Great Dane Mastiff Mix: All About The Gentle Giant Daniff (2024)

Key Takeaways

  • The Daniff is a crossbreed from two giant breeds, the Great Dane and the EnglishMastiff.
  • Like the parent breeds, Daniffs are good family dogs, as they are gentle and protective.
  • Daniffs also take the giant size and the powerful build of both parent breeds. Although rarely aggressive, they still need early socialization so as not to develop its protectiveness into aggression.

The Great Dane Mastiff mix, called the the Daniff, is a large mixed breed that is affectionate, protective and intelligent.

The idea of hybrid breeds of dogs, mix-breed dogs that come from two purebred parents of different breeds, is not new. I have known about small hybrid breeds like the Yorkie-Poo and co*ck-a-Poo poodle mixes 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—this is one of the major reasons why I always warn people to only buy from a reputable breeder. 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 the large mixed breed dog, the race was on to create as many different pairings as possible. While some of these pairings of dog breeds 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.

The Great Dane


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

Originally known as Boar 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) [1], 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 and as hunting dogs, the ancestors of today Mastiffs were very large, very aggressive, fearless, and bloodthirsty. This war dog breed 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 the AKC, the English Mastiff should be massive in all ways [2]. 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. Because both parents are big dogs, all mixes are very large. Heights of 34+ inches and weight of 250 pounds, while not average, are not unusual.


The great personality of the Daniff made it so popular. 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 dogs and animals, 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.Basic trainings including “leave it”, potty and leash training, are a must

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.

Great Dane Mastiff Mix: All About The Gentle Giant Daniff (2024)


How big will a Great Dane Mastiff mix get? ›

Daniff Size

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 do you call a Great Dane and Mastiff mix? ›

Mastidane, Great Daniff, English Daniff. 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.

Is a daniff the same as a Mastidane? ›

The Daniff is a mixed breed dog produced by pairing an English mastiff with a Great Dane. His name is also a combination of the two, though he's also sometimes called a mastidane or Great Daniff. Of course, listing his breeds out is acceptable too, if you dislike designer doggo names.

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 biggest dog in the world? ›

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. Impressive!

What are the pros and cons of daniffs? ›

They get along very well with children and other animals. At the same time, they are protective and make great watchdogs, intimidating potential intruders as much by their size as their bark. On the downside, they are expensive to maintain, but many families will find the investment well worth it.

Which is bigger mastiff or Great Dane? ›

An English Mastiff and a Great Dane are two of the largest dog breeds in physical size. Weights range from 160–230 pounds for a Mastiff male and 120–170 pounds for a Mastiff female, with some topping the scales at 300 pounds! Between 110 and 175 pounds is the ideal weight for a fully grown Great Dane.

What is the Viking dog? ›

We are talking about the Swedish Vallhund – an ancient, national dog breed of Sweden breed is at least 1,000 years old, going back to the age of the Vikings. At that time, the breed probably had been known as “Vikingarnas Hund,”or the Viking Dog.

What two dogs make a Great Dane? ›

He's the gentle giant of the dog world! 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.

Is a Tamaskan a wolf dog? ›

What is a Tamaskan? A Tamaskan is a dog with a wolf-like appearance. They were bred from Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, German Shepherds, and Samoyeds. Tamaskans make good working dogs and they are very gentle and loving with their family members.

What is a Daniff lifespan? ›

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.

Do Great Danes live long? ›

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. Compared to small dogs, which can live almost twice as long, this hardly seems fair.

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

These dogs will have big bodies, but even bigger hearts. The Great Dane English Mastiff Mix will be very tolerant and protective towards all members of the family and will dote on children.

Do Great Dane mastiffs 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.

Do mastiffs like other dogs? ›

The mastiff tends to get along with cats and other dogs, especially if they're introduced while young.

How much does a Great Dane Mastiff mix weight? ›

The English Mastiff Great Dane Mix is likely to weigh: Male 150-180 lb (68-81 kg) Female 130-160lb (59kg-73kg)

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).

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.

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