Archive for the Great Dane category

How Owning A Great Dane Is Affected By Its Personality

By Richard Cussons

There are some breeds that are instantly recognizable. The Great Dane is one of those: its powerful, yet never clumsy, form makes it the target of much admiration. Of course, it’s more than the Dane’s robust build that makes it so easy to spot; it’s the natural bearing that it carries. This dog has been called the “Apollo” of all breeds, and with good reason.

Its origins date back to 3,000 BC, where drawings found on Egyptian monuments depict Dane-like dogs. And then, in 2,000 BC, Babylonian artifacts were discovered, some including drawings on soldiers using the dogs. The term “Apollo”, however, reflects the Greek use of the animals. Coins dating back to 36 BC have been found, inscribed with the Dane’s image. It is commonly believed the Great Dane was used in arena blood sports, due to its size and power.

Throughout history, this massive dog was breed for battle and the hunt. Today, we would find that strange since the Dane is considered one of the gentlest breeds, but it was not always so. In 407 AD, an Asiatic race called the Alans invaded parts of Italy, Spain and Germany, using these dogs in battle. During the 15th and 16th century, they were use to hunt boar, bear and other large prey.

It is during this time that the breed seen today was started. In Germany, the Dane was admired for its abilities and selective breeding began. Crossing its larger frame (from Tibetan Mastiff decent) with the more slender build of an Irish Wolfhound, the Great Dane of today was formed.

The name “Dane” came from French Naturalist Comte de Buffon. In the 1700’s, he traveled to Denmark, found a breed similar, but more slender, and called it a ‘Grand Danois’, Great Danish Dog.

After that, the name stuck.

The Great Dane is known, today, not for its battle skills, but for its temperament. Its large head and powerful frame could deceive anyone into believing this dog to be a modern monster. This is not true, however. The Great Dane is a gentle giant, a protective, but never aggressive, animal. Recognized for their loyalty and calm natures, this is a breed ideal for families. The Dane is devoted to his “clan” and takes well to training. Also, he is a patient fellow, perfect for children. However, standing between 28 to 34 inches and weighing between 100 to 200 pounds, the Dane is still intimidating to ward off any problems. If he senses danger toward his family, he will become protective.

At a glance, the Great Dane seems to be the perfect pet, and he may be… for some. Before choosing to own a Great Dane, you must understand the disadvantages. While that powerful frame may make an excellent protector, it will also take up massive amounts of space. And, since the Dane–affectionate thing that he is–needs to be with you, simply locking him outside is not going to work. Another aspect of the breed that you must realize is the need for exercise. This is a dog that, if not given sufficient play, will suffer bloat or other medical complications. They need, at least, a long walk during the day. More is recommended. Many families do not have the time to spend exercising their pet. Or, the extra money to feed it. While this breed is usually slimmer, dogs still eat between three and six cups of food a day. Some families may not be able to afford that, along with just the basic expenses that come with having a larger dog. And the greatest disadvantage to owning a Great Dane–or any larger breed–is that they don’t live as long. The typical life span is eight to ten years.

Before purchasing any breed, you must be certain that it is more than just the one you want: it’s the one you can handle. Never select a puppy because it’s “cute” or because a friend owns one and swears by it. Each family has different needs and some breeds won’t fulfill them.

Owning a Great Dane can be a wonderful experience, if you have the time to devote to it. Consider this before bringing one of these gentle giants into your home.

Richard Cussons is a champion for dogs of all breeds and Great Danes in particular. You can find out more about the Great Dane at the Great Dane Savvy web site.

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All About Great Danes

All About Great Danes

By Jen Carter

One of the giant breed of dogs, the Great Danes, is going to be fully discussed in this article. Among the major topics, there are the general descriptions of the great dane. First, we must examine the size of this dog, as well as its attitude towards people.

Great danes are tall dogs even though they are not very heavy. Their popularity and beautiful physique have gained them the title of the “Apollo of Dogs.” Danes are loving, friendly, and affectionate when treated accordingly.

According to AKC standards, male danes are not less than 32 inches and are usually 34 inches tall. The average Dane is close to three feet tall in height. Duration of development of your great dane’s body largely depends on his or her gender. To illustrate, a male can complete his development in three full years where females can be adults in a year or less. Puppyhood usually lasts for 18 months and over the course of these first 18-28 months, an owner will witness their great dane mature mentally and physically.

