A Great Dane is one of the largest breeds in the dog world. In fact, it is a Great Dane which holds a record for being the highest dog born. They can grow to be quite big and look physically imposing and threatening, but it is mostly due to their size. In heart, these dogs are very gentle and well-behaved creates and are also very good with children.
Because of their physical appearance and their nature, they are referred to as “Gentle Giants” or to as the “Apollo of Dogs”. Other names include Deutsche Dogge, their name in German, or Dogue Allemand, which is how they are called in French.
History & Origins
Drawings and pictures of the descendants of Great Danes go back well into the past. There are actually paintings which date back to 13th and 14th century BC from ancient Greece where these dogs are depicted in. These boarhounds appeared throughout the Hellenistic area and were later imported to Austrian and Germany during the 18th century. But the modern version of the dog is believed to be descended from England as most noble people imported them from there for the use of hunting. These dogs were believed to be a crossbreed between and English Mastiff and an Irish Wolfhound.
It was not a formal breed but it was stronger and greater in size then the current breeds. They were first referred to as “English Dogs” because of their origin, but they quickly started breeding them in Germany and they appeared mostly in courts of their ability. The Great Dane was used to hunt bears, boar and deer and was pretty effective at it due to its size. The dogs were used as catch dogs and they helped after the smaller dogs corner a prey into one place. They were also used as chamber dogs as well and used to protect their masters during their sleep against assassination or intrusion.
Great Dane Characteristics & Temperament
Do not judge the book by its covers and do not judge a Great Dane by its appearance. The Great Dane is perhaps the gentlest dog in the animal world. It is very gentle and well-mannered and can be quite affectation with its owners. It is loyal and protective about its family and is regarded as the world’s biggest lap dog, because of its tendency to sit and lean on its owners. It creates a very high attachment to the owners and the entire family and is a perfect dog to hang around your child. It easily bonds with strangers and does well with other dogs and animals. It has a quiet disposition and will protect the master if it feels that they are in any danger.
Training a Great Dane is fairly easy to do. But you still have to do the training properly so they can grow to be well mannered and all-rounded dogs. The best way is to socialize them as early as puppyhood and provide them with a lot of stimuli from the outside world and give them a lot of experiences. If you do not do that properly, the dog may end up being aggressive with strangers and fearful of new environments and situations. But if properly trained, this breed is a perfect pet and a great family dog.
Appearance, Colors, Size
We already mentioned that Great Danes belong to the biggest dog breed in the world. So their appearance is pretty imposing and they can grow up to be at 30 inches in shoulder height for makes and 28 inches for females. The largest Great Dane grew up to be 44 inches tall and is named Zeus and you can read all about him in the Guinness Book of Records. The appearances of a Great Dane is usually characterized with triangular and floppy ears.
But some owners decide to crop their ears which originates because of its hunting background as it was done to prevent injury that might occur when hunting boar for example. Today, this is allowed in certain countries while others have banded it entirely. This dog breed usually has a short and smooth coat and comes in one of six usual colors: fawn, brindle, blue, harlequin, black and mantle.
Great Dane Health
Great Dames have all the standard characteristic that other bigger dog breeds have in terms of their health. They have a slow metabolism and less energy and consume less food than smaller breeds. They can live up to somewhere between 6 to 8 years, which is standard for big dog breeds, but some Great Danes have been known to reach even 10 years. They are prone to bloat, so it is always better to let them rest about 40 minutes after a meal and before any exercises. Other conditions which may affect them include hip dysplasia, dilated cardiomyopathy, congenital heart diseases and wobbler disease.
Grooming & Shedding
Great Danes are actually considered as great shedders. Since their coat sheds a lot you will need to do a lot of brushing in order to maintaining their fur. Regular brushing will prevent shedding and will also keep the coat of your dog neat. Other grooming include dental hygiene and nail clipping. Brushing your dog’s teeth should be done on a weekly basis while clipping nails depends on how fast they grow. Bathing a Great Dane is near to impossible but you still have to do it. Luckily it is not necessary to do it so often.
Great Dane Price and Breeders
A Great Dane can cost you somewhere between 600 dollars and 3,000 dollars. A lot of people on the internet will confirm that these dogs are absolutely worth the price you pay for them. They are considered as some of the most quality dogs and they have a lot of characteristics which makes them as such. Breeders are available in the US, Canada, Australia, UK and New Zealand.
If you are looking for a rescue group that will allow you to adopt a Great Dane, there are actually a lot of them. You can search online but the ones which will allow you to get you Great Dane pet include Great Dane Club of America Rescue, Great Dane Rescue, Inc. and Great Dane Rescue of Ohio.