Why Do Great Danes Bark So Much? Here’s Why And How To Stop It 

Barking is a vocalization behavior displayed by dogs, including Great Danes. It is a natural form of communication for dogs and serves various purposes.  The barking can range from a soft, low growl to a loud, intense bark, depending on the dog and the situation.

So, why does  your Great Dane bark so much? When should you intervene?

We’ll delve into the various reasons why a Great Dane may bark a lot and how to address this behavior.

Here’s why your Great Dane barks so much

A Great Dane barks as a natural form of communication, and they may bark a lot due to territorial behavior, fear, attention-seeking behavior, illness, and old age. Understanding the underlying cause of a Great Dane’s barking is important in addressing and managing their behavior effectively.

Why do Great Danes bark so much

Great Dane barking

Barking is a vocalization behavior of dogs, including Great Danes. It is a natural form of communication for canines and serves various purposes. 

The barking can range from a soft, low growl to a loud, intense bark, depending on an individual Great Dane and the situation.

Great Danes, being a large breed, have a deep and powerful bark. They can use barking to communicate their needs, express their emotions, or alert their owners to potential dangers.

Do Great Dane dogs bark a lot?

No, Great Dane dogs do not bark a lot. They are generally known to be calm and gentle dogs. However, individual behavior can vary, and there are always exceptions. Some Great Danes may be more prone to barking than others due to their unique personalities, experiences, or specific triggers.

A  Great Dane’s barking behavior is also influenced by factors such as training, socialization, and the environment in which they are raised.

While Great Danes may not bark excessively without reason, they can still bark when necessary, such as to alert their owners or communicate their needs.

Do Great Dane puppies bark a lot?

Great Dane puppies, like puppies of any breed, can engage in occasional bouts of barking. However, it is important to note that Great Dane puppy barking may not be as pronounced or loud as that of adult Great Danes due to their smaller size and less developed vocal capabilities.

Generally, Great Dane puppies are known for being relatively calm and easygoing compared to some other breeds. 

They may bark when they are playing, excited, or seeking attention. However, excessive or persistent barking is less common in Great Dane puppies compared to certain other breeds known for their barking.

Related: Great Dane howling: What your Great Dane is trying to tell you

Common reasons for Great Dane barking

It is important to observe your Great Dane’s body language and the context in which they bark to better understand the specific message being conveyed. 

This understanding helps you to understand your dog which helps you to ensure your dog’s needs are met appropriately.

The common reasons a Great Dane barks a lot include:


Barking is a natural form of communication for dogs. They may bark to alert their owners or to communicate their needs, such as hunger, thirst, or the need to go outside.

Territorial behavior

When a Great Dane barks, they may actually be alerting their owner to a potential threat or danger. 

Dogs have a natural instinct to protect their territory and their pack, which includes their human family. 

So, if your Great Dane hears or smells something that they sense is a potential threat, they may bark to alert their owners and draw their attention to the situation.

For example, a Great Dane may bark at the sound of someone approaching the house, even if the person is not yet visible to their owner. 

This can be a useful warning signal for the dog’s owners to be aware of the presence of a potential visitor or intruder.

This is natural and they may bark to protect their territory from perceived threats like other animals or strange people.


Frightening situations can scare a Great Dane which results in barking. This is a normal reaction to the stimulus which also includes coiling in fear, hiding or avoidance, defecation in the home, and aggression. 

Loud noises, traumatic experiences such as mistreatment, and exposure to new people or pets are some examples of what can cause fear in a Great Dane. 

Attention seeking behavior

Barking is also a way for Great Danes to get their owner’s attention, either for affection or to get something they want, such as food or a toy.

Dogs naturally crave attention from both their owners and when they don’t receive enough of it, they might turn to barking.

This is especially true for Great Danes that are left alone for long periods of time and this occurs due to separation anxiety or loneliness.


A Great Dane can also bark due to illness because of pain or discomfort they are experiencing.

Other changes in behavior due to illness can include a Great Dane becoming lethargic, retching, disinterest in any activities, loss of appetite, irritability, eating of grass, abnormal gait, and other strange behaviors.


Older Great Danes may bark a lot due to aging. This is because older dogs may experience sensory decline, which can cause them to become more easily confused or disoriented.