Diet and proper exercise are very important to your great dane’s health. Your great dane’s daily diet should be consistent, and the amount of food should be measured according to their age and weight. It’s important for your great dane to maintain a healthy weight. An underweight great dane can be vulnerable to sickness and disease, whereas an overweight dane increases its chance of bloating and heart disease.

Because great danes are such large dogs, they need plenty of room to run and play. Throughout puppy hood, this breed of dog needs exercise and mental stimulation. Taking walks, playing fetch, and rewarding a dane’s positive behavior are all essential tasks to developing a strong healthy bond with your pet.

The relationship between great danes and children is one of the most powerful connections that can occur between any type of human and animal. Like children, great danes are very trusting and curious. It’s important to teach children how to handle your great dane. Fortunately, these dogs have a wonderful temperament and do not become feisty unless provoked.

With proper care, a healthy great dane’s lifespan is approximately eight years of age. Nevertheless, many great danes continue to life a full life of ten to twelve years. These loving companions become additional members of our families and we should cherish every day they share with us.

Jen Carter is staff writer for Dynamite Danes – a professional qualified Great Dane Breeder. You may publish this article only if you do modify it in any way.

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Giants are Among Us

Giants are Among Us

By Jeff Zitzkat

Many owners of large and giant breed dogs often overlook the physical size of their pooch.

Truth is, most people including dog lovers can be quite intimidated by a giant, or large breed dog. After all, big dogs are not for everyone, a large percentage of dog owners prefer small, or medium sized companions.

Ever here a grown man scream?

One afternoon while walking our Dane in public we approached a middle age man that was unaware we were coming up along side. The poor guy caught a glimpse of our giant dog and let out a scream you wouldn’t believe! Feeling sorry for the man we apologized then realized, we did nothing wrong! Unbelievably, the sudden unexpected appearance of our Great Dane was a shock in itself.

Further bias towards big dogs was evident one afternoon at our local lumber store. Previously witnessing smaller dogs being whisked around in shopping carts, we figured it would be fine to let our Great Dane come along and join the activities. Standing calmly on lead with my daughter, our dog was behaving perfectly. I began to load up the lumber needed for my Saturday afternoon project. Suddenly, we were interrupted by what looked like the entire store security staff! Being told there are no dogs allowed I quickly pointed at a Poodle in a cart further down the isle. After quarreling a bit, we were told, “he’s to big” and swiftly escorted out the front doors.

Most large breed dogs Great Danes in particular, are truly gentle soles that want nothing more than to be around people. Unfortunately, their size and appearance is too often fearsome to the average person. Large dog owners often forget the true size and stature of their dogs. Remember, many strangers will panic if your giant companion rushes towards the curb to say hello.

Asking in advance, or announcing your visit, will help avoid unforeseen and unexpected conflicts of the dog vs. human variety.

Owning a dog of this size requires training and socialization. Special attention should be focused on interaction and behavior around people as well as other animals.

Jeff Zitzkat, Copyright @copy

Jeff Zitzkat is editor and founder of

A life long Great Dane lover and current owner, Jeff has spent years researching the breed. Inspired by passion, was launched in April, 2005. A collaborative effort of a small group of fellow Great owners and breeders, providing a true on-line information resource, offering practical, first hand, breed related information.

Article Source: Jeff Zitzkat

Great Danes – Their Origin And Temperament

Great Danes – Their Origin And Temperament

By Richard Cussons

The origin of Great Danes, like that of many other varieties of dogs, is so obscure that all researches have only resulted in speculative theories, but the undoubted antiquity of this dog is proved by the fact that representatives of a breed sufficiently similar to be considered his ancestors are found on some of the oldest Egyptian monuments.

A few years ago a controversy arose on the breed’s proper designation, when the Germans claimed for it the title “Deutsche Dogge.” Germany had several varieties of big dogs, such as the Hatzrude, Saufanger, Ulmer Dogge, and Rottweiler Metzgerhund; but contemporaneously with these there existed, as in other countries in Europe, another very big breed, but much nobler and more thoroughbred, known as Great Danes.

