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5 Signs Your Great Dane Is Bored & What To Do About It

| Published on September 6, 2016

Great Danes are a wonderful mix of nobility and goofiness. They’re open books and it’s fairly easy to see their basic emotions. Most Dane owners are pretty attuned to their dog’s needs – when they are hungry, tired, need out, etc. Sometimes, however, we forget that our Danes can get bored, just like us! In order to stop the boredom, first you need to be able to recognize it. Here are 5 signs your Great Dane is bored and how to bust that boredom!

Image Source: Erin Campbell Smith via Flickr
Image Source: Erin Campbell Smith via Flickr

#1 – Destructive Behavior

Great Danes can easily destroy anything they choose to – all Dane owners know this. If your Dane is being destructive (and is not teething or suffering from separation anxiety), it means he’s bored. Too much energy and not enough outlets equals a nice chew fest. You didn’t give him something to do, so he is occupying himself. It’s as simple as that.

#2 – Demand Barking

Does your Great Dane bark at you incessantly? Guess what? He IS trying to tell you something. Mainly, “I am bored, play with me!” Don’t give in to it, however, that will just reinforce the barking. Instead, wait for him to be quiet and then find him something better to do.

#3 – Whining

Whining can be a tricky behavior to figure out. Danes can be vocal and whining is definitely something they use to get what they want. She may need to go outside, she may be stressed, or even in pain. But a bored Dane will whine as well. If you’ve ruled out the other reasons, it could be she is bored. Especially in young dogs, you may find them whining at the door when they just went to the bathroom or while following you around.


#4 – Listlessness

While some Great Danes get destructive when they are bored, others get listless. These Danes have pretty much given up on getting to do something and can actually be depressed. If your Great Dane is just lying on the floor staring into nothing – she may be bored. At this point, it’s time to get up and do something!

#5 – Getting in Your Face

Dogs use body language to communicate with us, whether we understand them or not. Does your Great Dane force himself into your space and get right into your face – staring at you? He may also push you with his nose or paw. Your Dane is begging you for attention or something to do.

How To Bust Your Great Dane’s Boredom

Image Source: Jean via Flickr
Image Source: Jean via Flickr


Luckily, there are many ways to keep your Great Dane from getting bored and displaying these unpleasant behaviors. Exercise is a great choice, but you will still need to give his brain something to do. Training not only wears them out mentally, but also physically, effectively curbing that boredom. Puzzle toys are another way to keep your Dane occupied. If they crave doggy play time, try a doggy day care. In short, anything that provides mental and physical stimulation will help your Dane not be bored. Even snuggle time, which we know all Danes love, could be the cure. And don’t forget, no matter their age, dogs get bored. Even older dogs need attention and things to do, even if the activity has to be lower-key now that they have entered their golden years.


Frequently Ask Questions:

Most of the time, Great Danes are kind, loving dogs full of life and personality. However, Great Danes can be stubborn, but with the right treats, they can be trained as they are very food-motivated. These dogs need a lot to keep them busy; if not, they will find the wrong ways to entertain themselves. Find out what unique challenges you face with this fun breed.

Do Great Danes Chew A Lot?

Great Danes have big, strong jaws and teeth that they love to chew on, and they like to have something they can chew on. The only problem is that because their jaws are so strong and big, they may end up chewing on more things than most dogs. This is not only a big problem because it can cause damage to your property, but it can also be dangerous for the dogs if they decide to chew on something that could hurt them, like poison or live wires.

The causes for chewing are vast, starting with something as simple as puppies teething. Although, many Danes chew because of stress as a means to cope with separation anxiety. Next, Great Danes are bored when not active. They gnaw on anything when bored. While not high-energy dogs, they need stimulation and exercise.

Are Great Danes Destructive?

Great Danes are huge, high-energy canines. If not used constructively, their energy can destroy everything in your home. This is why these dogs are not good for owners without the time or space to exercise and play with them. Some owners say Great Danes are destructive when left alone.

If you live in a small apartment with no outdoor area and can not exercise a Great Dane every day, this may not be the best breed for you. Most habits and traits are established by the environment they are raised in; therefore, not all Great Danes are precisely alike. However, you can train a Great Dane puppy to eliminate most of its aggressive or destructive instincts.

