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10+ Tips on How to Groom a Great Dane

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates

great dane dog in the woods

You might take one look at a Great Dane and think that grooming might be overwhelming. After all, these are massive dogs. However, their short single-layered coats make maintenance pretty easy.

They don’t get a lot of buildup and debris in there, so you don’t need to groom them quite as often as some others.

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The 4 Grooming Tips

Grooming your Great Dane will be a breeze once you learn the ropes. You’ll find a method that works for you, keeping your Great Dane and all your belongings clean and tidy.

1. Bathing

Great Danes are a terrific breed if you’re looking for a low-maintenance dog in terms of bathing. Overbathing can lead to the skin drying out or your dog’s hair becoming brittle. Great Danes only need baths a few times a year  for the best coat results.

Also, Great Danes are extremely massive dogs. It can be hard to give them a full body bath in a tub, shower, or indoors. And if you don’t have access to the outdoors, you will have to get creative or take them to the parlour.

Many Great Dane owners will sponge-bathe their Danes to remove any debris and refresh the coat. You can perform this every 4 to 6 weeks, or thereabouts.

2. Nails

Great Danes have massive paws to match their massive bodies. With these enormous feet come some pretty big claws. Especially when your Dane is young, before they learn their manners, they might jump on people or not be very careful with their weight when playing.

This can lead to cuts, scratches, bruises – you name it. It’s best to keep your Great Dane’s nails trimmed and smoothed out so they don’t create a lot of damage.

It’s vital to use caution when clipping any dog’s nail, especially your Dane. Their large claws can be challenging to chisel down, but try to keep them short. Do be aware that when trimming nails, you can cut too short and damage the “quick”, which can cause bleeding.

great dane grooming
Image Credit: hedgehog94, Shutterstock

3. Brushing

Brushing should be an essential part of your Great Dane routine. Since their coats are so short and sleek, you might not have to brush them every day, but it is a terrific idea to do it every few days.

Brushing doesn’t just get rid of tangles and mats. It also evenly distributes the oils and their fur and helps with circulation. Certain brushes can also remove debris, dead skin, and loose hair.

Even though Great Danes have short hair, they shed just as much as most canines do. These short hairs will be all over your fabrics if you don’t routinely brush your dog. There are some unavoidable times of the shed, such as when the seasons change.

But the in-between should be a breeze if you keep up with routine brushing. Here are some different kinds of brushes, all of which come with a purpose.

  • Slicker Brush: The slicker brush is an even bristled flat device with curves that tend to rake loose hair off the coat. These brushes are very useful for both short and long haired dogs, as they collect debris and hair in one swoop. These are also popular choices because many have a self-releasing feature that simply retracts the bristles further into the trash after you’re done to allow easy removal of hair. These retractable bristles can really come in handy. Even the ones that don’t retract are quite easy to clean. The fur tends to come together, and you can easily remove it once it layers up enough. It might take a little longer to fill up to the easy-to-remove with a short-haired dog like a day in.
  • Bristle Brush: Bristle brushes are made of synthetic, nylon, or animal hair. They are perfect for smoothing the coat, evenly distributing oils, massaging, and are collecting loose fur. Real animal hair, like boar or horsehair, can be harder to come by. These brushes can get a little pricey, depending on their authenticity.
  • Pin Brush: Pin brushes are made out of stainless-steel pins with soft tops. They are good for general brushing, removing the general shed.
  • Deshedding Tool: Deshedding tools should be used very sparingly, and you should be comfortable with it before you ever put it on your Great Dane. These tools have a sharp, flush layer of bristles that remove debris, dead skin, and dead fur from your dog’s coat.

4. Ears

Some Great Danes have their ears cropped soon after birth to be upright, but natural ears are flopped over. Your Dane will need regular ear cleanings to keep them free of moisture and to prevent infection.

If water gets into the ear canals, it can lead to infections requiring antibiotics. Also, dogs with chronic allergies might have chronic infections in their ears. In that case, your vet can prescribe a treatment for their symptoms.

great dane ear check by vet
Image Credit: hedgehog94, Shutterstock

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The 8 Tips to Sponge Bathe Your Dane

Since you will likely rely on sponge baths most of the time, you should learn how to do it.

1. Choose a Soothing Shampoo

As with any dog, you will want to get a gentle shampoo specifically formulated for canines. Try to steer clear of synthetic fragrances and ingredients.

2. Prepare the Water

Get a fresh, clean bowl of warm water. You can use a sponge or cloth. Thoroughly squeeze out excess water before applying.

3. Gently Get the Folds

Some Great Danes can be a lot wrinklier than others. But it’s first important to wash the soft areas around the eyes, nose, and ears. Be extra careful not to get any soap in sensitive areas.

4. Get Grimy Parts First

If your Great Dane is dirty everywhere, it might not matter where to start. But if you’re just trying to spot-clean them, you will want to get all of their dirtiest parts.

This includes the folds of the skin, like the legs, armpits, under the tail, and any other bodily wrinkles.

5. Rinse Thoroughly

Once you have fully wiped down your Great Dane with mildly sudsy water, you can do a rinsing session, going back over all those areas with clean, warm water.

6. Towel Dry

You could blot your Great Dane dry with heavy-duty, thick absorbent towels. They have substantial bodies, which will retain a lot of water.

7. Follow Up with Aftercare

After you’re finished bathing, you can follow up with a regular grooming session. This is a great time to brush teeth, clip nails, clean ears, and do any other sprucing up necessary.

dogs getting nails trimmed
Image Credit: Duet PandG, Shutterstock

8. Bathe as Needed

If your dog needs a deep cleaning, it might be time for a real bath—so prep for that properly. Some prefer to take their Danes to a professional to alleviate some direct responsibility. After all, they have all the proper equipment.

Divider 4Watch for Allergies

Danes can suffer from allergies sometimes. They can be sensitive to specific ingredients in shampoos and other hygiene products. Try to avoid synthetic ingredients, chemicals, and artificial dyes. Never wash your Dane with human shampoo.

Also, if your Dane suffers from food or environmental allergies, try to use soothing shampoos that don’t irritate already-angry skin.

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Final Thoughts

Grooming a Great Dane shouldn’t be too difficult. It’s easier than many smaller breeds, considering its coat is short and easy to manage. However, they are large dogs, so baths and other grooming tasks can be challenging.

As long as your Dane cooperates, you can care for its skin and coat with proper brushing and hygiene maintenance.

Featured Image Credit: Nikolas Otto, Shutterstock

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