Labrador vs Great Dane — Which breed is better?

I’m one lucky person who has lovely neighbors. The thing which I like the most is their pet dogs. They’re too adorable to resist. I used to watch them daily with my neighbors, walking and playing around. I couldn’t resist dreaming about owning my own pup. So, I decided to choose from the two dogs which I got to see on a daily basis besides my home – the labrador and the Great Dane. Knowing that both of them got along with their owners superbly, I was really confused about which one to buy.

After a detailed discussion with my neighbors…

Here’s what I found out:

Both Labradors and Great Dane are loyal, friendly, social, and overall happy dogs. Choosing the right one for you depends upon your personality, your house size, and the preferences of your family. If you have an apartment, kids, and not-so-active family then go for Great Dane. If you have a bog house with a backyard, Active and always ready to play family, and kids then go for Labrador.

Labrador vs Great Dane (Video)


Are you confused between a labrador and Great Dane? See the detailed comparison below to make the right decision.


You can make the right decision by digging into the history of how and why the dog was bred for the first time. Thus shows the behavior, health, and temperament of a dog.

Note that history is not a sure shot and a single way to know about a particular dog breed. Other factors also count which will I’ll discuss later. So hang on!


Labradors were first bred in Canada for the purpose of retrieving fish and birds that were missed by the hunters (their owners).

Labradors were also made to participate in sporting activities. Today, labs are considered as one of the most famous dog pets in the United States due to their high intelligence and friendly behavior.

Great Dane:

Great Dane was first bred in Germany. It is known for its agility and giant size.

Great Dane was first born when the Molossian hound and Siliot dog were bred. The reason to breed them was to get a stronger version of bore hounds.

In the 18th century, Great Dane was first introduced in England. It was a working breed with strong muscles and a huge body.

Great Dane is also called the Gentle Giant because of its huge size but friendly nature. It’s also known as the “Apollo of dogs” because it is the biggest of all dogs. Apollo is the Greek God of the sun that appears to be the brightest one in the sky.

So, Labradors were retrieving and sport g dogs while Great Danes were meant to be working dogs. 

Size and lifespan:

The size of a dog tells you whether you can adjust it to your house or not. Some dogs don’t feel comfortable in small apartments and need spacious houses. While others adjust pretty well in flats and apartments.


Labradors belong to medium to large dog breeds. Labradors can grow 22 to 24 inches tall.

The lifespan of Labradors is 8 to 12 years.

Great Dane:

Great Dane belongs to the category of large dog breeds. They are huge and tallest of all the dogs. Zeus was a Great Dane, tallest dog ever, who’s height was 44 inches from paws to shoulders. It was 5 years old and died in 2014.

The average height of Great Dane is 28 to 31 inches. They can weight anywhere between 110 to 180 pounds. Now you better know why they are known as “Great” Danes!

Great Danes can live up to 8 years.

So, Labradors are lighter and smaller than Great Danes. The lifespan of Labradors is more than the Great Danes.

Shedding and Grooming:

Who likes to clean the hair of their dog from all over the house? A dog that sheds less and needs minimal grooming is the one to go for.


Labradors shed throughout the year but the shedding process is slow. So, they are considered to be moderate shedders.

Labradors need less grooming and maintenance. The glossy and smooth skin cleanses very easily.

Great Dane:

Great Danes shed very less. They have a single layer of thick hair. They need minimal grooming.

So, both Labradors and Great Danes shed less and need minimal grooming but Great Danes win in this case. 

General Characteristics:

Friendly Nature:

A loving and friendly dog makes a perfect family pet. Go for the dog that is friendly and loves you.


Labradors are very friendly in nature. They make friends very quickly. They love humans including children, pets, and other animals.

It’s very rare that labrador bites or becomes aggressive. Overall, the labrador is a loving breed.

Great Danes:

Great Danes are very friendly. They love to see new people and make friends.

Great Danes are not very affectionate but not cold either. They love their owners but when it comes to strangers, they need some time to adjust.

So, both Labradors and Great Danes are great friends. 


The social behavior of dogs shows how much it can mix up with humans. If a dog is socially active then it can adjust with humans quickly. That’s a good thing.

But if you don’t want to hang around every day then choose the dog who also doesn’t want to see people every day. Only make sure that the dog doesn’t like to be alone all the time.


Labrador loves to hang out and make new friends. It hates to live alone even for a few hours. You will find your labrador beside you all the time as it likes to be around humans.

Great Dane:

Great Dane is a social breed. It adjusts well and feels happy around people. Great Danes also accept new pets and animals happily.

Having said that, Great Danes don’t require daily social interactions.

So, Labradors are more socially active than Great Danes. 


The dog who’s more intelligent is the one to choose as your family pet. An intelligent dog is a quick learner and understands your home environment very well.


