Dog Breeds Dog Health

Do Great Danes Shed? Here’s Why Danes Shed & How to Deal With It

Great Danes are moderate to heavy shedders.
Written by Tiffany Jeng

If you’re thinking about getting a Great Dane or are just a curious dog lover, you might have wondered whether how much grooming is needed for these dogs. So, do Great Danes shed?  And how much do Great Danes shed? 

Most dogs shed, including Great Danes. As a matter of fact, they’re classed as “moderate” to “heavy” shedding dog breeds. Though there are non-shedding and hypoallergenic dogs, Great Danes are not in these categories. 

This is a quick answer to the question, of course. There is much more to learn about Great Danes in terms of shedding. Keep reading to find out more.

RECOMMENDED: Are Great Danes Good With Kids? 

The Great Dane

We asked real owners whether they thought their Great Danes were smart.

It is useful to understand the background of a breed to see if they were bred with certain characteristics in mind. Often, breeds develop and evolve because breeders choose dogs with specific characteristics.

The Great Dane was developed as a breed during the 16th century in Germany (see all German dogs here). With the Great Dane, breeders chose characteristics that were good for hunting boar.

Originally, these dogs were quite aggressive and ferocious. However, breeders were successful in producing calmer dogs over time.

Despite their large size, these dogs are gentle giants. They often behave like over-sized lap dogs! They are loving, loyal, and affectionate, which make them great pets.

When considering a pet, however, shedding is a serious consideration. No matter how much you love your pet, you won’t love the hair they shed!

Do Great Danes Shed Hair?

Let's further explore the reason why Great Danes shed so much.

As I’ve already mentioned, Great Danes do shed. In fact, most dogs shed. It is their way of getting rid of old or damaged hair.

There are two types of dog coats – single coats and double coats. When a breed has a double coat, it loses more hair through shedding and, thus, requires more grooming.

As far as Great Danes are concerned, they have a smooth and short single coat. The coat is relatively easy to groom and is pretty low maintenance. Still, they shed quite a bit. 

Great Danes shed more hair during the spring, but they do shed quite moderately throughout the year.

Excessive Hair Loss in Danes

Shedding is a normal process; you can’t prevent it from happening unless it’s in your dog’s DNA. Examples of dogs that don’t shed are Poodles and Shih Tzus. 

The frequency and amount of shed hair depend on the breed. However, diet and health also play a role in shedding. Excessive hair loss usually means there is something not quite right. It’s actually an indicator of a lot of health problems.

Excessive shedding could also be caused by poor diet and allergies. If your Great Dane is experiencing severe shedding during normal months, consult with your veterinarian. 

Fur & Shedding Phases

Great Danes are great with kids because they're patient, dependable and friendly dogs.

When considering shedding, a frequent question is often “why do dogs have fur?”

As with many animals, fur is there to help the dog keep constant body temperature. It protects the animal from the cold, the heat, and the sun.

But, because every strand of hair eventually stops growing or gets damaged, it sheds. New hair comes in its place.

Just like your own, all dogs’ hair follicles have a growth cycle with many phases. These are:

1. The Growing Phase (Anagen Phase) – This is when new hair is growing.

2. The Transition Phase (Catagen Phase) – This is when the hair stops growing. Hair follicles shrink during this phase and detach from dermal papillae.

3. The Resting Phase (Telogen Phase) – The hair is not growing and it is not shedding. At this point, a new hair starts the growing phrase.

4. The New Hair Phase (Exogen Phase) – This is when the hair sheds and the new hair takes its place.

The timings of these phases vary between breeds. Poodles and other low-shedding dogs spend longer in the first phase.

The thickness of the coat also depends on the season. When there are more daylight hours and warmer temperatures, a dog’s coat will be thinner. This is why there is more shedding in spring as the temperatures begin to rise and the daylight hours become longer.

Amount of Shedding in Great Danes

Great Danes are moderate to high shedding dogs.

By now, you’ll know that Great Danes are moderate to heavy shedders with a single coat.

But, Great Danes appear to shed more than other breeds with a similar-style coat. Why is this?

It’s actually quite simple. Great Danes are huge! They appear to shed more simply because they are larger and have more fur due to their size.

It’s worth bearing this in mind, therefore, when choosing a pet. Having a Great Dane will likely mean you will have a good amount of hair on furniture, carpets, and clothing.

Great Danes Blowing Out

The phrase “blowing out” refers to the time when dogs lose their winter coat in favor of a summer coat. This occurs during the springtime when the daily average temperature rises and there is more daylight in a 24-hour period.

