Meet the Breed: The Great Dane
So far, I know I've been a bit biased in featuring smaller dogs on this weekly feature highlighting a particular breed. I think this may be based in the fact that I'm a smaller person living in a smaller home, and therefore smaller dogs would seem to suit my family.
I do have a secret fondness for this particular large breed, however. And, as my daughter would say, "Go big or go home!" The Great Danes I have known have been big teddy bears that have made me feel safe and protected with their mellow presence. As a single mom, this would be a pleasant feeling to promote! Though the thought of feeding and cleaning up after such a large creature does cause me to consider this carefully.
10-week-old blue Great Dane puppy with natural ears. Photo courtesy of Jonathan Willier.
The Great Dane is an enormous, muscular, stately dog. In spite of Scooby Doo's portrayal of the breed, a Great Dane should be bred to be spirited, athletic, and courageous... never timid. The head is rectangular with dark, deep-set expressive eyes. The high-set ears can be cropped or be natural. The coat is short, thick, and glossy. Coat color varieties include Brindle, Fawn, Steel Blue, Black, Harlequin, and Mantle.
The modern Great Dane actually originated in Germany about 400 years ago. They were bred to hunt large prey and guard estates. But similar dogs have been documented throughout ancient history from China, Egypt, and Greece.
Though traditionally utilized as an estate guard dog, the true nature of the modern Great Dane is friendly and dependable.
Care and Health:
Breed Club Links: Great Dane Club of America
Featured photo by o5com.
*Zeus of Otsego, Mich., is currently documented as the world's Tallest Dog standing at 44 inches at the shoulder, according to the Guinness World Records 2013 book.
Have any Great Dane stories?