Great Dane

If you are looking for a huge dog breed with excellent nature, then Great Dane is perfect for you. Some people might be scared of its deadly looks and size, but it is an affectionate pet who likes to play. This dog breed was originally used to hunt bear, deer, and boar, but with the time, the use of the Great Dane has changed. Now they are used mainly as a guard dog or a home dog.

History

The Great Dane has its roots in Germany where it is known as Deutsche Dogge and German Mastiff. In the 16th century, countries of Europe imported many long and strong-legged Englische Dockes from England. These dogs were a mix of English Mastiff and Irish Wolfhounds, but their size varied among all the dogs.  Due to their large size and high physical strength, these dogs were used to hunt down bears and deer. During the hunt, these dogs used to hold down the target till the hunter kills the target.

These dogs were used when there were insufficient numbers of guns. The hunting trend took a change when everyone got to use weapons, and the use of these dogs declined. Since then the Englische Dockes are used as family dogs or just as a normal pet.

As mentioned above, this breed was referred as Englische Dockes which means an English Dog. Due to its large size, many people believed that this dog should be referred as something more luxurious and hence it was named as Great Dane. In Germany, this breed is still mentioned as German Mastiff or Deutsche Dogge.  Moreover, due to its giant size, they are also named as Apollo of Dogs or Gentle Giant.

Size

The most distinctive feature of a Great Dane is its huge size which is why they are categorized into large breeds. The height of a male dog could go up to thirty-one inches whereas a female Great Dane could go up to thirty inches high. When it comes to their weight, both male and female have the same weight which is near to whooping eighty-tow kilos. With all those physical specifications, the Great Dane is one of the tallest dog breeds.

Personality and Temperament

Another name of Great Danes is Gentle Giants which certainly explains their temperament. They are fun-loving dogs who love to play with their master. A Great Dane puppy is exceptionally energetic who will play until it drains all your energy. However, the situation is entirely opposite with an adult dog. With their age, their interest in playing declines and they become more inclined towards resting and doing completely nothing.

When it comes to children, they know how to be around small kids and will not cause any harm to them. However, some excited dogs could not control their enthusiasm and may get carried away. Make sure that you teach them about their behavior around children so that they can control their power around them.

Introducing them to other pets is not an issue with them as well. They will accept any pet as their friend; be it a dog or a cat. In addition to that, there is no issue between the genders are well. As every dog has different nature, so you cannot predict their actions before adopting them. To avoid any clash between the pets, the best you can do is to introduce them at a younger age. When dogs are a puppy, they are more open to friendships and will accept anyone as their friends.

Their friendly nature makes other believe that this breed will not cause any harm to strangers. When a Great Dane senses any potential threat to its home or family, then they ultimately become aggressive and will not think twice before attacking. With their strong build and huge size, they can even knock down a healthy man as well.

Most of the dogs feel separation anxiety which can trigger their inner beast, and they start chewing things that come in their way. However, a Great Dane will not chew things; instead, they have a habit to dig while they are anxious. Apart from digging, they are also known to bark and other ill-mannered behaviors.

Great Dane

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Fawn Great Dane Dog Breed. By Jesus Souto / Shutterstock

Health

Great Danes are one of the biggest dog breeds on Earth, but still, they are among those dog breeds who live less than average dogs. The lifespan of a healthy Great Dane is around six to eight years, but some of them are known to live for around ten years as well.

Though Great Danes are a healthy breed with less number of breed-specific diseases, but they are not immune to them. As a large breed, the most common illness that they are known to catch is hip dysplasia. Apart from that, bloating is another illness that has taken the life of many large breed dogs. To prevent bloating, it is best that you provide your dog with enough food and avoid any activity for at least an hour after the meal.

Giants are known to have heart diseases, and this is certainly the case with this giant breed as well. There are high chances that a Dane might be diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy which is one of the most severe heart diseases. Other heart diseases include mitral valve defects, subaortic stenosis, patent ductus arteriosus and tricuspid valve dysplasia.

Some of the Great Danes have also been diagnosed with osteosarcoma or bone cancer. This disease is most common in middle-aged to elder dogs, but can also be found in puppies as well. It is one of the most severe conditions as its treatment includes amputation of the affected limb.

