How To Take Control Of An Aggressive Great Dane

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Last Updated on October 14, 2022

Great Danes, despite their intimidating size and presence, have a doting temperament. This is why they are popularly known as “gentle giants”.

However, despite their friendly nature, there are instances where an otherwise warm and outgoing Great Dane displays a sudden aggressive behavior. The situation gets further alarming when a huge Great Dane acts aggressive towards other people or dogs.

If you are trying to figure out the reasons behind an aggressive Great Dane, then you are in the right place! In this article, we’ll help you understand and, possibly, correct the behavior in the best possible ways.

Great Dane Temperament

Great Danes Spending Time With Owners
Marie Charouzova / Shutterstock.com

Great Danes are very sociable and friendly dogs, both with humans and with other dogs. They are also eager to please and are good with children. And despite their huge size, they’re very affectionate and loving, especially towards their owners – and that’s why people affectionately refer to them as “gentle giants”.

Furthermore, Great Danes are always recommended to many families as pets. This is because their temperament is perfect for families, especially big ones which include many children.

Despite such warm and wonderful characteristics, your Great Dane dog can display a sudden aggressive behavior. And when it happens, you have to understand that there will be reasons behind the unexpected change in behavior.

What is Aggression?

Aggression is any such behavior which is linked to a strike or an attack towards another person and/or animal. Aggressive behavior in Great Dane pronounces that an attack is imminent.

At times, dogs in general, are called aggressive when in reality they’re just “reactive“. But the main difference between an aggressive dog and a reactive one is that the former is determined to cause physical or emotional harm to others. However, it is worth noting that reactivity, when it escalates, becomes aggression.

Aggression in Great Danes

As mentioned above, Great Danes are generally friendly and social dogs. And they are revered as huge bundles of joy and love.

However, like any dog, Great Danes can also become aggressive. And this change in behavior can cause serious problems. Because they are giant dogs, they can easily cause another individual serious injuries. Hence, an aggressive Great Dane could become a liability, and a danger to itself and its owner. Therefore, finding the reason behind dog’s aggression becomes necessary.

Signs of an Aggressive Great Dane

There are numerous signs that indicates an aggressive Great Dane. 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.

And an aggressive Great Dane may display body language or threat in the form of:

  • Hard staring
  • Flattening of ears tightly
  • Stiffening or freezing
  • Growling
  • Barking
  • Snarling
  • Snapping
  • Biting

Types of Great Dane Aggression

Looking for the cause of aggression in your Great Dane is important. Because the dog can be aggressive for several reasons. And the type of aggression they show can be motivated and caused by different factors. Below, we list down some of the most common types of aggression.

1. Territorial Aggression

As the name suggests, this type of aggression is directed towards an individual (whether a person or another animal) that tries to enter your Great Dane’s perceived territory, which is in most cases, the Dane’s owner, home or property.

Great Danes are known as good guard dogs and can be very protective of their families and homes. So, this might be the most common type of aggression they’ll display due to their protective nature. Although this poses a danger when your Great Dane lunges or bites regardless of the other individual’s actions.

2. Possessive Aggression

Great Dane Puppy Pulling A Doll From A Person
Christian Mueller / Shutterstock.com

This is also called resource guarding and is closely related to territorial aggression. This is when an aggressive Great Dane growls, lunges or bites an individual over items and/or food that it believes belongs to it. Some examples are toys, food or even household items and furniture.

Furthermore, possessive aggression is an indication that a dog has trust issues. In such situations, do not ever try to take the thing which makes the dog possessive. Because they will grow even more suspicious of you and you will eventually lose their trust.

What Causes Possessive Aggression?

This type of aggression is commonly instinctual. But a lack of proper training from puppyhood and traumatic events can also cause this behavior.

How to Prevent Possessive Aggression

The easiest way to correct this behavior is training your Great Dane as early as puppyhood. Although, possessive aggression can happen at any stage in life. So, regardless of their age, you have to gradually teach them that they don’t need to protect certain things from people.

