Great Dane Breed Card
Great Dane Breed Overview
28-30 inches tall
Country of Origin
Affectionate, Protective, Family-Oriented
Great Dane History
The Great Dane is an easygoing breed that is also known as the ‘Apollo of Dogs’ because of its looks. The Great Dane (Grand Danois) is actually of German heritage rather than a Danish one, as the name would suggest. This fact is reflected in the breed’s other name, the German Mastiff (or Deutsche Dogge in German).
These Mastiff-type dogs were bred as hunting dogs and were used especially for larger prey such as deer, bears, and boar. In 16th century England, Molossian Hounds were bred with Irish Wolfhounds and English Mastiffs to create large, strong hunting dogs. By the 17th century, the German nobility was breeding similar dogs, which became so popular there that by the 18th century, these dogs were known as German Boarhounds in the English-speaking world.
The popularity of these dogs dipped during the late 18th century as hunting large game became less popular. In the 19th century, German breeders attempted to reintroduce these dogs to the English market as guard dogs with the name German Mastiff, but due to international tensions, the name was changed to the more neutral Great Dane, which eventually stuck.
Great Danes first came to the US in the mid-19th century and have been a popular breed ever since. Apparently, William “Buffalo Bill” Cody was a great admirer of the breed. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the breed in 1887. The German Mastiff Club of America began in 1889, and by 1891 it was renamed the Great Dane Club of America. Great Danes still hold a special place in American pop culture, and these dogs have appeared in many movies.
Low End: $1800
High End: $2500
Great Dane Physical Traits
The Great Dane is indeed the tallest dog breed in the world. It has a slender and muscular build and intelligent and expressive eyes. The main standout feature of this dog is its size, and pet owners need to consider that before going for this breed.
The average height of a Great Dane is slightly smaller but still a respectable 30 to 31 in (76 to 79 cm) for males and 28 to 30 in (71 to 76 cm) for females at the shoulder. The average weight for these tall boys is 110 to 180 lb (50 to 82 kg) for males and females. Overall, the dog is spirited and courageous and never shows timid behavior.
The head is usually rectangular, long, and expressive. It is also finely chiseled, mainly below the eyes. The skull and the plane of the muzzle are usually parallel to each other. This dog breed has a regal appearance that is paired with dignity, elegance, and strength. The dog has a powerful and smoothly muscled body. They have a well-formed physique.
The short coat is thick and clean with a smooth glossy appearance. There are different types of coats that are found in the Danes. Some of the most popular ones include black, brindle (with subtle tiger-like stripes), black & white, fawn, blue, harlequin (white with black patches), mantle (black with white patches), and merle (grey with dark patches).
Size & Weight ❤️
Height: 30-32 inches
Weight: 140-175 pounds
Height: 28-30 inches
Weight: 110-140 pounds
Coat & Color
Black, Brindle, Fawn, Harlequin, Mantle, Blue
Great Dane Temperament and Personality
Don’t let their massive size fool you: Great Danes are gentle giants. They love nothing more than cuddling with their families and are known for trying to climb up onto people’s laps. Despite their vicious ancestors, modern Great Danes have had the gentleness and softer personality traits bred into them, making them more suited to cuddling than hunting or fighting.
That said, these loyal dogs can still pack a punch if their owner is threatened. Some can have a tendency to be shy or aloof with strangers and can spook around new objects or situations. This trait can be tempered with careful reassurance and training.
GOOD WITH KIDS
Yes, most Great Danes are patient with kids and make excellent family dogs.
They are dogs that will try and keep you impressed with their personality. If you have a family with kids, it is best to train your dog to be careful when playing around them. For this, one can take the help of crate training and leash training. Additionally, obedience training also helps your dog to listen to you. Overall, Great Danes are friendly with kids and do not cause any problems.
Good with Other Pets?
GOOD WITH PETS
Yes, in most cases, Great Danes are great with other pets.
They love to play with other dogs and can do very well when socialized properly. Despite their size, which is often overwhelming, Great Danes are extremely social creatures. If raised together, they can also get along great with other pets, such as cats, birds, and rodents.
Barks a Lot?
No, the Great Dane has a moderate barking rating.
Therefore they are vocal only when necessary. Otherwise, they are just quiet most of the time. They mainly bark to get your attention or to try and communicate with you. This breed is often quiet and will not disturb anyone with their vocalization.
Can Be Left Alone?
Likes Being Alone
No, in ideal situations, Great Danes should not be left alone.
They are social animals and need their humans around to stay calm. If left alone, Danes can engage in destructive behavior and can shred your furniture in some cases.
Great Danes can suffer from separation anxiety also, which can often make things complicated. Therefore, it is crucial that pet owners socialize and train their dogs right from puppyhood.
Great Dane Training
Generally, Great Danes are extremely smart and intelligent. Before moving towards more advanced training, your Dane should have a command over their basic obedience tricks. These include sit, lie down, stay, come, heel, and others. Additionally, it should also know how to walk on a leash with the help of proper leash manners.
This is crucial before you teach them any fun tricks. Every step of training will become a building block for your dog and help improve your bond with them. It should be kept in mind that a puppy is easier to train than a grown-up dog.
In order to train your Dane, you can use small and tasty treats that will keep your dog engaged and motivated. It is also suggested to have them on a leash for some amount of time so that they can get used to it. They are extremely strong, and therefore you should use a chest harness rather than a dog collar.
Great Dane Needs
When it comes to the basic needs of a Great Dane dog, they seek out human contact, affection, and socialization with other people and animals. These are big dogs that are social and love to play despite their size – basically, they are gentle giants.
