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.com 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 tailor-made 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.
88 thoughts on “Meet Pirate – the world’s oldest Great Dane!”
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!
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.
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!
My Great Dane is 12, he was the runt of his litter and is most definitely loved.
My girl is turning 11 tomorrow, she was also the runt!
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…
Hello Karen is your Great Dane still alive. I would think not because at the time of your posting he was 12. My Gracie is turning 11 1/2 in December and every day is a gift. She weighs 100 lbs. She is a blue fawn.
Blessings to you and thank you for your post
My Foster mum used to breed great Danes years ago so I am impressed with pirate! Well done mum & dad xx
How is his food split between Tails and chicken?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org so we can help you update the feeding plan.
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.
That’s amazing! Sounds like Pirate has some competition for the crown.
Our Bailey is 12 today ?
My Sasha turned 12 on the 7th! Almost the same age!
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
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.
Pirate made the news recently as the oldest – but we bet there’s plenty more who have lived to a ripe old age.
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.
My Rocksy turned 11 2 days ago
Brindle lives in Georgia
My Dane Cyril is 11years and 8months
Our Hemi is 11 years and 8 months currently too! though she is starting to show her age this year.
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!
Although impressive as it may be. And I hope your Dane continues good health. But my Great Dane is 12 1/2
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.
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.
I am so sorry to hear that Paula. I understand. Gracie is 11 1/2 and for several months if not the past year her hind legs are definitely declining. She hops around our backyard but she gets around.
Blessings to you and your family
I have mum and daughter. Mum Dalma (black) is 11 years and two months now. Her daughter Sierra (harlequin) turned eight.
Dani (Costa Blanca Spain)
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. ❤️
I know a Great Dane that is 13 years old. She lives in Ballston Spa, NY. Her name is Skyy.
We have a great dane named Smokey. He will be 12 in September of 2021. Hes still pretty spry for his age.
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.
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.
I also fed raw rice my Dane and sadly he passed away at 6 almost ready to turn 7. The article says she contributes his age to Love and a diet , well if that’s what keeps them alive , I surely wouldn’t have lost my Duke at age 6. He was healthy, eat a raw diet and had a lot of love
I’m so sad to hear of the early loss of your dog. We had a female purebred Great Dane that we bought from a seemingly reputable backyard breeder. She was magnificent, and no one knew how ill she really was until she died suddenly at 5.5 years old. We fed her raw as well. We were told her condition was congenital heart disease and there was nothing we could do to prevent it. The owners of his parents didn’t do any health testing before breeding these precious pets. Later we learned that the father died young too. So he is likely the one that passed on the heart condition to our girl. Breeders need to be responsible and test the parents. Dogs with any condition that can be passed on should never be bred.
We have since purchased a male that has had health testing on both sides of his lineage for 6 generations (all champions). What a major difference! Now we can compare how much our first Dane’s health was affecting her. We are also more educated on raw feeding now and have devised a very balanced diet with chicken, fish and the correct percent of bone and beef organs. Hoping this makes a difference, he’s only 9 months but super healthy, active, and very well behaved already. We give him tons of love and obedience instruction daily.
I know you can get lucky and adopt a Great Dane and have no inherited health issues, but we were so broken hearted when our first Dane suddenly died that we didn’t want to take any chances.
My Great Dane is currently 14! He still runs and acts like a puppy and there isn’t not even one while hair on his face.
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!
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
I love great danes!!! My beautiful girl is getting ready to celebrate her 13th birthday and still young!!! Wish these beauties lasted longer!!!
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.
I have Ava, she is a 12 1/2 year old Great Dane and will be 13 in June of 2020. So guess she’s the oldest ?
June of 2021 I meant
June of 2021
God Bless AVA really
So fortunate !
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
God Bless your baby! Really we are so lucky to have them 12 years.
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
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 ???
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 !!
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!
My Great Dane, Kiddie just turned 12 on Jan 11th and still going strong. He is my everything!!
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!
I have a 13 year old Great Dane.
My Great Dane is 14 this year!
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.
My great dane Byron will be 11 years old the end of February. He is very healthy. I suspect he has a couple of more years in him.
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.
We have a Great Dane that looks just like him and he’s 12!! ♥️
Our great dane Kona turned 14 years old in March of 2021. I’m not sure how many great danes in the world are her age or older. We had to have her eyes removed about 7 years ago due to glaucoma. She’s an awesome dog, as are all great danes!
Currently we have a Dane that just turned 11. Unfortunately we have non of his birth records or breed records to prove it.
My sweet boy, Clyde, turned 12 in May 2021. He’s going strong!
My guy turned 11 on March 13. Going strong other than tired back hips/legs after a while on his feet. I was surprised someone out there didn’t have one 14-15
I have a friend who has a female great Dane who is 12 years and 8 months old..
It is sad he passed away, I hope he had good time with his owner.
Where do these claims come from? There are 17 yr old danes out there and even more 12 to 14 yr olds…
Hi Michelle – Pirate was reported as being the world’s oldest at the time, but we’re sure there are other Danes out there who were much older than him who just haven’t made the news!
The news story was just a bit of fun celebrating a lovely golden oldie 🙂
My Great Dane, Kooza is 11 today. He’s doing well outside of a little bit of a skin condition and he’s slow to get up off the floor. He’s well loved, we’ve been blessed.
My Great Dane Brutus passed away this week one month shy of his 15th birthday. We miss him so very much. No matter their age they never live long enough.
Wow can I see your Dane you owned for 15yrs I have a 12 yr old male
My Dane is 12 in may. He’s mantlt and has 24 children out there somewhere.
Samson turned 13 in July he is a blue Dane happy healthy except his back legs and hips are getting week still tries to play with our other 2 dogs we love him so much
My Dane Puck turns 13 November 17th and she still acts like a puppy
My Great Dane Callie was 14 on the 4th August 2022. She is very frail now and has difficultly walking. We bought a trailer and attached it to my husbands bike so she can go out and down to the dog park to meet her friends. She still has a good appetite but we have to hand feed her. She loves cuddles and treats and just being around us.
She is a rescue dog and was used for breeding, she was also abused, when we adopted her she was 8 years old. Our vet doesnt know how shes still here, but every extra day is a blessing with this sweet girl.
We’re so happy to hear that Callie was rescued and has been able to live out the rest of her years in a loving home with you, Charlotte. Make sure to give Callie lots of extra cuddles from us 💙
I have a harlequin Great Dane, her birthday is tomorrow, she turns 12. She’s still a joy. Slowing down, sleeps a lot.
My sisters Dane is almost 15. We took her in today to get put down. A very sad day.
Hi Stephen, we’re so sorry to hear this. As dog owners ourselves we understand what a terribly difficult time this must be for you and your sister. Please send her our well wishes and make sure you both take care of yourselves 💙
I was looking up to try and find the oldest a Great Dane has lived to. Reason being there is someone advertising three 2 year old boys on Pets4homes. He goes on about them being massive and still got another 2 years of growing. Then he says that all his dogs have lived to a ripe old age of 16/17 years! I have never heard of any living to this age, has anyone else? I’ve had a few and my oldest was only 9 years old. At the moment i have a 6 month old boy, it would be nice if he lived a really long time but if he lived to 17 he might outlive me!!!