Great Dane – Gentle Giant with a Heart of Gold

Imposing and elegant at the same time: the Great Dane is impressive and awe-inspiring with its size and dignified manner. This giant dog does not want to intimidate people, however, because the Great Dane is a breed full of gentleness and sensitivity.

From Assyria to Germany

The ancestors of the Great Dane were massive fighting dogs that were kept in ancient Assyria 4000 years ago. These animals later came to Europe with the Romans, where they initially caused a stir at circus events. The dogs were so popular with the conquerors that they made their way to Great Britain and Ireland during the campaigns. Crossbreeding with greyhounds and Irish wolfhounds took place there. The result: gigantic dogs, which were mainly kept at princely courts for representation purposes and which also practiced as hunting and guard dogs. In 1878, a “Great Dane” was presented for the first time in Germany at an exhibition.

Nature of the Great Dane

The essence of the Great Dane can be summed up in one word: lovable. It is a consistently friendly and loyal dog that bonds closely with its human. But don’t think that the majestic giant doesn’t have a lively side. The Great Dane is very spirited, shows a high urge to move and endurance. She is only prone to aggression if she has been badly brought up and insufficiently socialized. If the Great Dane is not busy, it can also be frustrating. When the Great Dane is even-tempered, you have a good-natured dog that shows itself to be an empathetic companion: Great Danes are attentive to interpreting their human’s body language.

Training of the Great Dane

Great Danes are loyal companions in the family. “Working” dogs are primarily used as guard dogs and protection dogs in action. Keep in mind that you not only need a lot of time to keep the Great Dane but also enough space: the giant feels cramped on the carpet under the living room table. In addition to a large apartment, the animal will need as much outdoor exercise as possible, ideally with access to a yard or free-roaming on a property. Great Danes should not have to climb stairs as joint damage can easily occur. It is an advantage if you also have sufficient physical strength and assertiveness when dealing with the dog: if a 90-kilo male dog absolutely wants to follow an interesting trail, he can hardly be kept on a leash otherwise.

Grooming of the Great Dane

The size of the Great Dane starts at a shoulder height of 72 centimeters, males can easily be over 80 centimeters tall. At 50 to 95 kilos, depending on size and gender, the Great Dane is extremely large and heavy. Due to the slowed metabolism, the animals tend to be overweight. So pay attention to the dosage of the feed and sufficient exercise. For young dogs, the food must not be too high in protein. Because of their considerable weight, Great Danes need a softly padded lying surface to relieve the bones. But grooming is very easy: regular grooming with a soft brush enough to keep the coat shiny. Unfortunately, the life expectancy of the Great Dane is, at an average of eight years, lower than that of other dog breeds. Because of their breed and their size, Great Danes are prone to skeletal problems, cardiovascular problems, and stomach torsion.

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