How To Take Control Of An Aggressive Great Dane

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Last Updated on December 31, 2020

Great Dane dogs are the sole ‘Gentle Giants’ on the planet. Despite the dog’s behemoth presence, the Great Danes are known for their doting temperament. Besides, the huge dog’s amicable and warm disposition is probably the reason behind its vogue. Nevertheless, this does not ensure that you can not get an aggressive Great Dane puppy. Indeed some Great Danes hold aggressive behaviors despite the breed’s amenable temperament.

There are instances when an otherwise warm and outgoing Great Dane dog expresses sudden aggressive behavior. The situation gets further alarming when a huge Great Dane acts aggressive towards people or other dogs. Try to calm the dog and look for probable triggers behind aggression. However, efficacious aggression training can eliminate aggressive such Great Dane behavior altogether.

Medium-Long-Crop-Dane

What is Aggression?

Any such behavior of a Great Dane dog which is linked to a strike or an attack is called aggression. Aggressive behavior in Great Dane pronounces that an attack is imminent. Such a canine retorts to growling, turning into a rigid one, biting, or barking. 

Usually, there must be some trigger to a Great Dane’s aggression. Encompassing medical conditions to some trivial incident like change of dog bed. Vaccine reaction can also provoke aggressive behavior in Great Danes. Due to these reasons the dogs can become aggressive with other dogs regardless of their prior congenial relation.

Aggressive Great Dane puppy

If your Great Dane puppy has potential to show aggression, it is probably because the Great Dane puppy is uneasy. There has to be something pestering the dog acting as a stimulus. There are myriad reasons contributing to an aggressive Great Dane puppy. Some Great Dane puppies can learn aggressive temperament at kennels as well where sharing and interconnection prevails at large. 

Is a Great Dane an aggressive breed?

Usually, Great Dane dogs are gentle, easy going, and appeasing canines. The dogs are also called as ‘gentle giants’ due to their exemplary warm temperament. A Great Dane dog generally goes along well with other dogs. The potential of a Great Dane to be a family dog is quite high in that the dogs are good around kids also.

Despite such wonderful characteristics, if your Great Dane dog depicts a sudden change in its behavior, the dog must have got its reason.

Great Dane Aggression

As mentioned above, the Great Dane breed’s dogs are mainly complacent and friendly to be around. The dogs are revered as huge bundles of love and affinity. There are instances when these ‘gentle giants’ depict aggressive temperament. If your Great Dane dog has suddenly become aggressive towards you, or other dogs, and displaying anxiety issues, the condition is quite inauspicious. 

Sometimes the Great Dane aggression makes the dog to respond as biting. In this scenario the dog is showing its latency to hurt people or dogs around. A huge dog with a latency to bite is not a great idea. Hence, an aggressive Great Dane could become a liability, and peril to itself and its owner. Therefore, finding the reason behind dog’s aggression becomes fundamentally indispensable.

Why is my Great Dane Aggressive?

If your Great Dane dog becomes aggressive suddenly look for the probable sources of the trouble. Such as;

Health

The most paramount reason to the Great Dane’s sudden aggressive temperament could be its health. A sudden discomfort or pain either due to injury or ailment could be the trigger for the dog’s sudden aggression. 

Dogs can become aggressive when there is some medical problem going on. As the dogs can not voice their problems, the most fundamental tool the Great Dane dogs possess to show their suffering is through behavior.

Hence, if your Great Dane is showing aggression the foremost step is to take your Dane to a vet. Get a thorough examination of the dog including its oral checkup and blood tests.

The diseases which can instigate aggression in Great Danes by turning a docile Great Dane into an aggressive one are;

  1. Brain diseases or cancer
  2. Rabies
  3. Thyroid diseases

Besides the aforementioned diseases your Great Dane might be showing aggression due to something as simple as an injured paw. Hence, nothing can be ignored while checking on the probable medical triggers provoking aggression in dogs.

Dane Angry

Tangible causes behind Aggressive Great Dane behavior 

There might be other more tangible sources for Great Dane aggression which you are not perceiving.

Something has changed

A Great Dane dog’s temperament does not allow it to be a bellicose dog. It is congenital in a Great Dane not to be aggressive. And if your Great Dane is showing aggressive behavior, it might not be that sudden. The dog could have gone through some bad incident or a series of events which were negligible for you but surely not for the Great Dane dog.

