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Great Dane Pitbull Mix Breed Characteristics, & Facts

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The Great Dane dog breed is known for its enormous size and strength. However, it doesn’t come with the same weight attached as the Pitbull does. 

This dog breed mix is another example of how the Pitbull, one of the most feared dogs out there, has been crossed with softer, better-natured breeds to make it an acceptable pet. 

Today, we wanted to explore the ins and outs of a Great Dane and Pitbull mix breed of dog. Who should get one, and what are their best bits? Let’s find out.

What is a Great Dane Pitbull Dog?

Cross-breeding established dog breeds is becoming popular in the modern-day, since it helps negate some of the health problems certain breeds (with limited gene pools) have.

The Great Dane Pitbull is the result of interbreeding between the Great Dane dog and the Pitbull dog. Both have very different histories behind them. 

The Pitbull

The Pitbull

The Pitbull was originally bred to be a fighting dog. They hail from Great Britain, where dog fighting was a popular pastime among the lower classes during the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries.

Dogfighting was finally banned early in the 20th century – but that didn’t stop those with vested interests from going underground. A Pitbull would be set against rats, smaller dogs, or other animals, and expected to fight for survival, for sport. Thank goodness the ways of the world have changed since then.

Although blood sports are gradually dying out in Europe, those who bred the dogs that fought still loved the breed. They worked hard to retain their beloved ‘pitty’ breed. To do this, they had to change the selective breeding process to select the calmer, gentler dogs, instead of the most ferocious ones.

A couple of hundred years later and we are still breeding the Pitbull to be calm, nice, and friendly. Sometimes we still cross them with other breeds, usually gentler ones. To this day, the Pitbull remains banned in some countries because of its ferocious reputation.

The Great Dane

On the other hand, you couldn’t find a gentler giant than the Great Dane. These big beauties actually originate in Germany, where they are known as the ‘German Dog’ and have nothing to do with Denmark. 

The Great Dane has its ancestry in Wolfhounds and Mastiffs. It is thought that they were spread around Europe by the Romans, who favored the beast as a working dog. 

The Great Dane had a spike in popularity in the middle ages, when nobility favored it to hunt in forests. Its massive size meant that it was excellent at keeping up with the horses and taking down the game.

Unfortunately, dwindling game and affectionate personalities meant that this pastime faded into obscurity. Luckily for the German Dane, they had already become established as a favorite of the nobility.

Again, breeding changed to preference. Instead of ferocity and speed, the dogs were bred to be the gentle family dog we know today.

The Great Dane Pitbull

The Great Dane Pitbull

Thus the two dog breeds make an excellent example of parallel histories. Both types of dog are no longer used for their original purpose, and both have spent the last two hundred years or so being bred to be genteel. 

What do you get when you put them together? A massive dog that has the strength and power of both breeds. Fortunately, it has the affection and eagerness to please both breeds, too. 

Make no mistake: there are no bad dogs, just bad owners. The Great Dane Pitbull might be strong and stubborn, but that doesn’t make it a dangerous dog breed.

Quick Overview of the Great Dane Pitbull Mix Dog Breed

Average Height: Up to 30 inches for a full grown male

Average Weight:  Up to 100 pounds for the same

Average Lifespan: 10-12 years 

Origin: Germany

Alternative Name/s: The Danebull

Great Dane Pitbull X Characteristics:

  • Large dog breed that is strong, powerful, and affectionate
  • Guard or watchdog, can keep up with a horse if it has to
  • Excellent family pet that will need socialization and obedience training
  • Low maintenance grooming but will shed
  • High energy dog that will need 2 hours plus of exercise daily
  • Healthy breed that may suffer joint and limb problems

What’s the Difference Between a Great Dane Pitbull Mix and other Large Breeds?

The Great Dane Pitbull mix has a lot in common with other large breed dogs. Most of these revolve around them having been bred for that affectionate, gentle nature.

As humans, we are well aware that dogs can be dangerous, and we also know that the Pitbull is known as a dangerous breed, thanks to its history. It will take another few hundred years of breeding before this unfortunate association is dissolved.

So what’s the main difference between the Great Dane Pitbull and other breeds? The word “Pitbull”. Too many people hear it and think of ferocious fighting dogs. 

These dogs haven’t ever been ferocious in their lives. Still, buying a Pitbull Great Dane mixed breed puppy will result in residual stigma. People will ask you if it is a Pitbull and, especially in America where they are a banned breed, will potentially report you for owning one. Keep the breeder’s documents to hand to save yourself lengthy problems.

What are the Most Common Great Dane and Pitbull Mix Breeds?

Below, we have listed some of the more common Pitbull and Great Dane crosses. This is designed to help those who want a dog of this size, but who don’t want this specific breed.

1. The American Bull Dane

The American Bull Dane

That’s right, you can cross an American Bulldog with a Great Dane to make another gigantic furbaby worth every ounce of love. The American Bull Dane is exactly as cute as it sounds, too.

Although all litters vary, and even pups in the same litter can vary, these dogs tend to be long-limbed and kind of goofy. They may suffer from dysplasia of their long limbs and can get acute growing pains until they ‘grow into’ their legs.

American Bull Dane Stats:

Average Height: Anything up to 36 inches tall

Average Weight: Less than 200 lbs is considered healthy

Average Lifespan: 10-15 years

2. The Daniff

The Daniff

What happens if you cross a German Great Dane with a Mastiff? You end up with a soft brown Daniff. Since the Mastiff is thought to be one of the parent breeds for the Pitbull, you end up with a strikingly similar dog breed.

