Saint Bernard vs. Great Dane: Differences and Similarities

Both Saint Bernard and Great Dane are large dog breeds, though Great Danes are taller whereas Saint Bernards are more robust. The temperament of both breeds is friendly but Saint Bernards are generally more docile, while Great Danes are energetic and enjoy more physical activity.

Great Danes require more exercise than Saint Bernards and have a shorter lifespan, typically 6-8 years, compared to 8-10 years for Saint Bernards. Lastly, Saint Bernards tend to drool more and are better suited to cooler climates, while Great Danes can adapt to a wider range of weather conditions.

Last Updated on September 20, 2023

*. Compare the Saint Bernard to find your next family pet. These two majestic breeds are members of the Giant Breed Club. This breed comparison guide will help you decide which breed is best for your family.

While both these breeds are very similar ,, they also have plenty of differences It is important to fully understand what each breed brings to your home, from their personalities to how they exercise and groom.

While both breeds make great family companions and guard dogs, each has a little bit more to offer than the other , depending upon your goals. In this article, we’ll provide you with all the gentle giant 101 you need. Let’s get straight to the canine comparison!

Saint Bernard vs. Great Dane

Breed History

The at the very beginning . is the best place to begin your research. You will discover the reasons for their creation and their purpose. This might surprise you, but it is one of the best indicators about their potential personality as family pets. Let’s take another look.

Saint Bernard

It is believed that the forefathers of the Saint Bernard started their journey in 1050. The Alps are in Switzerland. To help wandering travelers, monks established a hospice. The monks developed the perfect mountain dog over a period of decades. He searched for lost and hurt travelers , and brought them back.

His love for humans meant that he saved the lives of almost 2,000 men during his time there. His caring personality led him to a recent job as a therapy dog. He continues his search and rescue work.

Ironically, in 2020, a Saint Bernard saw a role reversal and found herself stranded on a mountain top in the United Kingdom. It took a team of 16 men to rescue her.

Because they are so large, many giant breed owners consider the Saint Bernard to be their first choice for a big breed. They also are commonly compared with the English Mastiff and compared against the Bernese Mountain Dog by many would-be giant dog owners.

Great Dane

The Great Dane ,also called the German Mastiff ,, is the second-tallest dog in canine society. If you’re wondering who the first is, it’s the Irish Wolfhound. Today’s Great Dane is smaller than his forefathers. They were bigger and hunted wild Boar and deer to serve their noble masters. They were strong and muscular.

In the 16th century, they were bred smaller and more slender so that they could be adopted as family pets. He was so charming and beautiful that he was made a chamber dog for wealthy families.

He might be large, but he’s a scaredy-cat. Scooby-Doo’s cartoon captures his playful and sensitive side perfectly. Because of their size and similar looks, it’s not uncommon for the Dane to be compared with an English Mastiff or other Giant Breeds.


The Great Dane and the Saint Bernard are easy to identify . They are not very similar in appearance, and they can’t be classified as giant dog breeds. There are many colors available for the Saint Bernard, including black, white and tan. Seven colors are officially recognized by the Great Dane: black, blue and brindle.

Saint Bernards generally have a shorter coat, and the Saint Bernard’s coat is usually medium length, or much longer and fluffier.

They are very similar in terms of their weight. The Saint Bernard weighs between 120 to 180 pounds, compared to the Great Dane, who weighs between 110 and 175 pounds. On average, the Saint Bernard is two inches shorter then the Great Dane. Both have droopy cheeks but the Saint Bernard is the jowl king. Both breeds drool quite a bit, so it is a good idea for both to have a drool cloth on hand for quick cleanups.

Both have large heads, with the Great Dane having a longer head than the Saint Bernard’s. Both have large paws to match their enormous bodies. However, their shape is the opposite . The Saint Bernard has a large butt, and it is quite chunky with all the extra fur. The Great Dane is more muscular than the Bernard, but it’s much lighter.


These gentle giants are truly the gentle giants among the giant breeds. They are so happy to be with their families and enjoy cuddling up on the couch with their pack. If they get a better cuddle, they will forget their sizes and pretend to be lap dogs. They are fun-loving clowns and will play with you if there are games. The main difference is that the Saint Bernard will quickly tire and choose to watch the action instead. The Great Dane will continue to watch until the end, while the Saint Bernard will tire quickly. The Great Dane is more of a clown that the Bernard. He will crash into things and knock them over if he’s too excited. Both are great with children, and they can be surprisingly gentle with small children.