When after the war of 1870 national feeling was pulsating very strongly in the veins of reunited Germany, the German cynologists were on the lookout for a national dog, and for that purpose the Great Dane was re-christened “Deutsche Dogge,” and elected as the champion of German Dogdom. For a long time all these breeds had, no doubt, been indiscriminately crossed.

The Great Dane was introduced into this country spasmodically some thirty-five years ago, when he was commonly referred to as the Boarhound, or the German Mastiff, and for a time the breed had to undergo a probationary period in the “Foreign Class” at dog shows, but it soon gained in public favour, and in the early ‘eighties a Great Dane Club was formed, and the breed has since become one of the most popular of the larger dogs.

The Kennel Club has classed Great Danes amongst the Non-Sporting dogs, probably because with us he cannot find a quarry worthy of his mettle; but, for all that, he has the instincts and qualifications of a sporting dog, and he has proved himself particularly valuable for hunting big game in hot climates, which he stands very well.

Respecting the temperament of the Great Dane and his suitability as a companion writers have gone to extremes in praise and condemnation. In his favour it must be said that in natural intelligence he is surpassed by very few other dogs. He has a most imposing figure, and does not, like some other big breeds, slobber from his mouth, which is a particularly unpleasant peculiarity when a dog is kept in the house. On the other hand, it must be admitted that with almost the strength of a tiger he combines the excitability of a terrier, and no doubt a badly trained Great Dane is a very dangerous animal.

It is not sufficient to teach him in the haphazard way which might be successful in getting a small dog under control, but even as a companion he ought to be trained systematically, and, considering his marked intelligence, this is not difficult of accomplishment.

Richard Cussons is a dog lover with a passion for helping people with their dogs. Discover more about Great Dane training and care at All About Puppies and Dogs.

Article Source: Richard Cussons

Great Dane Complete Profile

Great Dane Complete Profile

Great Dane

Key Facts:

Size: Giant
Height: Dogs minimum: 76 cm (30 in)
Bitches minimum: 71 cm (28 in)
Weight: Dogs minimum: 54 kg (120 lb). Bitches minimum: 46 kg (100 lb)
Life Span: 10 years
Grooming: Simple
Exercise: Medium
Feeding: Demanding
Temperament: Dignified & kind
Country of Origin: Germany
AKC Group: Working
Other Names: German Mastiff, Deutsche Dogge

Physical Characteristics:

General Appearance: Giant, calm and graceful.
Colour: Blue, black, fawn, brindle or harlequin (white with torn black splashes).
Coat: Glossy, short and thick.
Tail: Set high, tapering and carried in a straight line level with the back.
Ears: Medium size, triangular, set high and folded forward. The ears may be cropped within some countries.
Body: The body is deep and broad with well sprung ribs. The back is short and firm with a full croup. The shoulders are long and sloping and the belly is arched.

Intelligent, affectionate and gentle. These dogs are often referred to as ‘gentle giants’ and make excellent family companions. They get on well with people of all ages and other household pets. Great Danes are people orientated, sensitive, intuitive and slow to anger. They thrive on human company and make good watchdogs. These dogs do need training from a young age, as they grow into large dogs very quickly and need to learn not to pull on a lead.

Little attention is needed for the Great Danes coat. Using a rubber brush to remove dead and loose hairs during moulting is sufficient. These dogs need a soft bed to avoid pressure marks.

These strong dogs need plenty of exercise and open spaces where they can run and play freely. Running alongside a cycle is a good way for them to get exercise, so long as they don’t go running ahead. It is important that they are no over-exercised during the growth period.

Great Danes have a demanding appetite. They are a fast-growing breed and need careful attention with their nutrition while going through the growth stage.

Their name came from the French word ‘grand Danois’ which means ‘big Danish’ and it is unknown why the British adopted this name when the breed originated in Germany. It is believed that the Great Danes mastiff family originated in Asia as far back as 3000 BC, as there were Egyptian drawings of ‘tiger dogs’ similar to the Great Dane. This breed became well established when Greece and Rome were the main powers of western civilization. They were later known in central Europe as the German Mastiff or the Boarhound.

Additional Comments:

It is said that someone can easily break into a house that is watched over by a Great Dane, but that they can never get out.

Like other Mastiff type dogs the Great Dane is very tolerant of pain and therefore injuries or illnesses can be overlooked for long periods of time.


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