The Great Dane, one of the tallest dog breeds, has a life span of about eight years. Although the German breed looks intimidating, it possesses one of the most friendly, affectionate personalities around. Great Danes, the official state dog of Pennsylvania, are rated the fifteenth most popular dog breed. Males are a minimum of 30 inches tall, but have been known to reach three feet at the shoulder. Great Danes weigh in at around 150 pounds. Their female counterparts are slightly smaller, reaching up to approximately 30 inches, and weighing 115 pounds.
The Great Dane exudes nobility, strength and elegance. Known for their enormous size, Great Danes move with powerful long strides. The short haired breed has a strong, well-built, smoothly muscled body. Their ears are naturally floppy and triangular. The Great Dane comes in a wide variety of colors including Fawn (Yellow-Gold with a Black mask), Brindle (Fawn and Black in a Chevron stripe pattern), Black, Harlequin (White with black torn patches), Mantle (Black and White), and Blue.
The Great Dane is often referred to as “The Gentle Giant”. They get along well with other dogs, non-canines, and people that they are familiar with. Their low prey drive, and non-aggressive attitude make them perfect family pets. In fact, having garnered the title of “Biggest Lap Dog”, they are a recommended house dog.
Great Danes are a member of the working class. Spirited, courageous, friendly, and dependable, the breed’s physical and mental combination makes it majestically unique.
Great Danes And Children
As recommended family pets, Great Danes are perfect around kids. Their low prey drive prevents them from becoming aggressive towards children. Furthermore, Great Danes raised with children make extremely gentle and caring companions.
That being said, the breed can become fearful or aggressive towards new stimuli in certain instances. Due to this and their overwhelming size, Great Danes should still be properly trained
Affection seekers, Great Danes require lots of attention and playtime. They also need to be socialized at an extremely young age.
Despite their sweet nature, Great Danes are alert guard dogs. Just having one on the premises wards off intrusion effectively.
People pleasers at heart, Great Danes are an absolute joy to spend time with. Even so, owning a dog of their size, weight, and strength is a full commitment that should not be entered into lightly.
Your optimal food formula will differ depending on how big your Great Dane gets. Most dog food providers will have breed specific formulas.
The Great Dane is a large breed. Larger dog breeds tend to have shorter life spans. Your Great Danes nutritional intake will be your best ally in increasing his or her lifespan.
Great Danes must remain hydrated at all times. Provide lots of clean, fresh, cool water.
Although Great Danes are short haired and require little grooming, performing coat maintenance is the perfect bonding experience for you and your pooch.
Great Danes have fast growing, strong nails that should be trimmed regularly. This will prevent overgrowth, splitting, and cracking. Furthermore, their ears and teeth should be kept clean to prevent wax and tartar buildups.
Similar to other dogs, Great Danes need to be walked every day in order to stay healthy. Unlike other dogs, it is critical not to over exercise this breed- especially throughout puppyhood. Their rapid growth puts them at risk of joint and bone problems. If unwatched, this becomes a problem due to the nature of puppies and their seemingly endless energy supply.
Great Danes take longer than other breeds to reach full growth.
How To Train Your Great Dane
The Great Dane is a part of the working group. Therefore they are more prone to territorial barking, dominance, and possessive behavior.
Be prepared to focus on positive reinforcement techniques. The best method to this form of training includes withholding items of value, and only providing food, toys, and affection with good behavior.
Due to the working group’s dominant tendencies, it is also important for owners to establish their role as the pack leader.
Great Danes have a slow metabolism and are prone to Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (After large meals- stomach dilates creating pressure build up. The condition is life threatening). They are also at risk for Hip Dysplasia.
Other diseases that are commonly found in Great Danes include Dilated Cardiomyopathy and Wobblers Disease.
The most common skin problems Great Danes develop include Demodicosis, Hypothyroidism, and Histioctomas.
An inherited immune defect causes Demodex Canis mites to multiply on Great Danes, causing red scaly skin, and hair loss.
Common in Great Danes, Hypothyroidism causes the stunted growth of Great Dane puppies. Symptoms include symetrical hair loss, and dry or greasy hair.
Non lethal tumors that grow on the ears, head, or limbs.
Of ancient descendance, dogs resembling the Great Dane have been seen on Egyptian monuments dating back to 3,000 BC.
A finalized version of the superdog was bred in 1887 to help Europeans hunt savagely powerful boars. Of German origin, the breed was also used to hunt bears and deer.
Hagrid’s dog Fang from Harry Potter, Scooby from Scooby Doo, and Astro from the Jetsons are all Great Danes!
Sweet natured, affectionate, and enormous, Great Danes are the perfect family dog. It’s safe to say that what you put in to you and your Great Danes relationship will be reciprocated entirely.