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Home > Dogs > How to Groom a Great Dane (Must Have Tools & Helpful Tips)

How to Groom a Great Dane (Must Have Tools & Helpful Tips)


Grooming is an essential part of care for our pets. A Great Dane is no exception. Even though these dogs have short, easy-to-manage coats, they still require basic care, and bathing can be a little challenging.

Because of their large size, bathing can be quite an experience. Here, we’re going to go over ways that you can manage grooming.

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How to Groom a Great Dane

1. Gather Up All Your Supplies

pet grooming tools
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Grooming is a must! Before you even bring your dog home, it’s good to have all of the needed supplies on hand. Here is a brief list of some grooming supplies for your Dane:

  • Ear & eye cleaning kit
  • Toothbrush
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Brushes
  • Doggy designated towels/cloths
  • Dog-safe wipes

2. Brush Your Dane Frequently

Because your Great Dane has short hair, you won’t have to worry about mats and tangles. But you still need to understand that this breed sheds just as much as any other.

Instead of finding loose hairs all over your fabrics and furniture, you can brush your Dane a few times a week to cut back on the debris and shed. You can purchase a few different brushing tools, each having their own benefit.

Slicker Brush

Slicker brushes have even, thin layers of bristles to remove dead skin, debris, and dead hair follicles from the coat. They are typically inexpensive, and many have a self-cleaning feature.

Synthetic Bristle/Animal Hair Brush

Both synthetic and animal hair brushes are flexible and tightly bound. These bristles evenly distribute oils through your dog’s coat, creating a lustrous finish.

De-Shedding Tool

De-shedding tools should be used sparingly, as they can cause skin irritation with frequent use. These tools are designed to get to the deep undercoat layer, removing any shed, debris, and dead skin that might be hiding there.

3. Get Your Dane Used to Nail Trimming Early

a person trimming a dog's nails
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Your Great Dane is going to get large very quickly. If they want to resist you on something, it will be much harder to get them to obey if they are scared or untrained. Your Great Dane will have very long nails that can do quite a bit of damage, so you won’t want to skip nail trimming.

So, the only solution is acclimating them while you can, starting when they’re puppies. Some dogs are very sensitive about having their paws touched, so try to meet them halfway.

4. Buy Proper Shampoos

Great Danes can suffer from allergies related to food and environmental factors. So, it’s crucial that the shampoo and conditioner will not irritate or further dry out their skin.

To protect your Great Danes skin, you should always buy proper shampoos free of fragrance and unwanted dyes. Synthetic fragrances can cause allergic reactions, even in very healthy dogs. It’s best to choose all-natural options when you can.

Luckily, there are tons of fragrance-free shampoos and conditioners on the market. Some use essential oils and other natural aromas to keep your dog feeling and smelling fresh.

5. Wipe Down Between Baths

disposable wipes
Image Credit: Yevhen Prozhyrko, Shutterstock

Many folks keep doggy-specific wipes or scent-free baby wipes on hand to give their Danes wipe-downs in between baths. You simply take a wipe and wipe their fur to remove any debris, dander, or bad smells. If you use this method, you can likely wait longer between sponge baths or full-body baths.

6. Get Creative at Bath Time

Your Great Dane is going to be very tricky to bathe. Most full-grown Great Danes will have trouble fitting in a traditional bathtub or stand up shower. Many owners prefer to sponge down their Dane instead of giving them a full body bath.

To give your Dane a bath easily, follow these steps:
  • Fill up to basins of lukewarm water—one soap, one only water
  • Get a washcloth designated for your dog
  • Wash your dog with soapy water section by section
  • Take the basin of warm, clean water, and rinse the soap from your dog thoroughly
  • Have a towel nearby to dry things up

It’s important to put only a little soap into the water. If you get the concoction too bubbly, you might have to rinse several times, creating an even bigger mess.

If you have access to a hose in the warmer months, you can give your Dane a bath in the backyard. We recommend doing this on a wooden deck or cement surface so you don’t muddy up the area, getting your Dane even dirtier in the long run.

If you have a large enough area, you can bathe your Dane in your actual tub. We want to stress that this will only be for some Danes.

We reserve this method for well-mannered and cooperative Danes during grooming time. If you have a rambunctious Dane, it will take two or more people just to hold them still while bathing takes place. It can prove to be very complicated and stressful for all parties.

7. Keep Your Great Dane’s Ears Clean & Dry

great dane ear check by vet
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If you get water down in your Dane’s ears, it can be a breeding ground for bacteria. These bacteria cause infections in the inner ear canal, which can be painful and hard to treat. After baths, thoroughly dry the ears.

Also, after every bath, take a dry washcloth or towel to dry the inside of the ear (but not in the canal itself.) try to steer clear of Q-tips, as this can cause serious damage to your dog’s hearing if you go too far inside by mistake.

8. Start Tooth Brushing Early

Dental health is incredibly important for your Great Dane, as periodontal disease is common (but preventable) later in life. To remove all plaque and prevent tartar, it’s best to brush your Dane’s teeth daily.

You can also get them teething and tooth-cleaning toys for self-brushing.

9. Take Your Dane to the Groomer

great dane grooming
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Your Dane wants pampering, too! Why should long-haired pups get all the attention? Every so often, taking your pup to the groomer will be a lovely change of pace. This is a terrific way not only to clean your dog, but also to socialize them in a public setting.

And then, your pup will return feeling and looking their freshest—and there’s no work in it for you. Everyone wins!



Grooming your Dane will be a cinch once you get the hang of it. Since Great Dane’s have short hair, they will be a breeze to brush—and once they are mannerly, they will be easy as pie to spruce up.

Remember to get your Dane accustomed to grooming as early as possible to create a bond and trust. Plus, it will be easier to teach a puppy than to hold down a full-grown 120-pound adult!

Featured Image credit: verky01, Shutterstock

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