The Great Dane, also known as “Apollo of all dogs”, appeared on Egyptian sites around 3000 BC. They were valued for their ability to fight off bears and wild pigs. The mid-sixteenth century, European nobility imported from England this solid, high-leg race. These dogs were called Franzoesische Docke or Franzoesische Tocke. The dogs were used to hunt bears, pigs and deer in the royal courts. The name Great Dane emerged in the 1700s, when a French naturalist saw in Denmark a variant of the Boar Hound which was thinner and looked more like a greyhound. He called this dog the Great Dane, who in the end became The Great Dane Dog. German breeders are known to have refined the breed to the current smart dog. The Great Dane was recognized in 1887 as a breed in its own.
The Great Dane is a large and powerful dog. Generally of square appearance, females can be a little longer than taller. The coat is short, smooth and thick. The six common colors are:
- Fawn (a bright color with a dark veil)
- Brindle (fawn and black mixed around the body in a tiger stripe pattern)
- Blue (steel blue, which is really a kind of gray)
- Harlequin (white with dark spots on the whole body)
- Mantle (high contrast black and white with a full black layer on the body)
Unrecognized, the chocolate color occurs in a recessive gene. Merle is a typical consequence of the reproduction of the Harlequin without being a recognized nuance. Other colors appear more rarely. It’s one of those giant breeds, but it is exceptional as its general appearance is never disgraceful. Year after year, the largest known dog is typically a Great Dane. Previously, when the Great Dane was used to hunt wild boar. Their ears were cut off to prevent injuries in the middle of the action. Currently, this is mainly done for aesthetic and traditional reasons. The Great Dane males are 30 to 34 inches (76-86 cm) tall and weighs 120 to 200 pounds (54-90 kg). Females are 28 to 32 inches (71-81 cm) tall and weigh 100 to 130 pounds (45-59 kg). Their normal life expectancy is 10 years, but some can live up to 12-13 years.
The Great Dane, usually called “gentle giant”, has a good attitude. Charming and tender, he is fun, loving and patient with children. He loves everyone and needs to be surrounded by people. The Great Dane does not bark much and becomes aggressive only when the circumstances require it. He is reliable and loyal. Courageous, he is a good watchdog. When we live with them, we become members of their pack. The whole pack follows a single leader. You and all humans should be higher in the hierarchy than the dog. If by chance you are not firm, constant and confident or does not correct him if necessary, the Great Dane can become aggressive with other dogs. However, the Great Dane is generally well-disposed toward other dogs, pets, and well-known people.
Like most dogs, the Great Dane needs daily walking to maintain their well-being. Anyway, it is essential not to over train this race, especially during adolescence. Puppies grow very quickly, leaving them vulnerable to bone and joint problems. Despite his large size, a Great Dane is gentle enough to be a good indoor dog. His is not meant for a small apartment because he might hit everything. He can get cold in winter, so he should not be left outside in cold atmospheres. He is usually quiet inside. In case you plan on keeping him in a yard, you need a wall six feet (1.80m) high. You must also understand that he really loves to destroy his environment.
Their smooth short haired coat is easy to maintain. Use a stiff brush and dry shampoo when necessary. Showering the giant is a delicate task, so it is best avoided with daily washing. This breed shed profusely.