The Great Dane dogs show aggression as a reaction towards any recent alteration as well. Change of place, and food are key factors. Besides, some vaccine can also instigate aggressive behavior in Great Dane dogs.

Territorial instinct

A Great Dane dog’s aggression could be due to territorial behavior. In the case the dog would become aggressive to protect what it reason belongs to it. This could be something ranging from a toy to the couch in your living room.

Offensive or defensive instinct

Great Dane dogs bear aggressive behavior at times as a cover of defense. Such dogs becomes aggressive at someone’s approach. On the other hand, there are offensive Great Dane dogs. The dogs retain their aggressive temperament irrespective of others actions be it people or dog.

How to tame an aggressive Great Dane?

Dogs can sense potential threat and might become aggressive to protect what they own. The paramount thing to deal with Great Dane dog aggression is to teach the dog that others including people and dogs are not dangerous. Steps you can take besides hiring a trainer for your Dane are;

  • Muzzle is the best and suggested tool to deal with Great Dane dog aggression. Particularly when people are around it is safe to keep the muzzle on an aggressive dog.
  • Additionally, involve an aggressive Dane into mainly on leash activities. Tie your Great Dane dog to you on leash. Do this when you both have idle time or at least have nothing important to do. In this way the aggressive Great Dane would follow you wherever you go. Therefore, not being able to get close enough to another dog or other people without your permission and presence. 
  • An aggressive Great Dane dog ought not to be in contact with anyone except family. When friends visit make sure the dog is put away or at least on leash.
  • If you are unable to contain the dog’s aggression, keep it totally away and make sure that not even shorter interactions can occur.
  • In case your Great Dane puppy’s aggression is not reducing it is principle to hire a Great Dane dog trainer who aces in dealing with these huge dog’s aggressive behavior. In the meantime decrease the aggressive Dane’s exposure.
  • Though, aggressive behavior can be controlled and handled there is no assurance that the dog would be cured completely.

How to correct an aggressive Great Dane?

Here are tips on training along with correcting an aggressive Great Dane in different situations. 

Great Dane aggressive behavior towards other dogs

If Great Dane dog is aggressive towards other dogs could be due to the medical reasons mentioned as above. Or even due to something as simple as the change in dog’s routine. This could be due to some illness, injury, a recent visit to a vet or a groomer. You can diffuse the situation by taking off that particular smell by rubbing a moist towel on the dog’s body. 

Aggressive Dane

If the Great Dane shows aggressive behavior towards other dogs, excluding the aforementioned situation, this is how you can deal with the condition.

How to teach your Great Dane dog to behave around other dogs?

  • Sharing must not be allowed in dogs be it food, toys or anything else. This might provoke a Great Dane dog’s protective instincts. 
  • Allowing dogs to share food bowls is not suggested at all. This can lead to food aggression in Great Dane dogs. 
  • If your Great Dane dog is depicting aggressive behavior towards other dogs you must separate the aggressive dog from others. The dog can harm other dogs any moment if not isolated right away.
  • Food possessiveness has the tendency to initiate aggressive disposition. Great Dane dog if showing aggression towards other dogs it is recommended to feed dogs in separate rooms with gates and barriers. Sharing food bowls is not a good idea even for friendly dogs. Even toys, bones, other chewing stuff and likeable items must be given to dogs in seclusion. This would inhibit any sort of negative interaction between dogs in that the dog would not have to fight to get what it covet. 
  • Crating might be a workable option to handle an aggressive Great Dane.

How to train a dog not to go for other dogs?

Training a Great Dane dog not to go for other dogs is a  process needing drill. The training is crucial for the aggressive dog as well as you. Yet never to opt for harsh or forceful methods for training a dog not to go for other dogs.

Aggression between dogs could be due to a plethora of reasons ranging from probable tangible influences like incidental instigators to deep sources such as onset of maturity. Look for the possible reason behind aggression in Great Dane dog.

Here is a step by step guide on how to train a Great Dane dog not to go for other dogs.

