Great Dane Mastiff Mix: All About The Gentle Giant Daniff (2023)

The idea of hybrid breeds of dogs, mix-breed dogs that come from two purebred parents of different breeds, is not new. Small hybrid breeds like the Yorkie-Poo and Cock-a-Poopoodle mixeshave been around for many years. Recently, this trend has begun to include large breed hybrids, like the Great Dane, Mastiff mix known as a Daniff.

Large breed hybrids give folks access to the larger, more family-friendly breeds of dogs without some of the unfortunate behavior and health problem often associated with large purebred dogs. For instance, Black Labs were widely loved as family pets but then unscrupulous breeders allowed hip dysplasia, genetic weakness of the hips and hind end, to become common in the breed. By mixing Labs with other breeds, like the Boxer (Boxador) or Poodle (Labradoodle) you get a dog that carries a lot of the positive attributes of the Lab but without as much risk of genetic problems bringing health issues like hip and elbow dysplasia.

Once people saw the potential of large hybrid mixed breed dogs, the race was on to create as many different pairings as possible. While some of these pairings did not succeed, some, like the Great Dane, a Mastiff mix, or the Daniff, quickly found a following.

Perhaps a closer look at the two giant breed mix that combine to create a Daniff, the Great Dane and Mastiff, will help us to understand why their hybrid is quickly rising in popularity – and more importantly, whether or not this is the best dog breed for you.

Article Summary

The Great Dane


Great Dane Mastiff Mix: All About The Gentle Giant Daniff (1)

Originally known asBoar Hounds, the Great Dane breed was developed in Germany. Boar hunters needed a dog that was large enough to take on an angry boar but obedient enough to back off when ordered. Their large size and loyalty to their owners soon attracted the attention of the German nobles who were looking for guard dogs to protect their properties and their families.

From there the breed’s popularity as a guard dog spread. Although not overly aggressive, they didn’t need to be. Their size and the volume of their bark were enough to scare away even the most determined thief. As countries became more organized and the need for packs of guard dogs lessened, the Great Dane very easily adapted to life as a family pet, becoming known as the “Gentle Giant” of the dog world.

Breed Specifications

According to theAmerican Kennel Club (AKC), the Great Dane should be large and appear both powerful and graceful. Their coat should be short and dense and appear glossy and even. They come in many different colors, from solids to harlequins and merles from dark shades to light.

The females range in height from 28 to 32 inches and weigh between 100 and 160 pounds. The males range in height from 30 to 34 inches and can weigh between 150 and 200 pounds. While both genders should be lean and muscular, the males are broader across the chest and hips with thicker necks and wider heads.


Very few people who have owned or worked with Great Danes can find negative things to say about this breed’s personality. They seem to take their nickname as the “Gentle Giants” to heart and seem to win over every dog lover they encounter.

Fun-loving and playful in nature, they are eager to please and are smart enough to train easily. Their biggest drawback is their size and so it is necessary to make sure they are well socialized and trained before they are too big to easily control by force.

Despite their size, they do not need a lot of space to be happy. While not well suited for small apartments, they adapt well to large apartments or small homes as long as they get plenty of daily exercises.

English Mastiffs


Great Dane Mastiff Mix: All About The Gentle Giant Daniff (2)

The English Mastiff is anancient breed, with evidence of their existence tracing back over 5000 years. Originally bred for war, the ancestors of today Mastiffs were very large, very aggressive, fearless, and bloodthirsty. They fought beside the British in battle and Caesar had a pack that was trained as Gladiators and fought human gladiators in the arena.

As the need for war dogs abetted, so did this breed’s aggressiveness. While still valued as aguard dogbreed in feudal Europe, it was more their size and strength than their aggressiveness that was valued. By the time they found their way to America on the Mayflower, the breed was well regarded as a personal companion dog— loyal, attentive, and friendly to their owners but still willing to be aggressive if the need arose.

They are still widely used as protection dogs today, not because they are aggressive by nature but because their size is intimidating and their strength imposing.

Breed Specifications

According to theAKC, the English Mastiff should be massive in all ways. Broad across the shoulders and rump with a thick powerful neck and wide head. The coat is short and dense. They can be fawn, apricot, or brindle but all have the distinctive dark mask, ears, and nose.

