About Great Danes
Great Danes are considered a "giant" breed of dog, yet they are as gentle as they are large. Danes are also known as "gentle giants" of the dog world. They are also called "velcro dogs" since they always want to be with their people and often have a need to be in physical contact. When you stand, they will lean on you or sit on your feet. When you sit, they will climb into your lap (yes, really)! It's always fun to see someone sitting in a chair with a Dane perched on its person and yet its front feet are still on the floor.
Danes are true couch potatoes and don't need nearly as much space as you might think. Yes, they do take up a lot of space when they lie on the floor, your couch or your bed. Otherwise, they aren't that active. A nice brisk walk twice a day will usually suffice. Occasionally they get an attack of the "zoomies" where they tear around like mad for a few minutes and then head back to the couch.
Because of their size, obedience training is a MUST. If you have a 150-pound dog that you can't control, you are in for problems. Danes are relatively easy to train. We recommend that you attend local obedience training classes with your dog. Be sure you choose one that does NOT use forceful methods. Danes are sensitive and want to please their people. One advantage of attending obedience classes, besides the obvious, is that your dog learns to behave in a situation with strange dogs and people in a place outside of your home. This makes it easier to take your Dane places and make him pleasant to be with.
Great Danes are known as a "giant breed" since they can be over 36" at the shoulder and over 200 pounds although the average is about 130 pounds. They also stand about 6' tall when on their hind feet. Keep in mind that a dog of this size can reach just about anything you can. Leaving food on your kitchen countertop or on the table may be an invitation for a snack. If you're not used to a dog of this size, some special considerations must be made.
As with any breed of dog, Danes can be prone to specific health problems. Some may get arthritis or heart problems. Hip dysplasia can also be a problem with giant breeds. The average life-span of a Dane is 9-11 years.
Danes need a high-quality food with a controlled amount of protein. Here is a good site for evaluating your dog's food quality. They also need to have their food and water bowls on an elevated platform. Approximately 18" is the norm.
You may also want to think about long-term care for your dog in case he outlives you. Consider setting up a trust fund for your pet. You may also want to plan for emergency situations such as evacuation due to hurricanes or other disasters.
Overall, Great Danes make wonderful and loyal companions. Adopt one and see for yourself! How could you say "no" to that face?
|Description||The Great Dane is a giant, powerful dog. Square in body, but females may be slightly longer than tall. The long head is rectangular in shape. The muzzle is deep, with a pronounced stop. The nose is black, blue/black on blue Danes or black spotted on the harlequins. The dark, deep-set eyes are medium in size. The medium sized ears are set high and either cropped or left natural. If left in their natural state they are folded forward hanging close to the cheek. When cropped they stand erect and are large in proportion to the rest of the head. Note: cropping ears is illegal in most parts of Europe. The well arched neck is set-high, firm and muscular. The front legs are perfectly straight. The feet are round with dark toenails. The tail is set high, thicker at the base and tapering to a point. Dewclaws are sometimes removed. The coat is short and thick. Colors come in brindle, fawn, black, blue, mantle harlequin and sometimes merle. Although not a recognized color, chocolate does occur in a recessive gene. Merle is a common result of harlequin breeding, but it is not a recognized color.|
|Temperament||The Great Dane has a good disposition, often called a "gentle giant". Charming and affectionate, they are playful and patient with children. They love everyone and need to be around people. The Great Dane does not bark much and only becomes aggressive when the circumstances require it. They are reliable, trustworthy and dependable. Courageous and loyal, they are good watchdogs. The Great Dane does not stay little for long and consistent training and rules should start right from puppyhood. This giant dog should be taught not to jump or lean on people. The objective in training this dog is to achieve a pack leader status. It is a natural instinct for a dog to have an order in their pack. When we humans live with dogs, we become their pack. The entire pack cooperates under a single leader. Lines are clearly defined. You and all other humans MUST be higher up in the order than the dog. That is the only way your relationship can be a success. Dogs who know their place below humans in the pack order will be good with children. If you are not a firm, confident, consistent pack leader who knows how to correct the dog when he is showing signs of aggression, the dog can be dog-aggressive. Owners who know how to properly handle their dogs will not have this issue.|
|Height & Weight||Height: Dogs 30-34 inches (76-86 cm.)
