Great Dane Dog Breed
- General Appearance:
- Great Danes are large breeds of dog who are elegant and alert. They usually have short dense coats that lie flat on their body, which should retain a glossy appearance. The Great Dane is a large sized dog that is very muscular and strong. The head is rectangular and long in appearance. They give the appearance of being very noble and dignified.The neck should be long, strong and well arched. The chest should be very deep and the topline strong and straight. The tail should be thick at the base and taper to a point, set high and carried level with the topline. The tail should never curl or be carried over the back.
- Other Names:German Mastiff
- Country Of Origin:Germany
- Dog Group Kennel Club:Working
- Great Danes come in fawn, brindle, blue, black, mantle (black and white), and harlequin.
- Great Danes are sometimes referred to as gentle giants due to their friendly and gentle manner. In general they are good with other dogs, pets and people. The sheer size makes this breed very intimidating, however this dog is very gentle and loving. Great Dane is a very playful and loyal breed. They can become very close and loyal to the family and close family friends that are frequent visitors. They are ideally suited to the active family. They are quick to alert the family of any strangers approaching their territory, as they are excellent guard dogs, although they do not bark very much.
- Covering ground
- Care and training:
- Combing and brushing the short coat of this breed regularly is acceptable for this giant breed. Rubber brushing also does well in removing any loose hair. Bathing a Great Dane can be difficult due to his size, but is a relatively clean dog.
The Great Dane requires a dominant handler and firm yet gentle training. Obedience training at an early age is best, as this breed can prove difficult to train fully-grown. The Great Dane is an intelligent dog that, with an experienced handler, can be trained for protection work. As they grow very quickly into a very large dog their training has to start when they are young.
- Overall Exercise:
- 40 - 60 minutes per day.
The Great Dane does not require as much exercise as it size indicates. They enjoy exercise and will happy go along will the family on their outdoor activities. They also enjoy spending time in front of the fire, enjoying any creature comforts that are available. Exercise must be given in limited amounts during the growth period, as too much can cause serious bone, joint and muscle problems.
- Feeding Requirements:
- The feeding of this dog can be quite considerable, both in terms of amount and cost. Calcium supplements should be avoided, as should other supplements unless recommended by the breeder or vet. Too much, or too little of the wrong types of food can result in growth problems which may not be noticed until the dog is older.
- Personal Protection:High
- Suitability As Guard Dog:High
- Level of Aggression:Low
- Compatibility With Other Animals:Medium
- Suitability for Children:High
- Often Docked?No
- Average Litter Size:5-12
- Life Expectancy (yrs):7-10
- Health issues:
- With being so large, Great Danes are prone to more problems than a smaller dog. Hip dysplasia, some genetic heart problems, osteosarcoma (bone tumors), Wobbler Syndrome and bloat (twisted stomach or gastric torsion) are all potential health concerns for this breed. Bloat is a health issue to most dogs, being the second largest killer of dogs other than cancer, but Great Danes can be particularly susceptible to it because of their very deep chests.
- Possibly dating back to tomb carvings of Beni-Hassan in 2200 B.C., the Great Dane greatly resembled the Alaunt.They are said to be descendants of the ancient Molossus hounds of the Romans. There is evidence that suggests that there were similar dogs as the Great Dane (such as the Alaunt) in ancient Greek and Roman times. Great Danes are also thought to have been used as war dogs by the ancient Celtics and Germans. Originally developed to hunt boar and as a massive bull-baiter in the Middle Ages, some suggest they were crossed with the ancient Mastiff and Irish Wolfhound. To illustrate these boar hunts, there is a record of the Duke of Braunschweig taking 600 male Great Danes to a single hunt! The breed was highly favored among the Iron Chancellor of Bismarck, who owned them for guarding and always had them by his side. He further developed the breed by crossing the mastiffs of south Germany with the Great Danes of north Germany--which became very similar to the breed that exists today. Their first show was in 1863 in two different breed names: Ulmer Dogge and Danisch Dogge, although the breed is entirely German. In 1876 they were named the National Dog of Germany under the single name of Deutsche Dogge, and in 1877 they were shown in Britain under the name of Siberian or Ulm Dog, making jaws drop all around due to it's size One Great Dane named Shamgret Danzas became famous due to his size, being the tallest Great Dane, or dog overall, ever recorded. He weighed a record-breaking 238 lbs. and was 41.5 inches tall--nearly 3 and a half feet tall! Soon a British fan club formed for the Great Dane (they kept the name of Great Dane rather than Deutsche Dogge) in 1882. In 1884 the breed entered the British Kennel Club. In 1888 the German Deutsche Doggen Klub was formed. But size was not all that interested spectators. When Great Danes were brought to America in the mid 1800s, a rumor spread that the breed was ferocious in attitude due to some of the original imports being trained as attack dogs in Germany. One famous admirer of the breed was William "Buffalo Bill" Cody. Soon the public made the realization that this breed was, in fact, very affectionate and playful rather than vicious. The Germans are given credit to have developed the breed as it is known today.