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A Guide to the Great Dane Dog, The Gentle Giant

Why This Giant Breed Is So Popular

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Great Dane dog photo

Is The Great Dane Dog Right For You?

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    The Great Dane dog breed was intended as a hunting dog.

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    They are known to be loyal, dependable, and friendly.

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    Great Danes tend to be wary of strangers but do well with children.

HISTORY

Although we have no way of determining exactly how long these massive dogs have walked our planet, the Great Dane has made appearances on things like ancient Greek coins (36 BCE) and pictographs of similar looking dogs on Egyptian ruins dating back to 3000 BCE. Believed to be a cross between the Irish Wolfhound and the English Mastiff, the Great Dane is far and away the largest domesticated breed to date.

quick facts

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    Size

    Extra Large

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    Lifespan

    6-8 years

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    Hair Length

    Short

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    Male Height

    27 to 29 inches

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    Male Weight

    120 -200 pounds

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    Female Height

    25 to 27 inches

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    Female Weight

    100 -130 pounds

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    Litter Size

    Average of 8 puppies, up to 15

APPEARANCE

Great Danes are huge. Everything about them is huge. They have a huge, rectangular head with a deep muzzle and a flat nose. Their ears, when cropped (as is most common), sit atop of their giant head like two little pyramids. And almost every part of their body is muscular. The only thing not huge about the Great Dane is their fur, which is very short.

PERSONALITY

“The Gentle Giant,” Great Danes are perhaps unexpectedly pleasant and tolerant. These dogs are enormous, so it is good to teach them early on that they cannot jump up on people, but besides them trying to love you to death, these dogs mean no ill will to anyone (at least not invited guests). Like other dogs, but more so because of their size, proper socialization early on is crucial to not having a monster on your hands. Any dog can become a problem if they are allowed to behave however they please, and that can become a serious issue when your problem stands 7 feet tall and weighs 200 pounds.

color

Great Danes come in an array of colors, like solid black, solid white, black with white face and legs (mantle), irregular black patches (Harlequin), solid blue (dark gray), or fawn (tan with dark mask and legs). Typically white is not permitted for show dogs on most patterns unless white is in the color.

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health concerns

The breed has a relatively short life span of 6 – 8 years. Health problems common to large breeds are observed in the breed. Nutritional supplements should be an essential part of their diet. Great Danes are prone to health problems like:

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