Reasons to get a Great Dane Pitbull Mix
- Good family dogs (Click here for details)
- Fun-loving and playful temperament (Click here for details)
- Excellent guard dogs (Click here for details)
- Minimal grooming requirements (Click here for details)
- Will suit owners with an active lifestyle (Click here for details)
- A dog that can be trained to a good standard (Click here for details)
Reasons to not get a Great Dane Pitbull Mix
- Will not suit owners who are frail due to size
- These energetic dogs will need a lot of space both inside and outside
- May get unfair negative reactions outside
- A few potential health problems associated with a large dog breed
- Relatively high food bills
- Not suited to novice owners
What is a Great Dane Pitbull Mix (Great Danebull)?
The Great Dane Pitbull Mix also known as the Great Danebull, is an intriguing inter-mixing of the huge, athletic Great Dane with one of the sub-grouping of breeds known as the Pitbull.
In the United States the Pitbull dog breeds include: the American Bulldog; the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the American Bully and the American Pitbull Terrier. Also included are any combination of these various breeds.
With a hybrid breed, such as the Great Danebull, it is always important to research the founding breeds in order to be in position to have guidance on both the physical attributes and the temperament. This is because there is no exact science to predict which characteristics will predominate and how they will be configured in any particular dog.
For more information regarding the parent breeds and a whole range of other wonderful types of dogs please feel free to visit our breed guide.
What are the history and origins of the Great Dane Pitbull Mix?
In order to truly understand the qualities and character of a classic or hybrid breed it is essential to have an idea of their original purpose and development.
So here follows an account of the fascinating history surrounding both the the Great Dane and the Pitbull.
The Pitbull – Origins and History
The Molossus war-dog heritage
It is safe to say that the Pitbull breeds listed above, such as the American Pitbull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier have so much commonality that it is still possible to identify general traits.
These Pitbull breeds are also part of a wider grouping of dogs known as the ‘Bully Breeds’. The Bully breeds are dog breeds that descend from the ancient war-dogs of Greece and Rome known as the Molossus.
For an understanding of the Molussus, we must look into the mists of time, far beyond 19th century England, and right back to ancient dog breeders in Greece, and later Rome, who developed these magnificent breeds of dogs.
These huge and powerful dogs were used in war and in hunting huge prey such as bears and boars. They later became associated with ‘Bulls’ as they turned their formidable strength and hunting instincts to driving cattle.
Their most direct descendants in modern times are the Mastiff and Bulldog breeds, as well as the Rottweiler whose bulk and strength is believed to have been gained from cross-breeding with the Mastiffs who graced the Roman Amphitheaters.
But it also includes dogs such as the Boxer and even the diminutive Pug, all of whom can trace some ancestry to these bulky and powerful fighting dogs who accompanied armies into battle as ‘dogs of war’. When Mark Anthony in Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar cries ‘Let slip the dogs of war’, he would have undoubtedly had the a Molosser breed of dog in his mind.
All of the Pitbull breeds have gained the Molossus heritage through the Old Bulldog. But this Old Bulldog heritage has been further crossed with Terriers (or earth-workers). These small and sturdy breeds were introduced to England by the Romans to dig and hunt out smaller quarry under the ground.
This has given the Pitbull breeds a smaller size with a low center of gravity with added agility, durability and tenacity which perfectly adapted them for dog-fighting.
The Cruel History of Bull-Baiting and Dog Fighting
The Bulldog sadly became used for Bull-Baiting as their shorter muzzles allowing them to clench their powerful jaws on the unfortunate cattle for the amusement of onlookers.
But as the equally cruel and terrible sport of dog fighting evolved in the England of the 18th century, the early Pitbull breeds were formed by crossing this Bulldog with Terrier breeds to offer a dynamic, powerful and tenacious fighting dogs.
This dog-fighting heritage still haunts these breeds and some view them as inherently aggressive. This is contrast to other Molossus based breeds, such as the English Mastiff, who are now often referred to as gentle giants.
Tragically, although dog fighting was banned in Britain back as 1835 and is now banned across the USA, it is still practiced illegally in both countries.