Dog breeds that blow out during these seasons have double coats. Fortunately, Great Danes have single coats and don’t experience the typical coat blow outs. Still, shedding will increase with Danes in the spring time.

But fear not! There are ways of managing the shedding as a Great Dane owner. Let’s take a look at some things you can do to reduce the impact of shedding in your home.

Dealing with Great Dane Shedding

Grooming a Great Dane is not difficult, however, it takes some time and patience.

You’ll know by now that shedding comes hand in hand with dog and Great Dane ownership. There are lots of things that you can do, though, to make this a small problem rather than a big one.

1. Groom Your Great Dane

One of the best ways to minimize the problems caused by Great Dane shedding is via regular grooming.

This means regular fur brushing. Brushing your Great Dane’s coat regularly not only stimulates blood flow but it removes loose fur too. This fur is trapped on the brush rather than being shed.

You should make brushing a part of your regular Great Dane grooming routing, which includes cleaning the dog’s ears and teeth, and trimming its nails.

I’d highly recommend using the Furminator De-shedding Brush. Dog owners swear by it, for good reason! It’s the ultimate brush  for removing loose hair for dogs with both a single and double coat. Using a Furejector, a single push of a button allows you to release the hair quickly. They even claim it removes 95% of all loose hair!

For a Great Dane, you’ll want to get the large or giant size for short hair dog breeds. With thousands of raving reviews, you really can’t go wrong with a Furminator! Give it a try and you’ll see what we mean. 

2. Good Brushing Technique

If you can’t get a Furminator, the second best option is to use a bristle brush that is quite firm. Brushing should be done at least once or twice a week. During a heavy shedding time like spring, it’s a good idea to brush your Great Dane every day. This will help you keep on top of the fur situation in your home.

A good brushing should take around 5 to 15 minutes. In order to minimize problems with shed hairs in your home, carry out the brushing in the yard or garden.

3. Bathing Your Great Dane

Great Danes are very prone to getting dry skin, which means you shouldn’t give them baths too frequently. Bathing too often will remove essential oils from their skin, which will make it dry and itchy.

It is important, though, that you bath your Great Dane every few weeks in order to remove dirt and dead hairs.

Don’t be tempted to use your own soap or shampoo. You should opt for a dog-friendly option that is PH neutral. Look for ingredients like oats or oatmeal. These are great for keeping your Great Dane’s coat and skin really healthy.

My favorite dog shampoo is by far the Bodhi Dog Oatmeal Shampoo. It’s made with high quality oatmeal and is all natural! Detergent-free, alcohol-free and 100% non-toxic. It also has a light apple scent to keep your Great Dane smelling great all the time.
Bathing your dog isn’t going to be easy because Great Danes are massive dogs! If you don’t have the time or ability, consider taking him or her to a professional dog groomer instead! Otherwise, it’s a great bonding experience for you and your dog. 

4. Better Nutrition, Less Shedding

A healthy and balanced diet will help to lower the amount of hair your Great Dane sheds. Feeding your dog a good quality dog food is really important. Great Danes need meat at the main ingredient because this is the easiest thing for them to digest.

You could also consider including a supplement of Omega 3 to their diet. This is great for healthy hair and skin.

Being able to drink fresh water means your dog is able to get rid of toxins and bacteria in his body too.

5. Minimize Shedding Around the Home

It is annoying when your Great Dane’s fur is on your furniture and clothing. There are things you can do to combat this. We’ve already discussed regular grooming but there are things you need to do in your home too.

You can win the battle of dog hair with regular vacuuming. Invest in a vacuum cleaner that is good at picking up dog hair – this is usually part of its advertising as it’s a really great feature.

Any furniture that has removable covers can be washed regularly – as often as weekly if required.

When it comes to flooring, the best thing you can get is hardwood or tiles. If you prefer a carpeted floor, choose a color that will hide your dog’s hairs!

Is My Great Dane Shedding Too Much?

If you’ve previously had a moderate shedder but not a Great Dane, you might think that your Great Dane is shedding too much. It is likely, however, that your Great Dane is a lot bigger, which means they have more fur to start with. More fur = more shedding.

If you have any concerns that your Great Dane is shedding more than you would expect, consult your local vet. Shedding usually is no big deal unless it’s excessive and unlike them to do so.

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About the author

Tiffany Jeng

Tiffany is a product of Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine (class of 2022). Combined with over 5 years of veterinary technician experience, she's dedicated her life and career to dogs. When she's not studying or working, she's taking care of her Mini Australian Shepherd - Olympus! Read More.

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