  • Get the aggressive Great Dane dog separated from other dogs.
  • Have your Great Dane dog on an inflexible routine. Keep things and activities organized and scheduled. In this way the dog would keep up with the routine easily. 
  • Keep doing activities in a similar fashion so the dog gets familiar with training schedule. You can include activities like, essential obedience, exercise or physical activity, chew time, walk, mental motivation, and play.
  • Keep the aggressive Great Dane dog on leash. Do not let the dog interact with other dogs without your supervision.
  • The aggressive dog must not interact with anyone outside the family.
  • Feeding must be done separately. Dogs must not be allowed to share food to begin with. If possible do not feed an aggressive dog or other dogs in each others presence. Dogs have an instinct to hold what other dogs possess. Do not let this behavior to develop. Ensure the dogs get their toys and treats separately and individually as well.
  • An aggressive Great Dane dog shows its negative interactive capability through its disposition. This needs to be altered. Practice some team activities and positive interactive scenarios with other dogs. For example, while keeping the aggressive Great Dane behind a barrier or gate. Feed the other dog with its treat. Then instantly, feed the dog its treat as well and give it a lot of admiration.
  • Apply and repeat ‘nothing is for free’ on your aggressive Great Dane dog. It is like giving a job to your dog and furnishing it with things it works for. The dog has to relaxed and appeasing before it gets what it needs. For instance,

when it is time for outing the dog sits till you unleash it. Same goes with food. The dog has to show diffidence to get food. It can have its favourite toy only if the dog follows your command.

  • Do not let the dog slip out of its schedule. If possible involve other family members in the training process as well.

Positive reinforcement

  • Commending is the key to teach your aggressive Great Dane dog to behave around other dogs. Do not forget to appreciate the dog when it follows your lead perfectly without going for anyone around. Add in treats with appreciation to induce positive reinforcement training rather than punishment or forceful training.

Staring Dane

Signs of Aggression

There are numerous signs a Great Dane dog shows when it is aggressive. If the signs in the body language of the dog are read properly you would be able to head off trouble way before the attack occurs. The following are the signs of aggressive disposition of a Great Dane dog;

  • Staring
  • Displaying teeth
  • Stressed ears
  • Rigidity in body
  • Barking
  • Biting

Aggressive Great Dane fear aggression with strangers

Some times, Great Danes express fear aggression with strangers. Such a dog is prone to exhibit aggressive behavior towards strangers while on a walk or at home. The Great Dane dogs must be handled aptly to correct the problem of fear aggression with strangers. 

Some dogs depict retreat aggression and show aggressive behavior only when approached.

 Whilst dominant aggressive tendency also prevails in canines. The dogs can attack people any time. Such territorial dogs keep staring at people holding a fierce look in their eyes.

The initial step in dealing with a Great Dane dog having fear aggression towards strangers is to put it on the leash. 

Training a fear aggressive Great Dane dog

  • Keep your dog in a separate room or crate when new people are at home. Then slowly bring them into the crate area where the dog is while talking with your friends. 
  • If the dog seems easy, relaxed and comfortable, let the guest toss food into the crate. 
  • Do not look directly on the dog during this whole time.
  • Till the dog becomes normal in others presence and does not show any signs of aggression, you can bring the dog out of the crate.

Great Dane behavior problem

Great Dane dogs at times show various behavior problems. Such as;

Biting, and possessive or aggressive behavior towards food. The most imperative reason to such behavioral problems are medical or lack of proper training. Sometimes owners inability to handle the dog’s imminent problems can lead to Great Dane behavioral problems.

For instance, the Great Dane dog could be a subject to manhandling by the kids around. This can induce behavior problems in the dog including aggression.

Puppy biting

Great Dane puppy biting could be due to anxiety, frustration, or fear. It is crucial to discourage a Great Dane puppy’s biting behavior even in the beginning. As this can lead to becoming a habit. If such a Great Dane puppy tends to get aggressive the biting could be fierce.

  • Provide your Great Dane puppy with a lot of chewing toys.
  • Whenever a Great Dane puppy shows its teeth, it is a precursor to the coming bite. Telling the puppy not to bite by showing your disapproval of the behavior can inhibit biting behavior in your puppy. 
  • Try to deviate the Great Dane puppy’s attention in such a situation. Toss at the puppy its favorite toy so that it can forego biting instinct.

Possessive and food aggressive behavior

The Great Dane dogs might exhibit possessive and food aggressive behavior. In such situations, do not ever try to take the thing over which the dog is getting possessive. 

Possessive aggression is mainly an indication that there is a trust deficit.

When the food aggressive Great Dane dog retorts to growling or barking it is expressing its lack of trust. And if you take the thing away from the dog it means that the dog was right in suspecting your presence.

The best way out is to handle the situation meticulously. You need to build trust and make the dog feel protected in your presence.

