Are Great Danes Good with Small Dogs?

A Great Dane, despite its massive size and seemingly intimidating appearance, tends to be quite humble and calm. No wonder, they are referred to as ‘gentle giants’ because of their calm temperament and affectionate nature. They share many traits with another gigantic dog breed, the St. Bernard.

Great Danes can make excellent family pets, and on proper training, can be compatible with other pets and dog breeds too. A Great Dane can do well with moderate exercises but needs a large and spacious home for living comfortably. Most importantly, they crave for the company and could feel forlorn and dejected if left alone.

Are Great Danes Large-Hearted like their Size?

The breed not only comes with a big form but tends to be large-hearted as well. This tall and graceful dog is now more suitable to existing harmoniously with a family, despite retaining his sentinel and hunting instincts. Great Danes are well-known for their resonant and full-bodied voice.

So, you’ll always know if and when you have a guest or trespasser at the doorstep. However, the protective instincts could differ, depending upon the breed line. While some Great Danes tend to be overly territorial, others are exceedingly affable, and some could be aloof.

Then again, some tend to be very aggressive and assertive towards other pets while others get along amicably. Obedience training becomes compulsory as the Great Dane could take undue advantage of his hefty size if not trained properly. But you should take good care in training a Great Dane as it is very sensitive by nature.

Using harsh and severe instruction techniques could turn him away from you and make him disobedient and wayward. Great Dane pups could be unruly and rowdy and could end up ravaging your belongings if not trained from an early stage.    

How dominant is their Personality on their Nature?

The Great Dane turns heads and inevitably attracts the attention of bystanders and passersby, no matter where you take him. The dog’s gargantuan size and muscular body make for an imposing presence. The canine has an unusually large head that sits elegantly on his massive frame.

The narrow and elongated neck is perfectly streamlined with the torso, and the wide ears droop naturally. Many US owners crop their ears, but several countries have proscribed cropping of ears. It is better not to eyeball a Great Dane if you wish to stay on the safe side.

If you continue eyeballing him, he can sprint and knock you down quite effortlessly without giving you a chance to scoot. A Great Dane, contrary to his hefty built, comes across as an affectionate and loving dog. He’s very playful by nature and loves to spend time with youngsters.

Though it doesn’t matter yelp or bark too often, but when he does, the entire neighborhood becomes alert. A Great Dane is very possessive about his family and would go out of the way to protect his kindred. So if trained and socialized well, it can be a great member of your family and the pets you keep. Even the smaller ones would feel comfortable around it.

How comfortable are Great Danes around Other Small Pets?

Great Danes are extremely gregarious by nature, preferring to stay in the company of humans and other house pets. The dog is also very officious, always staying by his master’s side, ready to help him. You can coach it to become an obedient and well-mannered dog, especially if you begin training it since puppyhood.

Obedience training is essential for making it acquiescent and tempering his boisterous streak. You’d need to have a very large house (a mansion to be precise) to accommodate this breed. At the same time, you’ll have to invest much more on every front for nursing a Great Dane, compared to other breeds.

The dog will surely live up to its reputation as a ‘Gentle Giant’ provided you take thorough care in bringing him up. If you train the pup properly, he’ll grow up to be a good-natured dog. You’ll find the Great Dane pup quite effortless to train owing to his altruistic nature. He will then be a great companion to you and the other pets at home.

Things to Consider When Keeping a Smaller Pet With Great Dane

They are very compassionate and benevolent dogs, always putting others before self. Great Danes are also regarded as a people’s dog, always willing to be by the side of their masters, their families and other members in the house. They bond quickly and easily with children owing to this playful nature.

However, you’ll need to keep a close watch when he is socializing smaller pets. Even a gentle kick or swiping of the tail could cause injury to the little ones. Though his colossal size makes him apt for life outdoors, he’s more comfortable staying indoors with his family.

The penchant for staying indoors makes him perfectly amenable to housetraining. Though adult Great Danes tend to be quite docile and laidback, the puppies happen to be overactive. So, if you’re lax in training the pup, he could end up damaging the yard and household immeasurably.

Early socialization is a must if you want your Great Dane to become familiar with family members, guests, visitors, and other animals. Ensure constant supervision right from his infancy and see to it that he spends as much time with you as possible. If he is left alone regularly, he could develop destructive tendencies and become uncouth.       

Can Another Small Dog Live With Great Dane?

Before you’re ready to bring home a Great Dane pup, you should make sure whether you’ll be able to housetrain him. The dog could weigh up to 190 pounds and attain a height of 28-32 inches when fully grown. So, you’ll need to provide the dog with sufficient space for him to exercise to move around comfortably. It is important to make both the pets aware of the area that belongs to them.

Though the Great Dane is not a foodie, you’ll still need to offer him at least 2-3 cups of dry food three times every day. But make sure that both have their dedicated bowls to have food from.

Getting along with other pets & children

A Great Dane adores children and youngsters, thanks to its mild temperament. He is also friendly and forthcoming towards other household pets, which include small dogs. Nevertheless, it sometimes could become belligerent and violent towards livestock as his primitive herding and hunting instincts are still intact. It could also adopt an aggressive stance towards small dog breeds and try to bully them.

However, don’t be surprised if you find your Great Dane sleeping alongside your Chihuahua or Spaniel. Remember that the Great Dane is not aware of its immense size, and this ignorance could lead to a disaster, particularly when it is playing with children or other smaller pets. All in all, the Great Dane can make an excellent household pet on the condition that you’re willing to live with a gigantic dog breed. 

So Should You Keep A Great Dane with a Smaller Dog Breed?

Danes would never hurt another small dog in the same house. It may do so by accident due to its size. The dog does maintain its prey drive like any other characteristics, but the degree varies from a dog to the other. It is a mix of lineage and ancestry passed through its parents along with the training it has received since puppyhood. Proper conditioning is needed to ensure it behaves gently with the smaller breed.

The emphasis has to be towards keeping it calm and maintain a gentle body language when a smaller pet interacts. Starting from the puppyhood if they are trained to grow along with smaller animals, they would never be an issue. In a situation you bring home an older dog, we recommend you to stay careful and keep a close observation. To summarize, the compatibility with the smaller dog is good as Great Danes are known to be more tolerant towards other creatures. It is only the training and upbringing that matters in shaping up its behavior and approach.



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