Discover the Daniff: The Gentle Giant of the Designer Dog World
Giant dog breeds are undeniably intriguing—what could life be like with a dog the size of a small horse? Many people fantasize about owning a giant breed, but few people enjoy living this dream. If you have considered owning an extra-large dog, you’ve probably looked into Great Danes, and some variety of Mastiffs—but did you know there’s a designer mixed breed combo of these two popular giants?
The Daniff is a Mastiff Great Dane mix with massive features and a gentle, loyal, loving personality. While mixed-breed dogs have become more popular in the past few decades, there are legitimate reasons to be suspicious of “designer” breeds like the Daniff. Does combining these giant breeds enhance health or well-being, or is it simply a marketing tactic to sell puppies?
Let’s explore the world of the Great Dane mix with Mastiff and learn a little about what it might take for you to make one of these beautiful dogs a member of your family.
Meet 9 Daniffs from Instagram
Daniffs are a mix of Great Dane and any variety of Mastiff. The American Kennel Club recognizes at least a dozen varieties of Mastiffs:
- Boerboel (South African Mastiff)
- Broholmer (Danish Mastiff)
- Cane Corso (Italian Mastiff)
- Dogo Argentino (Argentine Mastiff)
- Dogue de Bordeaux (French Mastiff)
- English Mastiff
- Neapolitan Mastiff (Italian Mastiff)
- Perro de Presa Canario (Canary Mastiff)
- Tibetan Mastiff
- Tosa (Japanese Mastiff)
Great Danes are also a variety of Mastiff from Germany, so a Daniff is a mix of two different types of Mastiff, but one must be a Great Dane. There are also several other Mastiff breeds not recognized by the AKC that are recognized by international kennel clubs. These breeds are not common in the United States, but would still create a Daniff dog when mixed with a Great Dane.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at a handful of giant, adorable, and diverse Daniffs from around the world!
Moose is a super tall Italian Daniff—which means he’s part Great Dane, part Italian Mastiff AKA Cane Corso. A total goof who loves to play with his mama’s patience, Moose is a lifelong troublemaker who enjoys life to the fullest at all times.
Look at that smile! Tank is a super playful Bullmastiff mix Great Dane from Sydney, Australia! A big boy, Tank was 100 pounds at just 36 weeks old with lots more growing to do.
Beautiful Penelope is a Great Dane English Mastiff mix who has the long legs of a Dane and the beautiful wrinkly face of a Mastiff! This sweet girl loves everyone including her doggie besties, and she can find a comfortable spot to nap no matter where she is.
Hamilton is a senior Bullmastiff mix with Great Dane from Ontario, Canada who loves to spend as much time as possible with his humans—especially his human “kid” who he enjoys watching during their soccer games. What a patient boy!
Arlo is an affectionate Italian Daniff (Great Dane Cane Corso mix) who moved from the US to Canada with his family members. Arlo loves people and especially kids, but he’s also always ready to play with other dogs when he gets the chance.
Kreed is a French Daniff—a Great Dane Dogue de Bordeaux (French Mastiff) mix! Kreed has the classic French Mastiff fur color and some of the face wrinkles the breed is also known for, but he’s much leaner than the average Dogue de Bordeaux thanks to his Great Dane parentage.
Bear is a beautiful English Mastiff mix with Great Dane with a ton of personality. A little weird but so entertaining, Bear has the funny and expressive face many Mastiffs have. Don’t worry, she’s not judging you…probably.
This beautiful boy is Benjen, an English Mastiff mixed with Great Dane who inherited a gorgeous brindle merle coat that makes him one of a kind. Just one year old, Benjen is about full-size, but he’s still got some puppy playfulness in his nature.
When you own a giant breed, they can do things other dogs can’t—like drink from the human water fountain! Lando is a Great Dane mix Bullmastiff from Chicago who spends as much time as possible playing at the park and going outside with his humans.
Great Dane Mastiff Mix Basic Info
The term “designer dog breed” is something of a misnomer. The term was created as a marketing tactic to sell mixed-breed dogs, and it has worked pretty well. Nevertheless, it’s important to understand that breeds like the Daniff aren’t purebred dogs or recognized by the American Kennel Club or other reputable breeder organizations.
Daniffs are unique even among designer mixed breeds since a Daniff can be a combination of Great Dane and more than one dozen other breeds. In the United States, Daniffs will most commonly be Great Dane mix with Bullmastiff or an English Mastiff Great Dane mix, but this isn’t the rule. Any Mastiff x Great Dane mix qualifies as a Daniff.
Because there is even less standardization amongst Daniffs than other mixed breed dogs, it can be quite difficult to predict things like temperament, size, and health. This said, we’ve done our best to compile general information about living with a Great Dane Mastiff mix—just remember, every dog is an individual and these pieces of information may not apply to every Daniff dog.