The females range in height from 26 to 30 inches at the shoulder and although still well-muscled and broad, not as heavy as the males. They weigh between 120 to 180 pounds. The males are taller, ranging in height from 30 to 34 inches at the shoulder, and tend to be significantly heavier, from 180 to 230 pounds.


Despite their size and history, Mastiffs can make great family dogs. It is essential that this breed be well trained and socialized at a young age. While not known to be aggressive, they are very protective of their families. If they are not taught that strangers do not represent a threat when they are small, they may perceive every person they do not know as a threat. Their size and their strength make that possibility problematic.

That is not to say that these dogs are ferocious or dangerous. In general, they are very placid creatures. Even if they do perceive a threat, they are much more likely to let their size and their voice do the intimidating than actually show aggression.

In spite of their great size, this breed does need a lot of room to be happy. They adapt well to either urban or rural living but they are not outdoor dogs. They overheat easily and are much happier watching a movie with you on the sofa or a dog bed than sleeping in a dog house. They do need regular exercise but are not terrible active dogs.


Great Dane Mastiff Mix: All About The Gentle Giant Daniff (3)

Now to the Daniff. The origin story of this large breed hybrid is still being written and as a Great Dane, Mastiff mix breed, there are no AKC specifications. Daniffs are recognized by the International Designer Canine Registry but they are too new a hybrid to have height, weight, or personality traits attributed to them. All we can discuss is the averages and likely outcomes of crossing the 2 great breeds of dog.


Like most mixed breed dogs, it is difficult to predict exactly which parent Daniff puppies will favor. Some look like Great Danes, some look like Mastiffs, most have attributes of both parents. All are very large. Heights of 34+ inches and weight of 250 pounds, while not average, are not unusual.


The great personality of the Great Dane, Mastiff mix, the Daniff, has its fans raving. While both the parent breeds are known to be good family dogs, being loyal, gentle, and protective, it seems this hybrid breed takes the best of both of them when it comes to personality. Meet the new “Gentle Giant” of the canine world.

From the Great Dane side, the Daniff takes playfulness, intelligence, and general friendliness with other pets as well as people. From the Mastiff side, the Daniff takes calmness, patience, and attentiveness.

The result is a dog that makes a loyal and devoted companion for a single person or an entire family. Gone is the high-strung exuberance of the Great Dane side, replaced with a cheerful expression and drooly smile. Gone is the stubbornness of the Mastiff, replaced with an eagerness to please and an inquisitive mind. Gone is the distrust of strangers, replaced with a friendly curiosity about them making obedience training easy.


The Daniff is not a rugged outdoor type of dog. Although they enjoy a good run as much as the next pup when playtime is over they are happiest curled up on the sofa with their family. They never seem to get the concept that they are way too large to be lapdogs. They will not be content sleeping on a bed removed from the people in their lives, they like to be in the center of all the action.

The Daniff does not do well being left alone for long periods of time. They tend to get bored and suffer fromseparation anxietyboth of which can lead to behavior problems. Whether their bad behavior includes pooping or peeing in the house or destructive chewing, their size guarantees a hefty mess to clean up.

As with any large dog breed, including both of the parent breeds of this hybrid, The Great Dane and Mastiff, early training and socialization are imperative for the Daniff. Although they are not known to be difficult to train, on the contrary, they are eager to please, they do need a firm hand. Letting them get away with small infractions as pups made leads to a disastrous situation when you cannot control them as adults.

Because their sheer size will make them intimidating as adults, a Daniff puppy needs to understand from a young age that they cannot respond to fear with aggression. Fear is a confusing emotion for dogs and encountering a human that is afraid of them may lead to them responding with fear of their own. This fear can very easily become aggression if the dog feels cornered or that his family is at risk.

The only way to counter this response is to keep you Daniff well trained so they trust you and are well socialized so the hesitation of strangers does not trigger a fear response. Don’t worry that you will train the protectiveness out of your dog. It’s not possible. If your Daniff believes you are in danger it will always come to your aid. You just need to teach him which fears are real and which are not.

