Breed of the Month–Great Dane

1June 2009

Great Dane
Color:  Black, blue, brindle, fawn, mantle, harlequin
Height:  Males:  30 inches/  Females:  28 inches
Weight:  Males:  119 lbs/ Females:  101.5 lbs
Life Span:  7-10 years
Breed Health Concerns:  Hip dysplasia, cardiomyopathy, bloat, cervical vertebral instability, osteosarcoma, and lymphoma.
Coat:  Thick, short, and glossy
Country of Origin:  Germany
Visit the American Kennel Club for breed standards and more information.
The origins of this breed are not exactly known, but believed to have been descended from a type of mastiff and possibly Irish Wolfhound.  Danes originally served as boar hunters, war dogs, and bull baiters.  The Germans refined the breed and declared it the national dog of Germany in 1876.
Today the Great Dane is more of a lover than a fighter.  The Dane retains a powerful protective instance for his family, but is very playful, affectionate, and patient.  The Dane enjoys children, but sometimes his size can be dangerous when leaning affectionately towards small children.  Great Dane’s are very people oriented.
Although the Great Dane is quite large, he does not require a lot of exercise.  The Dane is happy with the normal walk twice per day.  The Dane is happy indoors and enjoys just hanging out with his family.
The Great Dane is an average shedder, and will require regular brushing, but the short coat is easy to care for.
The Great Dane can be somewhat of a challenge to train.  The Dane is intelligent, but was bred to be an independent thinker.  Holding the Dane’s attention requires creativity and high rewards in training.  Socialization is very important to start as a young puppy with Great Danes.