Great Danes: A Breed Guide
Gentle Giants: A Breed Guide to Great Danes
Great Danes are imposing figures, almost resembling small horses than dogs. But this dog’s sweet personality earns it the nickname of “gentle giant.” Just how big can a Great Dane get? Can these dogs live happily inside? Get to know more about this lovable breed.
Their name may make it seem like dogs have Danish roots, but Great Danes are German in origin. The breed dates back at least 400 years. Their massive size and graceful, loping gait made them an asset while they hunted boar alongside their human companions. In Germany, this breed of working dog is actually referred to as Deutsche Dog, or German dog, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.
Big Paws, Big Hearts
Great Danes are an incredibly tall breed, standing up to 32 inches at the shoulder, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). Naturally, a dog that height is backed by quite a bit of muscle. Male Great Danes can weigh as much as 175 pounds while females can tip the scales at 140 pounds, according to the AKC.
These dogs have smooth, close coats that do not require a ton of maintenance. Brushing once a week or so will help to keep shedding under control, and you don’t have to worry about going to a professional groomer to keep the coat looking sleek and healthy. Great Danes can come in a variety of different colors and patterns. Some dogs of the breed have coats of a single color, including black, fawn, and grey. Others of the breed have coats in patterns such as black and white patches, according to The Spruce Pets.
Great Danes are highly affectionate dogs who develop close bonds with their owners. Though large in size, they tend to be gentle and patient with children. Of course, these dogs need to be properly trained, socialized, and supervised if they are going to interact with kids.
Great Dane Health
Great Danes tend to have a shorter lifespan than a lot of dogs. Dogs of this breed usually live seven to 10 years, according to the AKC. Though this isn’t the longest canine lifespan, those who live with Great Danes will find joy in the time they do have.
All Great Dane owners need to be aware of potential health problems, especially gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV). GDV, commonly referred to as bloat, is a potentially fatal condition in which a bloated stomach affects a dogs organs, according to the AKC. Great Danes are at high-risk for this condition, so much so that some owners opt for preventative surgery on their dogs. All Great Dane owners should be aware of the risk of GDV and be able to recognize the warning signs, which include a bloated abdomen.
Making Room for a Great Dane
A Great Dane’s size necessarily mean you need to have a huge home, but you might want to train them to avoid your more delicate furniture. Regardless of the size of your home, your Great Dane will need exercise every day. They love to run and play, activities which are almost certainly better done outside.
If you are ready to fall in love with a Great Dane, you can do your homework to find a reputable breeder, or you can adopt from rescue organizations like Great Dane Rescue or Great Dane Rescue Midwest.
Just keep in mind your dog food bill will be higher than it would be with a smaller breed!
Written by Carrie Pallardy