If you have the time, patience, and room to deal with a huge, loveable, drooly clown then the Daniff may be just the right dog for you. Any effort you have to expend when they are pups will be well rewarded with a lifetime of goodwill and good times.


How big do Mastiff Great Dane mixes get?

As with all mixed breeds, there is a fair amount of variation in the size of the Daniff. Most average between 27 and 30 inches tall at the shoulder and between 125 to 180 pounds, although there have been weights as high as 230 pounds recorded. Generally speaking, males are taller and heavier than females.

How much does a Daniff cost?

Because they are a relatively new hybrid breed, and they are growing in popularity, the Great Dane Mastiff breed can be expensive for a mixed breed. The prices range from $500 to $2000 for most reputable breeders. With a little bit of research, you may be able to find one at a shelter or rescue for significantly less. They are, unfortunately, often turned in by owners who simply were not prepared for their size and/or amount of destruction a 100-pound puppy can do.

Are Daniffs good family dogs?

Despite their size, Daniffs are very gentle dogs who would never try to hurt a member of their family. They make great family pets for older children but perhaps not so much for toddlers who can be easily knocked over by an exuberant Daniff paw ortail.

Is a Mastiff bigger than a Great Dane?

That depends on your definition of the world as “bigger”. Great Danes are the taller of the 2 breeds, ranging in height from 26 to 36 inches at the shoulder whereas English Mastiffs range in height from 25 to 30 inches at the shoulder. Mastiffs are the heavier of the 2 breeds with weights that average between 150 to 200 pounds. Great Danes usually weigh between 100 and 160 pounds.


How big will a Great Dane mastiff mix get? ›

Both Great Danes and English Mastiffs are giant breeds, so you can expect to have a very large adult dog. Most Daniffs range in height from 27 to 33 inches and can weigh in anywhere from 115 pounds to about 190 pounds, depending on the gender of the pup and the sizes of the parents.

What is a daniff mixed with? ›

The Daniff is a mixture of the Great Dane and Mastiff parent dog breeds. He is a giant-sized dog, but a very gentle giant. He is generally a low-maintenance dog who sheds very little. His coat will be soft and shiny.

Are Great Dane mastiff mix good dogs? ›

Great Dane mastiff mixes are loving, nurturing dogs with a protective instinct, so they're great pets for families with children. The dogs are large and take up a lot of space, so they're best suited to roomy homes with secure backyards.

What is the lifespan of a Daniff dog? ›

Physical Characteristics, Lifespan, and Other Highlights of the Daniff Dog Breed. When looking into the Daniff dog breed, you will find that they average 27 to 33 inches when full-grown. They are usually between 115 to 190 pounds full-grown, as well. Usually, a Daniff dog will live to be 8 to 12 years.

What is the largest dog in the world? ›

The Great Dane is generally recognised as being the largest breed in terms of height – but Irish Wolfhounds and English Mastiffs as worthy contenders too. When it comes to height and weight combined, no one is going to argue with the Mastiff's claim!

Which dog is bigger a Great Dane or a Mastiff? ›

A mastiff standing up is 28″ – 31″ tall, whereas Great Danes have a height of roughly 28″ – 32″, making them taller.

What are the prices of a Daniff? ›

How much does a daniff cost to own? Initial purchase price of a daniff puppy is $600-$900. Annual maintenance, veterinary care, and food is approximately $1,440 a year. They eat a lot and have some health issues that will require regular veterinary attention.

What two dog breeds make a Great Dane? ›

The Great Dane is huge, and that's no accident. Most agree that his pedigree is a combination of English Mastiff and Irish Wolfhound, though we do know what the Great Dane is a very old breed.

What is the friendliest from mastiff dog? ›

Despite its size, the German Mastiff is known for being gentle, affectionate, and friendly, making it an excellent choice as a family pet. They were the original "Gentle Giants" of the dog world.

How long does a mastiff Great Dane mix live? ›

The lifespan of Great Danes is sadly only between 6 to 8 years. The lifespan of the English Mastiff is on average slightly longer at around 8 to 11 years. The likely lifespan for a Great Dane English Mastiff Mix is likely to be around 7-10 years.

