The Great Dane: A Complete Breed Guide
Weighing between 110 and 175 pounds along with the capability to grow up to 34 inches tall, Great Danes are known for their size. Is this their only noteworthy trait? Of course not! Let’s get to know this giant breed a bit better shall we?
Great Dane: Origins
While many people believe that the Great Dane comes from Denmark, the truth is that the breed actually originated in Germany.
While at the time these dogs were used as hunting hounds, the Great Dane is now more used as a therapy dog or as a pet. After all, they simply love to find a good couch(or lap) to rest their heads.
As we already mentioned above, the Great Dane is known for its huge size. The truth is that the largest Great Dane is the one that holds the Guinness World Record for the Tallest Dog Ever.
The name of the dog was Zeus and he reached 44 inches tall. However, this is not the case with the typical Great Dane. On average, male Great Danes usually reach between 30 to 34 inches tall and females are usually between 28 to 32 inches tall.
In terms of weight, it is pretty normal that a Great Dane weighs at least 100 pounds. In most cases, they weigh between 130 and 140 pounds.
Great Dane: Coat and Colors
One of the characteristics of the Great Dane breed is that these dogs tend to have an easily maintained coat that is usually short.
In terms of the colors, according to the Great Dane Club of America, these include fawn, brindle, black, blue, mantle, and merle. Notice that they also include the harlequin coat pattern but this is associated with birth defects.
Great Dane: Temperament
Over the years, the Great Dane have suffered some changes in terms of their temperament. After all, they don’t need to be aggressive or fearless hunters as they needed to be 400 years ago.
However, they still maintain other characteristics such as being attentive to their handlers as well as still being brave.
Another thing that you need to know about the breed is that not a lot phases them and they don’t tend to bark a lot. So, you can definitely use this part of their temperament to teach good manners.
So, as you can see, these can be great pets for families with children. However, due to their huge size, you need to monitor them closely especially around smaller children. After all, knocking over little kids is not that uncommon.
The truth is that due to their size, Great Danes are often seen as aggressive. However, this doesn’t need to be the case if you teach them the proper social skills from an early age.
One of the things that you need to keep in mind is that these dogs, due to their size, can hurt someone accidentally. So, it is important that if you have a Great Dane puppy that you introduce him to as many experiences and people as you can.
Great Danes need the right amount of exercise: not too much and not too little. The reason for this is because Great Danes have a risk of developing hip and skeletal problems. So, it is important to maintain a good balance.
You should make sure that your Great Dane exercises every day. While he may prefer to sit around at home, it is important to take him out every day for an extended walk or a quick jog.
Great Dane: Health and Care
Just like any other breed, Danes are susceptible to specific health conditions. This breed tends to be more prone to:
#1: Hip Dysplasia
While some puppies may already be born with this condition, most adults tend to develop it with age.
Hip dysplasia is a condition where all or some parts of their hip joints are malformed and it can lead the dog to move uncomfortably due to pain.
This is most commonly known as “growing pains” and it is related to growing up too fast.
#3: Dilated Cardiomyopathy
This is a disease that most veterinarians believe is caused genetically. The reality is that this is something that tends to affect large dog breeds.
Simply put, dilated cardiomyopathy is the result of an enlarged heart that can lead to heart failure. Besides, it is worth mentioning that there are more cardiac conditions that can affect the breed.
This is a condition that tends to lead to weight gain. Besides, some Great Danes also experience dry skin and/or hair loss.
Notice that this is another health condition that tends to affect mid and large breeds. And in case your Great Dane is diagnosed with it, you will need to give him hormone pills for life.
Great Dane: Life Expectancy
As you probably already know, larger dog breeds tend to have a lower life expectancy. And this is also the case of the Great Dane that has an average life expectancy of only 6 years. Yep, it’s a pretty short lived breed.
Great Dane: Grooming And Feeding
As we already mentioned above, Great Danes have a short coat that is also thin. So, this will make it a lot easier for you since you only need to groom occasionally to remove dead hair.
However, and due to its coat, Great Danes don’t do very well in colder climates.
In terms of feeding, these dogs don’t tend to have any restrictions. However, you just need to make sure that you feed them with a formula designed for larger breeds since these tend to have other nutritional needs that smaller breeds don’t have.
Getting A Great Dane: Pros And Cons
- Amazing temperament; they tend to be friendly and sweet dogs.
- Low energy breed which means low maintenance with training and exercising.
- Low coat maintenance.
- The size: you can only have a Great Dane if you live in a home. Just not an apartment dog.
- They produce a bit of drool.
- Their strength can lead to accidents.
That’s a wrap on this post about the Great Dane. Hope you guys enjoyed it and if you are the owner of this majestic breed or hope one day to get one please feel free to comment below.