Brief history of the Great Dane
Great Danes are characterized as one of the tallest and largest dog breeds. Other names by
which they are known are: “The Apollo of dogs” or “The Gentle Giant”. There exists some
speculation, as with most races, about the true origins of the Great Dane. Many believe
that this large breed developed from mastiff dogs which were brought into Germany. Another theory is that Danes are a mix between the German Mastiff and the Irish
Wolfhound. Although many think the Great Dane is from the Netherlands, this is untrue.
Appearance And Temperament
Measuring up to 109 cm from paw to shoulder and 220 cm from head to tail, Great Danes are described as a well-defined, powerful and massive dogs. The tallest dog on record according to Guiness Book of Records is a Great Dane. The average weight of this breed ranges from 90 pounds to over 200 pounds for the larger males.
Typical physical characteristics include a long rectangular head, deep muzzle, large muscular neck and realtively straight front legs. The base of the tail is generally thick and with the longer tail is theorized to help with balance and agility. Despite their large size, these dogs are fast, agile and excellent hunters. There are many references in the literature to the use of Danes in the hunt for bear or other large animals.
Great Danes are typically gentle and calm dogs. Compared to other breeds, they are relatively quiet and are not know to be excessive barkers. They are great with children as
long as they know their relationship with the human master. Proper training will
result in no problems with the temperament. Great Danes can be trained as watch dogs and their massive size and the deep bark produced by their large chests often is enough to deter prowlers.
Choosing Your Great Dane
At first glance, given the probable origin of the dog, most would be inclined to
choose a European breed. This is only because it is thought that Europeans have
higher expertise just by the mere coincidence of the dog potentially originating here.
Breeders often will boast that their Great Danes are of European breeds or ancestry.
The only things relevant to this equation are preferences in appearance and the
attention the breeder’s been providing to the breeding process (respecting breeding
regulations, diets, health issues care).
European Danes are often a bit bigger in stature. My family has an American Blue Great Dane and also a Black Mask German Dane. Although the American Dane is female, she is literally half the size of the male who is only 1 year old. The German Dane pup's mother was a beautiful Brindle (striped) German Dane who weighed in at 150 pounds.
A word of caution that a bigger Dane is not always a healthier Dane. The bigger they are the more
problems they could develop later on including joint and heart problems. Make sure to verify the lineage with your breader. Most quality breeders will provide documentation on the blood lines and offer a warranty against certain defects such as heart problems and hip issues.
Great Danes come in variety of coat colors. Brindle, blue, black, fawn,
harlequin or mantle are the most common. When picking a Dane, there are no
medical facts behind the color. It has nothing to do with anything, just your own preference for aesthetics. This goes for gender as well. Females tend to be longer than taller and weigh less than their male counterparts.
So, if you’re going to pick a Dane, pick one that suits your personality. Our family dog has been the Great Dane for a long time. There is nothing like getting down on the ground with a litter of Dane pups. Watching their gentle parents watch as their littre is selected one by one is quite a site. The temperament of different littre mates is just like that of any typical family. It is amazing how different one pup can be from the next.
one you like and avoid buying them from breeders who have nothing to show but a
European-line trademark. Health certificates and a healthy overall appearance of the
dog are more significant and reliable.