This has led to these breeds occasionally attracting unscrupulous owners and as a consequence their violent past still enshrouds these dogs leading to debates on whether these breeds are suitable for modern life or are whether they are safe to live within the community.
The Pitbull breeds have their detractors and their supporters who argue that none of these breeds are inherently aggressive and have attempted to rehabilitate them as misunderstood and misrepresented.
The Nanny Dog
Defenders of the Pitbull breeds point to the fact that with the decline of the fighting pits, breeds such as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier gained the nickname ‘nanny dogs’ in the later nineteenth century.
This was owing to their devoted protectiveness to children in their households as well as their fierce loyalty to the whole family.
The American Kennel Club and Pitbull Terriers
Although ‘Pit Bull’ is a grouping of dog breeds, the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier tend to gravitate closer to this term in the general consciousness. Most commentators agree that these dogs are in fact the same breed with the same physical and mental attributes.
The main difference lies in the intervention of the American Kennel Club and its standards rather than anything genetic. The American Staffordshire Terrier was accepted by the American Kennel Club in 1936 (although it was simply known as ‘The Staffordshire Terrier’). This means that it now conforms to stricter breed standards in terms of size and weight.
The Am Staff officially diverged from the English Staffordshire Bull Terrier in 1972 as it was recognized that the American version had been bred taller along with other small differences, and should be accorded its own distinct breed.
The Great Dane – Origins and History
It is perhaps a reflection of the magisterial nature of this dog that national claims to ownership have been something of a big bone of contention in the history of this huge hound. Most sources agree that this breed was, in fact, originally from Germany, although some accounts claim Scandinavian origins even before this.
There is even some evidence that this type of large dog was extant in Ancient Greece, and there are some depictions of dogs in Ancient Egyptian tombs from 3000BC which bear a resemblance to the magnificent breed that we have today.
From the 13th and 14th centuries there are clearer pictorial and written records of the forebears of this giant breed. In Germany they were known as ‘The English Dogge’ owing to it being founded largely on the English Mastiff, which is in itself descended from the large and ferocious ‘Molussus’ dog.
It is thought that extra size and speed of these dogs was contributed to by interbreeding with the Irish Wolfhound, and possibly other Sight-Hounds such as the Greyhound. This added more of a lean, athletic frame while retaining the strength and power that we still associate with the Great Dane.
Although the role of these huge hounds was not to ‘sight’ the prey, but rather they were ‘catcher-dogs’ which ran alongside the horses. Once the prey had been discovered these dogs were sent in to bring down large powerful prey such as boars, deer and even bears.
In 1876 Germany declared the Great Dane as its national dog and pronounced that it should henceforward be known as the ‘German dogg’, but in Holland they continued to call this breed ‘The Dutch Dog’. Finally due to some anathema towards Germany most English-speaking nations settled on Great Dane.
Originally the companion of nobles and kings even to this day this impressive hound retains a sense of being an aristocrat amongst canines popular not only for its formidable strength and speed but also for its regal appearance. Indeed this has further been elevated to divine heights and this dog is often referred as the ‘Apollo of dogs’ reflection its beauty and athleticism.
Although kennel clubs insist that there is complete equivalence between American and European breed standards for dogs bred to high standards, some breeders claim a noticeable difference in appearance. Whereas European Great Danes have more loose skin and fuller lips, with a square head, the American version of the breed is tighter around the face with a slightly lighter build.
Although the Irish Wolfhound is accepted generally as the tallest breed, the tallest dog ever recorded was a Great Dane called Zeus from Michigan in the United States who measured a staggering 44 inches (around 119 cm) from foot to withers.
One of the most famous of all Great Danes is not so well known for being fearless in pursuit of his quarry. This is, of course, Scooby Doo. Although perhaps his love of food is certainly in keeping with the voracious appetite of this wonderful large breed.
The Great Dane is currently ranked as the 15th most popular breed according to the AKC 2020 registration data .
Other linked hybrid breeds:
Great Dane Doberman Mix, Great Dane Dalmatian Mix, Great Dane Boxer Mix, Great Dane Rottweiler Mix, Great Dane German Shepherd Mix, Great Dane Cane Corso Mix, Great Dane Bloodhound Mix, Great Dane Bullmastiff Mix, Great Dane Greyhound Mix, Great Dane English Mastiff Mix, Great Dane Saint Bernard Mix.