The Saint Bernard is a rescue dog and loves to make friends with everyone .. They are not barking and don’t chase animals. The Bernard is not the right choice if you’re looking for a guard dog. Because the Great Dane has more friends, he is also friendly with strangers. The Great Dane is a barker and is an excellent deterrent to any intruders.

Both breeds are very gentle with other animals. They are happy to live as long as their family is happy. They will not be aggressive with other pets, such as cats or dogs. The Great Dane doesn’t have a high prey drive like many ex-hunting dogs.


Neither the Bernard nor the Dane need to be exercised a lot. High-impact exercise is not recommended for large dogs. Over-exercising them can cause joint problems. The Great Dane will need between 45 and 60 minutes of exercise every day. The Saint Bernard requires slightly less activity at 30 to 45 minutes as a minimum.

Both breeds can nap

equally well. Both breeds sleep a lot, especially puppies. Their huge bodies can grow .

Your lifestyle may determine which breed you choose. Many people mistakenly believe that the Saint Bernard can be used as a rescue dog and can hike for hours. The Great Dane is also a great rescue mountain dog. Mild is better than wild when it comes to giants.


The Saint Bernard is an intelligent and eager dog that is eager to please its master. He can be stubborn and lazy sometimes, but that’s okay. He is a highly trained dog . He is a highly-trained dog because of his love for people. Although the Great Dane is smart, he prefers to be silly than learn.

But, if your Great Dane can be made to play a game with you, it will surely captivate him. They are just like the Saint Bernard and can be delighted by a treat. Scooby snacks are a must for them. Positive reinforcement training is the best dog training method.

Early training is key for any dog. This includes obedience training as well as socializing with other dogs and people. They learn social skills and don’t become an annoying nuisance. It is a good idea to leash train these two guys. They can become too difficult to manage if they don’t.


Both the breeds are large dogs and as such have a shorter life expectancy than other dog breeds. On average, the Saint Bernard can live for one year longer than the Great Dane. These accelerated agers need to eat well and exercise regularly. Both will gain weight quickly if they are overfed and under-exercise.

Both are susceptible to hip or elbow dysplasia .. It can cause hip and joint problems in puppies if they are too active or grow too fast. You should keep your puppy’s exercise moderate and not too intense. This can also be helped by the right nutrition.

Both should be screened for eye condition , especially cataracts, progressive retinal loss, and entropion. Also, they should be screened for cardiac conditions such as dilated heart disease. It is important to keep their veterinary records current when it comes to their health.


Both breeds will consume roughly the same amount of food on average. Saint Bernards will consume about four to eight cups of food per day, and Great Danes eat about four to six cups a day, depending on their size. They are both susceptible to becoming overweight so make sure you read all the instructions before feeding them. In addition to causing major problems for their hearts and joints, excess weight can also cause other health issues.

Although they eat more than average dogs, they still need high-quality food. They will both need a high-quality, balanced diet . Your kibbles should be labeled large breed dog food. These kibbles will provide the best nutrition for rapid bone growth in a puppy.

As giant dog breeds, they are both prone to bloat. If you’re about to adopt one of these dogs, it is important to do your research and recognize the signs. Bloat is life-threatening and requires immediate treatment. Bloat is the number 1 killer of the Great Dane , so it’s important to be extra careful with him.


Their grooming routines are determined by the types of coats and their lengths .. Saint Bernards can have either a long or short-haired coat. For a longer coat, the Saint Bernard will require two to three grooming sessions per week to get rid of the fur. Even more so during the shedding season. He will require grooming twice weekly if he chooses to have a shorter coat.

The Great Dane’s coat requires less maintenance. His coat is sleek and short, and only needs to be brushed once per week to keep it looking shiny and healthy. Both will shed but the Saint Bernard will shed less and be more visible. This will make them more discerning in their grooming.


The average price for a Saint Bernard or Great Dane puppy purchased from a reputable breeder will be about the same. At $1,500 for a well-bred pup, it’s a great price to pay in return for a healthy and happy puppy. If you are in the market for a pup instead of a rescue, be sure to read up on backstreet breeders and puppy mills.

Final Thoughts

So there you go. These two giant, larger-than-life breeds are available for your consideration. Both make great family pets. However, their personalities and differences are what makes them different. This is what allows families to choose between them.

The Great Dane is a canine clown who’s clumsy and full of beans. You must be able and willing to give him the exercise and attention he requires. He can become a problem if he is not given the attention he needs. The Saint Bernard is a great choice if you want a dog that will be more relaxed and enjoy cuddles on the sofa with you. You can expect lots of cuddles, affection, love, and fun from whomever you choose.

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