  • The foremost step to discourage possessive and food aggression in a Great Dane dog is to feed the dog in seclusion. When the dog is eating nobody has to be around. 
  • Taking away things from a dog is prohibited generally and particularly if your dog has possessive behavioral issues.
Training a dog to cease acting possessive and food aggressive 

Here is the step by step guide to train a Great Dane dog to cease acting possessive and food aggressive.

  • Walk towards the possessive Great Dane dog while it has the object the dog is possessive about, toss some treat at the dog without looking towards it. 
  • Keep doing it till you find your dog expecting more things from you when you are near.
  • Slowly come decrease the distance form which you toss treats at the dog. 
  • Try to practice basic commands during this possessive training and other interesting games which can control the possessiveness in a Great Dane dog. For example,
  • Take two similar items one is for you and the other is with the dog. Now let the dog give its to you to get yours. And then continue the changing of items to and fro.

Great Dane Anxiety Issues

Great Dane breed’s anxiety issues are similar to dog’s behavioral problems. The dog can retort to biting, growling, barking, possessive and aggressive over food due to its anxiety issues as well.

Signs of Anxiety in Great Danes

Some signs of anxiety in Great Dane dogs are;

  • Change in Great Dane dog’s disposition

An otherwise amenable, and friendly dog becoming an aggressive Great Dane.

  • Change in dog’s eating habits
  • Biting, barking, or growling
  • Lethargy and lack of interest

Can Great Dane be left alone?

The Great Dane dogs can be left alone. Though the dogs are exuberant in the presence of people they love. When left alone for longer duration the Great Dane dogs can show signs of separation anxiety.

Great Dane Separation Anxiety

Great Dane dogs are extremely loving and caring. The dogs have unmatched admiration for their owners. These attributes of a Great Dane temperament can provide the basic stimulus inducing separation anxiety in a Great Dane dog.

Simply leaving the Great Dane dog alone for hours can make it sad and bored. Sometimes Great Dane separation anxiety is due to the fact that the owner left its dog without telling it. Like proper greeting and a goodbye can work to reduce a Great Dane’s separation anxiety. Leaving the dog anxious when you step out of the house is the recurrent cause behind Great Dane separation anxiety. Resolve the issue which is making the dog anxious first, it could be due to lack of proper exercise or skipping some morning routine. 

Great Dane Anxiety Medication

There are instances when Great Dane anxiety issues keeps on augmenting. Despite all the efforts the owners put in into calming the dog, the number of pillows destroyed never comes down. This desperate situation can be dealt with the help of a vet. 

Your vat can prescribe some anxiety medication for your Great Dane anxiety issues. There are many Great Dane dog anxiety medications prescribed by vet. Among which Prozac is considered the most effective Great Dane anxiety medication. Administer your Great Dane dog suffering from anxiety the medication according to the dosage your vet recommends.

How to Calm a Great Dane?

Beside medication there are other ways to calm a Great Dane dog. Music is said to be the food for one’s soul. It might be true for dogs as well. Many studies have been conducted over the years to evaluate the effects of music on dogs. 

It can be inferred based on the studies that music can help canines suffering from aggression. Many kennels around the U.S. employ music to calm dogs. Some of the critical ways on how to calm a Great Dane are as follows;

  • Music can be a way to calm a Great Dane dog down. Right after it has shown its aggression and you have put the dog in the crate. Let the Great Dane dog listen to some soothing melodies. The notes for a Great Dane dog are not high same is the case with volume. Higher notes and higher volume can further get a dog excited.
  • Try to understand what the Great Dane dog is conveying. Generally, dogs get excited over things like potential danger alert.
  • some underlying source can also make a dog exasperated. Removing the source will calm the Great Dane dog.
  • Dog trainers mainly recommend thunder shirts to calm aggressive dogs. Employ a thunder shirt to calm your aggressive Great Dane dog.
  • In addition to thunder shirts anxiety wraps are also available. Use the item to calm your Great Dane which works better on your dog.
  • Do not forget to pet your Great Dane dog if its is showing anxiety. Positive interaction with owners can calm a Great Dane dog readily.

New dog when you have an aggressive dog already?

If you want a new dog when you have an aggressive Great Dane or any other dog already, it is better to first handle and control the dog you own already. As aggressive dogs poses a serious danger to other dogs. And your new dog might become defensive or exhibit a total retreat behavior. In this case the dog would become shy, insecure canine which you obviously would not want.

Conclusion

If a Great Dane has become suddenly aggressive or showing some minimal signs of aggression, it is high time to act. Training an aggressive Great Dane, though a diligent pursuit yet not an impossible one. Remember, the sooner the better.

