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Daniff (Great Dane & Mastiff Mix): Info, Pictures, Traits, Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

daniff puppy sitting in car

Height: 25 – 35 inches
Weight: 115 – 150 pounds
Lifespan: 8 – 12 years
Colors: Fawn, black, white, brindle
Suitable for: Active families with a lot of space. Companions for children, adults, and other animals.
Temperament: Protective and loving. Affectionate, loyal, and energetic. Gentle giant.

If you are partial to a gentle giant, the Daniff is a great choice of companion. This gentle giant is loving, a great family dog, and protective. They are loyal to their families, and more often than not, mistake themselves for lap dogs. They are energetic and happy to play with children, adults, and even other pets.

Bred from the Great Dane and English Mastiff, the Daniff gets the best of both personality traits. Both parents’ lineage traces back hundreds of years. The Great Dane and the English Mastiff were both used as hunting dogs and guard dogs, however, when that practice went out of style they were bred as companions. This is when they’re gentle and affectionate nature shone through.

Adopting any dog is a big responsibility. When taking on a large breed such as the Daniff, there are even more considerations you need to research. If you have stopped on this page, chances are you are considering this breed. This is why we have provided you with all the details you need to make an informed decision about whether or not this gentle giant will be right for you!Divider 1

Daniff Puppies


Even as puppies, the Daniff is a large dog. They are energetic, happy, and playful. They are quick to make friends, chew shoes left in the wrong spot, and cuddle up with the family. That being said, this is a breed that requires early training. The sooner these large-and-in-charge pups are taught obedience and behavioral commands, the better they will be able to transition into your home.  Even at a young age, these dogs require a lot of exercise, attention, and mental stimulation to help them grow and become great pets.

Bred from a purebred Great Dane and English Mastiff, these dogs will show traits and characteristics from both parents. They are very protective even in their young years as both their parents were used as guard dogs. They can also have herding instincts, although the need to hunt prey is not as pronounced. They are also rarely aggressive unless they are presented with a threat.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Daniff

1. War Dogs

The Mastiff can trace its origins back for hundreds of years and is believed to have once been used as a war dog by Kubla Khan. They were also thought to be fighters alongside Gladiators and lions.

2. Old as Tibet

If the Mastiff lineage did not trace back further enough, it is thought they are connected to the large dogs found in ancient Tibet.

3. The First Pictures

Ancient Greek and Roman hieroglyphics depict pictures of these large breeds indicating that they were around during this time…or at least variations of the breed.

The parent breeds of Daniff
The parent breeds of Daniff: Left – Great Dane (BIGANDT.COM, Shutterstock) | Right – Mastiff (Olga Aniven, Shutterstock)

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Daniff 🧠

The Daniff is an intelligent, loyal, and social animal. They do well in family settings, yet they require a lot of space to accommodate their large size. This breed makes a great guard dog and is very protective of their owners. They also like to play and cuddle and will have no problem wiggling their way onto your lap for a nice pat.  As an intelligent breed, they are also quick to learn what will gain your pleasure and laughter.

This breed has many great qualities, but they can also be stubborn. Training can be a bit more difficult, although, we will get into that later. You should also consider that this is not a pet that likes to spend a lot of time alone. They can have some separation anxiety, and they do not do well with extended time in the backyard. That being said, squealing children, radios, and other noise and activity make them feel right at home.

You will also notice that this pooch is a sociable creature. They do well with children, other pets, and even strangers. They also have very strong protective instincts. You will find them to be curious, and a bit reserved with people they do not know. They will quickly warm up as soon as they feel there is no threat, however.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

As protective and loyal dogs, this pup makes a great family pet. It is important that they are trained and socialized as puppies, though. The Daniff is also playful and can be rambunctious when they get over-excited. For that reason, it is recommended that you supervise your pet when they are around small children. Although they are not aggressive, their size alone can knock over a small child or a senior.

Older children and adults that are not concerned about such a large animal will do well with this dog as a companion. They are ready to please, play, and protect. Of course, you will need a large amount of space to accommodate this large pup. Apartments are not recommended, and even small homes are not the best option.

The Daniff requires space to stretch their legs and play. A large fenced-in yard is necessary to ensure they get out all of their excess energy.  As mentioned above, however, this dog is better in homes where someone is there most of the time. They do not do well as backyard dogs, and they can have some separation anxiety.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

This breed also does well with other dogs. Socializing them as puppies will go a long way to ensuring they feel comfortable with other pups and pets. Typically, though, they are laid back and social in nature and will rub along well with other tailwaggers.

The Daniff also does well with other pets such as cats, birds, rabbits, etc. As they maintain their herding instincts from their ancestors, they have no problem nosing these smaller pets around. That being said, their prey instinct is low. They are not aggressive unless threatened, plus they do not bark often.Divider 4

Things to Know When Owning a Daniff

Now that you know the basics about the Daniff puppy years and personality traits, there are some more practical pet care details you should be aware of. Below, we have outlined these important features of their lifestyle that can make a difference in whether or not this breed will be right for your family and home.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

For such a big breed, the Daniff requires only about three cups of food per day.  It is important to note, however, that each dog can differ on the amount of food they need to remain healthy. You should consult your veterinarian to make sure you are giving them enough to sustain an active and healthy lifestyle.