Are Great Dane Mastiffs aggressive? ›

They are generally considered to be gentle giants and good-natured family pets. But, as with all breeds, Great Danes can become aggressive. They are extremely territorial dogs and can attack with little warning. A Great Dane bite can have a serious and life-altering impact on victims.

What is the longest living Mastiff breed? ›

Northern American breeder dogs lived the longest. For breeder dogs, the Boerbel died the youngest at 4.50 years and the Bull Mastiff the oldest at 10.40 years (Table 6).

Can a Great Dane live 20 years? ›

Great Danes live between 8-to-10 years, with some living only 6 or 7 years, and a lucky few reaching the ripe old age of 12. Compared to small dogs, which can live almost twice as long, this hardly seems fair.

What is the most expensive dog? ›

1. Samoyed – $14,000. Coming in at the #1 overall spot for the most expensive dog in the world is the Samoyed originating from Siberia. The rare breed is known for its kind, loving, and eager to please attitude along with their smiling faces.

What breed is Scooby Doo? ›

Scooby-Doo is a Great Dane. The character was designed by Iwao Takamoto, an animator at Hanna-Barbera. According to the American Kennel Club, Great Danes are "the mighty 'Apollo of Dogs,'" which is very unlike the silly and cowardly Scooby-Doo.

What is the smartest dog in the world? ›

1. Border collie. According to The Intelligence of Dogs, which ranks 131 dog breeds in terms of their relative intelligence, the border collie is the smartest dog breed known to man.

Is A Mastiff stronger than a wolf? ›

While Tibetan Mastiffs are unafraid of protecting their family and property, a wolf is simply a more capable hunter when compared to a Tibetan Mastiff. However, this large and powerful dog breed is likely able to stand up to a wolf's attack, and may indeed survive the battle.

Is a King Corso bigger than a Great Dane? ›

While both are large breeds of dogs. Cane Corso's are smaller than Great Danes. Great Danes can grow to a height of 32 inches. In comparison to Cane Corso, the Great Dane can grow an additional 7 inches in height!

What is the biggest and strongest Mastiff? ›

The English Mastiff is the largest breed of mastiff dogs. It is more commonly referred to as just a Mastiff and is the dog most people think of when referring to the term. English mastiffs can grow up to 30 inches tall (76cm) and have the capability of weighing over 230lbs (104kg).

What is the most expensive Mastiff? ›

The Tibetan mastiff is considered the most expensive dog, as it has sold for thousands and even millions.

What is the biggest Great Dane litter? ›

Namine, a 2-year old Great Dane in Virginia, gave birth to a whopping 21 puppies over a total of 27 hours. An adorable Great Dane has become a supermom after birthing 21 pups over the course of 27 hours. Namine, a 2-year-old Great Dane, started her epic birthing journey last Wednesday, according to CNN affiliate WVVA.

Do Great Dane mastiffs shed? ›

Do Great Danes shed? Yes. They're considered moderate to heavy-shedding dogs even though they only have a single coat. Part of the reason for this is because of their sheer size — your Great Dane might think they're a tiny lap dog, but all of that surface area tends to put off a lot of hair.

Is a Mastiff an inside or outside dog? ›

Mastiffs tend to be lazy and need daily exercise to keep from gaining too much weight. All dogs thrive when they are with their family in the house, and the Mastiff is no exception. They should sleep and live in the house, not in the yard.

Are Mastiff mixes aggressive? ›

Final Thoughts. Mastiffs are not aggressive by nature, but they can quickly become so if not trained, socialized, or appropriately approached. Due to their enormous size, such behaviors can sentence them to be one of the most aggressive breeds of dogs.

Do Mastiff dogs bark? ›

Mastiffs are easy to house-train and do not bark much — unless they have a reason. They are also known to snore because of their long, soft palate, but this will vary with each individual dog.

What is the rarest Great Dane? ›

Black and Tan: Black and tan Great Danes are quite rare, and are the result of a recessive gene that produces a black coat with tan markings on the legs, chest, and face. These dogs are often described as "reverse Dobermans" because of their similar appearance.