Follow the aforementioned steps with an aggressive Great Dane puppy to correct its behavior. Yet, if nothing works try to look for a professional help. And in case you are unable to find a suitable trainer for your aggressive Great Dane re homing your dog might be an option. However, rehoming is the last resort. This would get your large breed furry friend a chance to get better training and a probable desertion from aggressive behavior.

32 thoughts on “How To Take Control Of An Aggressive Great Dane”

  1. Afternoon
    My 17 month old Great Dane goes crazy and tries and has bitten someone when they have approached him. He does not like strangers or busy places. Please help?

    Reply
    • initially put constraints on the dog’s activities. do not let it out without leash. look for probable causes inducing such behavior. the dog might be suffering from some ailment check if your dog is getting optimum rest and feed.

      Reply
    • You should also take note on how the dog is being approached by the person, the person could be the issue not the dog. Strangers should never approach your dog, the dog should be allowed to come to them or you should introduce the dog to this new person once the dog is calm. During the introduction the new person should use gestures that suggest they are asking the dog to get to know them an don’t forcing themselves on the dog. Strangers should never try to pet a unknown dog’s head, they should slowly extent their hand in front of the dog and allow the dog to come to them when the dog is ready. They should pet the dog’s chin (once the dog is ready to be touched). Rule of thought, strangers should keep their hands where the dog can see them, petting a dog on the head can make the dog uneasy because someone is reaching over their head were they can not see. During the introduction the dog will let you know if they feel comfortable with the new friend through body language and growls. Listen to your dog and do not force them to make friends. Do be sure to let the dog know aggressive behavior is not tolerated in a constructive way and not a destructive way such a yelling and hitting. Remember to praise the dog when they properly comply.

      Reply
  2. Yes i got a blue great dane when she was a puppy my problem is when she gets a hold of something that is not good for her i try to take it from her well to put it short the other day she got a piece of pizza off the kitchen table and i tried to get it from her and she attact for the 3rd time since I’ve had her she bit my arm so hard i thought i might need stitches what should i do.

    Reply
    • The dog needs to be taught how to release, you should never have to take anything from her. This can be done though playful games such as fetch. You can teach the dog to “Drop it” followed by “Leave it”. This is a fun way to teach two important commands to your pup. Once this is taught, these command can be used in situations such as the pizza incident. With a stern voice you should be able to tell her to “Drop it”, you should follow up with “Leave it” if she tries to retrieve the object before you can get it. When you tell her to “Leave it” she should back away allowing you to remove the object without her coming after you or the object.

      Reply
  3. We have a 17 month old great dane that bit our grandson, and broke skin. He was trying to help his grandpa get him out of a room thato he was trying to sleep in. The very next night our grandson tried to take his leash off and he snapped at his face. What has us puzzled is when we saw this happening here didn’t do anything to the dog. In fact it took us by surprise. With all the kids around this child is probably the most laid back kid of all them. Normally this dog goes nuts when he hears kids, because he knows it’s playtime. He has growled at a couple adults in the family and couple of times. What could cause this sudden behavior ?

    Reply
    • I have a great dane pup that is 10 months old, he does not like small children. Its only the ones that r eye level to him he gets aggressive towards them. Need help on how to be able to stop this.

      Reply
  4. HELP! I have a 6 month old Dane (our first dane but have had several dogs). We also have a 13 yr Coon Hound. Our Dane is showing food and territory aggression toward our Coon Hound suddenly. We feed them separate in different rooms and I allow a few minutes after they are both finished to pick up bowls and finish any left over crumbs. When I bring them back together my Dane watches the Coon Hound (who instinctively sniffs around) and attacks him and bites him. I have even extended the time before releasing them from their rooms but she still goes after him. The tension around feeding time is so high now and I don’t know what to do.

    Reply
    • The principal thing to do is to separate the Dane form Coon. Do not let the Dane see the other dog after eating or any other time.
      Besides, try to find possible tipping point leading to the dog’s aggressive demeanour.

      Reply
  5. I re homed a male 3 year old, he is laid back but has shown aggression when you tell him not to do something, today he backed my 7 year old daughter into a corner and was growling and showing his teeth, I got him away from her by calling him. Then he started doing the same to me! I didn’t hit him or scold him just said “hank come in here” I did it calmly because I didn’t know what was about to happen. I need help in the worst way !!!

