The Great Dane is known as a giant dog breed and one of the largest of all dog breeds. This is a regal, intelligent and loyal dog with a warm temperament. Often called "gentle giants," Danes are loved for their joyful spirits and loving companionship.
Caring for Your Great Dane
The Great Dane has a short hair coat that typically needs nothing more than routine grooming. Danes with natural (floppy) ears should have routine ear checks and cleanings.
While some people prefer to surgically crop the ears, this practice is becoming less common and is actually banned in some countries.
Proper training and socialization are absolutely essential for the Great Dane. The giant size of this breed can render it out of control if not properly trained. These dogs do not realize their large size, so careful attention should be placed upon prevention of jumping, leaning and leash pulling.
Danes are playful and energetic when young. As they age, most Danes have moderate energy levels. Routine exercise, such as daily walks, can help keep your Dane fit and healthy.
Great Dane History
Today's Great Dane originated in Germany though some believe the breed has ancient origins. The Great Dane most likely emerged from the English Mastiff and Irish Wolfhound and was developed in Germany as a boar hunter. Over time, the breed was no longer considered a hunting dog but became more known as a watchdog and companion.
The Great Dane appeared in the United States in the late 1800s and has become gradually more popular since then.
Great Dane Information
Breed Group: Working
- Weight: 100-200 pounds
- Height: 28-30+ inches at the shoulder
Colors / Markings / Patterns:
- Harlequin (white with black patches)
- Mantle (black and white)
Great Dane Health Problems
Responsible breeders strive to maintain the highest breed standards as established by kennel clubs like the AKC. Dogs bred by these standards are less likely to inherit health conditions. However, some hereditary health problems can occur in the breed. The following are some conditions to be aware of:
- Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus
- Hip Dysplasia
- Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)
- Caudal Cervical Spondylomyelopathy (also called Wobbler Syndrome and Cervical Vertebral Instability)
Living With a Great Dane
Great Danes are friendly, gentle dogs that bond closely with their owners. A well-trained Great Dane can make an absolutely wonderful family pet. These loyal dogs can do well in most households. Your home does not need to be extra large in order to accommodate a Dane's huge size, but you do need extra space (especially due to that long tail). Unfortunately, like other giant dog breeds, the lifespan of the Great Dane tends to be shorter than the average dog. However, lovers of this breed will tell you any amount of time with a Great Dane is wonderful!
As with any dog breed, if you think the Great Dane is the right one for you, be sure to do plenty of research before adopting one.
Talk to other Great Dane owners, reputable Great Dane breeders, and Great Dane rescue groups to learn more.
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