The Great Dane is a huge dog breed that is both powerful in appearance. The breed is gifted with a proud posture. They have a strong stance and a very sporty appearance, as well as a calm and reserved demeanor. The breed was created in Germany. The Great Dane is a companion dog, bodyguard and watchdog.
Head Great Dane is very noble in appearance, standing high and proud on the shoulders thanks to a strong neck. The head is broad and well developed with a large, rectangular muzzle.
The jaw well developed.
Nose very expressive, black.
Eyes well planted, lively and very intelligent.
Eye color can vary from light brown shades to as dark as possible. In marbled and blue Great Danes, light shades of eyes, sometimes blue, are allowed.
Ears hanging, triangular. If they are cut off (cupping) - they stand high, vertically. Usually, ear trimming is done only in the USA, less often in other countries.
Neck Great Dane is long and muscular, standing high on the shoulders. The neck tapers slightly towards the throat and falls into a well-developed withers, as well as into a deep and broad chest.
Rib cage well developed, strong. The brisket extends far to the elbows and should be in proportion to the overall length of the body.
Front legs straight, well boned, very muscular.
Rear part rocks with a slight slope from the withers to the tail.
Tail long and tapering from a thick base to a point at the end.
Hind legs well formed and straight when viewed from the back. When viewed from the side, they have a slightly crouched appearance that evokes a sense of solidity and reliability in standing and moving.
Paw brushes Great Danes are round and compact with thick pads. They harmonize well with strong nails.
The dog is moving with smoothness, able to cover long distances with minimal effort.
back line must be level when the dog is in motion, and there must be no noticeable shift in the dog's weight during movement - running or walking.
Wool very smooth and short with a natural sheen.
The Great Dane can have the following colors:
- harlequin (white with black spots);
- the black;
- marbled (black base with white markings);
- pale yellow
- brindle (fawn with black dots);
- blue (dark gray with a blue tint).
- merle (harlequin color deviation, not a recognized color for this breed).
History of the Great Dane breed
A dog very similar to a Great Dane has been found on Greek coins dating back to 36 BC. They were considered royal dogs, highly valued and valued to this day. These dogs were brought to Europe and had a slightly different look - more rough, not so refined.
The modern breed of the Great Dane was first bred in Germany as a cross between the Asian mastiff and the Irish wolfhound. They were originally bred as warrior dogs for hunting big game. Great Danes were valued for their strength, obedience and ability to work independently. In the fourteenth century, the Germans began to actively use the Great Dane as a hunting dog for wild boars. The Great Dane became popular with English hunters, where it was called the German Boar Hound.
The German Hound at some point became known as the Great Dane, although there is very little information about where the name came from and why they were connected to Denmark instead of Germany. In 1880, the German government officially decided that the Great Dane in Germany should only be called the Great Dane (Deutsche Dogge).
From a later time, the Great Dane is most often used as a companion. They can also be excellent show and guard dogs.
Great Dane Temperament
The Great Dane is a very calm and gentle dog, always showing a loyal attitude towards his family and will be a loyal and strong protector, even though this is not an aggressive breed. Great Danes get along well with children, although they often do not feel their size, so they must learn not to jump high or lean against people, as they can easily hurt someone.
Great Danes can be amazing companion dogs if properly socialized and trained from a very young age. Dog needs communication with other dogs. Sometimes males can show aggression due to the lack of sexual life. It is recommended to castrate (male) or neuter (female) Great Danes if the pet is not in breeding programs. This is especially good if, in addition to the dog, you also have other animals at home, such as cats.
An adult Great Dane behaves quite reservedly around strangers, but will also be very playful around his family. They are moderately active and require help to understand how to behave in different situations. Training Great Danes can be somewhat difficult, but they respond well to their owner's commands. Dogs shy away from strangers and will need some time to get to know each other.
Dogs are good watchmen and guards. To do this, it is enough for them to be of a huge size and have an impressive look, which, as a rule, immediately makes it clear to a stranger that you need to immediately leave the territory. They can become aggressive if they feel their family is threatened, though this is not a general or natural tendency of the breed.
Great Dane care
The Great Dane is not difficult to care for. All that is required is to comb the pet with bristles or a rubberized mitten over its short, silky coat. In order for the wool to have an irresistible natural shine, it is recommended to wipe it with suede.
Dogs do not need frequent bathing. Using dry shampoo for them will be much better than a full bath of water in shampoo. Bathing a Great Dane can lead to deterioration of the coat, especially if the shampoo is not completely rinsed out of the coat. If you are leaning towards a full-fledged bathing of your pet, you should consider using professional salons that have special equipment for washing large breeds of dogs.
Many people think that Great Danes eat a lot. But, this is a misconception that causes the size of the dog. For the most part, the Great Dane is just very tall - his legs are longer than usual. Although, the breed looks physically harmonious. Great Danes don't eat much. Overeating harms his digestive system and overall health. He will not twist his nose, saying "enough for me", but you will understand this from your pet's toilet.
It is also very important to carefully care for the claws of the Great Dane. The nails should be short and level with the ground so that the dog can move freely. It is recommended to use guillotine-type nail clippers, especially for large breeds. Nails should be clipped carefully so as not to touch the living flesh in the center of the nail, otherwise the dog will bleed and hurt. In addition, there is a possibility of infection.
Communication with dog
The Great Dane usually does not exert himself indoors, but the dog will exercise on his own outside the house, in the yard, in a clearing, playground, etc. From the age of one year, Great Danes can be a great company for you during morning runs. With age, physical activity for Great Danes should be limited, especially running, to prevent health problems.
The Great Dane loves to be close to people, loves noisy games in the yard with children. Without proper communication, the Great Dane will become irritable and somewhat independent, and will ignore the owner's commands. Great Danes love to walk for hours outside in good weather and really dislike long walks in cold and wet weather.
With sufficient exercise and a properly balanced diet, Great Danes are not prone to weight gain. Any signs of excess weight should be stopped and, if necessary, physical activity should be added, as well as careful control of food intake should be applied. Exercise, such as long walks, hikes, is better for the breed than exercise.
Great Dane training
Gentle and calm dogs are generally very easy to train if started from an early age. After a year, a dog is more difficult to train, especially if they have not had a base since childhood. This is true for all breeds of dogs. But, due to their large size, Great Danes need training to interact safely with humans.
While training this breed, it is also recommended to include the dog's socialization from an early age. The Great Dane should be trained using only calmness and positive teaching methods, never using aggression or harsh punishments. Dogs are very sensitive, you can easily spoil your pet's mood, offend. Usually a sharp "no" and a lack of attention is all it takes for the dog to realize his mistake in something.
The Great Dane must be walked on a leash and have the proper level of obedience and command knowledge. Dogs are not aggressive, but their impressive size can frighten people around them, especially those who are not familiar with the breed. The Great Dane needs to be introduced and taught to communicate with other animals - this should be part of the training program.
Sometimes a Great Dane can become somewhat dominant in his family circle (in a “pack”). In these cases, you can seek professional help, a cynologist, so that the dog is properly informed and knows who is the boss in the house, as well as teach the owner how to interact with the pet correctly so that the problem of dominance is no longer raised.
In the evening, upon returning home from work, the owner can see an excited and insanely happy pet. It is necessary to teach puppies from childhood not to jump, not to jump for joy. A well-established “sit” command will help the owner to restrain the dog in all situations.