Care

Being a larger dog breed, people believe that Great Danes need a lot of care and attention. Though every dog needs attention, but the extreme care part is not the case with this breed. Without a doubt, you may need to take care of the dogs training, and exercise, but it is very less.

The first thing that you should know is that they are extremely large dogs and will not fit into small apartments. They have muscular tails that could knock out vases, pots and other valuables, so it is best that you keep this dog in a bigger house and not in confined space. Although they do not feel mental or physical problems in smaller homes, but they can unintentionally break things down.

Now moving on to their exercise requirements, Danes love to stay at home doing completely nothing except for eating and resting. However, to keep them fit, it is necessary that you take your dog for a walk for at least thirty minutes. It will avoid chances of obesity and will keep their muscles fit as well.

As we have already mentioned that this breed should not be kept in an apartment, so there are chances that people with laws will plan to adopt this race. If you also have a lawn, then you should add fence of at least six feet so that your dog will not jump off it and go for a walk on its own.

Taking Great Dane for a walk is necessary, but a walk does not mean a jog. Great Danes are known to have strong legs, but to make their legs healthy, it is best that you do not take your dog for jogging until they are two years of age. The reason behind this is that their bones are still developing at that age and jogging may cause hindrance to their bone development.

Training is also a concern for a Dane owner as their training should begin at an early age, in fact since the day they are brought to the house. They are not aggressive, but improper training can result in aggression issues with the dog. Apart from that, you should train your Dane to never jump on anyone. They are powerful dogs and heavy dogs as well, so jumping can result in a small injury.

Feeding

Feeding a Dane is always confusion for its owner. Many people believe that Great Danes should be fed a considerable diet by looking at their size, while some of them suggest giving more than medium diet. This confusion can cause development issues to some of the dogs at an early stage. The proper diet of a Great Dane varies with their age. Though they need more than the average dog, but as they are not among those breeds that play a lot in their adulthood, it is best that you avoid overfeeding.

High protein and other supplements are the main reason for growth problem. If you are going to adopt a pet from a breeder, then you should ask about it daily diet and make sure that you stick to that diet. A sudden change in the diet can cause stomach issues which may make your pup aggressive and unhealthy. If you want to change the diet, then make sure that you do it gradually and notice any change in the behavior in your pup. Sometimes specific food may cause allergy to the puppy so make sure to keep that thing in mind.

The frequency of the food is the key to a healthy dog. A puppy should be fed around three times a day of food per day till six months of age. Afterward, you can change the diet to two times a day. Make sure to keep your pup well exercised so that it does not fall into the category of obese dogs. They already have a shorter life expectancy than other dogs and obesity can cut short their life by several months.

Coat

The Great Dane has a thick and smooth coat which comes in different colors. You can get a Great Dane in Black, Blue, Fawn, Mantle, Brindle and Harlequin color. They heavily shed their coat which is a concern for many. To solve this problem, brush your dog daily, and all the hair that was going to shed will stick to the brush. Moreover, bath your pet with a good quality shampoo which can avoid ticks and clean the coat thoroughly.

However, bathing a Great Dane is not an easy task. With their huge size, it is difficult for a single person to give a nice shower to a Dane without making themselves wet. Some pets may be easier to bath while other hate to get their coat wet.

Is this Breed Good for First Timers?

Great Dane is a giant dog breed, and once they are spoiled in the early age, then there is no turning back. It is best that people with hands-on experience with any stubborn breed or someone who know a lot about this breed and dog training should go with this breed. Moreover, they should be aware of the health problems and their dietary requirements. This is a dog breed that is known to grow a lot faster than other dog breeds, and their requirements are much higher than other dogs as well. Be it the food cost or the vet cost; everything is large in the case of a Great Dane.

If you are going to adopt a Great Dane as a play dog, then you might think twice. Though they like to play with their loved ones, but keep in mind that they are harsh players. No just Danes but every dog have no control over their strength when they are playing. They can get overexcited and may damage you or anyone else while playing. The primary thing that you need to get a Great Dane is patience. If you think that you know enough about this breed and are ready to face the challenges, then you can go with adopting a Great Dane.

Endnote

The Great Danes are known to be one of the tallest dogs in the world. In fact, the tallest dog in the world was a Great Dane named Zeus who measured forty-four inches high. Sadly, he passed away on 3rd September 2014 at the age of 5 due to natural causes. It shows that Great Danes have a huge body, but they can die due to old age in just five years.

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