Are Great Danes Loyal to Their Owners?

By John Martin - November 19, 2021

Owner with Great Dane on the grass

Scooby-Doo, the talking Great Dane who goofs around with four-mystery-solving teenagers might be one of the most popular Great Danes in popular culture. But unlike the goofy and clumsy Scooby, Great Danes are actually regal hunting dogs that were originally bred by German nobility.

Originally a hunting dog breed, Great Danes were used to hunt wild boars. But today they are known for their sensitive and social nature. They even do great as indoor dogs, which is surprising considering their history.

So, are Great Danes loyal to their owners or not? Yes, Great Danes are loyal and loving dogs to their owners. They are fun and easy to live with due to their temperament and are also known as velcro dogs. This can be due to working closely with humans over many generations.

Velcro Dane: The People Dog

Great Danes are also known as Velcro Danes because they are happiest when they are spending time with people.

Since they were originally bred as hunting dogs, they were trained to work closely with humans and this personality might have carried down over generations although they are no longer out hunting.

They bond with their owners and need close contact with their human family. For this reason, they generally don’t do well if kept in kennels outside the house. They like to mingle and socialize with the people at home.

Velcro dogs like the Great Dane are more prone to separation anxiety. And if you don’t want your dog to panic and wreak havoc every time you leave them alone, proper training and socialization are very important.

Tips to Reduce Separation Anxiety

  • Train your dog to be more independent. You can do this by reducing the amount of time you spend with your dog. If you are constantly available, your absence—even for a short duration—might cause stress.
  • Make sure that you exercise your Great Dane regularly. While they don’t need as much exercise as other large breeds, they are still athletic and playful dogs that need moderate exercise. Exercise tires and calms your dog down.
  • If all else fails, you might need to get professional medical help. Some medications will help calm your dog down and reduce anxious behavior.

Mild cases of separation anxiety can be corrected with training and exercise but moderate or extreme cases will definitely require medical intervention.

Gentle Giants: The Emotional Side

Looks can be deceiving when it comes to these Gentle Giants. These large and tall dogs can look quite imposing but in reality, they are gentle and sensitive creatures.

Great Danes are emotionally sensitive dogs that can pick up on emotional cues. Dogs have been known to show empathy and try to comfort those in emotional distress.

So you can count on your Great Dane to curl up beside you or try to cheer you up if you seem sick or sad.

Surprisingly, despite their athletic demeanor, Great Danes need only moderate exercise every day. This means that they are more than happy to curl up with you on a lazy day.

Loyal Dane: Till Death Do Us Part

Loyalty is one of the trademarks of this breed. A sensitive dog that is quick to bond with owners can be anything but loyal.

Great Danes are loyal to their owners right from the time they puppies and this loyalty remains till the day they die.

Loyalty comes naturally to dogs as they are pack animals. They think of their owners or trainers as the alpha of the pack and they depend on the alpha for their survival.

A Great Dane was originally a hunting dog that worked closely with humans, and this closeness remains to this day even though they are not aggressive hunters anymore.

The Problem with Too Much Loyalty

It’s great to have your dog eagerly waiting for you with bright eyes and a wagging tail every time you get home. It never gets old. But loyalty starts to become a problem when your dog begins to get overly protective of you.

Great Danes are already very attached to their owners and follow them around everywhere, so if you don’t socialize them properly and make them interact with other people and pets, they may begin to think that every new person is a threat. This may result in some unsavory growls or barks every time you go outside.

This over-protective nature should be nipped in the bud. Otherwise, it may cause your dog unnecessary stress every time you leave it alone. This may even lead to severe separation anxiety.

Great Danes as Family Dogs

Their loyalty, emotional sensitivity and people-pleasing attitude make Great Danes a wonderful family dog.

These well-mannered and mild-tempered dogs are patient with kids. They are naturally protective of the whole family, especially the kids. Even though they are not aggressive creatures, they will act if they see a danger to their families.

However, obedience training is crucial because of its large size. These dogs can easily clear a coffee table with a single swoosh of their tail. Not to mention the possibility of knocking over kids while playing with them.

They are great with kids, but you should never leave your children alone with a Great Dane, as the difference in size can create problems.

These dogs are very sensitive so harsh methods won’t work with them. They only respond to firm and consistent training methods. They are quick to bond with their owners if approached firmly yet lovingly.

Should You Get a Great Dane?

These loyal and loving dogs are great companions. If you are patient, loving and caring the Great Dane is a joy to be around. They are sensitive dogs that need to be around people all the time.

So tying up your Great Dane in the yard to intimidate strangers and trespassers might not be a good idea. Great Danes can get really miserable and sad if left outside or alone for too long.

Another great thing about these dogs is that despite their size they don’t require a very spacious house. They do need some space to stretch themselves out but they adapt well even in apartments or small houses. The most important thing for them is human contact and interaction.

Related: What are the Official Great Dane Colors?

Wrapping Up

Great Danes are known as the “Apollo of Dogs” because of their stately demeanor and grace. Unlike the clumsy Scooby-Doo, Great Danes are majestic and well-mannered creatures in real life.

They are an affectionate breed that thrives on human companionship. Despite their intimidating stature, they can be gentle creatures who are tuned in to your emotional state.

While looking after such a huge dog can be challenging, the love and loyalty of this breed make the trouble worth it! Besides, unlike most other large breeds, Great Danes love a day off just as much as you so long as you get in some moderate exercise every day.