Bitches 28-32 inches (71-81 cm.)
Weight: Dogs 120-200 pounds (54-90 kg.)
Bitches 100-130 pounds (45-59 kg.)
Dogs of even larger size are more prized.
|Health Problems||Prone to hip dysplasia, bloat, heart disease, tumors and tail injuries. Jogging is not recommended until the dog is at least one year old, but walking is necessary. Not a long lived breed.|
|Living Condition||The Great Dane will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. It is relatively inactive indoors and does best with at least a large yard.|
|Exercise||The Great Dane needs plenty of exercise. They need to be taken on a daily long walk.|
|Life Expectancy||The average is under 10 years, however some can live to be 12-13 years old.|
|Grooming||The smooth short-haired coat is easy to groom. Comb and brush with a firm bristle brush and dry shampoo when necessary. Bathing this giant is a major chore, so it pays to avoid the need by daily grooming. The nails must be kept trimmed. This breed is an average shedder.|
|Origin||The Great Dane is a very old breed, known as the "Apollo of all dogs.". Dogs resembling the Great Dane have appeared on Greek money dating back to 36 B.C. There are also drawling's of these dogs on Egyptian monuments from roughly 3000 B.C. The earliest writings of dogs that sounded like Great Danes were in Chinese literature dating back to 1121 B.C. In 407 A.D. German Gaul and part of Italy and Spain were invaded by an Asiatic people (the Alans) who brought with them powerful mastiff-like dogs. They were admired for their ability to bring down bear and wild boar. The dogs were thought to have been Wolfhound mixed with the old English Mastiff. With selective breeding the Greyhound was added in to create the Great Dane. Besides being used as a hunter, they were also used as estate guard dogs. Despite the fact that they are called Danes in English, they have nothing to do with Denmark. The Great Dane was recognized in 1887. Some of the Great Dane's talents are tracking, watchdog and carting.|
|Group||Mastiff, AKC Working|
|Recognition||CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, CKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, CCR, APRI, ACR, DRA, NAPR|
- Signs of Bloat
- Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV) – Bloat and Torsion
- Bloat is a Tricky Problem for Dogs
- Rebuttal to the Purdue Study
- Dog Owners Guide: Bloat
- Bloat (Gastric Dilatation & Volvulus)
- Bloat in Dogs
- Understanding Bloat and Torsion
- Gastric Torsion in Dogs
- Bloat and Torsion: Is Nutrition A Factor?
- Bloat First Aid and Prevention
- Prophylactic Gastropexy and Procedures
- Dogs with Torsion or Bloat - Intestinal Torsion
HOD (Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy)
- Degenerative Joint Disease (Osteoarthritis)
- Treatments Available For Chronic Arthritis
- Growing Pains
- Growing Pains: Growth-Associated Bone Disorders in the Dog
- Skeletal, Structure, Bones, Joints & Related Diseases
- Canine Hip and Elbow Dysplasia Resources
- Hip Dysplasia: Diagnosis - Treatment - Prevention
- Triple Pelvic Osteotomy
- A Guide To Recognizing Bone Diseases
- OCD: Osteochondritis Dissecans
- Chronic Degenerative Radiculomyelopathy
- Natural Ways To Handle Orthopedic Pain
- TPLO Recovery Center
Other Health Links
- Emergency Dog Links
- Emergency Clinics
- Eastern Veterinary Blood Bank
- Animal CPR
- Great Dane Health Foundation of America, Inc.
