The Great Dane

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Great Dane History

The Great Dane is known as the “Apollo” of dogs due to its outline and aristocratic bearing.  The Great Dane is famous for its size, docile nature and majestic personality.  Many may know of Great Danes because of Marmaduke Great Daeof comic strip fame.  Although the last part of their name is Dane, they are of German origin.  They became popular in the United States after the Great Dane Club of American was founded in 1889.  Dog resembling the Great Dane have appeared on Greek coins dating to 36 B.C.  Archeologists have found pictures of Danes in Egyptian monuments dating back to 3000 B.C.  Drawings of this breed have also been found in Chinese literature dating back to 1211 B.C.

Breed Description

Great Danes are one of the world’s tallest dog breeds.  They weigh from 110 to 175 pounds and can be 31 to 36 inches tall.  They are lovable and easygoing, but can also be stubborn.  Their appearance is commanding and they exude a noble and dignified personality.  Their coat is short and thick and can be colored in brindle, black, fawn, blue, harlequin and sometimes chocolate.  Their natural ears are set high and fold forward hanging close to the cheek.  If clipped, they stand erect.  They have dark, deep set eyes which are medium in size.  A Great Dane’s coat is short so grooming is simplified.  Since its size make bathing difficult, brushing and dry shampooing is suggested.  It is also necessary to keep a Great Danes nails trimmed.  This breed is an average shedder.  The average life span of a Dane is 10 years.

Breed Personality

When adding a Great Dane to one’s family, its size should be considered.  They do well with families with older children, active, sporty types, singles, and strong people.  They need a plenty of obedience training only because their size can make them awkward around the house.  They are dependable and steady additions to the family.  Because they are loyal and brave, and due to their size many would see them as great watchdogs despite the fact that they do not bark much.  Usually their size alone is enough to be intimidating to strangers.  This breed can adapt well to city or country living.  A Dane will do well in an apartment as long as they have enough exercise.  They are usually fairly inactive inside and they do best with a large yard to play in.

They mature slowly and require special nutritional requirements until they reach maturity.   Danes love to run but should never be exercised immediately after eating because they are prone to bloat.  Jogging is not recommended for this breed until the dog is at least a year old.  Daily walks will suffice for this dog’s daily exercise.

Photo:  Courtesy of Thinkstock

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