The Great Dane is a dog that seems to capture attention wherever it goes, stopping traffic and drawing crowds.
When well-bred, this dog is tall, chiseled and muscular in form, with a regal bearing. The qualities and characteristics of a well-bred Great Dane reflect the hundreds of years of careful breeding that has gone into the making of this magnificent creature.
With popular media being what it is, as well as the legend and lore that accompanies the Great Dane, sometimes it can be difficult to know what is true and what is false when it comes to this huge breed of dog.
Here are 10 surprising facts about the Great Dane:
#1 Apartment life is just fine for Great Danes
Despite their size, according to the AKC, life in an apartment can suit a Great Dane really well. They are not as high energy as other breeds, but despite their couch potato ways, daily exercise is important.
A brisk half hour walk a day will do, especially if complemented with some run time at a dog park or secure area a few times a week.
No fenced area? A 50-foot training leash and a ball can help your Dane keep fit!
#2 Great Danes grow incredibly fast!
Within a span of just 1 year, Great Danes go from just a handful of fluffy puppy to being able to stand up on their hind legs and look a 6-foot tall man eye-to-eye.
During their rapid growth spurts, Great Dane puppies can be visibly bigger after a night’s sleep!
#3 Great Danes don’t eat that much
A full grown Great Dane eats about 2-3 cups of dry dog food in a meal.
Too much protein isn’t recommended for Great Danes, especially with puppies, as growing faster than they already do can damage bones and joints. Rather than the high-protein, quick-grow type puppy foods, they should have an adult food with no more than 23 percent protein.
#4 Great Danes can be remarkably gentle.
That is, once the period of rapid growth passes and they gain full control of their body, bringing an end to accidental injuries due to clumsiness. Many Danes share their homes with small dogs and cats.
Great Danes have a well-deserved reputation for being wonderful with children and sometimes work as therapy dogs. However, no animal should be fully trusted with young children, especially one of such a size that a single mistake could be tragic.
#5 They must have people
Great Danes are an extremely sensitive breed and do not fare well without close contact with their human family. Living outside in a doghouse can destroy a Great Dane, make him mentally unstable, depressed, and even aggressive.
But who would want to keep a Great Dane outside? Or at least in the Mystery Machine!
#6 Anxiety can kill Great Danes
There is increasing evidence that bloat, a condition in which the stomach gets air in it and twists, or torsions, is related to anxiety.
Bloat can be serious in a Great Dane, becoming critical in less than an hour.
Make sure to learn the symptoms and, if considering this breed, consider how much time per day the dog will have to be alone.
#7 Great Danes tend to be a lady’s dog
Nothing against guys, but Great Danes tend to favour the female of the family. It is believed they respond better to the calmer and kinder mannerisms of women over men, which is also shown in training as they do not respond well to hard correction or training methods.
Like the lady of the family, Great Danes are emotionally sensitive creatures.
#8 Great Danes can be shockingly aggressive
Modern breeders have worked hard to eliminate the centuries of breeding for the aggression necessary to hunt such prey as wild boar.
While they’ve met with great success, poorly bred Danes can display dangerous throwback temperament traits. Not every Dane is Scooby Doo friendly! Especially when they’re overdue their Scooby snacks.
Never approach a Great Dane on the assumption of friendliness, especially if the Dane is accompanied by the children in his family. The drive to protect the youngsters of the pack from perceived danger isn’t something that is so easily bred out.
#9 Great Danes are NOT the tallest dog breed
Although the current holder of the world record for tallest dog is a 42-inch tall Great Dane called Zeus, it’s actually the Irish Wolfhound breed which tends to be tallest on average, although lighter in weight.
#10 Many Great Danes are thrown away
People don’t seem to understand that Great Danes are giant, powerful dogs. We’re all guilty of puppy adoration, and all dog owners understand how trying puppies can get, and this is the same for Great Danes.
One of the commonest periods for this breed to be surrendered to a shelter or rescue organisation is after they are 9 months old, as people neglect to factor in the potentials of a still rapidly growing giant dog that, because of his age, still acts like a crazy puppy.