, gym mats, sand, gravel, dirt and grass.

How to Prevent Knuckling in Great Danes

By allowing your puppy to play on a variety of terrain, you are building muscles and strength that will help their feet grow correctly.

Trim Your Dog’s Nails

Keep nails short with weekly maintenance, starting as soon as your puppy is home with you! We love Millers Forge Red Handle clippers for tiny puppy nails, and introducing a rotary tool asap for when they are bigger.

7 Best Dog Nail Clippers: Great Dane Toenail Problems

Feed an Appropriate Diet

Choose a large or giant breed adult OR puppy formula with meat and meat meals in the first ingredients, protein levels below 28%, calcium at or below 1.4% and phosphorus close behind.

Do NOT mix kibble brands. Choose one and stick with it.

Watch the Treats

Do not let supplements, toppers or treats make up more than 10% of the overall intake. An unbalanced diet is a leading factor in knuckling.

Add Buffered Ester Vitamin C

How to Prevent Knuckling in Great Danes

We like the brand Esther C as it’s non-acidic and digestible. For Probiotics we like Probios, Native Pet or Nature’s Farmacy Probiotics. 

Minimize Crate Time

Crates are important for training, however Great Dane puppies need freedom to move naturally to develop joints, tendons and bones. Limit crate time, especially if your puppy is in a crate overnight.

Great Dane puppy joints are fragile and need to be cared for.

With proper care, knuckling over is preventable and treatable. Without care, knuckled limbs may become painful and permanently deformed.

All of these things we listed work together to help prevent and treat knuckling over in Great Dane puppies. Protect the joints, strengthen the joints and lastly, provide the correct nutrition.

Need more Great Dane puppy knuckling resources? See our knuckling articles HERE.

Worried that your Great Dane puppy is being aggressive? Read more in our ‘Is it aggression or is it play’ article!


Have a Great Dane Puppy?

Check out our positive socialization guide, and learn how to socialize your pup the right way!

Friendly – Confident – Resilient

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