Do Great Danes attack? Important Facts To Know About Great Dane Aggression

Great Danes are commonly referred to as “gentle giants” due to their friendly and gentle nature. But is there a possibility of them being aggressive and attacking? 

Do Great Danes attack? Although they have a warm temperament, Great Danes can attack and because of their size and strength, their attack can be deadly. Their attack can cause serious injury or even worse, death. Just like all dog breeds, Great Danes do have a tendency to attack based on the dog’s individual personality and situation. Some factors can cause them to attack humans, other dogs, or pets.

In this article, we aim to show you if the Great Dane is dangerous, the signs of aggression, if they attack other dogs and what makes them aggressive.

Are Great Danes Dangerous?

do great danes attack

Great Danes are generally affectionate, gentle, friendly, and good-natured dogs. However, just like any other dog breed, they can be dangerous when they display aggressive behavior.

The aggressive behavior of Great Danes can be due to factors such as lack of proper training and socialization, being in pain or discomfort, mistreatment, the individual dog’s personality due to their upbringing, protectiveness around their food around other dogs, when they feel challenged, sense danger or a threat from people, pets and dogs they are not familiar with.

For this good-natured dog, they are not known to be dangerous but they can be based on the above factors.

Signs of Great Dane Aggression

The Great Dane’s personality describes a gentle, laid back, and affectionate dog.

They are not known to be aggressive and are a great selection of a family dog where they get along with children and other pets.

Having been taken through socialization and training, they are a good fit for this purpose.

However, they can also attack humans, dogs, or other pets and even socially trained dogs can have aggressive tendencies and can attack.

Signs of this aggressive aggressive behavior can be observed before an attack happens through the dog’s body language. The signs of this include:

  • Growling
  • Barking
  • The rigidity of their body
  • Display of teeth 
  • staring
  • Consequent biting

As an owner or someone near a Great Dane, these are the signs to look out for that indicate the dog is becoming aggressive and may attack.

Can a Great Dane kill a human?

A Great Dane can kill a human because of its sheer size, strength, and powerful bite which can inflict serious injury on a person which can be fatal  and cause death. The Great Dane is a giant dog with an enormous size and combined with their weight which can be up to 180 pounds, they can overpower a human.

Their bite is categorized as one of the most fatal dog bites by a dog breed. Great Dane attacks are not common but can happen. There are reported cases of human deaths caused by Great Dane attacks.

Do Great Danes Attack Other Dogs?

Great Danes can attack other dogs, especially dogs that they are not familiar with because of territorial aggression and lack of proper training and socialization.

The Great Dane is a good family dog meaning they integrate well with their owner and families as well as their other dogs or pets.

This is achieved by early training and socialization. However, if this is not provided they can have tendencies of aggression towards other dogs.

They are protective of their families and homes and can attack other dogs that may be introduced or approach the home.

Also, this can happen when they are threatened or sense danger from other dogs. They are usually on high alert for signs of danger or intrusion.

Aggression can be controlled and managed through socialization and training. 

Recommended Reading: What do Great Danes usually die from?

What makes a Great Dane aggressive?

Factors that can lead a Great Dane to be aggressive and attack include:

Territorial aggression

A Great Dane can be territorial and can show aggressive behavior when they detect a threat to their space, their owners, family’s property, from people or dogs they do not know approaching them.

Signs of aggression is also seen around food. Food aggression is a display of protectiveness of their food when another dog approaches them when eating.

Socialization and training are important to expose a Great Dane to people and dogs to enable them to integrate with them to have good behavior around them.

This will train them to be less reactive to strangers and unfamiliar dogs. 

Pain and discomfort

A Great Dane in pain or discomfort as a result of injury or illness can display aggressive behavior.Pain and discomfort can make them lash out in an expression of what they are feeling.

As a Great Dane owner, it is important to be aware of this and seek medical attention for your dog.


Mistreatment of a Great Dane by their caretakers or owners can also trigger aggressive behavior.

Any form of abuse or mistreatment can leave them traumatized and they may show aggression when they feel threatened and need to defend themselves when they experience this again.

Mistreatment develops mistrust and fear of people and can lead to this sudden unpredictable behavior.

Lack of proper training

Aggressive behavior can also be brought about by a lack of proper obedience and behavior training.

Naturally, all dogs have an aggression potential and this is usually kept under control by behavioral training. This makes them less likely to be aggressive and have good behavior.

In the event they are not trained properly from a young age to adulthood, aggressive behavior may be a problem.


Great Danes are not known to be aggressive dogs that often attack. However, they can attack humans as well as other dogs or pets.

This aggressive behavior can be triggered by a dog’s present circumstances, individual personality, and other factors.

A Great Dane owner should be aware of this and the signs of potential aggression so that they can know how to protect themselves and other people around as well as have their dog trained to prevent potential attacks.

We hope this article helped you know whether the Great Dane is dangerous, the signs of aggression, if they attack other dogs and what makes them aggressive.

Attacks by Great Danes are not common, however, they can happen. So it is good to know and to be aware of these factors surrounding their aggressive behavior. 

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