The ancestors of the Great Dane include British mastiffs and possibly wolfhounds, brought to Europe, first by the Romans and later by German aristocrats seeking to improve their hunting dogs. Despite its name, the Great Dane is a German breed. During the 15th and 16th centuries, German forests were filled with game, and hunting wild boar with dogs was a favorite pastime of German nobility. Each lord kept large numbers of boarhounds, which they carefully bred to improve their size, power, and endurance. When game in the forests began to dwindle, the large breeding kennels disappeared but the Great Dane continued to be a favorite with German aristocrats. Great Danes were exhibited at the first German dog show in 1863, and the first Danes were imported into the United States not long thereafter. In this country, Great Danes are popular family companions for people who admire their regal appearance and affectionate personalities.
This regal breed combines great size and power with elegance. It is square-proportioned and well-balanced. Its gait is strong and powerful with long, easy strides. These attributes are necessary in a dog required to overtake and then over-power relatively swift but formidable quarry. Its coat is short, thick and glossy. The Great Dane is most noteworthy for its majestic carriage and appearance the “Apollo of Dogs.”
The Great Dane is gentle, loving, easygoing and sensitive. It is generally good with children (although its friendly overtures may overwhelm a small child) and usually friendly toward other dogs and pets. It is powerful but sensitive and responsive to training. It makes a pleasant, well-mannered family companion.
Features of Great Dane Puppy
The Great Dane is sweet, eager to please, people-oriented, easy to housetrain, and responds well to training using positive reinforcement.
Like many giant dogs, Great Danes are short-lived.
Great Danes require a lot of space. Even though they make great house dogs, they need a lot of room just to move around. There’s little that they can’t reach–kitchen counters and dinner tables are no problem–and their tails can easily sweep your coffee table clean.
Everything costs more when you have a big dog–collars, veterinary care, heartworm preventive, and food. In addition, you’ll need both a crate and a vehicle that are large enough to hold your Great Dane without crumpling them into a pretzel. And let’s face it, you’ll scoop up a lot of poop.
It takes a while for the bones and joints of large dogs such as Great Danes to stop growing and become stable. Don’t allow your Great Dane puppy to jump, and don’t take them jogging until they’re at least 18 months old; this will reduce stress on the growing bones and joints.
The Dane’s special giant-breed dietary requirements have to be followed, or else orthopedic issues can develop.
Great Danes aren’t particularly suited to apartments or small houses, simply because they’re so big. They’re not jumpers, fortunately, so a six-foot fence should contain them.
Never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for local shelters and rescues if you decide this is the breed for you.
Specification of Great Dane
extra large (101 lbs. or more)
children seniors dogs cats families
gentle friendly outgoing playful protective
easy to traineasy to groomprone to health issueshighly territorialgood for first-time pet ownersstrong loyalty tendencies