Are Great Danes Good with Other Dogs? What to Know!
By Jordyn Alger
Great Danes are vigilant watchdogs that are massive enough to scare away intruders. Despite their intimidating appearance, they are friendly dogs, known to be patient and dependable. They adore their family members, and while they may be wary of other dogs initially, they generally warm up to newcomers over time.
Great Danes can often benefit from having another pet in the house. This breed is social, so having another four-legged friend around will give them someone to engage with when you are away. Just be sure to properly introduce your Great Dane to their new roommate to avoid conflicts.
Great Dane Personality
Great Danes have excellent temperaments. They are playful, affectionate, and always eager to frolic and goof around with the people they love most. When they are not playing, they will want to snuggle up on your lap and are seemingly unaware that they are big dogs.
The Great Dane is an active breed as well. Three walks per day is a great way to help your dog burn off some energy. If you bring a new pet into the family, a companion would be another excellent way for your Great Dane to get exercise. Plus, another dog can help to keep your dog entertained. Great Danes need quite a bit of mental stimulation, and another pet may be able to fill that role when you cannot.
Adaptability is another terrific quality of the Great Dane. These dogs may be initially wary of change, such as a new dog in the home, but they are quick to overcome the feelings once they realize there is nothing to fear. Eventually, they will embrace a new dog as a part of their family and protect them just as they protect you.
On the other hand, they are incredibly vigilant. This makes them excellent watchdogs, but it also means that they can be hostile toward newcomers. While this is something that can be overcome, it is important to be aware of so that any possibilities of conflict can be minimized. The best way to introduce your Great Dane to a new dog is to do so slowly and to be prepared.
How to Introduce Your Great Dane to a New Dog
Prior to bringing home a new puppy, it is important to be prepared. Make sure you have a crate, an exercise pen, and a baby gate so you can section off certain parts of the house. This is helpful for when you need to separate animals.
Introduce your Great Dane to the new dog in a location other than the home. If a new dog suddenly appears in your Great Dane’s home, it can be startling and stressful. Taking your Great Dane along to pick up the new pet could be a great way to introduce them, as long as you keep both dogs in their own separate crates.
Afterward, you can take the dogs to a park where they can grow more acquainted with each other. Be sure to keep the dogs on leashes and monitor them closely. The puppy may be eager to play with your Great Dane, but your Great Dane may be a little hesitant. Supervise their interactions to ensure that neither of them is feeling overwhelmed.
If your Great Dane growls at the puppy, do not punish them. Growling is your dog’s way of peacefully communicating fear or irritation, and it is good for your puppy to learn when to ease up and leave your Great Dane alone. If either dog seems distressed, separate them from so they can settle down.
When you are unable to supervise, make sure that your puppy is in a crate. You should also give your Great Dane several scheduled breaks from the puppy throughout the day. These periods of separation will be good for your Great Dane to settle and receive plenty of attention from you.
Don’t forget to reward both dogs when they behave well around each other. Likewise, provide your puppy with plenty of exercise so that your Great Dane does not bear the brunt of all the exuberant puppy energy. As your new puppy and Great Dane grow accustomed to each other, they will soon become happy companions.
How to Introduce Your Great Dane to a Stranger’s Dog
Your Great Dane is guaranteed to come across a stranger’s dog at least once. Anytime you take your dog on a walk or to the park, you must be prepared to encounter another dog.
Before introducing your dog to a stranger’s dog, verify with the owner that it is okay. Their dog may be working through behavioral problems of their own that would make an introduction ill-advised. If the introduction is agreed upon, allow your Great Dane to approach the other dog carefully.
Pay attention to signs that the interaction is going well or not. If it is going well, the dogs will likely bow, wag their tails, or shake their rears. If it is not going well, they may keep their tails low, turn their heads away from each other, or shake. The fur on their back may also stand on end. If either dog seems agitated about the encounter, it is best to end it and go your separate ways.
Consider Your Great Dane’s Size
When bringing a new pet into the home, you will want to consider your Great Dane’s size. As gentle and loving as Great Danes are, they are also huge and powerful. If you bring a smaller breed into the home, the little dog may find itself accidentally injured if your Great Dane forgets about its own size and strength.
Top 5 Great Companions for a Great Dane
If you want some ideas for excellent companions for your Great Dane, we have a list of breeds that could be your Great Dane’s new best friend. Of course, any breed can be a perfect companion as long as they are socialized and appropriately introduced, so don’t feel limited to the options on this list.
1. Golden Retriever
Golden retrievers are friendly and devoted dogs with lots of love to give. They are also intelligent and eager to please, making them great dogs to train.
2. Labrador Retriever
Much like the golden retriever, the Labrador retriever is outgoing and affectionate. They are great with other dogs and are very willing to be trained.
3. German Shorthaired Pointer
This breed is full of love and energy. While they are vigilant, they are also open to new dogs, much like the Great Dane.
4. Border Collie
The border collie is an energetic and intelligent dog. They are affectionate with their families, and while initially wary of new dogs, they can quickly adapt and welcome them into the home.
5. Other Great Danes
Of course, another Great Dane is a perfect companion for a Great Dane. Their personalities will likely mesh well, although you must be prepared to handle multiple large-breed dogs.
Great Danes are incredible canines. They are loving with their families and patient with new dogs. No matter how indulging your Great Dane is, it is still important to properly socialize and introduce both dogs to each other. It will take some time for your Great Dane to grow accustomed to your puppy and vice versa, but once they do, they will be lifelong buddies.
Featured Image Credit: Mary Swift, Shutterstock