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Great Dane

Great Dane is one of the largest of all breeds of dogs and hence referred to as King of all dogs. Although, their rectangular shaped long heads never become puffed up due to this fact. The size of a Great Dane might frighten some of your guests but their gentle, playful and loving disposition is sure to calm them down. These dogs generally get along well with young children and other pets.

These dogs are also known as Deutsche Dogges and German Mastiffs. This is perhaps one of the oldest of all dog breeds. Their appearance resembles the designs on ancient Egyptian monuments and ancient Greek currency. They are considered to have emerged from the English Mastiff and Irish Wolfhound breeds of dogs. They have a comparatively shorter lifespan as compared to other dog breeds but this does not discourage optimistic true dog lovers from adopting these “Gentle giants”.


Physical Appearance

Elegant Great Dane dogs have a well formed body. The males have a larger frame and a heavier bone structure as compared to the females. Great Danes have floppy and triangular ears. In earlier times, the owners used to crop their Great Dane’s ears in order to avoid injuries during hunting activities. But, cropping is not needed nowadays as they have become companion dogs now. They have dark, deep set, medium-sized eyes that are full of love and loyalty. The medium sized tail is usually tapered towards the end.

Color: They are available in a variety of colors, markings and patterns like glossy black, blue, brindle, mantle, fawn and harlequin. White markings are generally not considered desirable in terms of black and blue colored Great Dane dogs.
Height: An average Great Dane can grow up to 30 to 34 inches in height. The average height for females is around 28 to 32 inches.
Weight: Male Great Dane dogs can weigh about 120 to 200 pounds on an average. On the other hand, female Great Danes usually weigh up to 100 or 140 pounds.


Health Problems

Hip Dysplasia, Hypothyroidism, bleeding disorders, eye diseases, and heart diseases are quite common in Great Dane breed as well as other large sized dogs. Drinking large amount of fluids within a short period of time may result in gastric dilatation-volvulus or bloating. They are also susceptible to tumors and tail injuries. Hence, to increase the longevity of a Great Dane, proper attention should be paid to the health and nutrition of the dog. It is generally advised to feed the 3-6 cups of high quality dog food two times in a day.

Life expectancy: The average lifespan of these dogs is lesser than other dogs. Normally, they can live up to 7 to 10 years but under excellent health conditions they may live up to 12-13 years.


Grooming Requirements

The smooth, thick and short coat of a Great Dane generally requires minimal grooming. They shed moderately. Weekly brushing of the coat with the help of a bristle brush can sufficiently take care of the dog’s glossy coat. Brushing should be done more often at the time of shedding. Rubber brushes are useful at the time of shedding.

Similarly, bathing activity can also be carried out on a weekly basis. The ears of these massive dogs should be cleaned after bathing them. Plus, it is essential to carry out other grooming activities like nail trimming, and dental cleaning on a more or less regular basis.


Temperament

Unlike their intimidating large size, Great Dane dogs are very friendly, sweet and well mannered dogs that rarely become aggressive. The robust body is accompanied by an equally intelligent but soft expression. Though, their enormous size may often cause unintentional accidents, especially in the absence of consistent training.

Great Danes do not bark much and hence make for excellent watchdogs. Lack of physical activity, companionship and ill treatment may lead to destructive behavior in these dogs. But, on the whole, a Great Dane is a great combination of bravery and loyalty.


Key Points

In spite of the giant size, a Great Dane dog usually makes for a great apartment dog, provided the dog is allowed ample space. Long yards and daily long walks are essential for these long dogs. The growing puppies need to be attended carefully while exercise sessions to avoid joint and bone problems. Young Great Dane puppies are easy to train as compared to the adult ones. In fact, they can be trained to participate in athletic activities too.

At times, they could become stubborn during the obedience training. Firmness and consistency are the best traits on the part of the owner that can help deal with this random behavior.
An untrained large dog can cause unnecessary troubles for himself as well as others. Besides, big dogs come with big responsibilities as well. So, make sure that you are ready to take up the responsibility in return for unconditional love and affection by the dog.

 
 

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