The Daniff are considered to be a massive breed, too. Just like the Great Dane Bull they are strong in both will and nature, although they are just as gentle. Mastiffs are known to be fairly lumbering, which adds some relief to the potential hyperactivity of a young dog.

Daniff Dog Stats:

Average Height: Up to 30 inches tall

Average Weight: Up to 130 lbs in weight

Average Lifespan: 10-15 years

3. The Doberdane

Perhaps the best named of the Great Dane massive crossbreeds, the Doberdane features the bloodline of the Doberman. They can come in all colors from fawn to black and have the soft fur you associate with the Doberman breed.

Since the Doberman is a working dog, usually in a guard dog or police capacity, it is not recommended that you go get a Doberdane as your first dog. They can be trained to perform the same tasks as their parent breed or kept as a pet… just be willing to put in both the effort to train them and the hours of exercise they need.

Doberdane Dog Stats:

Average Height: Up to 30 inches tall

Average Weight: Up to 150 lbs

Average Lifespan: 10-15 years

4. The Great Wolfhound

The Great Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhound is one of the first breeds that springs to mind when you think of giant dogs – and with good reason. These dogs can grow to be the height of a person! When crossed with Great Danes, they are actually a little smaller… thank goodness.

This difference in height actually serves to make the Wolfhound breed more accessible as a family pet. They are the type of dog that needs a lot of food and exercise though. Be prepared for a hefty food bill and for trips to the vets to make sure their legs are developing correctly.

Great Wolfhound Stats:

Average Height: Up to 35 inches

Average Weight: Up to 150 lbs

Average Lifespan: 10-12 years

5. The Great Rottsky

If you cross a Great Dane with a Siberian Husky, you get one of the cutest giants known to man. They are both capable of pulling a sled for fifty miles and of licking you to death, simultaneously. 

Huskies have their past in the cold reaches of the north, while the Great Dane has that German background. Together, they create a dog that is as cold-resistant as it is hardy. If you live in the far north and want a dog that can handle it, try a furry Great Rottsky on for size.

Great Rottsky Dog Stats:

Average Height: Up to 27 inches

Average Weight: Up to 120 lbs

Average Lifespan: 10-15 years

6. The Pitbull Mastiff

The Pitbull Mastiff

If you want to add weight and meat to your Pitbull, but still want a dog you can have without breaking the law; then the Pitbull Mastiff might cut the mustard. 

The Mastiff is notoriously bigger, wider, and slower than a Pitbull. They don’t have the same temper as a Great Dane though, having been bred for their massive stature, strength, and size. If you want a guard dog or a dog to act as a deterrent, a Pitbull Mastiff cross will work wonders.

Pitbull Mastiff Dog Stats:

Average Height: Up to 25 inches

Average Weight: Up to 140 lbs

Average Lifespan: 10-12 years

7. The German Pitbull

Instead of being German in the way that the Great Dane is, the German Shepherd makes this cross European. Think of an exceptionally furry Pitbull and you will have something akin to this furry guard-style dog in mind.

The German Pitbull has both the intelligent cunning of the German Shepherd, and the quick-yet-ferocious focus of the Pitbull. If you want a working dog that will think for itself, this is the breed you get.

German Pitbull Stats:

Average Height: Up to 26 inches

Average Weight: Up to 100 lbs

Average Lifespan: 10-12 years

8. The Doberpit

You guessed it! If you can cross it with a Great Dane, you can cross it with a Doberman. The Doberman Pinscher has been bred for years as a working dog. Sometimes it is a guard dog; sometimes it is a drug dog. Whatever it is, they are known for their focus and ability to work hard… two traits that the Pitbull shares.

Where the two breeds differ is in the Pitbull’s slightly wild streak. It’s a dog that wants to have fun. Putting them together is kind of adorable. If you need a guard dog with a strong loyalty to its family, the Doberpit makes a good starting point.

Doberpit Dog Stats:

Average Height: Up to 29 inches tall

Average Weight: Up to 85lbs

Average Lifespan: 10-14 years

9. The Pitkita

Japanese Akitas are known for being a gigantic dog with a bit of an attitude problem. Although large and fluffy, appearances can be deceptive. Be sure to train this dog obsessively in socialization and obedience skills… the Pitkita is not a cross for the new dog owner.

Warnings aside, these are some seriously adorable giant-style dogs. They aren’t always as furry as you might think, nor are they as massive as the others on this list… and there are numerous accounts of how bad they are as guard dogs. In fact, since both breeds were originally fighting breeds, we would suggest winding this cross to a close.

Pitika Dog Stats:

Average Height: Up to 28 inches

Average Weight: Up to 135 lbs

Average Lifespan: 10-14 years

10. The English Pitbull

The English Pitbull

Last but by no means least, you can bring home your very own English Pitbull. With the big sad eyes of the English Bulldog, and the wrinkles to match, this large breed doesn’t quite make the giant list… but it will still win a place in your heart with its oversized antics.

The English Pitbull will be just as comfortable laying around all day as it will working alongside you. It makes a great deterrent dog due to its large size and can be a guard dog, too.

English Pitbull Dog Stats:

Average Height: Up to 25 inches

Average Weight: Up to 70 lbs

Average Lifespan: 10-15 years

The Final Word on Great Dane Pitbull Mix Dog Breeds

The Great Dane and Pitbull cross of mixed breed dogs represent the new ‘designer dog’ trend. While it might be the height of fashion to mix up established breeds, the designer dog serves to bring new genetic material to stagnant breeds. The long and short of this is that it is good for everyone.

If you can handle a large dog, can pay the food bill, and have the time and space it needs to exercise, then a Great Danebull is an excellent choice for you. On the other hand, if you have a small apartment and you are out all day, a chihuahua might be a better bet.

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