Meet Pirate – the world’s oldest Great Dane!

An update: sadly the lovely Pirate passed away in November 2020. He lived a wonderful life, filled with love and treats from his rescuers – he will be missed.

“I truly believe we have tails to thank for Pirate still being with us. It’s not very common to see a great Dane as old as he is and I think it’s partly due to his special food. We are so happy we found tails.”

Sarah, Pirate’s owner

Looking for a feel-good story? We might just have the perfect one…

Meet Pirate the Great Dane. He’s always been special to his owners Sarah and Laurence, but now he’s even more so. Because Pirate is the ripe old age of 11 ½ years old. And now reportedly, he’s the oldest ever Great Dane. In the world!

Considering this large breed doesn’t usually live past 7 or 8 years old, we think Pirate is pretty impressive.

Pirate and his older brother, Digby, were adopted by Sarah and Laurence over 10 years ago from the RSPCA in Doncaster. Sadly, Digby passed away a few years ago, but Pirate is still going strong.

So what’s the secret? We asked his owner, Sarah, who puts his longevity down to a diet of chicken – and tailored nutrition from tails.com.

“We think your food had a massive part to play in his health and long life. He’s old and shouts at me with excitement when the box arrives, so I can’t help but give them to him ha ha! 

“He started on that six years ago and it has made such a difference to him.”

Our unique recipe for Pirate contains all the things he needs as a large breed – plus extra special support for seniors.

Sarah also thinks the wonderful home she’s given Pirate may have helped. Of course, he gets lots of love and cuddles and Sarah said she believes happiness has played a part and he’s always got a smile on his face.

Pirate is turning the ripe old age of 12 in February and Sarah says he’ll be celebrating with his favourite treat – chicken. 

63 thoughts on “Meet Pirate – the world’s oldest Great Dane!”

  1. That is a lovely story and I wish Pirate well. My German Shepherd Piper has been fed on Tails for most of her 7 years and people cannot believe her age, the way she runs about with so much energy and life. Thanks Tails, for keeping our dogs healthy!

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    • My Great Dane was 12 on the 10 th October 2020
      We live in Australia on a acreage and his still doing well. He has a bit of arthritis and incontinence otherwise doing very well
      Not sure how to put a picture up
      Male called Hercules fawn in colour and now weighing only 63 kg but used to be up around 68/70 when younger.

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      • Our Dane will be 12 in April. She’s having a tough time but we’ve been blessed to have her as our rescue since she was three!

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        • I have a blue female… Born November 2008… She still think she’s a pup…105 pounds at her prime… Now down to 87… Hind legs are starting to show mileage… I can throw the ball twice and then she has to plop down And say… OK time for lunch…

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    • Hi Mildred,

      Every dog is different, so what works for Pirate won’t necessarily be the best option for another dog. If you want to introduce something else to your dog’s feeding plan, send us an email at hello@tails.com so we can help you update the feeding plan.

      Millie

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  2. My Great Dane, Bailey, lived to 13 years old and his predecessor made it to 10. The one I have now is 8 and still thinks he’s a puppy.

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  3. Had three that made it , answer is lots of love. no overfeefing and careful excercise. They do not need mile long walks or buckets from which to eat

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  4. Not actually true as my friend has had several Great Danes and three lived past their 12th birthday. Although they more normally die as you say at around 7 or 8, when she has had three who lived a lot longer, I wonder how anyone can even think or hope that this is the oldest Great Dane, in the world, ever.

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    • Hi Jacquie,

      That’s amazing!

      Pirate made the news recently as the oldest – but we bet there’s plenty more who have lived to a ripe old age.

      Millie

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    • Our Great Dane will be 12 on the 20th of March. She isn’t the oldest, but with her declining health, she is dear to us. Good luck to all you dane parents with aging ones! They are certainly amazing dogs.

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  5. I have a Great Dane who turned 11 October 5. Up until recently with all of the major news sites posting that the oldest dane was 8. I had hope that I had a relic haha – but the more I dig the more I read of others having their danes living much longer and now Pirate! Congrats and I hope you continue to have great success with him!

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  6. Our Great Dane Mojo was 14 years old. He slept in a single bed and loved walks on the beach here in Yamba, Australia. We had to have him put down 2 months ago when his hind legs let him down.

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    • Our almost 1w year old girl is experiencing this now. It’s so sad because everything else is mostly the same, just her body wearing out.

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  7. We have two Great Danes and our older girl, Luna, is 10 as of November 11. While she has slowed down a lot she still loves to play like a puppy and our 3 1/2 year old Dane, Cookie, keeps her young with play and companionship as well. This is an awesome breed to have in our family. Reading how old Pirate is and how long some other people’s Danes lived gives me hope for our Luna and Cookie. ❤️

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  8. You should change your headline, you must know it’s not true. My own dear Dane was 14+ years old when he died. Would have lived longer if he hadn’t gotten a spinal injury that he could not over come. I miss him still. I put his longevity down to a balanced raw meat diet. I know of a breeder in Virginia Beach who also feeds raw and her Danes live much longer than 7 or 8 years.