Labradors are very intelligent dogs. In fact, the labrador is the seventh most intelligent dog breed. It picks your words and action fastly and obeys you. It understands almost 300 human phrases.

Great Dane:

These muscular Gentle giants are average when it comes to intelligent. They are smart but not sharp. They learn things but it takes time.

So, Labradors are smarter then Great Danes. 



Labradors are gentle and affectionate. They know how to manage their temperament even in unfavorable situations.

Great Dane:

Great Danes are confident and friendly. They love and like to be loved. This affectionate nature helps create a strong bond between Great Danes and their owners.

Great Danes are not aggressive. This doesn’t match their huge stature and that is why many people freak out by their appearance and don’t accept that Great Danes are gentle and friendly.

Exercise needs:

An active dog needs to be taken out for a walk and play on a daily basis. Also, an active and energetic dog needs more space in your house to play and run around.

So, choose the one that’s according to your house’s size.


Labradors are very active and full of energy. They need to run and jump daily. For this purpose, you should be prepared to take your lab for a walk on a daily basis. They need almost 40 mins of strenuous exercise.

As labs are very active, they don’t love apartments. You should own a lab if you have a spacious house where t can run around and play.

Great Dane:

Great Danes are big and tall yet they don’t need much space to run around. They are not very active. They’re energetic and alert but don’t need much space for playing.

Greta Danes can be adjusted in apartments easily. They don’t mind sitting and playing rather than running around.

Great Danes also don’t need long walks once they are fully grown.

So, Labradors are more active and need more exercise as compared to the Great Danes. 

Special skills:


Labradors are very skillful. They like to retrieve anything for their owners. They are good are finding something and is very observant.

Great Dane:

Great Dane is a working breed. They have powerful muscles. They were used to pull carts but now they’re domesticated.

Unfortunately, Great Danes were also used in fights and still are used in some countries. Due to this, they develop aggressive behavior and strong will to run and chase the prey.

Health issues:

The dog that’s going to be your family pet must be healthy overall. Every dog needs regular visits to the vet and annual vaccination.


Labradors are overall healthy dogs but they can develop various illnesses after growing up.

According to CHIC (Canine Health and I formation Center), Labradors can develop dysplasia, ear and eye infections, and even cancer.

So, it’s important to get your lab checked by the vet after regular intervals and take him for vaccination whenever it’s due.

Great Dane:

Great Dane is overall healthy and doesn’t experience many illnesses/disorders.

When grown-up, Great Danes can experience hip dysplasia, valve dysplasia, and other heart diseases. It’s important to get your Great Dane checked by the vet and don’t forget it’s vaccination.

So, both Labradors and Great Danes are overall healthy dogs but Great Danes are healthier. 



As said earlier, labs are very intelligent. They also love to please their owners. That is why training a labrador is very easy. You can train him according to your home environment and it won’t let you down.

Great Dane:

It’s quite easy to train Great Dane. It loves to obey its owner and please him. Great Dane takes just a few days to get trained.

But as it’s not very intelligent, so, it will not understand your language (as labs do) but it will follow your actions as you say and do.

So, both Labradors and Great Danes are easy to train, Labradors being the winner in this case as they’re more intelligent. 

Caring for the pet:


Labradors are easy-to-go pets. They don’t need extra care. Just the right amount of healthy food and vaccination is all they need.

They also need minimal grooming so it’s overall easy to take care of them.

Great Dane:

Great Dane doesn’t require much care. It requires lots of food as it grows at a very fast pace.

Further, Great Danes doesn’t require much grooming as they shed very less.

But you have to notice any symptoms of hip dysplasia or any other illness when they’re growing. Rest, you have to vaccinate it when required.

So, both Labradors and Great Danes require minimal care. 

Labrador as a family pet:

Labradors are great family dogs. They are friendly, smart, loving, alert, active, and healthy dogs. They love your children and protect them from any harm. Labs are also great for seniors and guests. They understand what you want from them so they live peacefully with their owners.

Great Dane as a family pet:

Great Dane is very friendly and loyal. It is huge and looks furious but it’s not. Children are their favorites.

Great Dane loves their owners. They can adjust well even in a little apartment (despite their huge size).

Great Danes are good at home keeping as well. You can trust your Dane to look after your home. No one can dare come inside your house because of its big size and aggressive looks.



You can get a labrador puppy between $1000 to $2000.

Great Dane:

You can get a Great Dane pup from just $800 to $1200.

The Takeaway:

If you’re considering to adopt a puppy and are confused between a labrador and a Great Dane then look no further. Above is a detailed comparison between these two breeds so that you can choose the best for you.

Both Great Danes and Labradors are loyal, friendly, active, social, and good with kids. You’ve to choose one that suits you in all respects. Good luck with that!


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