    Reply
    • The dog entails training you can either train it yourself or take assistance from professional dog trainer as the dog is an adult already. If you are inclined to train the dog yourself kick off training from initial step i.e. obedience training. Meanwhile it is better to put the dog on leash until it gets fully trained.

      Reply
  6. My Great Dane is starting to be aggressive towards my son. My son and him are together most of the time. They sleep together, lay on the couch together, and usually are always near one another. Our Dane is now acting out when they go outside. He started a couple of weeks ago growling and snapping at my son when they are in the fenced backyard. My son can be walking and the dog will get in front of him and try to bit/growl at him. Is he becoming aggressive towards him now for some reason we just aren’t aware of. We have 3 other children and he doesn’t do this to them. What can I do to help the situation?

    Reply
    • First of all try to figure out why the dog is getting aggressive this way? There must be something bothering the dog as mentioned in the article. If everything is fine than it means that the dog is regarding your son as a ‘bad thing’. As this sudden aggression is only directed towards your son then the boy might have offended the dog. Well this could be unintentional on your son’s part as kids are just playing and having fun. So here is what you can do;
      From now on supervise your son and the dog whenever they are together. Do not let your son too close to the dog.
      Ask your son to give the dog treats so that it may regard the boy as a ‘good thing’ instead of thinking it as a danger and ‘bad thing’. Which could be the reason for the dog’s aggression.
      If the dog continues growling, you may consider taking your son with you when you are feeding the dog. But remember to keep distance. So all in all you need to change the dog’s aggression into ease and comfort towards your son as you said that the dog is fine with other people.
      You can find more help here.

      Reply
  7. Hi Alice. I have two female Great Danes. We bought them when they were both pups, and they are now 2 and a half years. Both have been neutered before the age of 1. The routine with both involved sleeping inside the house at night on their blanket in the lounge, whilst playing music, and the next morning they would wake up once we wake up and go outside with a treat. The remainder of the day they would roam around the property until the kids and I got back from work at 5. We’ve recently moved back to my ex husband so that the kids can stay at one place during the lockdown. , and have been here for a month now. The dogs adapted very well, especially with the yard being much bigger, and the palisades allowing them to see more activities.. We still follow the same feeding routine and playtime with them as when it was just me and the girls, they still do their wolf/howling when people walk by, and at night chase each other around. The only thing that changed apart from the new environment, is that they are not allowed inside the house, so they sleep outside, in front of my car, same blankets that covers them as per previous routine. Two nights ago my child was playing outside with them, and the mistake she made was using the blanket as a toy. The dane who usually does not play fetch, is glued to the blankets. For the first time they had a go at each other, not releasing, as we had to pull them apart. Amazingly the only injury was a bitemark above the eye to the dane who prefers her blanky. It’s very clear that the other dane established dominance, whereas she usually was the submissive one on the old property. Since then, the two are fine with each other’s when I am not outside, but as soon as we go to tuck them in at night, they make their scorpion tales. They do submit when I lower my voice, but I’m noticing that they begin taking longer to really listen to me and instead keep staring at each other. My danes are really so well behaved, during the day they seem normal, and I’m taking care to just walk around so that both can follow me, rather than me following them and giving attention to whomever asks it first. Any advise on how we can stop the aggression from excelating? I’m thinking of washing them and the blankets to get the stinch from 3 night ago out the way. But I don’t want to ignore any signs, and there are definitely a change in behaviour, which concerns me as they both still give so much love and remain obedient to any instructions. I don’t yell at them, they are too sensitive and are used to us talking to them alot as if they are part of the children, and they interact accordingly. If I tell them wait, they will wait with the door wide open. If I tell them okay you’re allowed inside, they run towards me immediately. When it’s feeding time, they will allow me to take food from the bowl whilst they are eating. But the moment they get too close for comfert to each other, the signs begin. I woul appreciate your take on this. Regards, Elaine

    Reply
    • Elaine, your dogs are quite well behaved and its all due to the training. Well i would say that you do not need to worry too much. Given the changes in their environment the dogs’s might show difference in their behaviour over all. As far as the incident is concerned, its not the dogs’s fault. It was told to do so, remember ‘using the blanket as a toy’ or not even the other dog’s. What you have mentioned later, is basically the effect of the incident on the dogs. The way you are handling the dogs is right just keep with it include some obedience training as well. Try to keep the dogs in your sight in the coming days to know if anything considerable happens.

