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Great Dane

Quick facts

Great Dane AKC Group: Working
Height: Male: 30-34 inches, Female: 28-32 inches
Weight: Male: 120-200 pounds, Female: 100-130 pounds
Colors: combination shades of black, blue, brindle, merle, mantle harlequin, fawn
AKC recognized in: 1887

The Great Dane is one of the most well known dog breeds in the Working Group. Standing at 30 in. (76 cm.) and weighing in at 119 lbs. (54 kg.), this is one of the biggest dogs in the world as well. This dog is muscular and has a deep chest owing to its original use of hunting wild boar in Germany.

Their long head is a rather rectangular shape with a deep muzzle. Their nose is generally black or blue/black on blue Danes. It may also be black spotted for harlequins. Their deep-set eyes are black and just the right size. The ears are either left natural or cropped, although this is forbidden in some parts of Europe.

The Great Dane has five colors recognized as official. These are brindle, fawn, blue, black and harlequin. A chocolate color may sometimes appear due to a recessive gene. Do not be persuaded into getting a Great Dane in another color for its "rare color" as this is simply not true.

This dog breed is actually regarded as the "Apollo of All Dogs" because of the breed's old age. Ancient people have inscribed these dogs on their money, such as the Greeks as far back as 36 BC and the Egyptians since 3000 BC. Many believe that the Great Dane itself is a result of the breeding of Greyhounds, Wolfhounds and the Old English Mastiff.

Due to its size and power, it is not surprising that the Great Dane was used as a hunting dog. Sometimes, they were even used to guard estates. Although named "Dane", it has absolutely nothing to do with Denmark as commonly mistaken by a lot of people.

The Great Dane was recognized as a dog breed in 1887. These dogs are currently used as trackers, watchdogs, and for pulling carts.


Great Dane Summary
Affection five paws
Cold Tolerance two paws
Ease of Training four paws
Energy level five paws
Exercise Requirements three paws
Friendliness : Children four paws
Friendliness: Other Animals three paws
Friendliness: Other Pets four paws
Grooming Requirements one paw
Heat Tolerance three paws
Playfulness four paws
Protection Ability four paws
Watchdog Ability five paws

Gentle giant is what best describes the Great Dane. Being an intelligent breed, this dog may be trained to become obedient. They tend to be charming and show a lot of affection towards their adoptive family. They make a great family dog since they also do well around kids.

Despite its size, a Great Dane is rarely aggressive. You have to press it to the extreme to even hear it bark or growl. Dependable, trustworthy, and brave are just some of the adjectives you would use to describe this dog breed. You might want to start training them early on before they get big and unwieldy though.

Great Danes sometimes are not aware of their size, and think they should be lap dogs. They love family and want to be near them at all times. While they like people in general, and will often welcome strangers, if they feel you might be in danger and need defending, they can be extremely protective.

Health and Exercise

The Great Dane has a life expectency of between 7 and 10 years.

Great Danes are generally healthy, but are subject to certain conditions, including:

  • Heart diseases - Different diseases of the heart can occur, including cardiomyopathy, mitral valve defects, subaortic stenosis, tricuspid valve dysplasia, and right aortic arch.
  • Hip Dysplasia - Where the thigh bone does not fit snugly into the hip joint. This can lead to severe lameness or arthritis. A dog diagnosed with hip dysplasia should never be bred, as this is an inherited condition.
  • Gastric torsion, or bloat - this is a life-threatening condition where the stomach becomes distended with gas or air, and then twists. This can happen with all deep chested dogs, especially if they eat their meal rapidly or drink large volumns of water. If this happens, it is extremely important that you get your Great Dane to a vet immediately.

Great Danes do well indoors, though a small apartment may not work because their size may mean knocking everything over. They require daily exercise, at least 30 minutes at a time, and depending on their condition, up to 1 hour. This can be in the form of walks or a large yard to play in. But before any hard exercise, like jogging, wait until she is at least 18 months old, to allow the bones to fully form.

Great Danes are easy to keep groomed, but they do shed, so regular brushing with a stiff brush is recommended. This will also cut down on how often you need to bathe her, which, as you can imagine, can be quite a chore.

Visitor Comments

This is your chance to add your feedback. Do you have a Great Dane in your family, or know one in someone elses? Do you have a story to tell related to that Great Dane? Or maybe you have more questions that either Dog Nation or another of our visitors might be able to help you with? Feel free to add your comment or question below.

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