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Country of Origin: The Great Dane (also known as the ‘German Mastiff’ or ‘Granddanois’,
Great Danes are likely the result of a cross between large Roman war dogs and the
Greyhound; they may also descend from the mastiff or Irish Wolfhound. ‘Dane’ refers to a
citizen of Denmark, though both Denmark and Germany lay claim to this breed’s origin. Some
records as far back as 500 B.C. indicate forebears to the Great Dane in Denmark, but the
breed from whence the modern dog descends was prevalent in Germany in the 1500’s.
Originally bred to chase wild boar, Great Danes became popular estate dogs due to their
speed, strength, fearlessness, and graceful appearance, eventually rising to worldwide
prominence. The world’s tallest dog is the 42-inch tall Great Dane named ‘Gibson’—unless
fictional Great Danes are included, in which case comic strip character ‘Marmaduke’ and his
hilarious size-related antics take the cake. The Jetsons' dog ‘Astro’ is also a Great Dane. Oh
yeah, I almost forgot to mention that Scooby Doo is a Great Dane…and I would’ve gotten
away with it too, if it wasn’t for you meddling kids!
Size: The Great Dane has a shoulder height of 72-80 cm (28-31 in) and weighs at least 50 kg
(110 lbs), as much as a dozen Toy Poodles! Some weigh up to 90 kg [200 lbs]. The Great
Dane is a giant, powerful dog, but with great elegance and nobility. It has a long head with a
deep muzzle, pronounced stop (point at which the muzzle meets the forehead), round eyes,
and a scissors bite. The Great Dane has a long, powerful neck, straight muscular forelegs,
flat back and high-set, low carried tail.
Character: Great Danes are affectionate, calm, loyal, and intelligent. They do not bark much,
but make great watchdogs. The Great Dane’s ‘gentle giant’ nickname is well earned by its
loving, quiet persona. Some Great Danes may drool.
Temperament: The Great Dane gets along well with children, other dogs, and any household
pets. Some Great Danes are dominant with other dogs of the same sex or have a high prey
instinct with small cats. Great Danes should be socialized when young. The Great Dane is
usually wary around strangers, but will welcome friends of the family.
Care: The Great Dane should be brushed with a rubber brush when shedding to remove
dead hairs. Great Danes need a sizable soft place to lie down indoors. Proper nutrition and
avoidance of excessive exercise is required when this breed is young.
Training: The Great Dane requires a dominant but not overly harsh trainer. It must be trained
early not to pull on the leash, because it grows to a very large size. Obedience training when
young is highly recommended for the Great Dane.
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