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    • Hi, what a great life for Pirate. We don’t feed our Danes Tails but our oldest dog Kiera will be 12 in June 2021 so I guess they are similar in age. We also have a male Great Dane and he’s 7 yrs old. Both were adopted from a rescue centre in Wales 4 years ago, would be great to get in touch with you.

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    • My Duchess is 14 (turning 15 on the 4th of March) and she’s got plenty of puppy left in her as well! I will say this though, she’s definitely got a ton of white around her muzzle! She’s a blue and the white has crept in since she was about six or so!

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  9. Mine is Akc registered from February to April younger than Pirate and has been eating pedigree his entire life get a perfect bill of health with his annual vet visit I wonder what the record actually is for the oldest grate Dane

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  10. I love great danes!!! My beautiful girl is getting ready to celebrate her 13th birthday and still young!!! Wish these beauties lasted longer!!!

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  11. Good day! Such an amazing dog! Gorgeous. I have four of these magnificent beasts! They all sleep on sofas or beds and come and go in and out of the house as they please. My Merliquin Dane that looks a bit like Pirate turned 10 this year! And also, I have a Harlequin female Dane, she is the Queen of the house in every sense… She is 12 years old now, she chases birds on occasion, or sits on a sofa in our foyer barking at other dogs or people in the street, in contrast to running up to the fence like when she was younger. But from what I’ve gathered so far. She is therefore the oldest great Dane in the world.

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  12. My Dane will be 12 next month…maybe it’s good food, exercise and family that keep them young!! Maybe we should reevaluate the life expectancy of Danes…like people maybe it’s just longer!

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  13. My great dane turned 11 on August 1st and except for some hip issues, is doing well. I’m sure there are more out there that are this old. Mine is still living life!

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  14. My AKC great dane turned 11 on August 1st and except for some hip issues, is doing well. I’m sure there are more out there that are this old or older. I read an article where someone was trying to get one younger than mine in the Guiness Book of World Records as the oldest living one. Mine is still loving life and runs like a pup when she feels the urge!

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  15. So cute, Our Great Dane Cabela is 12 1/2 years old !!! We are so Blessed to have had her this long. She was born Sept 8th 2008.

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  16. My Akc pup Merlin whom is a blue Merle just turned 12 September 16th and going strong other than having number 2 accidents here and there. I have his birth certificate and Akc papers.

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  17. With great sadness I would like to say that Pirate was not the oldest or lets call it a tie, or extremely close second. My dane Jazzabelle who just passed this past Jan 6th would have been 12 In March. She survived Cancer multiple times and a near death bloat attack but lived an amazing life. She was a Merliquin and was given to me at 9 weeks old because she was bossing around the families Shih-Tsu that was 8 years old. We took her in already having a Black Male Dane that was 6 Months old and they grew to be inseparable. He was the picture of health until he was 9.5 and we lost him to a esophagus disease. She lived on for almost 3 more years. In tears I write this and miss her dearly. I hope that Pirate is still around and you can tell him this story. Much Love

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  18. My Freddie will be 11 in a couple months. Always got a lot of exercise, is part of the family and eats a good variety of healthy food- people and dog 😊 We still hike for miles and miles all over trails and walk. I’m sure he’d run if I could keep up anymore! Still half puppy! Knock on wood! Agree the headline should be changed, but I’m just happy to see sooooooo many others in their teens!! It’s hard when you’re always told by everyone they’ll not be around- but not the case, and this was great to read. It’s good to let everyone know they’re not done at 7 or 8 – with the right home and family! I think we all shoot for the oldest Dane 😊😊😊

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  19. My Dane Bentley black but definitely going grey still going strong at 10 again great lifestyle diet and exercise with the right care these gorgeous animals can live well into there teens he was a dad at 9 we have mum and we kept one of the pups fantastic dogs !!

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  20. My Duchess (Great Dane) is turning 15 on March 4, 2021 and still jumps up to great me when I get home and dances around for a treat. Her back legs and hips aren’t as strong as they once were and she has started to slow down quite a bit but there’s still so much life left in her. I do notice that she responds well to the essential oil massages and likes her raw diet and any deviation makes her sulk and it takes a few days for her to lose the “funk”. Our vet told us when she turned 10 to watch for signs because her breed typically doesn’t live long after ten. On this last visit, he said she had to be living on love. I’d like to think that’s true!

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  21. Our Gradie is 14 – 3/4! She’s a darling, blue merle. Her birthday is June 15th. She’s still going strong. Gets up 3 times a day and goes out back with her Weimeraner sisters. Eats her Wellness dry, twice a day. Amazing dog!

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  22. My Great Dane Buddha made it to 12 years and 8 months. He passed away on Oct 20th, 2020. My previous three other Great Danes passed away at Harley 9, Hanna 12, and Levi 11.

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  23. Moosie is 11 almost 12 still up and going but has number 2 accidents at night mostly…had to get up at 6AM due to her barking to go out….Loyal..lovable dog.

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