Here are a few tips to prevent a possessive aggressive Great Dane:

  • Since a possessive aggressive Great Dane is mostly overprotective of its food, it’s best to feed the dog in seclusion, where no individual can interact with them.
  • If your Dane is a still a puppy, you have to gradually and positively associate your presence when you are near their food.
  • If it is possessive over an item other than food, like toys, walk towards the possessive Great Dane while it has the item, and then toss some treat at it without looking at it. Keep doing it till you find your dog expecting more things from you when you are near.
  • Do NOT take away things that your Great Dane have grown attached to. Instead, you should offer to trade. So for example, if you are taking away their toy, you should trade that with a treat or food.
  • Use praise and positive reinforcement. Get into the habit of praising or commending your dog when they let you take something from them.

3. Maternal or Protective Aggression

This type of aggression is most common with female Great Danes. It is a behavior manifested by the mother to defend her puppies against threats.

This can also manifest in bitches that experience pseudo-pregnancy or a false pregnancy. In these cases, the dogs protect their nesting areas or stuffed toys at the same time when the puppies would have born.

This type of aggression can be corrected when the litter of puppies have been weaned and/or the female Great Dane is spayed.

4. Pain-induced or Irritable Aggression

A Great Dane can become aggressive due to pain or irritability. They might display such behavior when they feel pain and/or discomfort. And they don’t want people, even their owner, to approach or come close to them due to the fear of increased pain.

An aggressive Great Dane can experience this type of aggression when they get an injury, cut, infection, or sometimes when they get diseases.

Disease or Health-related Aggression

Great Dane Suffering From Hip Dysplasia Getting Treatment
msgrafixx / Shutterstock.com

This type of aggression is directly connected with pain aggression. Your Great Dane might be feeling pain or discomfort caused by a health-related issue. As dogs cannot verbally voice these issues, they show it through a sudden change in their behavior.

What Causes Pain-induced and Disease-related Aggression?

Some of the most common health issues that can cause aggression in your Great Dane are:

  1. Loss of eyesight or hearing
  2. Hormonal imbalances (such as hypothyroidism)
  3. Brain diseases or cancer
  4. Hip Dysplasia
  5. Rabies
How to Prevent Pain-induced and Disease-related Aggression

When your Great Dane has started becoming aggressive due to pain or a medical condition, it is important to take it to the vet immediately. Getting a thorough examination (such as an oral checkup and blood tests) of the dog will help diagnose and treat the problem faster.

5. Anxiety Aggression

This type of aggression manifests when a Great Dane encounters an individual or a situation that makes them uncomfortable or uncertain. And it can also be perceived as a form of self-defense. It is basically a dog communicating that an individual should “stay away” from them.

What Causes Anxiety Aggression?

The causes behind a fear aggressive Great Dane can be a combination of both nature and nurture. Some examples include:

  1. Developmental factors. Certain situations like abuse, traumatic events, loss of a caretaker/owner can affect the way a Great Dane grows up and develops. Improper, or the lack of, socialization in its puppyhood can also make a Great Dane more fearful and anxious.
  2. Environmental factors. Being in an overcrowded environment and strangers (both people and dogs) can cause aggression in a Great Dane. Furthermore, being raised in an abusive or neglectful environment will make a Great Dane fearful or anxious.

Types of Anxiety Aggression

  • Fear-related anxiety aggression
  • Separation anxiety aggression
Fear-related Anxiety Aggression

Great Danes express fear-related anxiety aggression, especially with strangers. An aggressive Great Dane with this type of aggression is usually a dog that feels afraid when approached or cornered. It can also be the result of certain situations like loud noises, traumatic experiences, strangers, new and uncomfortable situations. A few examples where this aggression may occur are:

  • At home, when there are strangers
  • At the veterinary hospital
  • At any public setting where your Great Dane may encounter other people or animals.
How to Prevent Fear-related Anxiety Aggression

The initial step in dealing with a fear aggressive Great Dane is to not scold or punish it for its fear response. This will only escalate the problem.

Here are a few tips to help your fear aggressive Great Dane:

  1. When at home, keep your dog in a separate room or crate when new people visit.
  2. Slowly bring the people into the crate area where the dog is while talking with them. 
  3. If the dog seems easy, relaxed and comfortable, let the guest toss food into the crate. 
  4. Do not look directly on the dog during this whole time.
  5. Till the dog becomes calm in other individuals’ presence and does not show any signs of aggression, you can bring the dog out of the crate.
  6. When in a public setting, keep your dog on a leash when it meets strangers. Leash training your Dane will help.

