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How to Groom a Great Dane (What Does Their Unique Coat Require)

Maintaining the majestic appearance of a Great Dane requires a regular grooming routine, but many owners aren't sure where to start. The wrong grooming routine can lead to a dull coat, unwanted odors, or even health issues over time. Learn the ins and outs of grooming your Great Dane, including brushing, bathing, and nail trimming to ensure a healthy, shiny coat and a happy, comfortable dog.
How to Groom a Great Dane

Table of Contents

Taking care of a gentle giant like a Great Dane is a big responsibility, but also a lot of fun. One important aspect of caring for your Great Dane is grooming. Regular grooming not only keeps your dog looking great, but also healthy and comfortable. Let’s dive into the various steps and tips to make grooming a delightful experience for both you and your Great Dane.

Does a Great Dane Need Grooming?

Great Danes have a short, dense coat which may seem low maintenance, but they do need regular grooming. Even though they don’t have long fur that gets tangled or matted, their coat collects dirt and sheds. Besides, grooming helps you check for signs of skin infections, allergies or other health issues early on. It’s also a fantastic way to bond with your dog.

How to Brush Great Danes

Brushing is the cornerstone of grooming. For Great Danes, a bristle brush or a rubber grooming mitt works well. These tools can help remove loose hairs and dirt, leaving your Dane’s coat shiny and clean. Here’s how you go about it:

  • Start by brushing: Begin at your dog’s head and work your way down to the tail. Make sure to brush in the direction of hair growth.
  • Be gentle: Great Danes have sensitive skin, so be gentle as you brush.
  • Regular brushing: Aim to brush your Great Dane at least once a week, but if you have time, brushing every day is even better.

How Often Should a Great Dane Be Groomed?

A good rule of thumb is to brush your Dane once a week, and bathe them once every 6-8 weeks. However, the exact grooming schedule may vary depending on your dog’s activity level, age, and health. It’s always good to have a regular schedule, but be ready to adjust it according to your dog’s needs.

Does a Great Dane Smell?

Every dog has its unique doggy smell, and Great Danes are no exception. The smell can get stronger if your Dane gets dirty or sweaty. Regular grooming can control this odor. Washing your dog with a nice smelling dog shampoo can also help keep the odors at bay.

How Often Should I Bathe My Great Dane?

Bathing your Great Dane too often can dry out their skin. A bath once every 6 to 8 weeks is usually enough. However, if your Dane loves to play in the mud or has a skin condition, you might need to bathe them more frequently. Always use a dog-specific shampoo that’s gentle on their skin.

Choosing the Right Shampoo

The right shampoo can make a big difference. Look for shampoos that are made specifically for dogs, as they have a different skin pH than humans. Shampoos with natural ingredients like aloe vera or oatmeal are gentle and can keep your Dane’s coat looking its best.

How to Clean a Great Dane’s Ears

Great Danes have ears that can trap dirt and moisture, which can lead to infections. Cleaning your dog’s ears once a week can help prevent these issues. Here’s how:

  • Check for dirt and wax: Look inside your Dane’s ears for any signs of dirt, wax or infection.
  • Use a dog ear cleaner: Apply a few drops of dog ear cleaner, then gently massage the base of the ear to loosen the dirt.
  • Wipe clean: Use a cotton ball to gently wipe out the dirt and cleaner.

How to Trim Great Danes’ Paws

Trimming the fur around your Great Dane’s paws is essential for their comfort and cleanliness. Overgrown hair can trap dirt, debris, and even ice or snow if you live in colder regions. It can also obscure your view of your Dane’s nails and the pads of their feet, which are important to keep an eye on for health reasons. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you trim your Great Dane’s paws safely and effectively:

Gather Your Tools

First things first, gather the necessary tools. You’ll need a pair of sharp, good-quality grooming scissors or clippers, and possibly a comb. Having the right tools will make the job easier and safer for both you and your dog.