- Encyclopedia of Canine Veterinary Medical Information
- Ginnie's Great Dane and Canine Health Links
- Animal Poison Control Center
- Gold Bead Implant Directory
- Von Willebrand's Disease (vWD)
- Congenital Hypothyroidism
- Cherry Eye
- Cushing's Disease
- Mending A Tail
- How to Give Your Dog Tablets
- Deaf Dog Education Action Fund
- The Pet Fund
- Operation Spay Gray - Spay/neuter reimbursements for Weimaraners in NJ, DE or PA
Breeding and Genetics
- The Canine Diversity Project
- Animal Genetics
- Making a Difference: Being a Responsible Dog Breeder
- Basic Genetics in Great Danes
- Canine Coat Color Genetics Info
- The Great Strip Tease Show, or Understanding Dane Coat Color
- Harlequin Breeding Forbidden in Germany
- The Ins and Outs of Pedigree Analysis, Genetic Diversity, and Genetic Disease Control
- Inbreeding and Linebreeding
- Prioritizing Genetic Defects
- The Canine Inherited Disorders Database
Miscellaneous Great Dane Information and Breed Clubs
- Great Dane Club of America
- Great Dane Club of Central North Carolina
- Great Dane Club of Central Pennsylvania
- Great Dane Club of Pennsylvania
- Great Dane Club of Raritan Valley
- Great Danes Online (DOL)
- Ginnie's Great Dane Pages
- Dog Logic
- Great Danes: Great Dane Australia
- Dane World Magazine
- Great Danes: What's good about 'em What's bad about 'em
- Great Dane Lovers Association of WA (Western Australia)
- The Big Dog Bunch
- Rudy's Room
Choosing A Puppy & Choosing A Dog
- The ABC's of Buying a Purebred Puppy
- Choosing A Dog
- Recognizing an Unethical Breeder
- Comparison Chart of Responsible and Back Yard Breeders
- Looking for a Purebred Puppy?
- Buying A Great Dane Wisely
- Choosing the Right Dog
- Before You Buy (or Adopt): Tips on Choosing a Dog for You
- Adopting an Adult Dog
- Why adult Great Danes make better pets
- Questions about Adopting an "Older" Dog.....
- Do Senior Animals Really Make Good Pets?
- Older Might Be Better
Bringing Your New Dog Home
Canine Behavior & Training
- He Just Wants To Say "Hi!"
- Hard To Train?
- How to Love Your Dog: Nothing in Life is Free
- Who's In Charge Here?
- Aggression Basics
- The Fine Art of Observation
- Never Never Say It Say It Twice-Twice
- Talking Dog: Body Language
- Handling On Leash Aggression
- Clicker Training
- The Dog Obedience and Training Page
- Association of Pet Dog Trainers
- The Safe Kids/Safe Dogs Project
- Doggone Safe
- Canine Concepts
- Help for Barking Dogs
Legal & Political Canine Issues
- Rescue's Adoption Fees Are Too High...
- Dogs Deserve Better
- Great Dane Rescue of South Carolina
- Independent Animal Rescue
- Animal Kind
- Broadway Barks
- Harlequin Haven Great Dane and St. Bernard Rescue
- HART - Homeless Animals Rescue Team
- Animal Planet :: Pets911
- Lost and Found Dog Rescue
- Rocky Mountain Great Dane Rescue, Inc.
- Great Dane Dog & Puppy Central
- Hillbilly Pets
General Dog Information
Businesses That Support MAGDRL
- Danesculptor: Louise Peterson
- Gel Dee Lites: Safe Gel Candles
- Thankful Paws
- All Pets Considered
- Country Dog & Friends First-Aid-Kit for Pets
- Just4Pooches.com - "Good Stuff for Good Dogs"
- Mike's Feed Farm
- The Big Dog Boutique - Pet Supplies that Breed Jealousy
- The Pet Pantry - NC store - will donate to MAGDRL when you sign up as a new customer
- Universal Export Ltd - Universal Export Ltd is the largest manufacturer of Eurostyle stickers with over 1000 designs including 72 dog breeds. Personalized designs are also available.
- TLC Pet Stuff
- Meow & Fetch
- the Dog Bar
- AED Photographs - Nature and Animal Photographs
- Paws and Claws Photography
- Beau-dacioius Paw Supplies, LLC
- Bluetonium Art & Design
- K9 Closet
- Bark 'N Bubbles
Note: These links are provided for general information purposes only. They are not intended to replace your regular veterinarian's advice, diagnosis or treatment. We are not responsible for the opinions or content presented by linked web sites.