Great Dane Breed Information
This unique breed, the Great Dane, stands apart from most other dogs because of its size. This dog is considered a “gentle giant”. A well-bred Great Dane moves with power and confidence fitting its size. With its long neck and straight front legs, the Great Dane is an impressive but gentle dog, displaying affection and a playful temperament when raised in the correct atmosphere.
Great Danes can be excellent watchdogs, loyal to the family and protective of the home. This breed does not bark excessively and will be slightly aggressive when the situation calls for it.
With a history that goes back thousands of years, the Great Dane comes from the crossing of ancient mastiff-like dogs and Irish Greyhounds. The name is misleading in that the dogs have no real connection to Denmark.
Great Dane Temperament
The size of this large breed belies its friendly temperament. Although the Great Dane is energetic, showing spirit when properly bred and raised, the dog is actually very dependable, intelligent, and faithful. This dog makes a great watchdog, primarily due to its incredible size. However, the Great Dane usually only barks and looks impressive while not being vicious.
Loyalty is one word that comes to mind when experienced owners are asked about their Great Danes. This breed tends to be protective and close to the family and its home. Great Danes are quite good with children when bred and raised properly. However, it is best to teach the dog to be careful around smaller children and older people, simply because of risk of being knocked down due to the dog’s size.
If you are considering a Great Dane as a family pet, be prepared for the strength and rambunctious nature of this breed. These characteristics can be a problem inside and with those who are surprised by the size and playfulness of the Great Dane. The result is the dog being abandoned and returned to the source because the family cannot handle the dog’s size and strength.
Great Dane Size and Color
Generally, a Great Dane is as long as it is tall. For instance, the male typically stands around 36 inches at the shoulder while weighing up to 175 pounds. The female of the breed is usually two or three inches shorter and weighing up to 140 pounds. The Great Dane appears to have a strong bone structure and a long neck, in addition to straight front legs.
The Great Dane comes in several colors and mixes of colors, including fawn with a black mask, brindle, which is tan with black stripes, black, steel blue, white with black patches, also known as harlequin, and mantle, with a black head and body and white in several places.
Great Dane Feeding and Grooming Requirements
Practical experience has shown that this giant dog should receive the proper amount of protein in the diet, with the amount kept lower after the dog has finished growing. In fact, many veterinarians and top breeders try to keep the protein level at 25% or slightly less at all times during the dog’s life. There is some evidence that high levels of protein lead to joint disorders, such as hip dysplasia. It is always best to consult with your breeder and veterinarian to establish a good balanced diet for your Great Dane.
Large dogs should be fed multiple times during the day, which helps avoid problems coming from consuming a large amount at one time. When this occurs, the dog might experience bloat or stomach twisting due to the dog gulping down large quantities of food and/or water. Sufficient exercise before eating is recommended, as is waiting an hour or two after eating.
Grooming this shorthaired breed is relatively easy. Combing and brushing occasionally, and dry shampoo are all you need. For the nails, these should be kept trimmed. Finally, we do recommend daily grooming to avoid the struggle that comes with bathing such a large dog.
Great Dane Exercise Needs
The Great Dane should be exercised daily, with long walks being ideal. If you plan to keep your Great Dane in a smaller house or apartment, you should also plan to give the pet plenty of time outside to walk in the park. Remember, due to the massive size, it is imperative to keep this particular breed under control at all times.
The Great Dane can be somewhat difficult to train than other breeds. Therefore, it is best to purchase from a breeder, one that has taken the time to socialize the puppies so they are comfortable with people and other dogs. Sometimes, adults can be aggressive toward towards other dogs, so during exercise time, provide closely supervised.
Read More About Great Dane
- Great Dane : 10 Most Common Questions
- Great Dane Training Guide
- Great Dane Health Guide
- Owning a Great Dane : Breeder Recommendations