The Great Dane — the gentle giant — is a beloved breed who’s great for families and has a majestic appearance. However, as one of the largest dog breeds, their extra size means they take up more couch space, need more food, and have more fur to shed.
Potential owners want to know how much loose hair they should expect to pick up and whether Great Danes are good for allergies. So, do Great Danes shed? Yes, they do.
Read on to learn more about how much this breed sheds and what you can expect if you’re an allergy sufferer. Then, we’ll learn how to maintain your Great Dane’s healthy coat of fur to keep their loose fur to a minimum.
How Much Does the Great Dane Shed?
Do Great Danes shed? Yes. Great Danes are considered moderate to heavy shedders. If you adopt one, you should be prepared to find a fair amount of dog hair around your home.
How much a dog sheds has a lot to do with the dog’s coat type. Some dogs have single coats, which consist of one layer of fur, and some have double coats with a thicker undercoat and a thinner top coat. Dogs who have a double coat have two layers of fur, and they shed extra during twice-annual shedding seasons, so they shed a lot more than single-coated breeds.
Here’s the good news: The Great Dane is a single-coated dog breed, so you don’t have to worry about seasonal shedding.
The bad news is, because of the Great Dane’s massive size, they still shed a large amount of hair. There’s just more surface area covered in dog fur, which results in more loose hair around your home.
The Shedding Life Cycle
All dog hair, the Great Dane’s included, undergoes a life cycle that consists of multiple phases:
- The anagen phase: At the start of the cycle, new hairs start to grow.
- The catagen phase: The hair stops growing and hair follicles at the base of each hair strand shrink.
- The telogen phase: Also known as the resting phase, the hair is not growing or shedding during this period. But new hair is beginning its own growth phase.
- The exogen phase: The old hair sheds and the new hair takes its place.
So, why do Great Danes shed rather heavily when other dogs don’t? The answer involves the timing of these phases.
Low- or non-shedding dogs — the poodle, for instance — spend longer in the initial anagen phase than other dog breeds. Simply put, they spend a much longer time growing their new hair, rather than shedding it. A Great Dane and other moderate to heavy shedders spend more time in the other phases, so they shed hair more often.
Are Great Danes Hypoallergenic?
Technically, no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, even hairless breeds and non-shedding breeds. That’s because allergies are actually caused by a protein in pet dander (dead skin flakes), not dog hair itself. But dander attaches to dog hair, so the more a dog sheds, the more likely it is to cause allergies.
Since the Great Dane does shed a moderate to heavy amount, it’s definitely not a hypoallergenic dog. If you or your family members are allergic to dander, a Great Dane is likely to trigger allergies to some extent.
Of course, just because this breed isn’t the best dog for allergy sufferers doesn’t mean you can’t adopt a Great Dane. You’ll just need to take some extra steps to keep your gentle giant’s coat in great shape to reduce shedding.
Good grooming practices coupled with minor lifestyle changes can help some allergy sufferers live comfortably with shedding breeds like the Great Dane. Such changes include using HEPA air filters, keeping your dog off of the bed, cleaning regularly, taking allergy medication, and managing your dog’s fur.
How Can I Maintain My Great Dane’s Coat?
Keeping your dog’s coat in good shape isn’t just about appearances, although it certainly keeps your Great Dane looking their best. A healthy coat means less dry skin, which equals less dead hair. And that means less shedding overall, so you don’t have to clean up as much loose fur.
Here’s how to make sure your Great Dane’s coat stays healthy:
Running a bristle brush through your Great Dane’s fur will help pick up their loose hair so it doesn’t fly around the house. Plus, regular grooming helps to spread natural skin oils through the coat to all of the hair follicles, keeping the hair moisturized and reducing shedding further.
Your Great Dane probably won’t need to be bathed all that often, and bathing a dog too frequently can actually dry out the skin and lead to more shedding. But a bath every few months or so is another good way to maintain your dog’s coat of fur. (Always use a dog shampoo, as it’s made specifically for our canine friends.)
We understand that bathing a Great Dane can be quite the undertaking, simply because of the breed’s extra-large size. Enlist the help of a family member or friend, or even to visit a local dog groomer when bath time comes around.
Another way for Great Dane owners to maintain their dogs’ healthy coats and reduce shedding is to feed them well. That’s because good nutrition helps to keep the skin healthy, which in turn makes for a healthy coat with less hair loss.
Check with your vet to find out if your dog’s food is up to par. If it’s not, you’ll want to upgrade to a premium food that supplies your Great Dane with all of the essential nutrients they require.
Another way to make sure your dog’s coat stays in good shape via the diet? Supplement it with Native Pet’s Omega Oil, which is packed with omega-3 fatty acids to benefit the coat and skin. Plus, omega-3 fatty acids can improve your dog’s heart and joint health, too.
Have you noticed excessive shedding in your dog, seemingly out of nowhere? A health issue could be to blame. One of the most common issues that affects our dogs’ coats is parasites. Fleas, as well as ticks, mites, and lice, can cause hair loss and other serious symptoms if they’re not dealt with.
Visit your vet to pick up preventative medications to ward off worms, fleas, ticks, and other parasitic pests, or to seek treatment if your dog is already dealing with an infestation. Preventatives are simply the best way to keep your dog pest-free and healthy in the long-term, but home remedies for fleas and other pests can also help.
Do Great Danes Shed a Lot?
Do Great Danes shed? Yes. They’re considered moderate to heavy-shedding dogs even though they only have a single coat. Part of the reason for this is because of their sheer size — your Great Dane might think they’re a tiny lap dog, but all of that surface area tends to put off a lot of hair. Plus, their hair grows more quickly than low- or non-shedding breeds, resulting in dead hair releasing more often.
Dog owners with allergies will probably have some reaction to a Great Dane. This breed is not hypoallergenic, so allergy sufferers who want to adopt a Great Dane should prepare to take steps to manage their dog’s fur.
To maintain your dog’s healthy coat and keep shedding under control, follow some basic practices:
- Brush your Great Dane regularly
- Bathe them occasionally
- Feed them well
- Keep them on preventative medications for pest infestations
That way, you’ll keep shedding to a minimum and have a lot less loose hair floating around your home.
Still thinking about whether to bring a Great Dane home? Learn more about this breed in our Native Pet blog articles: