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Miniature Great Danes: Everything You Need to Know

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Do you love the big, lovable Great Dane but don’t have the space for one? Maybe you’re thinking about getting a dog and want to know if a Miniature Great Dane is the right breed for you. Whatever the case may be, this blog post is for you! We will discuss everything you need to know about Miniature Great Danes, from their temperament and personality traits to their exercise needs and health concerns.


Are Miniature Great Danes Real?

This is a question we get a lot. And the answer is yes, Miniature Great Danes are real! They are not simply a runt of the litter or a Great Dane mixed with another small breed. Miniature Great Danes are their own unique Great Dane breed with their own set of characteristics.

What Makes a Miniature Great Dane?

The main difference between a Miniature Great Dane and a regular Great Dane is their size and the way they were bred.

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A Miniature Great Dane puppy was probably bred by a Female Great Dane and Male Great Dane with a much smaller stature.

While this may be the case for some, not all breeders have their dogs undergo health testing. So, always make sure to do your research before getting a Miniature Great Dane!

Miniature Great Danes are not recognized as a completely separate Great Dane breed according to the American Kennel Club. Mini Great Danes are just that – the mini version of your favorite purebred Great Dane!

How Big are Mini-Great Danes?

Normal Great Danes are typically 30 inches tall at the shoulder and can weigh up to 175 pounds. Miniature Great Danes, on the other hand, are usually 20-26 inches tall and only about 90 lbs pounds.

Mini Great Danes are just regular Great Danes who might be more petite, smaller, or have smaller than average parents.


Just because you have a miniature Great Dane, does not mean that you have a small dog!

Your miniature Great Dane will definitely still be giant size!

Do People Intentionally Breed Miniature Sized Great Danes?

Breeders are (hopefully) not breeding miniature Great Danes on purpose.

Anytime someone goes against the Great Dane breed standards they should be seeking pet medical advice for that breeding. (and always!)

Off Color and Designer Great Danes
Bad Breeders
Scam Breeders: What to Look For
Breeders: Shady Business
Small Great Danes

When breeders try to produce miniature dogs of any dog breed it can produce health problems. Miniature dogs have become a big problem in many dog breeds.

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Great Dane on White Background

Great Danes are a giant breed and should be bred to protect the dog’s growth.

However, if a breeder get’s a miniature Great Dane, in other words a smaller pup of the litter, it does not make them a ‘bad’ breeder.

Some Great Danes are just not going to be as big as others, and that should be normalized.

Great Dane Temperament & Personality Traits

Now that we’ve answered the question “Are Miniature Great Danes real?”, let’s move on to temperament and personality traits.

Just like regular Great Danes, Miniature Great Danes are gentle giants. They are loyal, loving, and make great family dogs. They are also very friendly with other animals and children.

Mini Great Dane temperament really does not differ from regular Great Danes.

Temperament of both mini Great Danes and standard sized Great Danes is highly related to the way they were originally bred as well as the socialization that they have been given.

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If you have a large dog, you have a responsibility to help them with not only obedience training but also making sure that they are comfortable and confident in social settings.

Having a Great Dane is different than any other dog breed. New dog owners should read and learn about how to use balanced training and socialization in their dog’s life in order to help their Great Dane be successful.

Health Issues with Giant Breed Dogs

Giant breed dogs are often plagued with health issues like hip dysplasia, Bloat, arthritis, heart disease, and cancer.

Large breed dogs should not face these health problems, but unfortunately back yard breeders are producing more and more giant breed dogs that are not health tested and large dogs are at the brut of it.

Giant breeds do not need to be ‘less healthy’ than any other normal dog.

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If you purchase a purebred Great Dane from a responsible breeder, you should be able to get a large breed Great Dane with minimal health issues, however it is up to you to do your research.

Miniature Great Danes do not have any less or more health issues or health problems than any other normal Great Dane. It is all dependent on the particular breeding practices of your specific Great Dane.

However, we do know that obesity lowers the life expectancy of Great Dane dogs significantly, so if your Great Dane is a pocket sized version in both height and weight, it could help lower their health risks towards obesity.

My Great Dane is Too Small

If you thought you were getting a ‘standard’ size Great Dane, but ended up with a miniature Great Dane, do not fret.

There is nothing wrong with having a smaller or ‘miniature’ Great Dane puppy.

As a matter of fact, most mini Great Danes are as healthy as can be.

At about 90 lbs, they are able to stay slim and keep the weight off of their large joints, generally speaking. Miniature Great Dane size does not define them being a giant breed dog or not.

This allows them to fight against arthritis and hip dysplasia or other health problems that step from obesity in Great Danes.

