Great Dane Overview
At his roots, the Great Dane is from a long line of boar hounds. These dogs were used to hunt boar, bait bulls or even fight in wars. The breed needed to be large, agile, tough and strong. As the breed was refined and became more popular in Germany, Great Danes became loving family pets instead of their hunting ancestors.
Great Dane Characteristics
Great Danes are one of the largest and most notable breeds. They are considered a Giant Breed of dog, and feature either cropped or naturally dropped ears, a long, skinny tail and a big body. They can be loveable and comical in their nature, often retaining a sort of puppy behavior despite their enormous bodies.
Great Dane Temperament
Great Danes make great family pets, as the dogs love to be near their owners. In some cases, Great Danes can become so attached that they may accidentally knock a person over by attempting to lean into them as close as possible. Great Danes may also be slightly protective of their families, a throwback to their previous jobs as hunting and war dogs.
Great Dane Care
Great Danes live on average 7 to 10 years, typical for a giant breed dog. Larger breed dogs tend to have shorter lifespans due to a number of health concerns. Some concerns in the Great Dane include hip dysplasia, cardiomyopathy and cervical vertebral instability (CVI). Great Danes are also prone to bloat, or Gastric Dilation and Volvulus (GDV) as well as various cancers.
Great Dane Coat
The coat of the Great Dane is very easy to care for, being thick and short. However, regular brushing and grooming is still recommended to help with the amount of shedding that can occur. Due to the large size of the Great Dane there is just a lot more hair!
Great Dane Training
Great Danes are eager to please and can be easily trained if it involves pleasing their owner. Their biggest obstacle to training is their large size, which can make them clumsy or easily knock into things when trying to be obedient. However, some Great Danes can be independent, and may need to be enticed in order to decide they want to learn, too.
Great Dane Activity
Despite their large size and hunting background, Great Danes can be great couch potatoes. Regular exercise is still recommended to keep them in shape, however they are just as content at home on a bed as they are outdoors and in active situations.