What is an interesting fact about the Great Dane Pitbull Mix (Great Danebull)?
Both the Great Dane and the Pitbull breeds have been influenced by the Mastiff to give them strength and power. These Mastiffs are direct descendants of the ancient Molossus used in battles and hunting.
This means, despite their obvious differences in height, both the Great Dane and the Pitbull gain their strength and agility ultimately from ancient war-dogs.
But these days you can rest assured that both the parent breeds and the Great Dane Pitbull Mix are far more likely to be fighting to get on the sofa next to their owners rather than on any battlefield.
What is the personality and temperament of the Great Dane Pitbull Mix?
Although there are some differences in the founding breeds, there are common characteristics that any Great Danebull is predestined to inherit in terms of temperament and behavior.
Both the parent breeds are very active dogs who enjoy energetic play. This means that you can expect that the Great Dane Pitbull Mix will be very active and enjoy lots of interactive play with its family.
Both parent breeds, the Great Dane and the Pitbull, also fall under the bracket of the most loyal and dedicated of all dog breeds. The Pitbull dotes on its human owners and is only truly happy when they are present, while the Great Dane literally spends the day shadowing its owners.
You can therefore expect a Great Danebull to want to be with you constantly and not let you out of their sight. It would be highly advisable to prioritize training for separation anxiety to mitigate the stress caused when these dogs must be necessarily left for any short period of time.
Additionally, although the Pitbull can sometimes be aloof or even aggressive with unfamiliar dogs, this should be mellowed by the influence of the naturally gregarious Great Dane. Although socialization is absolutely crucial to ensure any residual potential hostility is mitigated.
For the different stages in a puppy and adult dog’s development please click here.
For a good example of one Pitbull Great Dane Mix dog both in looks and temperament this story about a rescue dog called Huero offers a fine example. Click here to see the video.
Does the Great Dane Pitbull Mix make a good guard dog?
As a guard dog and protector of the home the Great Danebull is likely to be absolutely excellent. The Pitbull is an excellent watchdog, and the qualities that led the Pitbull breeds to be named the ‘nanny dog’ suggests an alert protector of the family who will readily bark an alarm. But this dog tends to be aloof and suspicious of strangers.
Similarly, the Great Dane is a tremendous watch dog in terms of booming out a resounding bark should anyone unfamiliar approach the house. But this colossal canine does have a tendency to be too naturally friendly with humans to be a truly effective guard dog.
However, this is likely to be sharpened by the Pitbull influence resulting in dog who will vigorously defend its family should any danger threaten.
What exercise is required for the Pitbull Great Dane Mix?
This Great Dane Pitbull Mix is very likely to be a high-energy dog who needs the outlet of at least one long walk each day of at least one hour to burn off energy. This should include an opportunity to stretch its legs off the leash if possible.
If the Great Danebull is on the larger side exercise should be compartmentalized into little and often rather than one walk in the very early years of the dog. This would mean around two walks a day of around 30 minutes
The reason for this is that over-exercise can potentially damage bones, ligament and joints in the Great Dane and make conditions such as hip dysplasia more likely.
If you are concerned regarding this then it is highly advised that you discuss this with a vet.
This active mixed breed dog will enjoy interactive play on every occasion. Provide plenty of mental stimulation by creating ‘treasure hunt’ challenges as well as fetch and tugging games to keep this large playful pooch occupied.
Is the Great Dane Pitbull Mix a good family dog?
For an experienced owner the Great Dane Pitbull mix makes an absolutely wonderful family pet.
The Great Dane and the Pitbull breeds are very playful and love to both entertain and please their owners. This means that the Great Danebull will be a fun-filled family dog and will adore both adults and children, although as with any other breed, all play with children should be carefully supervised.
These mixed breed dogs will want to be with their owners all the time and at the center of all family activities. This means Great Danebulls are very likely to be adaptable and happy to go on days out or doggy holidays as long as they remain close to their human pack.
Who is the ideal owner of a Great Dane Pitbull Mix?