      Reply
      • Hi, we have 10 week old Great Dane male, , he is very shy to new people and has a tendency to growl at strangers. We want to fix the problem right away before it becomes a problem in the future, what should we do?

        Reply
        • Get help right away from professional trainer. My Dane was trained,love
          from beginning and it was ending to say “Good buy” to him, he protect me and watching some people who was passing as if they will not hurt me and one day he bite as my protection. We play in the dog park with the other dogs,on the beach it was ok , but I realized some more changes after he was 3 y. old and I realized it start after rabies and other vaccination.
          I tried to handle the situation my self help him with more training
          when he start aggression but did not work. This is my 8 generation of Danes and I train them and they were Gentle Giant , unfortunately not this
          one. Please get professional help because your Dane is young!

          Reply
  8. What can i do my dane is 3 and she is so aggressive to peopple and strangers im to point of rehoming her it has always been me and her a d family but let someone walk up to door even knowing them she wants to stand guard any solutions

    Reply
    • You might need to get the help of a professional trainer. As the dog is already three, it will not be easy to correct its behaviour on your own. If you are considering to train it on your own, first evaluate the overall behaviour of the dog. If it is mainly obedient than you can resort to correcting it every time. For example, whenever you do not want the dog not to stand on guard simply ask it not to ‘Lucy come to me’. Besides, you can also offer the dog its favourite toy or treat to make it come to you.

      Reply
  9. I have had my Dane since he was 12 wks. He was doing great, no issues. After I had him neutered at 18mos, the vet suddenly said he has agreession. ( news to me). After that surgery, nothing has been the same. He is horrible to take to the vet( we have now moved and switched vets). He just turned 3 and I have my hands full. He is showing aggression towards other dogs, me and my husband, over little things. Like putting I. His collar to go out, petting him normally, etc. yesterday he dragged me and my husband off the pavement to a chihuahua that was tied out and he literally pinned this dog to the ground. He has always had issues with certain breeds, such as a German Shepard. But plays off leash beautifully with pit mixes and Dalmatians. Today he definitely has me worried, as I went to collar him, he pulled back and growled. He is in stellar health, and this is quite a shock for me, as he has always been my sweet boy. I’m going to start using some of the tips from the article, praying we can come back to a calm relationship. Great article btw.

    Reply
  10. My 2.5 year old girl is only showing aggression to males young and old.
    We just recently moved, and have had a few parties this summer. She seems to bark and run after the young boys playing in the yard and some of the older males that are intimidated by her. I have had her since she is 7 weeks old, and when she came home and for another year after it was always just myself, my daughter and her.
    Moving in with my boyfriend, she has never shown aggression towards him.
    Sort of lost and confused on how to fix these issues with her.

    Reply
  11. My daughter had a beautiful Harlequin Great Dane from a puppy he began to show signs of aggression around 1 + years old, he was a very loving dog to all the kids but soon he was growling and then tried to attack a guest at the pool. I remember how protective he was with me once when I fell he came over to help me when he could not get me up he gently turned around and sit down on me, and then allowed me to climb up on him till I could stand! Not soon after that my daughter was kenneling him because of guest, he turned and attacked her, the vet soon neutered him and after surgery he attacked them too, they were going to put him to sleep when a vet assistant who was a dog trainer asked for him, and the vet trainer who was single and had no children took him for one year he had an adoring dog, yesterday I heard what happened! Last week (JR the dog) attacked him while they were sleeping at night together and tried to kill him, JR was shot as he sliced open the young man’s head! WHAT IS WRONG WITH GREAT DANES????

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  13. My great dane is about 1.5 years old. I have 3 other dogs that stay in the same house as her. A malinois, pit mix, and chihuahua. She gets along great with them and they all play. But when I take her for walks she becomes aggressive with my friend’s dogs. They are both pits. They can walk with each other fine but if we stop and they go towards her she growls and barks and shows her teeth. She bit my leg one time when I stepped between her and my friend’s dog trying to calm it down. Of course I always keep her on leash so she can’t really hurt them. I just don’t understand why she’s aggressive with them and not with my dogs at home. She seems scared and nervous around them even if its just one of the dogs with her. And she hides behind me with her tail tucked and her hair spiked until we continue walking and she sees its okay. She walks next to them both fine (one is a male and one is female) its when we stop that there is an issue and when we first meet up. Also she is the same way with other dogs walking passed but again she is completely okay with my other dogs at home. I dont know what to do. She never used to be this way.

