Great Dane



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Breed Description


In spite of the name the breed has no close association with Denmark. Although, some people put its origin to Egypt, it was in Germany that the breed was developed and achieved popularity. Great Danes are favored by Bismarck and were used to hunt wild boar. In spite of its present group classification the Great Dane’s original work was that of a hound.

Country of Origin:


Size type:

Giant Dog breeds


Great Danes are affectionate, calm, and intelligent dogs that are sensible, sensitive, very loyal to the handler and family and not easily let astray by “bribes”. Despite the fact that they do not bark much, these dogs make excellent watchdogs.

Breed Group:

Working dog breeds


The shoulder height is a minimum of 80cm (31.5in) for dogs and 72cm (28.5in) for bitches. There is no maximum standard and generally people like the dogs to be well over the minimum.


These dogs weight 50kg (110lb) upwards, depending upon the size and sex.


Generally Great Danes get on perfectly well with their own kind, other household pets, and children. Most of they are rather uncertain of strangers but friends of the family will be warmly greeted.


They have short smooth-haired coats which have accepted colors: yellow (which can be streaked) with a black face; black, perhaps with a little white, or white with black spots (known as harlequin and the only variety permitted to have blue eyes and partially flesh – colored muzzle); and blue. Two other colors are accepted in some countries. These are the “mantel” which has a black coat covering almost all the dog like a mantel, with white showing on just the chest, neck, blaze, belly, legs, and tip of the tail; with the other variety, this mantel is broken with white. Both are considered as black in some countries. The different colors are not interbred.


The Great Dane’s coat requires very little attention. During moulting it is best to remove dead and loose hairs with a rubber brush. The Great Dane must always be allowed to lie somewhere soft to avoid causing pressure marks. Fast-growing breeds like the Great Dane require care during the growing stage. The first essential is the right nutrition. The other point to watch is to limit exercise, avoid pressurizing and over-tiring, which can cause serious problems for the development of bones, joints and muscles. They do not belong in a kennel and are rather fond of comfort.


The Great Dane grows in a very short period into a very large dog. You must therefore teach it as a very young dog that it must not pull on the lead. Train it with understanding in an harmonious manner and with great consistency. They are very sensitive to the intonation of the voice and your friendly request is often sufficient to get them to do what you require.


Great Danes should be very large, very muscular, strongly though elegantly built. The head is carried high and the whole outline should be elegant.

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