The ideal owner will be an experienced dog owner. It is even better if a prospective owner has experience with large and powerful breeds. Novice dog owners will need to make a large investment in time and dedication to ensure these very large dogs gain the training needed to ensure they are manageable.
This will ensure that the Great Danebull is biddable and under complete control both inside and outside the house and fully socialized to cope with a range of situations including interactions with unfamiliar dogs and people.
The Pitbull Great Dane mix will suit an owner or family with an active lifestyle as they will happily go for jogs, hikes or even trot beside a bicycle.
Pitbull breeds, including the American Pitbull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier, both have a reputation for pulling on the leash.
This means prospective owners of the larger Great Danebull will also need to be physically strong to manage any pulling on the leash.
What are the grooming requirements of the Great Dane Pitbull Mix?
The Great Dane Pitbull mix will have only very moderate grooming requirements. The short and sleek coat is only likely to require a weekly brushing. But remember that this should be done daily in periods of hot weather to remove dead hair and keep the Daneball cool.
Please click here for other tips on keeping your Great Dane Pitbull mix safe in hot weather.
This dog will only have a single-coat and will therefore be susceptible to the cold. So when bathing these hybrid dogs remember to ensure that the water is warm.
In colder climes it is also advisable to provide a nice warm coat for the Great Danebull for maximum comfort.
How much space is required for a Great Dane Pitbull Mix?
The Great Danebull can vary in size depending on which parent breed is physically favored.
At the larger end apartment living will be difficult but not impossible as long as there are plentiful opportunities for exercise.
A safe, enclosed space outside would be ideal, however, to offer the energetic Great Dane Pitbull Mix a place to whizz around and tire themselves out at every opportunity.
These large dogs will love to play so this must be borne carefully in mind when deciding whether the Great Danebull is suitable for your home.
What is the lifespan of the Great Dane Pitbull Mix?
The lifespan of Great Danes is sadly only between 6 to 8 years. While the Pitbull has, on average, significantly more longevity and can expect to live between 12-14 years.
The likely lifespan for a Great Danebull is therefore to lie between 9-12 years. Unfortunately, larger Great Danebulls will tend to live to the lower end of this range.
What are the potential health problems for a Great Dane Pitbull Mix?
Hybrid breeds are potentially healthier than classic breeds of dogs, but it is still important to be aware of some of the health complications that can afflict each parent breed of the Great Daneball as it still possible that they may be inherited.
Potential health problems for the Pitbull Great Dane Mix include:
- cardiomyopathy and other related hearted conditions
- bone cancer,
- hip dysplasia
- elbow dysplasia
- wobblers syndrome
- vision and hearing issues
What kind of training is required for a Great Dane Pitbull Mix?
With large dog breeds like the Great Danebull early socialization and consistent obedience training are an absolute priority.
This will mean that this hybrid dog breed will generally be able to cope with a range of situations both inside and outside the home and forestall any potential aggressive behaviors towards other dogs.
This dog will also need to be trained to heel on the leash to avoid pulling, and to keep this muscular dog safe and controlled on a walk.
As noted above, training for separation anxiety should also be foregrounded to avoid destructive behaviors in the house.
Both the parent breeds are intelligent and highly trainable. This means a conscientious owner willing to invest time and energy will be rewarded with a Great Dane Pitbull Mix that will be an absolute joy to own.
To see the potential of this mixed breed in training please click here to see 4 year old Chrome in action.
Click here for an outline of the benefits of training. Click here for information on socializing a puppy and here for socializing an adult dog.
How big will a Great Dane Pitbull Mix get?
The Great Danebull is at the smaller scale of a Great Dane mixed breed. But this still means you will have a large dog who is very muscular and formidably strong.
The Great Dane male is, according to breed standards, at least 30 inches (82cm) tall from the feet to the withers. While female Great Danes stand at 28 inches (72cm) or more.
By contrast, the male Pitbull stands at between 18-19 inches (46-48 cm), with the female only slightly shorter between 17-18 inches (43- 46cm).
A Great Danebull male is likely to reach:
- Male – around 23-27 inches (58-69cm) from feet to withers
- Female – between 22-24 inches (56-61cm)
How much is a Great Dane Pitbull Mix likely to weigh?
