Exercising your Great Dane is important, yet the correct amount is not so straightforward. Great Danes need exercise to keep their joints and large muscles strong, but too much exercise may lead to injuries and strains.
This makes gauging the right amount difficult for most owners. Thankfully, this article simplifies everything.
Great Danes can go for one long walk per day, or two short walks split up. A brisk walk will keep their muscles and joints working but also won’t overload them. Highly intensive exercises or sprinting should be avoided to prevent injuries.
What’s The Safest Form of Exercise For a Great Dane?
As previously mentioned, exercise is still very important for great danes, yet caution needs to be taken. Too much exercise, or the wrong type of exercise could lead to muscle and joint issues quickly.
As great danes are a giant breed, they are prone to many joint issues which can lead to severe immobility and even pain.
So, what’s the safest form of exercise? Yep, it’s walking. A brisk walk will be more than enough to keep your dane’s joints working and his muscles engaged to sustain strength. This combined with generic playtime within the home will be sufficient.
It’s best to avoid highly strenuous exercise or activities that will put too much stress on his bones and joints. Activities like full-out sprinting and high-jumping could have a negative impact in both the short and long term.
How Many Walks Per Day For Your Great Dane?
So how many walks per day would be sufficient for your great dane? Well, a healthy adult great dane needs around 45-60 minutes of dedicated exercise per day.
The preferable option would be to split this up into two different walks, once in the morning and again in the evening. This way your dane will have two different occasions to be outside which is generally better for them.
Or, if your schedule doesn’t allow for that, one long walk per day will suffice. If you can, opt to give your great dane this one walk in the morning as it will stimulate him and leave him feeling content from the start of the day, instead of waiting for his walk.
How Far Can Great Danes Walk?
All great danes will differ slightly in their physical capabilities, but as a general rule of thumb, stick to under 3 miles to avoid wearing out his joints or muscles excessively.
Despite their size, great danes have quite a good level of stamina and endurance, but this doesn’t mean it’s okay to hike or walk for several miles (even if they could).
As great danes are very susceptible to joint issues as they age, it’s crucial to preserve and protect their bones and joints as much as possible throughout their puppy and adult years.
Can Great Danes Go Hiking?
A great dane will certainly enjoy and keep up with you on a short 2-3 mile hike, but again, it’s important to always consider how strenuous the activity becomes.
A reasonably flat hike with easy-to-walk terrain won’t cause your great dane any issues and will be a great form of exercise and mental stimulation for him.
Be cautious of the paths you will need to take, consider what hazards may be on the trail that you intend on using, and check the temperature before leaving.
As long as the hike isn’t too difficult or long, your great dane will be just fine to hike with you.
How Much Exercise Is Safe For a Great Dane Puppy
Great dane puppies need to be monitored even more than adults when it comes to exercise levels.
Puppies, regardless of breed, need their bones, joints, and muscles to properly develop and strengthen before too much stress is put on them. However, there’s a caveat to this, puppies still require exercise in order to stimulate muscle growth and strength…
So, how much exercise is correct for a great dane puppy?
Aside from their crazy playful spirit which involves bouncing, jumping, and sprinting around (which certainly counts as exercise), a puppy can receive 5 minutes per day, per month of age they have.
So a puppy at 4 months old (after vaccines) can go outside for a light walk for 20 minutes (4×5), for the entire day. And that’s it. This is actually known as the 5-minute method and it’s a safe way to gauge how much exercise a puppy can have without stressing their growing bodies.
It’s important to keep in mind that up until your Great Dane is 2 years old, their body will be still fragile and only just strengthening.
P.S. Follow the 5-minute method until 8-10 months old and don’t go any further than that. Always keep exercise to a light walk until around 2 years old where their body will handle a little more.
Can Great Danes Go Running?
A small amount of running here and there throughout their walks is certainly okay for a healthy dane, and will actually provide good stimulation for the joints and muscles. But more caution is needed when it comes to running.
As great danes have excellent stamina and endurance they sure can run, there’s no disputing that! and many owners do go on light jogs with their danes.
You’ll find many owners say that their danes make great running partners, and that may be true. But you must never forget about their joints.
I must sound like a broken record at this point, but it’s so true! Your great dane will be more than capable of running with you, but whether they should or shouldn’t is something else.
Although running may not be immediately detrimental, it will certainly catch up to them as they age. So if you want to err on the side of caution, stick to very short slow jogs or brisk walking with the occasional short runs here and there.
Key Points Summarized
Let’s run through all of the key points in a tidy summarized list.
● Brisk walking is likely the best form of exercise without risk of injury
● Under 2 years old your great dane will not be completely physically matured
● Great danes can safely walk 2-3 miles per day as their primary form of exercise
● It’s preferable to split up their daily exercise in two. One walk in the morning and again in the evening
● Great danes can go on hikes as long as the terrain is easy and relatively flat
● Great danes can take part in running, but to avoid injuries or future issues, keep it very short
● Puppies should follow the 5-minute method until around 8-10 months before exercising more once they reach 2 years of age.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article! I really hope I have answered your questions about great dane exercise, how far they can walk, and so on.
If you think I have missed out on anything that future readers will find interesting, please let me know. I am always happy to add relevant sections.