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Other Names: German Mastiff
Dog Group Kennel Club: Working (AKC, KC)
The Great Dane is a large sized dog that is very muscular and strong. They give the appearance of being very noble and dignified.
They have a short, smooth coat which come in colours including:brindle, fawn, blue, black or patches of black with white (Harlequin).
Weight: 120 – 160 lbs, Height: Generally they stand between 30 to 34 inches in height at their shoulder.
Average Life Span: 8 – 10 yrs
The Great Dane is a loyal, friendly, intelligent and trustworthy companion with a big heart to match it’s size. They are excellent with children other pets making them an exceptional family dog. Supervision, is however, required around small children as they may accidentally step on them or knock them over. Great Danes are gentle giants who love human attention and being involved with family life. They are not suited as an outside dog. They make good watch and guard dogs with thier size alone is enough to scare off intruders. Although great Danes make wonderful companions owners must be prepared for their sheer size.
With their large size great danes need feeding large amounts of food. Owners must understand that this will be costly. It is important to get the correct balance and type of food, as 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. It is always best to ask your local vet for advice. Due to their height Great Danes need to feed and drink from raised bowls. As with all giant breeds Great Danes mature slowly but grow quickly, at 6 months old a great dane is huge but still acts like a puppy this breed is not suitable for inexperienced dog owners.
Great Danes are intelligent make them fairly easy to train. They do grow very quickly into a very large dog so training must start when they are puppies otherwise they will be more than a handle full. All training must be consistent and due to their sensitive natures it must be gentle and positive. As puppies they do require lots of socialisation with animals and people.
The coat of the great dane and is easily cared for with a good weekly brushing being enough to keep it healthy and shiny.
Great Danes need daily long walks. Care needs to be taken during puppy hood not to over exercise them as this can lead to bone and joint problems when older.
Great Dane Health Issues
Bloat (gastric torsion), though not a hereditary condition, frequently affects many breeds including the great dane. This is a very serious condition. When a dog bloats, the stomach can turn and block, causing a build up of gas. Unless treated quickly, bloat can be fatal. Signs of bloat include futile attempts to vomit and to salivate. Bloat, which may lead to cardiovascular collapse, usually occurs when exercise too closely follows eating. The incidence of bloat may be lessened by feeding adult dogs twice a day and, of course, by allowing a dog time to digest before taking him for a run in the park. Click Here for more information
Hip dysplasia: a malformation of the hip joint resulting in a poor fit between the head of the femur bone and the hip socket. This condition can be alleviated by surgery, at some cost to dog and owner. Because dysplastic dogs often produce dysplastic puppies, buyers should ask if both the sire and the dam of the puppy in which they are interested have been rated clear of hip dysplasia. Do not take yes for an answer without seeing a certificate, and ask for a copy to take to your veterinarian.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): is a family of diseases all involving the gradual deterioration of the retina. It is diagnosed by a retinoscopic exam or by means of an electroretinogram (ERG). Early in the disease, affected dogs become nightblind and lack the ability to see in dim light; later on daytime vision also fails. As their vision deteriorates, affected dogs adapt to their handicap very well, as long as their environment remains constant. Certain breeds are affected early in life, whereas in other breeds, PRA develops much later in onset.
Cervical Vertebral Instability (CVI or Wobbler’s Syndrome) – is suspected to be an inherited condition in this breed. Dogs (usually in mid-life) suffer from spinal cord compression caused by cervical vertebral instability or from a malformed spinal canal. Extreme symptoms are paralysis of the limbs (front, hind, or all four). Neck pain with extension and flexion may or may not be present. Surgical therapy is hotly debated and extremely expensive with questionable success. In some surgically treated cases, clinical recurrence has been identified.
Great Dane History
Often called the “Apollo of dogs”, the Great Dane can trace as far back as time of the Egyptians. Drawings of dogs resembling Great Danes were found on Egyptian monuments dating from 3,000 B.C. The dogs depicted have the same massive body and long, powerful legs as today’s Great Dane.
The Great Dane we know today is thought to be originally bred in Germany for hunting large wild boar. The origin of the “Dane” appellation is unclear; the breed almost certainly did not originate in Denmark. It has been claimed that the Great Dane is German in origin, which is not certain. However, what is evident, is that German breeders contributed largely to bringing the Great Dane to its glory. From the middle to the late 1800s, breeders both in Germany and England became very interested in the breed and more or less developed it to the standards, which are recognised today. Today it is known in German as the Deutsche Dogge and in French as the Dogue Allemand, both meaning “German mastiff”.