Why Do Great Danes Have a Short Lifespan?

Great Danes very short lifespan, than other breeds, of 8 to 10 years on average while the unfortunate ones may live for six years. If your dog is fortunate enough, it may be by your side for a full span of 12 years. The oldest dog from this breed to live for long is 17 years, but there is no proven evidence to validate that.

Great Danes are one most recognized dog breeds. But despite their more significant body appearance, this dog breed has a shorter lifespan than most dogs. Many people demand an explanation for that. Why is the lifespan of a Great Dane too short? 

Great Danes are beautiful, awesome and incredible dogs. However, because their giant sizes and particular breed history, Great Danes are prone to health complications that may reduce their lifespan. 

Why Do Great Danes Have a Short Lifespan?

While this is something that every dog owner should be aware of before adopting this kind of breed, there are some things you should do to help them stay healthy life for long as possible.

Why great Danes lifespan short

Among the big dog breeds, Great Danes then will get the short end of the stick when it comes to lifespan. This dog has a lifespan of between 8 to 10 years while some others live for six years and lucky for those that can reach a ripe old age of 11.

This dog breed also has an interesting paradox. Note that some of the longest living animals in the world such as whales and elephants are also the largest, while small wild animals such as rodents only stay for a handful of years. So why dogs are so different?

When it comes to dogs, the largest ever seem to relate with shorter lifespan instead. It is not only the Great Danes have this problem since other giant breeds such as mastiff Leonberger and Irish wolfhound all have a significantly shorter lifespan compared to other small dog breeds. So what is the deal about giant dogs that causes these effects and their lifespan?

Research that sought to answer confirms that there is an inverse relationship between the size and relativity if they consider variation among dog breeds. This suggests that the cause of short life span may be artificial selection, that is, breeders across various generations breed their giant dogs together is explicitly the name of creating larger dog breeds.

The rapid growth among dog breeds appear to be causing much higher incidences of serious developmental condition that impacts the overall lifespan large dog breeds.

Another research into this matter suggests that larger dog breeds tend to age faster than small ones. These two different causes combined have some of the significant factors that can lead to the shorter lifespan of Great Dane. But there are other determinants such as health risk that affect the lifespan of Great Dane.

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Health complications for Great Dane and other giant dogs


Great Dane is particularly susceptible to bloating. Bloat is a hazardous condition that causes the stomach to twist and cut off the blood supply. Dogs that suffer from this condition once will often get it for the second time, and your veterinarian can recommend tacking procedure to minimize future risk. If your pooch is prone to this condition, ensure that you visit a vet and discuss the symptoms of this disease and how you can avoid them.

Thyroid problems

This breed is also prone to thyroid problems. Luckily this condition can be monitored and regulated with the drugs and as a certified veterinarian can monitor your pooch’s thyroid levels using simple blood work.


These dogs occasionally suffer from cardiomyopathy, a rare disease that attacks the heart muscle in the causes the enlargement of the heart itself.

Joint and bone diseases

Due to their giant frames, Great Danes are prone to develop Joint and the bone condition such as osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia. These two conditions are often gradual and can lead to a slow deterioration that requires dog owners to decide about their dogs’ quality of life. Many giant dog breeds usually benefit from joint supplements such as glucosamine.

If your porch is diagnosed with health conditions such as arthritis, your vet will recommend a chewable supplement such as chondroitin. Still, you can purchase other supplements with ingredients such as Glyde mobility chews for your pooch who might be prone to suffering from arthritis or hip dysplasia.The joint supplements are usually used as an early intervention and throughout the progression of osteoarthritis and them safe for long-term use in dogs.

How to lengthen Great Danes lifespan

Your pooch lifespan can be significantly longer than the 8-year average. Since you can’t guarantee you are dog lifespan, you can care for them perfectly throughout their lifespan.

Choose a good breeder

ensure that you purchase a Great Dane puppy from a renown and established good breeder. An established good breeder can screen their stock for any genetic health condition and will give you proof that there will not be any problem within your puppy. The long-living dogs haveless genetic health complications to worry about so purchasing a Great Dane dog free from any genetic issue already gets you to stand up on the right foot.

Healthy diet

Another significant thing you should consider is to ensure that you are fulfilling your pooch’s nutritional requirements throughout its life.

Giant dog breeds such as Great Dane grow very fast, and you should, therefore, give them a proper diet, especially during their development as a puppy so that they can grow and  develop correctly. Adequate nutrition at this stage goes a long way to avoid some developmental conditions such as hip dysplasia.

Read related another post: Best Dog Door for Great Dane : Reviews + Buyer’s Guide

Give them a lot of physical exercises.

Just like us staying fit can help to increase your dog’s lifespan and improve its quality of life. Long walks and runs are one of the most excellent general form of exercise that won’t affect your dog’s joints. Remember the puppies who are still growing should not run because it can put a strain on their developing joints and bones.

Pay regular visits to your vet.

The number of health problems in dogs a treatable if they are diagnosed early, so it is crucial to take your pooch to a certified vet.

Great Danes tend to have a shorter lifespan than other small dog breeds, but they are not alone—several other giant dog breeds such as Bernese mountain dogs and Irish foods a short lifespan well.

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