Do you have a Great Dane? If so, you may be looking at how much exercise does a Great Dane need each day to stay fit and healthy? Well, you’re in the right place! We’ve got all the information on how much activity they need to keep them happy and healthy.
Great Danes are gentle giants. They’re sweet, affectionate, and loyal to their family. They love being around people and other dogs.– just make sure you have enough space in your home for them. They will need their own sofa!
This big dog breed requires moderate exercise; two daily walks of between 30 minutes to an hour is ideal, although a healthy adult Great Dane may be able to go much further. This should be combined with other activities to strengthen their bones and joints, plus toys and training for mental stimulation.
So, if you’re looking for ways to keep your Great Dane active, keep reading! This post will give you some great ideas on how much exercise they need and what kinds of activities are best suited for them. You might even find some new hobbies that both of you can enjoy together!
Why is Exercise Vital for Your Great Dane?
Great Danes are energetic and playful dogs who need a regular mental and physical activity schedule to remain happy and healthy. Sometimes known as the German Mastiff, these giant dogs were originally bred as boar hounds, so their natural instinct to hunt provides them with boundless energy and an appetite to match!
You must allow your Great Dane to release his pent up energy throughout the day to help maintain a healthy weight and curb any disruptive behaviours that can pop up in an under-stimulated dog.
How Much Exercise Does a Great Dane Need?
A dog the size of a Great Dane needs around 2 hours of exercise every day. Great Danes love to go on long walks and engage in dedicated free play at the dog park. Your Great Dane will benefit from a regular routine, including a daily long walk, of around an hour, and an hour of dedicated exercise involving dog sports, running or other forms of active play.
Every dog owner should be aware of the specific health conditions that their dog may be predisposed to. Giant dog breeds, like the Great Dane, have a sizeable height-to-width ratio, meaning they’re 5-8 times more likely to suffer bloat than other dogs.
Bloat is a very serious condition that can result in death, so it’s imperative that Great Dane owners don’t allow their dogs to engage in any excessive exercise an hour before or after they eat. For more detailed information on protecting your Great Dane from this condition, you can find our guide on exercising after eating [here].
Best Types of Exercise For Great Danes
Providing mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise when it comes to keeping your Great Dane happy. It’s also an excellent way to prevent boredom-related behaviour problems from developing. Below are some ideas that will keep Fido entertained and also improve their overall health.
Core strengthening exercises are a great way to keep your Great Dane at a healthy body weight and work on your dog’s balance to help prevent any future injury. Try teaching your Great Dane doggy squats using food or a treat as an incentive. Have him stand with his hind legs beneath him, gently guide him to the sit, and then lie down.
You can even join your Great Dane during this exercise by doing human squats alongside him; this is a great way to keep the both of you in shape and enjoy some bonding during exercise!
Why not try these core strengthening exercises for dogs
Tug of war
Great Danes have a natural prey drive thanks to their origins as a hunting breed. Your Great Dane will love the mental and physical stimulation of playing with a tug toy and the low-impact nature of this game will help protect his joints from over-exercise.
Try taking your Great Dane to the pet store and let him pick out a toy that catches his eye! This is a fantastic way to bond with your dog and give him the attention he deserves, but make sure you look after your dog’s dental health if he’s playing with these toys regularly.
Puzzle toys to provide mental stimulation
Your Great Dane exercise routine should always include dedicated play and games that help cater to your dog’s intelligence. Ensuring that your dog enjoys mental stimulation daily will help to eliminate behavioral problems like excessive barking and destroying furniture.
By hiding food and treats in dog safe toys, he’ll exercise the problem-solving areas of his brain and receive dopamine when he gets his reward. This will help foster a strong bond between you and your dog.
Training your dog takes hard work and dedication, but both of you will feel the benefits of obedience classes. Your dog loves routine and is naturally bred to follow his owner’s commands. By training your Great Dane to understand the order of his pack, he will feel more contented at home and be less prone to misbehaviour.
The American Kennel Club recommends that you begin obedience training as soon as possible, with puppies as young as 16 weeks being able to start basic training by socialising with other dogs. Most dogs will benefit from the structure these classes provide, so it’s highly recommended that you enrol your pup in a course if you can!
Although Great Danes aren’t the best natural swimmers, most dogs will enjoy some natural exercise in the water. The low-impact nature of swimming can be an excellent exercise for Great Danes as this breed is prone to developing joint conditions such as hip dysplasia.
The gentle resistance of the water against your dog’s joints can help him get a good workout without causing too much strain on his bones. If you take your Great Dane jogging or your Danes go on long walks regularly, time spent swimming can help strengthen their muscles and protect them against these high-impact exercises in the future.
Can Great Danes Have Too Much Exercise?
As with all dog breeds, your Great Dane can be over-exercised, which can result in serious health issues later in his life. It’s generally recommended that dogs the size of a Great Dane enjoy an exercise routine of around 2 hours per day.
One hour of walking, at a regular pace, will allow your dog to explore his surroundings and gain mental stimulation from sniffing and searching. A further hour of dedicated exercise, like running, swimming, or obstacle course training can provide your Great Dane with the physical activity he needs to stay fit.
Always be aware of the risk of bloat in your Great Dane and never engage in physical activity an hour before or an hour after he has eaten.
How Much Exercise Does a Senior Great Dane Need?
As he gets older, your Great Dane exercise needs will gradually change. As a giant breed, Great Danes are generally considered to reach their senior years between 6 and 8. At this stage in his life, you should consider shortening his walks and limiting the amount of high-impact exercise he is exposed to.
We recommend that you schedule regular vet visits throughout your dog’s life, especially as he reaches old age. Every dog will be slightly different, and your vet can provide specific information on your dog’s nutritional and physical needs to make sure that he lives a long and happy life.
How Much Exercise Does a Great Dane Puppy Need?
Great care must be taken when exercising puppies belonging to a giant breed and you should follow puppy exercise guidelines. These dogs are incredibly prone to joint and bone issues as they grow due to their large size as adults. Though these pups may seem very energetic and playful, you should only factor in a short amount of physical activity per day.
Great Dane puppy exercise requirements
Great Dane puppies can be incredibly energetic but fragile dogs; here are some guidelines to follow as they grow.
Young puppies of 3-6 months will receive all of the exercise they need by simply exploring their new environment. A small amount of low-impact play with age-appropriate toys is all that will be required for Great Danes of this age.
At 6-12 months, your puppy should have received all of his puppy vaccinations. At this stage, he will benefit from short, 5-minute walks that help him learn about his surroundings. Introducing a pup of this age to fellow dogs and other pets will be great for his development.
At 12-18 months, your dog’s growth plates should have fully closed and he can now begin enjoying longer walks and jogs of around 15-20 minutes. You might consider joining a Great Dane club or other affiliate programs, that can help your pup’s further development.
Great Danes are known for their gentle and loving nature and some are perfectly happy being couch potatoes but they also need regular exercise to avoid health issues and lead a happy life!
If your Great Dane does not get enough exercise, they will become overweight, bored, and destructive. Giving your Great Dane plenty of long walks, off-leash play and changing up their exercise routine will help keep them healthy and stop them from developing undesirable behaviours.
As mentioned above, dog owners should be careful when exercising a Great Dane puppy as too much exercise can result in joint pain and may hinder your Great Dane’s development.
We do not constitute pet medical advice, so speak to your vet if you have any concerns about your Great Dane’s exercise routine.