Great Danes want to always please their humans and keep them in good spirits. This also helps them build strong bonds with their parents and other animals. It is best to train them right from their childhood in order to have a successful and well-trained dog.
The average dog needs around 30 calories for every pound of body weight that they have. When it comes to giant breeds, this number might be closer to 25 calories per pound.
If you have an adult Great Dane, they might require 2500-3000 calories per day, depending on their activity levels. For best results, make sure you give them high-protein, moderate-fat dog food from 350 to 450 calories per cup. Ideally, the food needs to be formulated specifically for large-breed dogs.
Exercise & Activity Levels
At first glance, it might seem that Great Danes are sedentary. However, they need daily exercise according to their age. While a brisk walk two to three times a day would be enough, they can do well with other forms of exercise. These dogs are excellent companions on jogs and hikes.
However, make sure your dog is older than 2 years of age before embarking on these strenuous exercises, as they can have an impact on their bones and joints. There is always a risk of bloat when it comes to large, deep-chested dogs. Therefore, it is best to avoid heavy exercise before and after mealtime.
These dogs often follow their noses and can get distracted by a random scent they might pick up. Therefore, it is best to keep them on a leash and be left loose in areas with a high fence. They also enjoy agility exercises, obedience training, tracking events, and even sports, including flyball.
For the most part of the year, your Dane will not shed much. However, considering the size of the dog, their short and smooth coat can still lead to a fair amount of dog hair. You can use a medium bush for a weekly brushing session.
You can also use a rubber grooming mitt or a hound glove that can help control this shedding. It is to be noted that once or twice a year, there will be excessive hair loss and will require daily brushing.
These dogs do not need a bath often. But if they get dirty while playing in the mud or after hikes, it is best to give them a bath to prevent any parasites from sticking to them. Their nails have to be trimmed periodically as they might cause problems while walking or running. Also, keep in mind that Great Danes drool a lot.
Great Dane Average Lifespan
The Great Dane has an average lifespan of around 7 to 10 years. However, the oldest Dane was recorded to be almost 16 years old.
Commom Health Problems
- Hip Dysplasia: This is among the most common diseases that are found in large dog breeds. The crux of this disease is that there will be excessive pressure on your dog’s bones and joints in the hip region, which can lead to problems with mobility.
- Dilated Cardiomyopathy: This is another disease that is found in Great Danes. In this heart disease, the dog’s heart becomes enlarged and cannot efficiently pump blood.
- Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV): This is a common condition in large dogs with deep chests and develops when the stomach twists on itself and starts to bloat. If left without treatment, it is life-threatening.
- Wobbler Syndrome: This specific condition affects the vertebral column and results in impaired mobility and even paralysis.
- Joint Problems: When it comes to big dogs, this is a common problem. Since these dogs have a giant frame, they can face a lot of joint problems that could impact their mobility. This can also affect their mood and their ability to play. Therefore, make sure you go for periodic vet visits and give your Dane a supplement-rich diet.
- Deafness & Blindness: It is to be noted that Double merle Great Danes (those with two merle parents) are at a high risk of blindness and deafness.
Recommended Health Tests
- Hip evaluation
- Thyroid evaluation
- Cardiac exam
- Ophthalmologist evaluation
Tips for New Great Dane Owners
Here are some useful tips for first-time Great Dane parents:
Find a Reputable Breeder: You should buy your dog from a registered and reputable breeder. This helps you ensure that your dog will be free from harmful diseases. It will also ensure that your dog has healthy parents that have been properly registered.
Get Puppy/Dog Products in Advance: Make sure that you get your dog products and foods in advance before you get your dog. This will help you ease them into your new environment and help them feel comfortable. This will also help build a strong bond with your pooch.
Planned Feeding Time: As with other large dogs, Great Danes are especially prone to bloat. Invest in a good slow feeder bowl, and avoid exercise for at least an hour before and after feeding.
Great Dane Similar Breeds
– Irish Wolfhound
– English Mastiff
Great Dane Supplies You Need
Before you get your dog, make sure that you have loaded yourself with dog supplies that can make the adoption process a lot smoother. Having dog toys is a great way to help your new puppy ease its way into your home.
They can not only help stimulate your pup but also give them a cuddle buddy during their nap time. Additionally, you can also use these toys for training your pup, especially crate training.
When it comes to dogs, you can also include loads of dog treats and healthy snacks that can keep your dog motivated to listen to you. You can use these for training exercises and also for obedience training. Considering the size of your pup and the high risk of joint issues, it is also advisable to invest in a high-quality orthopedic dog bed.
Best Dog Beds for Great Danes
Best Dog Food for Great Danes
Best Dog Supplements for Great Danes
Great Dane Fun Facts
If interested in Great Danes, take a look at these fun facts about the breed:
Fun Fact 1
According to the AKC, the Great Dane is America’s 15th most popular dog breed.
Fun Fact 2
The world record for the tallest dog is held by Zeus, a Great Dane from Michigan who stood an astonishing 3 ft 8 in (1,118 cm) from foot to shoulder. Standing on his hind legs, Zeus was 7 ft 5 in (226 cm) tall.
Fun Fact 3
Great Danes are an iconic breed and can be seen throughout history in various works of art. Many members of the nobility chose to pose for portraits with noble Great Dane companions.
Fun Fact 4
This breed is the official state dog of Pennsylvania. A portrait of the state’s founder, William Penn, along with his faithful Great Dane, still hang’s in the governor’s office.
Fun Fact 5
They were once believed to ward off ghosts and evil spirits. This is the reason why Scooby-Doo is depicted as a Great Dane!
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