What Great Danes can you not breed together? ›

The color code specifically prohibits certain crosses.
  • A Blue cannot be bred to a Fawn or Brindle. This eliminates tainting the Fawn/Brindle gene pool with the d blue-dilution allele. ...
  • A Blue cannot be bred to a Harle, or Black-from-Harle. ...
  • A Fawn or Brindle cannot be bred into a Harlequin line.

How smart is a Great Dane? ›

The average Great Dane is considered to be as clever as a three-year-old human, and studies have shown that they are able to understand up to 250 words and gestures. They are also very quick to learn new commands. This intelligence is likely a result of the breed's working history.

What is the laziest Mastiff breed? ›

Tosa. While Tosas may look ferocious (and they do make good guard dogs), they are as patient and calm as can be. Also known as the Japanese mastiff, the Tosa is large and super affectionate with his family (though he can get aggressive with new dogs).

Do Mastiffs like to cuddle? ›

Dignified, noble, loyal—the English Mastiff is a gentle giant who wants nothing more than to be near his family. A Mastiff is likely to want to cuddle and rest his head on your lap rather than sleep in his own bed.

What is an ultimate Mastiff? ›

The Ultimate Mastiff is a large, muscular hybrid dog, created from crossing a Dogue de Bordeaux and a Neapolitan Mastiff. These massive dogs can live up to 12 years, and stand between 23 to 30 inches tall. The Ultimate Mastiff is best suited for experienced, dominant owners.

What looks like a Great Dane but bigger? ›

Irish Wolfhound

The wolfhound wins by inches as the tallest dog breed. The Irish wolfhound is the tallest of all dogs, even the Great Dane. 5 According to breed standard, the minimum height should be 32 inches for males and 30 inches for females.

What is the most desirable Great Dane color? ›

The most popular Great Dane color is very individual, however, Fawn is perhaps the most widely recognized Great Dane color.

What is the most famous Great Dane? ›

Scooby-Doo is perhaps the best-known big-screen Great Dane.

What is a Great Dane and Bullmastiff mix called? ›

Daniff, Mastidane. The Bull Daniff is a designer breed composed of two purebreds, the Bullmastiff and the Great Dane. The Bull Daniff will be a large to giant dog. His coat will be short and shedding will be moderate. Brushing can be done weekly to remove dead hair and to keep his coat shiny.

What is the oldest Great Dane dog ever? ›

The longest-lived Great Dane on this list so far, Pirate lived to be a whopping 11 ½ years old. This adopted dog lived with owners Sarah and Laurence for over a decade, outliving his older brother, Digby, by a few years.

Do Mastiff mixes shed? ›

Yes, my friend, congratulations if you're already an owner. Mastiffs shed between moderate to heavy. Even though shedding may worsen or lessen depending on the season, they are still known to shed all year-round. As is common with many breeds of dog, many mastiffs predominantly shed during two seasons: summer and fall.

Do Great Danes get jealous? ›

They can get jealous over many of the same things that would make humans jealous – their best friend spending time with someone else. One Great Dane, Bagira, was quite jealous of the family's new puppy. He hated the fact that the little pup was getting more attention from their owner than he was. Bagira isn't alone.

Why does my Great Dane growl at me? ›

2) Does Your Great Dane Growl At You? If your Great Dane grumbles or growls at you when you wake him up, try to take a toy or other item from him, or when you move him off his favorite chair this is a sign of disrespect. Again he is telling you that you are not in charge.

Why does my Great Dane bite so much? ›

Great Dane Puppies bite to learn how to control their jaws, to develop appropriate social skills, and because it's hard to learn the difference between fingers and chew toys. Additionally, biting also feels good for their puppy teeth. Puppy owners should rest assured that it is normally not aggressive behavior.

Why do Mastiffs lean on you? ›

Dogs lean on people because they want to be close to them. Whilst small dogs can be picked up and cuddled, bigger dogs do what they can to get close like leaning on you with all their weight.” Leaning is a completely harmless behavior in dogs as it is usually a sign of comfort and love.

