The Great Dane is a large breed of working dog originally used for hunting in packs for wild boar. Contrary to the name, the Great Dane does not have any Danish roots. It originated in Germany where it was developed during the 17th Century as a hunting dog and war dog. It is one of the tallest breeds of dogs, second only to the Irish Wolfhound on average. However, a Great Dane named Zeus who died in September 2014 at the age of five years old holds the record for the tallest dog that ever lived, measuring at 111.8cm from foot to shoulder. The Great Dane of today is taller, more elegant, and more well-mannered than its ancestors but still has a degree of nobility in his blood which has led him to be nicknamed the “Apollo of dogs.” It is often described as a kind, friendly, outgoing, and couch potato of a dog. Physically, it has a large molossoid-type head with hanging lips, triangular, medium-size ears that fold forward but not pendulous, long straight front legs and a short dense and sleek-looking coat. The minimum height of an adult Great Dane (typically over 18 months) is 76 – 79cm for males and 71 – 76cm for females. An adult Great Dane can weigh between 50 – 82kg.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
The progenitors of the modern Great Dane can be traced back to ancient Greece during the 14th – 13th centuries BC from large boarhounds used for hunting by the ancient Greeks. These dogs eventually found their way to other countries all over Europe including the UK, Ireland, Austria, and Germany and mixed with the local boarhounds and wolfhounds to increase their stature. These larger dogs are depicted in many archaeological artefacts and poetries including the collection of Old Norse anonymous poems known in English as Poetic Edda. During the middle of the 16th century, long-legged dogs from England descended from mixes of English Mastiffs and Irish Wolfhounds with varying sizes and different physiological properties were imported to other European countries. Because they had no formal breed, they were simply called Englischer Hund in Germany which simply means “English dog.” These dogs were then independently bred in Germany and were used in hunting bear, boar and deer. Then in the 19th century, the breed was introduced as the “German boarhound” in English-speaking nations while German breeders tried to use the name “German Dogge”. However, due to the increasing tensions between Germany and other European nations prior to the onset of the First World War, the breed became referred to as the “Great Dane”, after “Le Grand Danois” found in Buffon’s “Histoire Naturelle, generale et particuliere, avec la description du Cabinet du Roi.”
The “gentle giant” of the dog world, the Great Dane is a friendly and affectionate breed that totally belies its large and imposing exterior. It is a breed that thrives on human love and affection and is well-known for seeking physical affection with its owner. It is not an aggressive dog nor does it have a high prey drive. These characteristics have all been bred out of the Great Dane since it became a family dog. It is highly recommended as a family dog due to its preference for sitting on and leaning against owners which earned it a nickname as “the world’s biggest ‘lapdog’.”
With proper and early training plus socialisation, the Great Dane will grow up into an excellent family companion. It is generally not an aggressive dog or one with a high prey drive, but proper socialisation is the key for an adult Great Dane to become less fearful and less aggressive towards other animals and humans.
The Great Dane comes in six coat colour varieties: brindle, fawn, blue, solid black, mantle, and harlequin. The coat is dense and sleek-looking and requires very little grooming. It is a light shedder but a little heavier during Spring. Quick daily brushing using a rubber curry brush works wonders and will greatly reduce hair fall. Danes tend to drool and slobber so cleaning the face often is a necessity. The eyes should also be inspected and cleaned for mucus which can build from time to time. The ears should be cleaned at least once a week to help prevent bacterial infection.
The Great Dane like other large breed has a short lifespan, typically between 6 to 8 years but there are Danes that have been known to live up to 10 years or more. Like other giant breeds, the Great Dane has a slow metabolism and is prone to a common health problem known as gastric dilatation volvulus or gastric torsion (bloating). To avoid bloating, do not expose the breed to strenuous physical activities like exercise at least 40 minutes to one hour after meals. Bloating is one of the common cause of death for this breed when left untreated. Like other large breeds, the Great Dane is also prone to hip dysplasia and other congenital heart diseases.
The biggest couch potato one could ever have, the Great Dane will enjoy most of the day sleeping on the couch or on the bed. However, like other dogs, it does require daily walks to remain healthy and strong. It is important to note, though, that over-exercising the breed particularly when young or after it has eaten can be fatal. A Great Dane puppy grows at a very fast rate which put it at risk from developing joint and bone problems later in life if introduced to strenuous physical activities at a young age. An adult Great Dane’s stomach is not attached to the ribcage like other breeds so a dog that engages in heavy physical activity after a full meal can make the stomach flip and block the intestinal track which can result to bloating and can have fatal consequences if not treated immediately.
The Great Dane is generally people-friendly and is generally good with familiar people including children especially if raised with them. It is also generally good towards other dogs and other animals in the house because it does not have a high prey drive nor it is aggressive.