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For that reason, you shouldn’t worry if your Great Dane is turning out smaller than you were hoping for.

Every dog is different and just because you got the smaller dog of the litter does not mean that there is anything wrong with them.

What is the Life Expectancy of Great Danes?

Great Dane dogs are a large breed and many think that automatically means that they should have a short life span.

Many breeders have perpetuated this issue by breeding Great Dane puppies with huge health issues.

Pet parents are left with dogs who are dying at a young age, vet bills they cannot afford and a broken heart.

This does not have to be the case.

If you do your research and purchase a Great Dane from a responsible breeder, your dog will have a much better chance of having a long and healthy life.

The average life expectancy for a Great Dane is about seven to ten years, although some can live up to 12 years if they are well cared for and do not have any major health problems.

Some health conditions that commonly shorten the lifespan of Great Danes include hip dysplasia, bloat, cancer, and heart disease.

By getting your Great Dane from a responsible breeder and taking them to regular vet check-ups, you can help ensure that your dog lives a long and happy life.

Do Miniature Great Danes Require Exercise?

If you have a Great Dane that you consider a ‘mini Great Dane’, you should treat it just like you would other dogs.

Depending on the dog, the dog’s growth / age / sex, it might need more or less exercise than its peers.

As a rule of thumb, Great Danes require about 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day.

This can be in the form of a walk, run, or playing fetch at the park.

Exercise is important for all dogs, but especially important for large breed dogs like the Great Dane.

Not only does it help them stay physically fit, but it also helps them avoid boredom and destructive behaviors.

So, if you have a miniature Great Dane, make sure to give them plenty of exercise and attention!

Do Miniature Great Danes require as much exercise as regular dogs? The answer is yes! Just like any other dog, depending on the dog’s growth/age/sex, they might need more.

What Items do I Need for my Miniature Great Dane?

Like all Great Danes, we recommend utilizing a healthy diet, promoting healthy socialization skills and training and working preventatively to keep them as healthy as possible.


Our favorite bed for any Giant Breed dog including Miniature Great Danes is the Big Barker bed.

Working to prevent joint issues before they happen is the key. Unfortunately, your gentle giant is predisposed to joint disease just because of its size.

The Big Barker bed is made with extra-dense foam that gives your dog the support it needs without sinking down too far.

The cover is also machine washable and dryer safe, so you can keep it clean and looking new for years to come.

Plus, the Big Barker bed comes in a variety of colors and sizes to fit any home décor and any size dog!

Big Barker Bed Review

So, if you’re looking for a bed for your Miniature Great Dane, we highly recommend the Big Barker bed!


It is so important for Great Dane parents to do their research before bringing home their Great Dane on the training processes they’d like to take.

However, it’s never too late!

We believe in balanced training for all Great Danes. The truth is- you CAN teach an old Great Dane new tricks!

We have an abundance of training resources that you can peruse. Feel free to reach out.

Why is Leash Training so Hard?
5 Leash Training Tips
Puppy Training: 5 Mistakes in Training
What is Balanced Training?
Respect Training Tips: How to Train Your Puppy Great Dane
Is My Great Dane Being Aggressive?
Deplorable Dog Training: Sit Happens
What is Great Dane Dominance Training?


Mini Great Danes and standard size Great Danes have one thing in common- they all love treats.

Treats for Great Danes

Be sure to choose healthy training treats that will keep your Great Dane feeling its best.

Here are our favorites.


We believe in crate training for Great Danes as it keeps them safe and provides them with security and comfort.

How to Crate Train a Great Dane Puppy
Crate Training: The Best Crates for Great Danes
New Puppy Checklist

If you are struggling to crate train your Great Dane, you are not alone.

Check out our resources for learning to safely crate your Great Dane.

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Do you have a miniature Great Dane? What tips do you have for other pet parents? Let us know in the comments below!

Read More About Miniature Great Danes: Miniature Great Danes: Everything You Need to Know


What Does Euro Mean in Great Danes?

Great Dane Puppy Growth Chart

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. 

2 Responses

  1. Great Danes we’re selectively breed to be so big and have that jawline in 1st place. Just look at late 19th century pics fr Germany-diffrent looking. Now there health is disastrous.

    1. I agree, Danes have changed a bit since the early photos we have of them. Mostly in their head shape (which now give their heads a larger and more regal appearance, when done correctly).
      Their health being disastrous, however, is often blamed on changes that were made to the breed standard. I’m not sure why, because one look around the problem is glaringly obvious. Backyard breeders and “Euro” breeders who intentionally ignore the standard are the ones regularly producing unstable, unhealthy Danes. It’s absolutely tragic. We keep screaming from the rooftops but nobody wants to hear it.

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