How Big Are Great Danes Compared To Other Breeds (And Wolves)?

large great dane next to another dog

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Great Danes are some of the biggest dogs in the world, and it can be hard to fully comprehend just how huge they are until you are actually standing in front of a Dane. 

However, if you don’t have a Great Dane handy, just read on to put their size into perspective. In this article, we’ll cover how Danes stack up size-wise against wolves and other dog breeds that you might be more familiar with.

Let’s dive in!

Size Measurements: Height vs. Weight

Before we get into our size comparisons, it’s important to note that there are two main ways to measure size: height and weight. If you have two dogs and one is taller but the other is heavier, which dog is bigger? 

It’s hard to say. 

So, in this article, we’ll be looking at both height and weight as determining size factors. While we will discuss a few enormous record-breaking individual dogs, we will be mostly comparing the average height and weight of the breeds in question – there may of course be outliers in the real world that do not match our assessments.

Like most four-legged animals, a dog’s height is generally measured from floor to shoulder as the dog stands on all fours.

Alright, now that we’ve got our measurements clear, let’s start by looking at the average height and weight of Great Danes.

How Big Are Great Danes?

Great Danes are often called the Apollos of dogs, since they are so large and majestic. However, there is quite a bit of variation within the breed in terms of size.

So, how big are Great Danes?

An average adult male Great Dane will stand 30-36 inches tall and weigh anywhere from 140-200 pounds, while an average adult female Dane will measure 28-33 inches at the shoulder and weigh 100-140 pounds.

However, the tallest dog ever recorded was a Great Dane named Zeus, who grew to an astounding 44 inches at the shoulder. Yes, that is 3 feet, 8 inches tall – roughly the height of an average 6-year-old human – not even counting the dog’s head and neck! 

Zeus was very lanky, weighing only about 155 pounds. On the other hand, some shorter Danes have tipped the scales at more than 245 pounds.

Great Danes grow extremely fast, starting at only about 1-2 pounds at birth and often reaching their full height within 1-1.5 years and their full weight within 2 years.

Are Great Danes Bigger Than Wolves?

There are several subspecies of wolves, and their size varies based on the region they live in. However, on average, adult wolves measure 31-33 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 80 and 90 pounds. Females are generally slighter shorter and lighter than males, although there is less of a pronounced gender size difference than we usually see in dogs.

Although very uncommon, there have been exceptionally large male wolves recorded, weighing up to 175 pounds. These enormous specimens have been found in Alaska, Canada, and middle Russia. Dire wolves are technically extinct, but a 175-pound wolf sounds straight out of Game of Thrones if you ask me…

So, are Great Danes bigger than wolves?

On average, Great Danes are slightly taller and significantly heavier than wolves. However, a small female Great Dane could potentially be about the same height and weight as a relatively large female wolf.

Wolves can also appear larger since they have longer, fluffier fur than Great Danes. But, at the end of the day, the average Great Dane will be taller and heavier than the average wolf.

Are Great Danes Bigger Than Mastiffs?

Now let’s compare Great Danes to some other dog breeds, starting with Mastiffs. Mastiffs are also quite large, and they are generally heavier-set than Danes. Adult male Mastiffs can measure 30-36 inches at the shoulder and weigh 160-260 pounds or more, while females stand around 27.5-32 inches tall and weigh between 120-170 pounds on average.

So, are Great Danes bigger than Mastiffs?

Great Danes are just a hair taller than Mastiffs on average, although Mastiffs can be quite a bit heavier than Danes due to their stouter legs, thicker bodies, and generally beefier body type.

In fact, an Old English Mastiff named Zorba is said to have weighed an astronomical 345 pounds. He wasn’t astonishingly tall, measuring only 37 inches at the shoulder. For reference, that is approximately the height and weight of an adult male black bear!

Are Great Danes Bigger Than St. Bernards?

St. Bernards are big dogs who can actually appear even bigger than they are thanks to their massive heads and abundance of fluffy fur. Adult male St. Bernards are generally 28-30 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 140 and 180 pounds, while adult females are 26-28 inches tall on average and weigh 120-140 pounds.

So, are Great Danes bigger than St. Bernards?

