The Great Dane (also named the “German Mastiff” or “Danish Hound” and often nicknamed the “Gentle Giant”) is a working breed that dates back to ancient times. They are known to regularly hold the record as the tallest dog and naturally feature floppy ears (though they are often seen cropped to stay erect this is now illegal in many countries), a fawn, black, blue, brindle, mantle or harlequin coat and an overall regal appearance. The Great Dane is a popular selection as a companion to single owners or families with the confidence to care for such a large dog.
Origins Of The Great Dane
The Great Dane can be traced back to ancient cross-breeding between the Mastiff, Irish Wolfhound and Greyhound and by the 14th century they were favored in Germany for the purpose of hunting wild boars. Later they became popular as guard dogs among wealthy landowners due to their imposing and noble appearance.
Average Size Of The Great Dane
Great Danes are classed as a giant-sized breed. The recommended standard size for the Great Dane male is a minimum of 32 inches tall from paw to shoulder and a weight of 145-185 pounds, whereas the recommended size for female Great Danes is a minimum of 30 inches high from paw to shoulder with a weight of 100-135 pounds.
Temperament Of The Great Dane
The Great Dane is legendary for their calm, gentle and loyal manner. They are often friendly with strangers, but can be somewhat suitable as a guard dog simply due to their imposing size and loud bark. They are also occasionally known to be quite protective and may defend their family if they sense they are in danger.
The Great Dane is also known to be fairly intelligent – placing equal 48th in comparison with other dogs based on their capability to be trained obedience directives.
They are also well-known to be gentle with kids – which means they are quite suitable as a family pet, though they may sometimes forget their own size and occasionally knock small children over. The Great Dane is very well-matched with other animals such as cats and other dogs if raised with them from an early age, though un-neutered males may occasionally become aggressive with other dogs if they are not properly trained.
Living Requirements Of The Great Dane
The Great Dane is happiest with a large yard to run around in, but they can be mildly suitable for apartment living so long as they are given daily exercise. In addition to this, they will need extra attention to make sure all other facets of your regular life accommodate their extra large size – this means getting accessories such as raised dog bowls, extra large and soft bedding plus a jumbo-sized crate (if you can find one large enough) as well as ensuring that your car is also big enough to transport them for when you need to take them to the vet or on other trips.
Health & Life Expectancy Of The Great Dane
Like a lot of giant-sized breeds of dogs, the Great Dane is in general short-lived having a life expectancy of 7-10 years. The most severe health problem for Great Danes is commonly identified as bloat as a result of their large size, but this can be helped through the use of raised food bowls. They are also prone to conditions including skin allergies, heart conditions, hip dysplasia, “Wobbler’s Syndrome” and Von Willebrand’s disease.
Exercise Needs Of The Great Dane
The Great Dane takes pleasure in hobbies like running around the yard or a safe area while off the leash – but such exercise should be limited while they are still growing to prevent any joint problems from developing. They have a moderate degree of energy and require exercise each day in the form of moderate to long walks to avoid excessive weight gain and ensure they remain easy to handle while at home.