Home Dog BreedsGreat Dane American vs European Great Dane

American vs European Great Dane

by Joel
American vs European Great Dane

Last updated on October 2nd, 2023 at 07:51 am

There are many differences between the American and European Great Dane dogs. These differences determine whether you would prefer to have an American or European Great Dane. You will find many people who have a preference for one over the other based on the different qualities of these dogs.

Key DifferencesEuropean Great DaneAmerican Great Dane
Height 30 – 34 inches28 – 32 inches
Weight180 – 240 pounds125 – 140 pounds
Life Expectancy6–8 years8–10 years

Physical Appearance

European Great Danes tend to be larger and more muscular than their American counterparts. They also have a more prominent jaw and a thicker neck. American Great Danes, on the other hand, tend to have a more streamlined appearance and a more slender build.

Height And Weight

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Great Dane Club of America (GDCA), the American Great Dane typically stands between 28 and 32 inches (71-81 cm) tall at the shoulder and weighs between 125 and 140 pounds. In contrast, the European Great Dane, which is typically larger and heavier than the American Great Dane, stands between 30 and 34 inches (76-86 cm) tall at the shoulder and weighs between 180 and 240 pounds.

Coat type

The coat of the American Great Dane is short and smooth. It consists of two layers: a dense undercoat and a longer top coat. This means that it has both a protective outer layer and an insulating layer. The top coat is either soft or rough depending on the dog’s natural hair texture, while the undercoat contains guard hairs that help protect the dog’s skin from the cold or hot weather.

The European Great Dane’s coat is longer, thicker, and shaggier than its American counterpart’s. It also has more guard hairs and less undercoat. The European Great Dane has so much hair that it needs weekly grooming to keep its coat looking healthy and clean.


The two different breeds of dogs are known for their temperaments. Both breeds have been bred to be calm, gentle, and loving. However, they are not the same.

American Great Dane dogs are known to be more serious than European Great Dane dogs. They have a quiet demeanor and can be reserved around strangers. The American Great Dane dog is also known to be easygoing and friendly with new people, whereas the European Great Dane is more aloof and reserved with unfamiliar people.

European Great Dane
European Great Dane

European Great Dane dogs tend to act out in anger when they feel threatened by strangers or other animals on their property. This behavior can make them aggressive toward humans if they feel threatened in any way.

The American Great Dane tends to be more inquisitive than its European counterpart; it will explore its surroundings more deeply than other breeds of dogs do when given the opportunity! This breed is typically very playful when it comes time for playtime, though—they love games of fetch!


In general, Great Danes are intelligent dogs that can be trained with consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement methods. However, there may be differences in Trainability between American and European Great Danes, depending on their breeding and temperament.

American Great Danes tend to be more eager to please and easier to train than European Great Danes, which may have a more independent and stubborn personality. American Great Danes may also have been bred for obedience and agility competitions, which could have influenced their Trainability and responsiveness to commands.

On the other hand, European Great Danes may have a stronger prey drive and protective instincts, which could make them more challenging to train and require specialized techniques to manage. They may also have a more assertive and dominant personality, which could require experienced handlers to establish boundaries and enforce rules effectively.

Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy for the American Great Dane is between 8–10 years. While the average life expectancy for the European Great Dane is between 6–8 years.

Health And Care

When it comes to health and care, both American and European Great Danes can be prone to certain health issues, such as hip dysplasia, bloat, and heart disease. It’s important to provide them with proper nutrition, exercise, and veterinary care to help prevent and manage these conditions. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian are crucial for monitoring their health and catching any potential issues early on.

American Great Dane
American Great Dane


American Great Danes generally have a smoother, shorter coat compared to their European counterparts, who have a thicker and longer coat. This means that European Great Danes may require more frequent grooming to prevent matting and tangling.

Also, they have fast-growing nails that require regular trimming to prevent discomfort and potential injury. However, European Great Danes are often larger and heavier than American Great Danes, which means their nails may grow faster and require more frequent trimming.


What 2 breeds make a Great Dane?

The Great Dane, a large breed of dog, is usually thought to be the result of crossbreeding among two breeds: the English Mastiff and the Irish Wolfhound.

What is a European Great Dane?

A European Great Dane is a large dog that originated in Germany. The breed was developed to be an all-around working dog, protecting farms and homes from predators and helping with hunting.
Great Danes are known for their incredible size—they can grow up to 30 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh more than 200 pounds! They have short legs, but very powerful bodies. Their coats are commonly black or fawn, but can also be brindle or blue merle.

How much does a European Great Dane cost?

A European Great Dane can cost anywhere between $1,000 and $2,000.


So there you have it—the American and European Great Dane compared side by side. What race of Great Dane is best? Well, that’s entirely up to you. But if you’re looking for many different features to choose from, the European Great Danes are probably your best bet. If that’s what you’re looking for, I think we’ve done our job.

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