Great Dane- Gentle giant with a golden heart
Imposing while elegant at the same time: The Great Dane with its size and dignified nature is both impressive and inspiring. Despite its giant size and status, this dog does not want to intimidate people because the Great Dane is a breed full of gentleness and sensitivity.
From Assyria to Germany
First depictions of dogs similar in size to the Great Dane go back as far as Babylonian times however the first known Great Dane breed is known to have come from ancient Assyria and was spread around to the Romans and Greeks. They made quite a stir due to their stature and dominant size. They were so popular with the conquerors that they came to Britain and Ireland and crossbreeds with the Irish Wolfhound and English Mastiff were found, the result was gigantic dogs that were mainly kept at princely courts for representation. However, it wasn’t until the 1880s the breed was refined in Germany where breeders decided that the Great Dane would be separate from the crossbreeds and was called Deutsche Dogge or German dog, the name later evolved into the Great Dane.
Nature and Character of the Great Dane
The essence of the Great Dane can be summed up in one word: lovable. They are consistently friendly and loyal dogs that tie themselves closely to their people. Often found thinking they are smaller than they actually are, trying to sit on top of their owners’ laps. However do not be mistaken in thinking that they do not have a lively side, the Great Dane is very spirited and has an urge to be very lively and enthusiastic, sometimes with a cheeky side. They only tend to be aggressive if they are ill-bred and insufficiently socialised. When the Great Dane is balanced, you have a good-natured dog that shows itself to be a sensitive companion: Great Danes attentively interpret the body language of their owner.
Raising and keeping of the Great Dane
Great Danes are loyal companions for any family, however, as working and hunting dogs originally, you must remember that this is deep in their nature. Not only do they need a lot of your time they require a lot of space, they will feel cramped if your house is not big enough for them to have roam of it, in addition to this they need as much outdoor exercise as possible. Ideally, they are best suited to properties without stairs as this can cause joint damage due to their size. It is also a big advantage if you have a sufficient level of physical strength and assertiveness as if a 90kg dog wants to follow an interesting trial you have to be strong enough to deal with. They are therefore more suited to a life off the leash.
Grooming the Great Dane
On all fours, the average height of a Great Dane is 76cm however on hind legs they can easily surpass 6ft. At between 50 and 95kg, the Great Dane is an extremely large and heavy dog. Due to the slow metabolism, the animals tend to be overweight so pay attention to the dosage of the feed and sufficient exercise. In young dogs, the food must not be too high in protein, because of their considerable weight, Great Danes need a softly padded lying surface to relieve the bones. For this, fur care is very simple: regular grooming with a soft brush is enough to keep the coat shiny. The life expectancy of the Great Dane, at an average of eight years, is, unfortunately, lower than that of other dog breeds.
- Breed: Great Dane
- Origin: Germany
- Classification: Molossoids, Mastiff-like dogs
- Size: Male from 80cm shoulder height. Female from 72cm shoulder height.
- Weight: Male 80-95kg. Female 50-65kg.
- Anatomy: “Square” snout, muscular with a strong chest, very large, long tail.
- Eyes: Medium sized, dark, almond shaped
- Fur and colour: Smooth, shiny, short haired. Colours; black, blue, yellow brindle, spotted
- Particularities: Close ties to people, reluctant to be left alone.
- Character: Spirited, good natured, loving, cuddly.
- Maintenance: Brush regularly with a soft brush