Dogs resembling the Great Dane have been seen in drawings in Egyptian tombs dating back to 2200 BC. They were shorter of leg and resembled mastiffs in body type. These types of dogs made their way via traders to many other countries. It was in Germany that the breed was further developed into the dog that we recognise today. It is thought that the original mastiff type was crossed with a greyhound to give the agile, slender dog that is known as a Great Dane. They were first used as bull baiters and in 1592 they were being used by the nobility for hunting wild boar. By the 1800’s it was a very popular dog and was used by estate owners for large game hunting. The first Great Dane club was started in the UK in 1885 and in America in 1889.
The Great Dane is a large sized dog that is very muscular and strong. The head is rectangular and long in appearance. They have a short dense coat. They give the appearance of being very noble and dignified.
|Colour||They can be fawn, black, blue, brindle and harlequin in colour.
|Coat Length||Short Smooth|
|Weight/Height Range||Over 18 months of age the minimum height of dogs should ideally be 76cms at the withers and weigh 54kgs. Bitches, of the same age should have a minimum height of 71cms at the withers and weigh 46kgs|
|Ailments||There are a few breed-specific problems and choosing a pup from healthy stock will reduce the possibility of these arising. These problems include hip dysplasia, bloat and eye problems, which breeders are screening for. Due to their great size this dog has several joint and bone problems and so it is advisable that they are fed the correct diet in adequate amounts to allow proper growth. They are also susceptible to pressure sores so soft bedding must be provided.|
|Breed Classification||The Great Dane is a member of the working group. They were originally used as war dogs and for hunting wild boar, stags, wolves and other large game; today they are companion and guard dogs.
Feeding & Ownership
The feeding of this dog can be quite considerable, both in terms of amount and cost. Calcium supplements should be avoided, as should other supplements unless recommended by the breeder or vet. Too much, or too little of the wrong types of food can result in growth problems which may not be noticed until the dog is older.
|Food Cost||More than $20|
The Great Dane is an intelligent and affectionate dog. They can become very close and loyal to the family and close family friends that are frequent visitors. They do get on well with other dogs, household pets and children. They are ideally suited to the active family. They are quick to alert the family of any strangers approaching their territory, as they are excellent guard dogs, although they do not bark very much. They should be socialised and training started at an early age.
|Intelligence||The Great Dane is an intelligent dog that, with an experienced handler, can be trained for protection work. As they grow very quickly into a very large dog their training has to start when they are young. All training must be consistent. As puppies they do require lots of socialisation and training. |
|Suitability for Children||High
|Tendency to Bark||Low
|Overall Exercise Requirement||The Great Dane does not require as much exercise as it size indicates. They enjoy exercise and will happy go along will the family on their outdoor activities. They also enjoy spending time in front of the fire, enjoying any creature comforts that are available. Exercise must be given in limited amounts during the growth period, as too much can cause serious bone, joint and muscle problems. |
|Suitability as a Guard Dog||High|
|Ease of Transportation||Low|
|Level of Aggression||Low|
|Other Animal Compatibility||Medium
The coat of the Great Dane is short and dense. They can be groomed using a rubber-grooming mitt, which will remove the loose and dead hairs.
|Grooming Requirements||Once a week|
|Amount of Hair Shed||Little|
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