Great Danes are generally both taller and heavier than St. Bernards, although St. Bernards sometimes appear to be larger due to their massive heads, fluffy fur, and thicker bodies. Great Danes can look svelte in comparison, with their sleek short fur, accentuated tuck-up, and long legs.

There is some debate as to which dog is actually the heaviest in the world, and Guinness World Records did not have an answer immediately available on their website. However, a St. Bernard named Benedictine is alleged to have weighed 357 pounds (or 315 pounds, depending on the source), earning the GWR title for heaviest dog in 1981. The details are hazy though, so don’t quote me on this one.

The point is, like all breeds and types of animals for that matter, there are some exceptionally large specimens of St. Bernards that are far larger than the average Great Dane.

Are Great Danes Bigger Than Irish Wolfhounds?

Irish Wolfhounds are very tall dogs, with adult males standing at least 32 inches tall at the shoulder and adult females measuring 30 or more inches tall. However, they resemble their Greyhound relatives in terms of both build and speed. Males can weigh 120-180 pounds while females weigh 90-110 pounds, and they can run at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour.

So, are Great Danes bigger than Irish Wolfhounds?

Great Danes are often shorter but heavier than Irish Wolfhounds. In fact, Irish Wolfhounds are often touted as the tallest dog breed. But, their Greyhound ancestors gave them both a daintier body type and incredible speed, making them lighter than Great Danes in general.

Towering Irish Wolfhounds are famed for their aptitude as sighthounds, and they were originally bred to hunt enormous now-extinct 6-foot-tall Irish elk. Later, they were used to hunt wolves – hence the breed name.

Are Great Danes Bigger Than Cane Corsi?

The Cane Corso (plural: Cane Corsi) is an Italian mastiff breed that, while large, is significantly smaller than the Great Dane. The average male Cane Corso stands 24-28 inches at the shoulder and weighs 100-110 pounds, while the average female is 23-26 inches tall and weighs 90-100 pounds. 

So, are Great Danes bigger than Cane Corsi?

Yes, Great Danes are essentially always both taller and heavier than Cane Corso dogs. However, as with all breeds, there are some outlier Cane Corsi that may weigh as much as 200 pounds or more, potentially outweighing a Great Dane.

Unfortunately, Cane Corsi have somewhat scary reputations and some breeders/owners have trained their Corsi into dangerous killing machines. However, that is certainly not representative of the breed as a whole, and Cane Corsi can make wonderful loving family pets as you can see in this video:

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Are Great Danes Bigger Than Dobermans?

Dobermans are large, powerful dogs, but they are also significantly smaller than Great Danes on average. Adult male Dobermans are usually between 26-28 inches tall and weigh 75-100 pounds, while females are 24-26 inches tall and weigh 60-90 pounds. 

So, are Great Danes bigger than Dobermans?

Yes, Great Danes are significantly heavier and taller than Dobermans – Danes are generally 4-8 inches taller and 40-100 pounds heavier.

However, Dobermans are occasionally mixed with other larger breeds, which creates bigger dogs that might be mistaken for very large purebred Dobermans.

Are Great Danes Bigger Than German Shepherds?

The German Shepherd is another relatively large dog that is sometimes compared to Great Danes. However, Danes are quite a bit bigger than German Shepherds on average. Male German Shepherds are usually 24-26 inches tall and weigh 65-90 pounds, while females are 22-24 inches tall and weigh 50-70 pounds on average.

So, are Great Danes bigger than German Shepherds?

Yes, Great Danes are considerably larger than German Shepherds in terms of both height and weight.

German Shepherds have long bodies and thick double-layer coats that sometimes make them appear larger than they really are. However, they have shorter legs than Great Danes, shallower chests, and smaller heads with more pointed snouts. That’s not to say I would want to tangle with an angry German Shepherd, but they are medium-sized dogs relative to Great Danes.

Closing Thoughts

While there are some breeds that can either outweigh or stand taller than Great Danes, there aren’t any breeds that can regularly do both. Of course, this entire article is based on averages, and you may very well find a short, small Great Dane that is dwarfed by a tall, heavy St. Bernard or an elusive 175-pound wolf. 

Do you have a dog that can make a Great Dane look small? Tell us about it in the comments!

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