That being said, you want to make sure that your pet receives meals that are high in protein, healthy fats, and fibers.  This breed has a tendency to gain weight, so it is important that their diet consists of lean meats plus lower calories and carbohydrates.

Although there are no restrictions with the Daniff’s diet, they can be picky eaters at times. You may need to switch up the recipes to tempt their palette. Again, changing your dog’s diet should be something that you run by your vet.

Besides protein and other basic ingredients, you also want to make sure that your pooch gets other vitamins, minerals, and supplements. Ingredients such as glucosamine can help with joint pain and inflammation as your pet ages. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids can boost their immune system and provide a healthy, shiny coat. What’s more, probiotics will aid in their digestion while calcium and other vitamins will support healthy teeth, bones, and eyesight.

Exercise 🐕

Like most dogs, it is important that the Daniff receives daily exercise. As a large and energetic pup, they require moderate activity. A couple long walks per day is sufficient for keeping them healthy, however, they also do well with extra play time outdoors in a fenced-in yard. They also get a lot of benefit from interacting with their humans by playing games such as catch, chase, and tag.

You should also note that though this breed is big and full of energy, they can also have their lazy side. As much as they enjoy taking a long walk outside with their pet parents, they are just as comfortable lazing about inside cuddled on the couch. It is important that you ensure your pet gets their daily exercise, so they will not become overweight.

Training 🦮

Training your Daniff can be a bit more difficult. Although they are very intelligent, they can be quite stubborn. Starting their obedience and behavioral training as early as possible is very important. In fact, it is recommended that this dog enrolls in charm school, or you get professional assistance to help train your pet.

Socializing the Daniff from an early age is also important. Due to their herding and protective instincts, it is important that they understand what is friend in what is foe from an early age. Equally important, they also need to know who is in charge. A firm command of the situation is necessary.

Image Credit: Pixabay

This breed does well with positive reinforcement-as most dogs do.  In this case, however, the key is patience and repetition. Consistently training your dog in acceptable behaviors will eventually lead to the goal of having a well-rounded pet companion. As mentioned, this is a very intelligent breed, but they’re stubborn and independent nature can make them a little bit more difficult to manage.

Grooming ✂️

The Daniff has a short and soft fur coat that is easily maintained. They should be groomed once a week with a needle brush to get off the worst of the shed. During the change of seasons, this breed can have a considerable amount of shed, but outside of that it is typically manageable. You can also bathe your Daniff as-needed when they are dirty, but not on a regular basis.

If your Daniff takes after the Mastiff parent with the skin wrinkles, you will need to clean in between them on a weekly basis. Not doing so can allow bacterial infections to take place which can be very uncomfortable for your pet, plus cause other issues. The best way to do this is by using a wet, damp cloth to wipe them down.

As far as other grooming requirements, the Daniff is pretty basic. They will need to have their ears cleaned once a week, as well as, have their teeth brushed. They will also have to have their nails trimmed if they are not ground down naturally from their outdoor activities.

As this breed is so large, one important factor of their grooming regiment is to start them as early as possible and to be consistent. Letting your pet know that this is a positive behavior (which you can reward with treats) is important. They will then associate their grooming days with pleasant things. This will make things a lot easier when they get quite large.

Health and Conditions ❤️

For the most part, the Daniff is a healthy dog. They have few known ailments, but they can be prone to the normal canine health concerns. Most noticeably, you want to look out for hip dysplasia as your pet ages. They are also prone to weight gain, ear infections, and skin infections. Two more concerning health issues are bloat and certain cancers.

Canine ailments have a lot to do with the dog’s jeans and lifestyle. Keeping your dog as healthy as possible and getting regular check-ups are important to ensure they live a long and healthy life. Giving them a nutritious diet, regular exercise, and spending quality time with your pet have also been proven to reduce the likelihood of a lot of health concerns.

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Male vs Female

When it comes to the difference between male and female Daniffs, there is not a lot to be said in the way of personality. Regardless of gender, they typically exhibit friendliness, protectiveness, energy, loyalty, and affection towards their owners and family. Of course, there is something to be said for the individual personality of each dog, as well as, their overall health, diet, and lifestyle.

The most noticeable difference between the male and female is their size. The female ranges in height between 23 and 28 inches while the male can grow to be anywhere between 30 and 35 inches. Even more impressive, the male can grow up to 150 pounds though the female will typically only reach 120 pounds.Divider 3


In conclusion, if you have the space and time to devote to such a large pet, the Daniff will make an excellent companion for you and your family. They are loyal, protective, and affectionate. They are happy to run by your side or sit on the couch and watch a movie. You can have them around kids, other pets, and even strangers.

Though the initial training can be a little more difficult, it is well worth the final goal. The Daniff is a gentle giant who will devote themselves to you and your family by making you laugh and smile.

Featured Image Credit: Spockfoundwaldo, Shutterstock

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