Can a dog live 20 years? ›

The aging profile of dogs varies according to their adult size (often determined by their breed): smaller dogs often live over 15–16 years (no longer than 20 years), medium and large size dogs typically 10 to 20 years, and some giant dog breeds such as mastiffs, often only 7 to 8 years.

What dog breed is the healthiest and lives the longest? ›

Healthiest Longest Living Dog Breed: Australian Cattle Dog

When it comes to longevity, the Australian cattle dog reigns, living on average for 12–16 years. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the longest living dog ever recorded was an Australian cattle dog named Bluey who lived to the ripe old age of 29.

What is the most common cause of death for Great Danes? ›

Gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV): More commonly called bloat, GDV is the most common cause of death in Great Danes. The condition can obstruct the blood supply from the dog's stomach to its heart or cause the stomach lining to rupture. Early signs include a distended abdomen, wrenching, drooling, or abdominal pain.

What is happy tail syndrome in dogs? ›

Happy tail syndrome in dogs occurs when this strong tail repeatedly hits solid objects with force during a wagging session, resulting in the thin skin of the tail splitting open. You would think that this injury would be enough to stop even the happiest tail in its tracks, but alas this is not usually the end of it.

Are Great Danes easy to train? ›

Great Danes generally get along with other animals, particularly if raised with them, but some individuals in the breed can be aggressive with dogs they do not know. Great Danes are considered easy to train, but some Great Dane fanciers say that individuals can be stubborn learners.

What is the size of a Danish Mastiff? ›

A well trained Broholmer should be calm, good tempered, and friendly, yet watchful towards strangers. Females stand about 27.5 inches (70 cm) and weigh in at 90–130 pounds (41–59 kg). Males stand about 29.5 inches (75 cm) and weigh in at 110–150 pounds (50–68 kg).

What is the lifespan of a Mastiff Great Dane mix? ›

The lifespan of Great Danes is sadly only between 6 to 8 years. The lifespan of the English Mastiff is on average slightly longer at around 8 to 11 years. The likely lifespan for a Great Dane English Mastiff Mix is likely to be around 7-10 years.

How long do Mastiff Great Danes live? ›

For such big dogs, Great Danes sure get the short end of the stick when it comes to longevity. Great Danes live between 8-to-10 years, with some living only 6 or 7 years, and a lucky few reaching the ripe old age of 12.

What is the largest Mastiff breed in the world? ›

The English Mastiff is the largest breed of mastiff dogs. It is more commonly referred to as just a Mastiff and is the dog most people think of when referring to the term. English mastiffs can grow up to 30 inches tall (76cm) and have the capability of weighing over 230lbs (104kg).

What is the biggest dog Mastiff? ›

The English Mastiff is officially the world's biggest dog breed, weighing as much as 200 pounds. According to the Guinness Book of Records, an English Mastiff dog called Zorba weighed in at 142.7kg and stood 27 inches high in 1981.

What is the biggest Mastiff ever? ›

The largest mastiff ever was Zorba, an Old English Mastiff that grew to around 345 pounds. Also known as Aicama Zorba of La-Susa, Zorba may still hold the record for heaviest dog in the world, regardless of species. Zorba broke two Guinness World Records in 1987: both the longest and heaviest dog in the world.

Are Great Danes hard to keep? ›

Great Danes generally get along with other animals, particularly if raised with them, but some individuals in the breed can be aggressive with dogs they do not know. Great Danes are considered easy to train, but some Great Dane fanciers say that individuals can be stubborn learners.

Do Great Dane Mastiffs shed? ›

Do Great Danes shed? Yes. They're considered moderate to heavy-shedding dogs even though they only have a single coat. Part of the reason for this is because of their sheer size — your Great Dane might think they're a tiny lap dog, but all of that surface area tends to put off a lot of hair.

What makes Great Danes happy? ›

These pups love love. They need lots of affection and socialization with people and other animals, making them great family pets.

What is the number one killer of Great Danes? ›

Health. Bloat, or gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), is the number-one killer of Danes.

What is a Viking dog? ›

History. Norway's national dog, the Norsk elghund (Norwegian Elkhound or more accurately “moose dog”) is a medium-sized dog that has hunted, herded and played guard dog since Viking times.


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