The Great Dane is both regal and strong in appearance. He has a big muscular body, a square muzzle and a tapering tail, which is usually carried straight down. The ears naturally hang beside the head unless they are cropped, in which case they appear erect and pointed.
The Great Dane’s size does not affect the general conformation that is so well balanced that it is able to move with a long reach and powerful drive and never clumsy.
The short, glossy coat that covers the well developed body, its finely chiseled head and a firm neck that is set high and well arched combines to produce the distinctive majestic elegance associated with the Great Dane.
The ancestry is uncertain but is generally believed to be a cross between the English Mastiff and the Irish Wolfhound. The Great Dane was originally bred in Germany and not in Denmark as it name suggests.
They are also known as the “Apollo of All Dogs” and, of course, the “Gentle Giant”.
Great Dane Pictures
Great Dane Skills
Early Danes were physically different in size and structure compared to the present Great Dane. They were formerly courageous and powerful hunters of wild boar capable of great speed and swift attack.
The practice of many German noblemen in keeping them at their estates metamorphosed the breed into a reliable companion and protector. The Great Dane has been used more recently for therapy, service work, and providing assistance to people with mobility problems. They also perform well in agility trials and schutzhund work.
The many talents of Great Dane’s include tracking, watchdog and carting.
Great Dane Personality
A Great Dane is gentle despite its size. It is spirited, courageous, friendly, dependable, loyal and intelligent. Timidity and aggressiveness are not acceptable traits for this breed.
This breed especially loves being around people and is known to be playful and patient. However, all Great Danes should be thoroughly obedience trained while still young for greater manageability once they are fully grown.
A Great Dane needs plenty of exercise or at the least a daily long walk.
A Great Dane will find apartment life acceptable as long as it is given sufficient exercise. It may be relatively inactive thus a home with a large yard would be better.
The Great Dane’s smooth short-haired coat is easy to groom. A firm bristle brush is used for combing and brushing this average shredder. Dry shampooing can be done when necessary and nails should be kept trimmed. Bathing a dog of this size can be quite difficult thus it is better to have a daily grooming routine to minimize the need to do so.
There are a number of health conditions that have been identified in the Great Dane. Some of which that can be identified through testing are cardiomyopathy, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism and cataracts.
Other health concerns in Great Danes include cancer, wobblers, hypertrophic osteodystrophy and panosteitis and bloat.
The Newfoundland is a good alternative. Like the Great Dane, the Newfoundland is a very gentle breed despite their size.
Newfoundland’s also belong to the same working group, originally bred to pull sleds and carry packs, but have evolved into an ideal companion for the family.
Great Dane: Quick Facts
Here are some essential quick facts about Great Danes:
Flexible, despite size.
Daily 25 minute walk.
Large & Tall
28 to 32 inches
100 to 200 pounds
Standard Hair Colors:
Fawn, brindle, blue, black, harlequin and mantle.