Not all fear aggressive Great Danes can be trained. At times, when the problem has escalated, you will need to consult with a veterinary professional to properly address the issue.

Separation Anxiety Aggression

Separation anxiety is when a dog is hyper-attached to its owners and cannot cope up when its owners leaves it for a period of time. And it can lead to aggression when not prevented or treated.

For example, during and after COVID-19, more and more dogs are reportedly developing separation anxiety. This is because they’ve been so used to having their owners at home, they get anxious when their owners leave them at home for a long period of time.

How to Prevent Separation Anxiety Aggression
Medication

There are instances when Great Dane anxiety issues just keep getting worse. Despite all the efforts the owners put in into calming the dog, the number of items destroyed at home during their anxiety attack never comes down.

This desperate situation can be dealt with the help of a veterinary professional.  They can prescribe some anxiety medication for your Great Dane. Among these medications is Prozac. It is considered as the most effective Great Dane anxiety medication.

NOTE: Please consult with your vet when administering Prozac. And only administer it according to the dosage your vet recommends.

Other Ways to Prevent Separation Anxiety

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

Based on these studies, music therapy can help canines suffering from aggression. Many kennels around the U.S. even use music to calm dogs.

Some helpful tips on how to calm an anxiety aggressive Great Dane are:

  1. Right after it has shown its aggression, you have to put your dog in a crate.
  2. Let the Great Dane listen to some soothing melodies. Music with long sounds, pure tones and slow tempos are especially good at calming down dogs.
  3. Try to understand what the Great Dane dog is conveying. Generally, dogs get excited over things like potential threats.
  4. Some underlying source can also make a dog agitated. Once you have identified the source, removing it will calm the Great Dane dog.
  5. Dog trainers mainly recommend thunder shirts to calm aggressive dogs. Employ a thunder shirt to calm your aggressive Great Dane dog.
  6. In addition to thunder shirts, anxiety wraps are also available. Use this to calm your Great Dane.
  7. Do not forget to pet your Great Dane dog if its is showing anxiety. Positive interaction with owners can calm a Great Dane.

How to Tame an Aggressive Great Dane

Generally, dogs can sense potential threats and can become aggressive to protect what they own. So, you have to socialize them properly and teach them that other individuals are not dangerous.

Most often, an aggressive Great Dane is motivated by different, overlapping factors and they cannot be put into a single type of aggression only. If you’re unsure about why your Great Dane has suddenly become aggressive, you can try these tips to tame them:

  1. Use a muzzle. It is one of the best tools to deal with an aggressive Great Dane. Particularly, when people are around, it is safe to keep the muzzle on an aggressive dog.
  2. Do leash training. Tie your Great Dane to you on a leash. Do this when you both have idle time or have nothing important to do. In this way, the aggressive Great Dane would follow you wherever you go. Therefore, having no close access with another dog or other people without your permission and presence. 
  3. Be careful when bringing friends over at home. 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 in a crate or at least on a leash.
  4. Train using counter conditioning and desensitization. These two work hand in hand with each other. Desensitization is a gradual process where the dog learns to not react aggressively towards a specific thing or individual. Counter conditioning then teaches a dog a new and positive response towards the thing or individual it reacts aggressively to.

Though, aggressive behavior can be controlled and handled, there is no assurance that the Great Dane will be cured completely. When it escalates, it is best to get professional help, either from a veterinary or from a skilled dog trainer.

Great Dane Aggression Towards Other Dogs

Aggressive Great Dane Jumping On A Doberman
Kamisovec / Shutterstock.com

When a Great Dane is aggressive towards other dogs, it could be due to anxiety, fear, lack of proper social and communication skills, or even a health-related issue.

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

  • Do not allow sharing. Sharing food bowls is not a good idea even for friendly dogs. This might provoke a Great Dane’s protective instincts. Feed the aggressive Great Dane in a separate room with gates, if possible. Even toys, bones, other chewing stuff and likeable items – these must be given to dogs on separate occasions. This will help prevent any sort of negative interaction between dogs.
  • Isolate it from other dogs. If your Great Dane is depicting aggressive behavior towards other dogs, you must separate it from others. The dog can harm other dogs any moment if not isolated right away. If at home, crating might be a workable option to handle an aggressive Great Dane. And in a public setting, having it on a leash will help.

