Tip of the Month

12/30/2011 Breed Spotlight - The Great Dane

The Great Dane

The Great Dane - Breed Spotlight

Characteristics & History

The Great Dane, easily identifiable by their large size and distinguished characteristics, is one of the most graceful of the giant dog breeds. The origin of the Great Dane as they are known today is said to be traced back to the Irish Wolfhound with a mixture of English Mastiff. The breed was originally used for hunting purposes, particularly to track boar; in addition to being used as estate guard dogs and human companions. While Great Danes can be traced back with research to the Germans originally, according to historians (as sited by the American Kennel Club website), Great Danes were even reportedly seen in drawings on Egyptian monuments as early as 3000 B.C.

Appearance

This exceptionally large dog breed is known for being powerful yet elegant, with an energetic and gracious disposition. The coat is short and thick, with colors including brindle, fawn, blue, black, harlequin and mantle. Although this very large canine typically ranges from 28-34 inches in height, and can weigh roughly between 100-200 pounds, these “gentle giants,” as they are commonly referenced, maintain a rather affectionate and friendly reputation. The Great Dane would prefer to be around people, as they are a very loyal and loving breed. They are also very reliable and courageous which makes them the perfect candidate for a watchdog.

Dog Training Tips

Understandably so, the Great Dane does not stay small for long and requires regular dog training from a young age. It is important to teach your pup that jumping up, or leaning on people is unacceptable. These behaviors can be avoided and corrected with positively reinforced training. You may need to contact your local dog trainer for more assistance.

The Great Dane As A Pet

Teaching your Great Dane dog obedience is vital to the success and happiness of your dog and the relationship he has with his human companions. Most owners who know how to properly handle their Great Dane will agree these canines are indeed “gentle giants” who have loving and patient personalities, making them a great family pet. These dogs are not prone to barking, and can adapt well in an indoor environment. Although these canines can adapt to indoor living, they need plenty of exercise consisting of at least a long daily walk.

The Great Dane is an average shedder. Their smooth, short-haired coat requires minimal grooming and is easy to maintain if attended to with a daily brushing and dry shampoo when necessary. If you are looking for a loyal, loving, and gentle companion, then the Great Dane would make a great addition to your family!

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