Gentle, affectionate, and patient, Daniffs are known to be fabulous family dogs who often love children, other dogs, and even small animals. Courageous and protective, Daniffs develop deep bonds with their families and may be slightly nervous of strangers or suspicious of new situations until they see that everything is safe. Generally cheerful and goofy, many Daniffs act like giant puppies and enjoy gentle tussling, playing with toys, and opportunities to make a little mischief.
My “Daniff” 7yo is one of the best damned dogs I’ve ever known. I feel the mix lets the Dane side help mellow the otherwise nervous tendencies that Cane [Corsos] can have. He’s not wily but is very smart and really just wants everyone to be happy,” says a Reddit user sharing their experience with a Great Dane Mastiff mix in a comment. “He has a slightly less “jowly” look than a full mastiff but you can still see the droop. Longer nose, giant floppy ears. His tail is a weapon … any man around 6′ tall may well want a cup because we’re the perfect height to get the tip of the tail whopping us right below the belt. It’s like getting smacked by a pit bull tail that is 18″ higher reach.”
Intelligent and energetic though still easy going and sometimes tentative, Daniffs do especially well with positive reinforcement training and early socialization to weed out any nervousness or shyness. Quick learners, Daniffs are very receptive to training and enjoy routine to help them feel secure in their home lives. Because of their enormous size, Daniffs need training and socialization to be safely handleable and to safely interact with other people and dogs.
Daniffs are big dogs—the term “giant breed” isn’t an exaggeration, and most Daniffs pass 100 pounds before age one. On average, Daniffs range from 27–33 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 115–190 pounds when fully grown. Of course, the adult size of your Daniff will depend on what type of Mastiff they are mixed with, the most common being English Mastiffs and Bullmastiffs.
To give you an idea of Daniff size range, take a look at the height and weight of 12 of the Mastiff breeds recognized by the AKC. Remember, Great Danes are typically 28–32 inches tall and weigh between 110–175 pounds.
|Height & Weight of Common Mastiff Breeds|
|Boerboel (South African Mastiff)Source: @BoerboelBilly||22–27 inches||150–200 pounds|
|Broholmer (Danish Mastiff)Source: @BroholmerBuddies||27.5–29.5 inches||90–150 pounds|
|BullmastiffSource: @Bullmastiff_BobbyWaffles||24–27 inches||100–130 pounds|
|Cane Corso (Italian Mastiff)Source: @Oskar_469||23.5–27.5 inches||100–130 pounds|
|Dogo Argentino (Argentine Mastiff)Source: @ShimmyShimmyKokopup||24–26.5 inches||80–100 pounds|
|Dogue de Bordeaux (French Mastiff)Source: @RussellDeBordeaux||23–27 inches||110+ pounds|
|English MastiffSource: @TaterOnTheGram||30+ inches||120–230 pounds|
|Neapolitan Mastiff (Italian Mastiff)Source: @Barnabas.And.Madeline.The.Neos||24–31 inches||110–150 pounds|
|Perro de Presa Canario (Canary Mastiff)Source: @Ofelia_The_Presa||22–26 inches||84–110 pounds|
|Tibetan MastiffSource: @BabyWallyBear||26+ inches||70–150 pounds|
|Tosa (Japanese Mastiff)Source: @TosaDanny||21.5–23.5 inches||100–200 pounds|
Giant dog breeds are unfortunately plagued by a number of health conditions that can significantly shorten their lives, and the number one cause of death amongst Great Danes is bloat. A serious and life-threatening condition, bloat is especially common in large, deep chested dogs like the Daniff. Other health issues to be aware of if you own a Daniff include:
- Joint problems (e.g. hip and elbow dysplasia)
- Eye and vision problems
- Heart issues
- Thyroid issues
Where To Find Daniff Puppies for Sale
We do not recommend buying a Daniff puppy—or any mixed breed dog—from a breeder. If you have your heart set on Great Dane or Mastiff mix, we recommend visiting your local shelter or working with breed-specific rescues that specialize in giant breeds. Mixed breed dogs are bred purely for profit and not for health or temperament, and it is best not to support backyard breeding programs that produce designer breeds like the Daniff.
Daniff Dog FAQ
Don’t scroll away just yet! We have answers to your pressing questions about Great Dane Mastiff mixes.
What is the life expectancy of a Daniff?
Unfortunately, giant breeds are relatively short-lived, and the average lifespan for a Daniff dog is only 8–12 years.
How much does a Daniff cost?
Backyard breeders charge $1,000–$2,000 on average for Daniff puppies, but you should not buy a Daniff from a breeder. The only ethical way to acquire a Daniff is by adopting.
Do Great Dane Mastiff mixes shed?
Yes, but because most have very short fur it is not very noticeable.
Is a Daniff dog the same thing as a Mastidane?
Yes—two other common names for the Daniff are Mastidane and Great Daniff.
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