Create a Calm Environment

Find a quiet, comfortable space where both you and your Great Dane can relax. It’s important that your dog isn’t anxious, as this could make trimming their paws more difficult. You might want to have some treats on hand to reward your dog for their patience.

Hold Your Dog’s Paw Firmly but Gently

Gently hold your Great Dane’s paw. It’s important to have a firm but gentle grip so you can accurately trim the hair without causing any discomfort.

Trim the Hair

Start by trimming the hair that sticks out from between the pads on the underside of your dog’s paw. Carefully clip the hair flush with the pads, being cautious not to cut too close or nick the skin.

Next, trim the hair around the edges of the paw. This hair can be trimmed shorter, but how much you take off is up to you. Some people prefer a rounded look, while others like a more natural appearance.

Comb the Hair

If there are any tangles or mats, gently comb through the hair to remove them. This will also help to fluff out the hair so you can see any spots you might have missed.

Check Your Work

Once you’ve trimmed the hair on one paw, take a step back and check your work. Make sure you haven’t missed any spots and that the trimming looks even. Then, reward your Great Dane with a treat and move on to the next paw.

Repeat on All Paws

Repeat the above steps for each paw. It might take some time, especially if it’s your first time, but with patience and practice, you’ll get the hang of it.

How to Cut Great Danes’ Nails

Regular nail trimming is crucial for maintaining your Great Dane’s comfort and health. Long nails can cause your dog discomfort, alter their gait, and potentially lead to joint problems over time. Here’s how you can safely trim your Great Dane’s nails:

Gather Your Supplies

Ensure you have the right tools for the job. A good pair of dog nail clippers or a dog nail grinder, styptic powder (in case of any bleeding), and some treats to reward your Dane are all you need.

Create a Relaxing Atmosphere

Choose a quiet, comfortable place where both you and your dog can relax. It’s easier to trim your dog’s nails when they are calm. You might want to have some of their favorite treats on hand to reward them for their good behavior.

Get Your Dog Comfortable

Before you start trimming, it’s good to get your dog accustomed to having their paws handled. Gently hold and massage their paws, giving them plenty of praise and some treats for allowing you to do so.

Hold Your Dog’s Paw Firmly but Gently

Take one of your dog’s paws and hold it firmly but gently. Talk to your dog in a calm, soothing voice to keep them relaxed.

Identify the Quick

The quick is the sensitive part of the nail that has blood vessels. In white or light-colored nails, it’s the pink area. It’s harder to see in black or dark-colored nails, so be extra cautious. You want to avoid cutting into the quick as it will cause pain and bleeding.

Start Trimming

Using the clippers, trim just the tip of the nail with a quick, clean cut, without getting too close to the quick. If you’re using a grinder, gently grind down the tip of the nail in a slow, steady motion.

Reward and Reassure Your Dog

After each nail, reward your dog with praise and a treat. This will make the experience positive and encourage good behavior.

Apply Styptic Powder if Necessary

If you accidentally cut into the quick, don’t panic. Apply some styptic powder to stop the bleeding, and comfort your dog.

Repeat With Other Paws

Continue the process with the other paws. Remember, it’s not a race. Take your time to ensure a safe and pleasant experience for both of you.

Check Your Work

After you’re done, check all the nails to ensure they are evenly trimmed and there are no sharp edges left.

Dental Care for Great Danes

Maintaining a healthy mouth is crucial for your Great Dane’s overall well-being. Dental care can prevent bad breath, gum disease, and other health issues. Here’s how you can take care of your Great Dane’s dental health:

Understand the Importance

First, it’s essential to understand the importance of dental care. Poor dental health can lead to painful oral conditions and other serious health issues like heart disease or kidney problems. By taking care of your Great Dane’s teeth, you’re also taking care of their overall health.