How to Train a Great Dane to Not Attack Other Dogs

Training a Great Dane to not attack other dogs is a long and gradual process. The training is not only crucial for the aggressive dog, but also for you.

When it comes to training an aggressive Great Dane that attacks other dogs, never opt for harsh and forceful methods. In saying that, here is a step-by-step guide:

  1. Get the aggressive Great Dane dog separated from other dogs.
  2. Put your Great Dane on a fixed routine. Keep things and activities organized and scheduled. This will help the dog keep up with the routine easily. At times, aggression stems from changes in a dog’s usual routine.
  3. Keep doing activities according to schedule so the dog gets familiar with the training. You can include activities like essential obedience commands, chew time, walk, mental stimulation activities, and play.
  4. Keep the aggressive Great Dane on a leash. Do not let the Great Dane interact with other dogs without your supervision.
  5. When things escalate, an aggressive Great Dane must not interact with anyone outside the family.
  6. Feeding must be done separately. Dogs must not be allowed to share food to begin with. If possible, do not feed an aggressive Great Dane with other dog’s in its presence. Dogs have an instinct to want what other dogs have. So, do not let this behavior develop. Ensure the dogs get their toys and treats separately and individually.
  7. An aggressive Great Dane shows its negative interactive capability through its temperament. And this needs to be altered. Use counter conditioning and desensitization to practice some team activities and positive interactions with other dogs. For example, while keeping the aggressive Great Dane behind a barrier or gate, feed your other dog(s) with its treat. Then instantly, feed the aggressive one its treat and praise it a lot when it doesn’t react negatively. Or you can involve other family members in its training to positively associate training with other people.
  8. Apply and repeat the ‘nothing is for free’ mindset on your aggressive Great Dane. It is like giving a job to your dog and rewarding it with things it works for. The dog has to be relaxed and appeasing before it gets what it needs. For instance, when it is time for a walk in the park, the dog should sit till you unleash it. Same goes with food and toys. The dog has to show restraint to get food. And it can also have its favorite toy only if it follows your command.
  9. Commending is also key to teach your aggressive Great Dane to behave around other dogs. Do not forget to appreciate the dog when it follows your lead perfectly without going for anyone near its vicinity. Add in treats with appreciation to induce positive reinforcement training rather than punishment or forceful training.

Getting a New Dog When You Have an Aggressive Great Dane

Getting a new dog while dealing with an aggressive Great Dane is not advisable. It is better to deal with your existing aggressive dog first before adding a new member to the family.

Aggressive dogs pose serious dangers to other dogs, especially when they’re a large breed like the Great Dane. Furthermore, the chances of your new dog developing the same behavior is high.

Aggressive Great Dane Puppy

Like any other Great Dane, aggression in puppies can be due to a variety of reasons. If your Great Dane puppy is showing potential aggression, it is best to deal with the problem as soon as possible. Aggression can start at a young age due to fear, anxiety or frustration.

Furthermore, it can also be learned from its environment. For example, some Great Dane puppies can learn to be aggressive at kennels where sharing and overcrowding prevails at large. 

Great Dane Puppy Biting

Great Dane Puppy Biting Toy
Holger Nesselberger / Shutterstock.com

Great Dane puppy biting is normal behavior. However, some puppies bite due to anxiety, frustration, or fear. It is crucial to discourage this behavior right from the start as this can develop into aggressive behaviors. If a Great Dane puppy tends to get aggressive, the biting would be a lot worse.

Here are a few tips to help discourage puppy biting:

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

Conclusion

Whether a Great Dane is slowly showing signs of aggression or has suddenly become aggressive, it is important to get to the bottom of the situation before it gets worse. Remember, the sooner, the better.

Training an aggressive Great Dane and correcting such behavior takes a lot of time and patience. You can follow the aforementioned suggestion to correct your aggressive Great Dane’s behavior. However, if these suggestions no longer work, seeking professional help is the way to go.

As a last resort, if training and seeking a suitable professional don’t work, re-homing your Dane might be an option. This will give your big furry friend a better chance at getting its aggressive behavior treated a lot easier and better.

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.

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  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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  12. Pingback: Great Dane Leash Training The Tricks And Tips - Great Dane k9
  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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