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    • She is also a complete lover to all people only barks at new people entering the house or walking around our yard. She loves to run up to people without a dog when we go for walks. And she loves her cuddles and pets. Bigger lap dog then my chihuahua.

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  14. We have a almost 8 month old male blue Great Dane. He has been very guarded around his food and toys or anything he has found such as a wrapper or shirt. He will growl , snap , nose crunching and attempt to bite .
    He was also mounting my 12 yo daughter and my husband.
    Last week he bit my 15 yo daughter drawing blood twice ( unprovoked).
    We had him neutered as the vet said emergently to try and lower the testosterone. They gave us medicine to sedate him and keep him calm during recovery and it made him wilder .
    Today he threw up after lunch and was guarding his vomit and growled when you come near him.
    Blood work is normal. We have contacted a trainer for an evaluation next week but I am scared for my kids.
    Any suggestions would be appreciated

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  15. Oh, dear. Some of these stories make me cringe. My Great Dane male is 11 weeks old. Full disclosure, I am retired and rather inactive. He does like to spend time with me and is aggressive to my other 2 dogs, resulting in my yellow lab to voluntarily want to live outside. I was initially successful with potty training but since I have extended outside time to include playtime in an effort to tire him out, he’s gone backwards and soils inside now. The only command he responds to is sit. He can now reach most things on furniture whether sofa or tables or beds. When he bites me I first command no and try to push him away. He is already stronger than me. I then take the toy (me) away from him, but he bites me the entire time I am standing. He lunges at my my head, tears my hair and bites my scalp, ears and neck. He has not yet gotten my face. I am exhausted and in tears most nights. Thank you for your ears!

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  16. We have had our male Great Dane for 2 months. He’s 4+ months old. He’s super lovable but I find that he snarls, rolls eyes and bites adults with no reason. Vet just tells us he’s a puppy. Unfortunately I’m getting nervous being around him as he gets bigger. What can I do?

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  17. Hi alice duke is a 2.5 yr old male intact black dane and when he was 6mos we had him walking at a. Park and a truck with a dog in the bed drove by us as we were walking and the dog in the truck was aggressively braking as they drove by and scared the scrap out of duke and since then he has bark at people dogs and even tries and pull us towards them it as slowly gotten worse to the pio t we don’t take him any where anymore and I have been wanting to get him neutered but ran into problems with he has a heart murmur so at this point he stay in the house or on the porch with me and still bark at Amazon drivers / mailman and even the teenage kids when they get home amd he patrols the the porch and when he see a coon or possum he goes crazy barking and jumping and when we give him a command he’ll start to do it for a split second and then gets drawn back to it please let me know what you think

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    • Firstly, you are doing the right thing by keeping Duke at home.
      Secondly, the incident must be the instigator in your case. But it is not just the dog in the truck, I think some other unusual thing might be happening around at the moment that scared the dog. I wonder if it was the first time it saw a truck or a barking dog.
      Thirdly, as you said ‘he’ll start to do it for a split second and then gets drawn back’ this indicates some lack of training as well. The distraction it is having is much more influential than your command. Which is a huge problem for any dog parent.
      Here is what I can suggest you:
      Start obedience training right away.
      Practice some distraction training as well. You can start off with a place with least or no distractions at all. Give the dog a command and see how much the attention it pays.
      And gradually let the dog exposed to the distractions rather than staying there all the time during the training. You can also get the help on how to deal with distractions from here.

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  18. I am a dog sitter for a Blue Great Dane; I have been trying to get the dog to understand that I am safe and should be trusted.

    The owner got him during the COVID-19 shutdown, which caused him not to be sociable with many people. He only trusted his family members; I took care of his older sister (who pass away last December) who trusted me since she was a puppy.

    He is going into protective mode toward guests and myself. I would bring treats to get him to stop going into protective mode. I need a remedy to get him to stop growling and trust me based on my voice so that his family can go on vacation.

    Many family members and I feel like we should been there since the beginning to get him to trust us.

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  19. I have a 1 year and 5 month old female great dane. I also have senior black lab and shihtzu. The dane seems to always try to go after the shihtzu for no reason at all. She punctured her before. And now recently she has bit my 8 year old daughter again for no apparent reason. The dane was laying by me in the couch and my daughter got up to exit the room and the dane juat jumped up and started biting her in the shoulder. I can’t figure out the sudden issue. Now I have to keep her on leash alot in the living room because she will try to growl and lunge when she comes in the room. Nothing has really changed from before so I don’t know what to do.

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