Gather Your Dental Care Supplies

For effective dental care, you’ll need some supplies:

  • Dog toothbrush: A toothbrush designed for dogs has soft bristles and a longer handle to reach the back teeth.
  • Dog toothpaste: Dog toothpaste is formulated to be safe for dogs and comes in flavors they like, such as chicken or beef.

Create a Routine

Dental care should be a regular part of your Great Dane’s grooming routine. Aim to brush their teeth at least two to three times a week, although daily brushing is ideal.

Start Slow

If your Great Dane is new to teeth brushing, it’s important to start slow to make the experience as positive as possible:

  • Let them taste the toothpaste: Allow your dog to taste the toothpaste before you start brushing. This can help them get used to the flavor and texture.
  • Massage their gums: Before introducing the toothbrush, use your finger to gently massage their gums and teeth.

Brushing Your Great Dane’s Teeth

Now you’re ready to start brushing:

  • Lift their lips: Gently lift your Great Dane’s lips to expose their teeth.
  • Brush in circles: Brush in small circles, covering all the teeth. Make sure to get the back molars, as they can collect tartar.
  • Be gentle: Your Dane’s gums are sensitive, so it’s important to be gentle while brushing.
  • Praise and reward: After each brushing session, praise your dog and give them a small reward like a dental chew or a treat.

Consider Dental Treats and Toys

There are many dental chews and toys available that can help keep your Great Dane’s teeth clean between brushings. These can be a good supplement to regular tooth brushing.

Regular Checkups

Regular checkups with a veterinarian will help ensure that your Great Dane’s dental health is on track. Your vet can provide professional cleanings and check for any dental issues.

Professional Grooming Options

Taking care of your Great Dane’s grooming needs at home is rewarding, but there might be times when you need or want professional help. Professional groomers have the expertise and equipment to efficiently groom your Great Dane, keeping them comfortable and looking their best. Let’s explore when and why you might consider professional grooming services for your Great Dane.

When to Consider Professional Grooming

  • Busy Schedule: If you have a hectic schedule, finding time for grooming can be challenging. Professional grooming can be a time-saver.
  • Special Occasions: If there’s a special occasion, you might want your Dane to have a professional grooming session to look their absolute best.
  • Health Conditions: Certain skin or coat conditions might require professional grooming care.
  • Nervous or Aggressive Behavior: If your Great Dane is nervous or aggressive during grooming, a professional groomer may be better equipped to handle them.

Services Offered

Professional groomers offer a variety of services including:

  • Bathing: Using shampoos and conditioners suited for your Dane’s coat and skin type.
  • Hair Cutting and Trimming: Especially helpful if your Dane has a longer coat or if you like a particular style.
  • Nail Trimming: A task many dog owners find daunting.
  • Ear Cleaning: To keep their ears clean and infection-free.
  • Teeth Cleaning: Professional teeth cleaning can significantly benefit your Dane’s oral health.

Finding the Right Groomer

Finding a professional groomer who you and your Great Dane feel comfortable with is essential. Here are some tips:

  • Ask for Recommendations: Ask fellow Great Dane owners or your vet for grooming recommendations.
  • Check Reviews: Look at reviews and ratings online to get an idea of other people’s experiences.
  • Visit the Facility: Before making an appointment, visit the grooming facility to check for cleanliness and to meet the staff.

Preparing Your Great Dane

Before the appointment, there are a few things you can do to prepare your Great Dane:

  • Exercise: Make sure your Dane has had plenty of exercises so they’re more relaxed.
  • Feed Them: Ensure they’ve had a meal, so they’re not anxious or cranky.

After the Grooming Session

Once the grooming session is over, check your Great Dane over to ensure they are comfortable and that the grooming has been done to your satisfaction. Reward your Dane with praise and maybe a treat for behaving well during the session.


Grooming is a necessary part of keeping your Great Dane healthy and comfortable. With a bit of time, the right tools, and a gentle touch, grooming can be a bonding experience filled with wagging tails and happy barks.