Do Great Danes Bark A Lot?

Great Danes, on the whole, are not known to be particularly vocal dogs. However, they may warn their owners about visitors outside the house or unexpected conditions. Still, it is not common for dogs of this breed to maintain noisy habits, especially if they are given basic training to minimize barking while they are young.

How Do I Know If My Great Dane Is Happy?

When you come home after being gone for a while, and your Great Dane jumps up at you excitedly, that is a sign that he or she is content with their life. Some other signs can include a relaxed mouth that looks like a grin, they wiggle their bottom and wagging their tail often, and they are not aggressive. But, overall, they will maintain a calm demeanor.

Happy dogs love to play, too, and may even bring you their favorite toy. A healthy appetite offers great insight into the contentedness of your canine. Additionally, if your dog spends time with you and gives you kisses, they are loving life. Like with humans, you can often tell with ease when a dog is unhappy.

How Do Great Danes Show Love?

Your dog shows love by spending time with you and sharing life with you. If your Dane greets you at the door with kisses or toys, they think you are perfection! When enthusiastic, Great Danes may jump on you to share their love or sit at your feet. If a Dane rolls over for a belly rub, you know he likes you, and the same if he yawns because you know he does not view you as a threat.

Licking is another common sign of affection, but a Great Dane may give you a full-body wash. Great Danes adore attention, and given their guarding instincts; they like to keep their owners in sight so they can check on them. This can lead to your Great Dane following you around the home, which is cute but can grow annoying when he blocks the hallway every time you turn.

What Does It Mean When A Great Dane Leans On You?

Great Danes typically lean their one to two-hundred-pound bodies against your leg while you stand or sit. They may try to slip between your legs when you are standing or make their presence known by swaying. Great Danes do this to be near to you or to say and request attention. However, too much leaning or forced snuggling may go beyond demonstrating a need for attention from these gentle giants, as they can topple a child!

How Do You Know If A Great Dane Is Sad?

Your pet may be depressed if they tear up furniture or growls at adults and animals. If your dog suddenly becomes aggressive, see a vet. A vet visit can assist you in figuring out what is wrong and how to address your dog’s aggression.

Also, while some things may startle your dogs enough to make them hide, but they should not ignore you totally or hide.

Dogs love to snooze. When we are at work, they usually do that. However, a depressed dog sleeps more than others while ignoring food, attention, and other dogs or humans. The easiest indicator to spot is your dog not wanting to play or go on their nightly walk. See a vet if your dog seems less energetic and eager during playtime.

How Can I Make My Great Dane Happy?

Great Danes are gregarious and enjoy their families, and are destructive when alone.

Do not leave your Great Dane alone for long periods, and make sure they have a variety of toys and chew toys. Walks and exercise are important too as a means of exploration. Make arrangements if you are at work and can not walk the dog.  Before the puppy arrives, you will need family, friends, or a dog walker lined up to take them out during the day.

Some Great Danes are friendly and need time with other dogs and tons of playtime. Start socializing your Great Dane while he is young, so he learns to be friendly with good people and not be standoffish. Unsocialized Great Danes may be wary of everyone.

Why Are Great Danes So Jealous?

A Great Dane may be jealous because of split attention as they are social pack animals. If they do not feel like family, they are worried and insecure. This can emerge as jealousy around other people or pets. A Great Dane needs exercise, positive reinforcement, and training to feel like a family member.

Spend time every day playing with, walking, and loving your dog. This will lessen its jealousy and make it a happy family member. Keep in mind that Great Danes are not possessive of their humans when it comes to babies, and you do not need to worry about bringing a newborn home. Instead, give them the attention and exercise they need, and they should not be overly jealous because they are getting enough time with you.

Do Great Danes Need A Lot Of Attention?

Great Danes commonly follow their owners from room to room, seeking attention as they form close ties with their humans. They are a needy breed; therefore, they may follow you. You are your great Dane’s source of amusement and involvement when you are home. You probably feed, walk, play with, and otherwise care for him.

Danes love attention, cuddles, and praise. They will follow you around and watch for social cues. A Great Dane left alone may destroy household objects.

They do not perform well as outside dogs and can develop separation anxiety. Give them the attention they need daily to help prevent problems.

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