The Great Dane male typically weighs between 120 to 170 lb (54-74kgs). While female Great Danes weigh in at around 110 to 140 lbs (50-64 kgs). The Pitbull weighs in at between 58 to 68 lb (26-31kgs).
This means that the Great Danebull will be a large dog breed likely to weigh somewhere between 84-119 lb (38-54kgs) with the female averaging around 10 lb lighter.
Where should I get a Great Dane Pitbull Mix from?
If you are looking for a Great Dane Pitbull Mix puppy then always contact a reputable breeder and check for the following:
- You should always have the opportunity to see the puppies interacting with the mother.
- If there is little interaction with the ‘mother’ be cautious as occasionally unscrupulous breeders can bring in another female dog for appearances.
- A breeder should also have details of the father available on request.
- You should have access to the medical records of both parents and any kennel club certificates.
If possible, adoption is a kind and rewarding option. But ensure that you thoughtfully discuss the details of a rescue dog with the charity or rehoming organization in order to offer a dog an appropriate forever home.
If you already have a dog , then please feel free to browse these tips on how to introduce a puppy to an older dog.
What are the feeding requirements of a Great Dane Pitbull Mix?
It is always a good idea to consult with a vet or animal dietician regarding feeding requirements in the early days of ownership, as each dog will be unique.
This will ensure that your Great Danebull will receive a balanced diet in the correct portions. It is also important to balance feeding against exercise to maintain a healthy weight.
As Great Danes are prone to bloating it is advisable that owners should plan to exercise this mixed breed at least an hour before they feed and at least an hour afterwards. This will help prevent bloat and other gastric conditions afflicting your dog.
Should I get a male or female Great Dane Pitbull Mix?
Each dog is unique but male and female dogs do have different dispositions.
In general the female Great Danebull tends to be a little calmer and more receptive to training. Due to the Pitbull parent breed it is possible that the male Pitbull Great Dane Mix could be more dominant with other dogs and a little more resistant to training.
But both genders with the right training and socialization in place will ensure that your Great Dane Pitbull Mix offers a fantastic family pet.
What colors are common for a Great Danebull?
In general this mixed breed can be any solid or partial color.
Common colors will include:
Most Pitbulls have some white coloring so this may also appear in this hybrid breed.
Does a Great Danebull get along with other dogs?
The Great Danebull is likely to playful and gregarious. This dog breed will be able to cohabit with other dogs happily.
But this large dog will need early socialization in order to prevent any dominant behaviors towards other dogs in the park. Also this will help prevent smaller dogs being accidentally hurt in play.
Does a Great Danebull get along with cats?
If the Daneball is introduced to cats as a puppy then it is highly likely that they can successfully live with these smaller pets. Once again it is important to do this in a structured and sensitive way:
- This should start with putting down items that belong to the Great Danebull puppy before the arrival to accustom the cats to the scent.
- The next step is to confine the puppy to an area. This should certainly include at feeding times. This could be a room with a baby-gate. The area of confinement should be circulated around the house as well as a safely enclosed outside area.
- When ready allow the puppy out on an appropriate leash or harness and proactively praise positive interactions and correct any chasing.
- Ensure the cats always have escape areas including high places to promote their sense of confidence and safety.
Where can I found out more?
If you are considering a hybrid breed such as the Pitbull Great Dane Mix always research both founding breeds to ensure that you are fully prepared for the arrival of your great Danebull and nuance your training and lifestyle provision for your exciting new canine family member accordingly.
Please feel free to browse our breed guide for more information on the Great Dane, Pitbull and other breeds. Also a good breeder should be willing to offer you advice and guidance when you take your puppy home.
As noted above if you have any queries or doubts regarding the health or feeding of your puppy consult a professional vet or animal dietician at the earliest opportunity.
Some Other Great Dane Hybrid Breeds
Click on the pictures below to find out more about these other fantastic Great Dane influenced hybrid breeds:
Great Dane Doberman Mix
Great Dane Boxer Mix
Great Dane Dalmatian Mix
Great Dane and Rottweiler
Great Dane Rescue (USA)
Villa Lobos Rescue Center (USA)
The Humane Society of Odessa (USA)
United Kingdom Pitbull Rescue (UK)
Cover Image by Randi Duero – Source Link