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Great Dane

History:

Reports, artwork and artifacts indicate that a dog resembling the Great Dane might have existed over 2,000 years ago. It is believed that they first belonged to one of the tribes of Asia called the Assyrians and were used for hunting wild boar and other large game. Although originally bred for hunting and fighting, other tasks included carting, tracking and watchdog duties. Later, they were mainly kept as a showpiece for Europe’s ruling class. As with many giant breeds, the details of the Great Dane’s origin are largely unknown. By 1889 Great Danes were being bred in America and an honest attempt was being made to improve the dogs temperament, which had increasing become more aggressive due to irresponsible breeding practices earlier on. World War I and II affected the breeding of the Great Danes and nearly forced their extinction, but thanks to the efforts of a few dedicated breeders, they were able to gain a foothold and are now a very popular breed in the US.

 

Character:

Trustworthy, loyal and dependable, the Great Dane is an awesome companion and friend. They are a marvelous family dog that loves adults and children alike. It can’t be stressed enough how much of a family dog the Great Dane is. And thus, they require a lot of love and attention. They are spirited, and dependable, being very protective of their families. Generally, Great Danes are good with other dogs and family pets.

Breed Standards:

  • Working Group
  • Males are at least 30 inches at withers, 130 – 180 pounds
  • Females are at least 28 inches at withers, 110 – 150 pounds
  • Full height is reached around 18 months
  • Full body maturity is reached at 2 ½ - 3 years
  • Average litter = 8 - 12 puppies
  • Average life span is 8 –10 years
  • Coat is short, thick and glossy
  • Colors = Fawn, Brindle, Black, Blue, Harlequin, Merle and Mantle

Everyday Care:

  • Exercise: Young Danes should not be over-exercised, as this could harm their growth. After 18 months of age, they will usually be happy to take as much or little exercise as you offer them, so daily walks or jaunts in the park are essential to keep muscles toned.
  • Feeding: It is best to feed two or three meals a day instead of only feeding once. A Great Dane should never be exercised one hour before feeding or for two hours afterwards. And they should never be allowed to gulp water.
  • Grooming: If you brush your Great Dane weekly, they will only need baths very infrequently, such as at times when they have rolled in something. Ears should be checked weekly and cleaned if needed. And nails should be trimmed when you can hear them clicking as the dog walks across the floor.
  • Attention: The Great Dane is a very sensitive dog who must be allowed to be an indoor dog. Leaving a Dane outside or unattended for lengthy periods will result in an emotionally unstable dog and behavioral problems.

Health Considerations:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Heart Problems
  • Wobbler Syndrome
  • Gastric Torsion (Bloat)
  • Leukemia and Lymphoma

Am I Right for You?

  • I tend to snore
  • It is essential that I have regular socialization with other dogs as it is common for me to become either fearful or overly dominant in temperament.
  • An apartment and/or small yard are okay as long as you can provide me with daily exercise.
  • You must be willing to be consistent with obedience training and socialization