This means they may perceive sights, sounds, or smells that are not actually present. This leads to excessive barking because of a lack of understanding of their surroundings.

An aging Great Dane can also bark because of the decline in cognitive function commonly known as canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD). 

The condition is similar to Alzheimer’s disease in humans, in that, when a Great Dane gets older, their cognitive abilities such as memory, attention, audio or visual processing, and mental sharpness decline. This causes them to become more anxious or stressed and can lead to increased barking.

In some cases, older Great Danes may also experience physical discomfort or pain from illnesses, which can cause them to become more vocal, meaning they will bark in response to discomfort or frustration.

Other strange behaviors in old age include sleeping a lot, sleep cycle disturbance, anxiety, restlessness, irritability, growling at nothing, getting lost, clinginess, disorientation, bathroom accidents in the house, or pacing for no reason.

How to stop a Great Dane from barking

If your dog is healthy with no signs of illness, there is no cause for concern because it is normal for dogs to bark. However, it is important to know the meaning behind your dog’s behavior so that you can address the situation.

Find the trigger

First, generally assess the possible reason behind your dog’s behavior, whether it is due to illness, injury, or any other stimulus. Observe their behavior and try to determine the cause.

Is your dog barking repeatedly in a certain situation because they’re scared, sick or they have seen or heard something? Are they barking and staring to get your attention? Are they behaving this way to protect their territory? Are they barking because of aging challenges?

Once you have a better understanding of their behavior you can act in a way that is appropriate and meet your dog’s needs. This includes:

Paying attention to the situation 

Are raising an alarm due to something they have heard or seen that is a potential threat to them or to you.

Provide a quiet area

If the barking and staring is due to fear caused by a particular trigger, remove your Great Dane from the situation and minimize exposing them to situations that may frighten them. 

Create a designated quiet and comfortable space for your Great Dane where they can retreat when they feel anxious or overwhelmed. This can be a crate or a specific room where they can relax and feel secure.

Provide sufficient exercise and mental stimulation

Ensure that your Great Dane is getting enough physical exercise and mental stimulation. A tired and stimulated dog is less likely to engage in excessive barking out of boredom or pent-up energy.

Positive Reinforcement Training

Use positive reinforcement techniques to train your Great Dane to bark only when appropriate and to stop barking on command. 

Reward them with treats, praise, and attention when they are calm and quiet, and redirect their focus to a desirable behavior instead of barking.

Related: When do Great Dane puppies calm down?

When to seek help

Consult your veterinarian if you are unsure of the cause of your Great Dane’s barking. Also contact the veterinarian if you suspect that the behavior stems from an underlying medical issue, or if the behavior is causing distress to your dog or to those around them.

The veterinarian will determine the underlying cause and offer advice on how to address the behavior.

It is also particularly important to see a veterinarian if your Great Dane’s barking is: 

  • A sudden change of behavior: If barking is sudden or unusual, it could be an indication of an underlying medical condition or psychological problem.  Your veterinarian will conduct a thorough examination of your dog, and perform the necessary diagnostic tests to identify the reason for the behavior and provide a solution.
  • Accompanied by other symptoms: When barking is accompanied by other symptoms, it is important to see a veterinarian as soon as possible. Symptoms such as loss of appetite, lethargy, or other behavior changes could indicate a medical problem that need to be addressed.
  • Barking becomes problematic: If your Great Dane’s barking becomes an issue for neighbors, other people, or even for you, it is important to seek assistance. A veterinarian or professional dog trainer will offer guidance on stopping or minimizing the behavior.

The veterinarian may also refer you to a qualified dog trainer who can further help to adjust your dog’s behavior. A certified trainer can help you minimize and stop your dog’s behavior.

It is important to remember that it may take time and effort to address your dog’s barking and it may be necessary to try a combination of different approaches in training. With patience and consistency, it is often possible to adjust behavior.

Key Takeaway

Great Danes are not generally known for excessive barking. They are known for their calm and gentle nature. While Great Danes can bark like any other dog, they are not considered to be a particularly vocal breed.

Great Danes typically bark for specific reasons such as alerting their owners to potential threats, or communicating their needs. However, they are not prone to constant or excessive barking without reason.

Individual dogs within any breed can vary in their behavior and tendencies. Therefore some Great Danes may be more prone to barking than others due to their unique personalities or specific triggers.

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