History of the Great Dane:
Likely the descendent of the old English mastiff and
the Irish wolfhound, the
Great Dane is a
German breed and has been nicknamed the “Apollo of Dogs.” Considered to be
fearless game hunters, the ancestors of the Great Dane were used in war
and hunting. Because of its speed, strength, and stamina, this breed
earned a reputation as skillful hunters of wild boar in Germany by the 14th century. The Great Dane also became popular with nobility because of
its commanding but refined look. The English began calling the breed
German boarhounds, but at some point, and for unknown reasons, the dog was
called a Great Dane, even though it wasn’t Danish. In approximately 1880,
the German authorities proclaimed that the Great Dane should only be
called a Deutsche doggy, and this is the name it still goes by today in
Germany. This breed came to the United States in the late 1800s, and it
quickly gained recognition. To date, this large dog is still a popular
breed in America, and its talents include tracking, carting, and serving
as a watchdog.
Why a Great Dane?
The Great Dane has been
characterized by many dog fanciers as the best natured of all breeds.
They possess a peaceful disposition and a love for their family and
home, which is unequalled. Great Danes are dogs for children of all
ages. They are devoted and gentle, in spite of their enormous size and
strength, almost human in their ability to size up a situation and
more than human in sensing danger to the ones they love and protect.
This "KING" among dogs, through their size, power, and beauty, shows a
proud self-confident royal bearing.
Although the Dane is one of the Giant breeds, he does not eat one out
of house and home. The mature Dane eats no more than any large dog.
Another fallacy is that a Dane must have a very large yard. Many Danes
live in limited space and their owners have benefited by the daily
exercise they give their dogs. The main thing to remember is
Danes are a "people" dog, they need and desire interaction with
Because of their size, Danes are ideal guard, escort and watchdogs. A
light burning downstairs and a small dog to bark is no longer
sufficient protection in today's world. The burglar is going to hesitate when he knows
there is a man-sized dog on the premises, therefore proving that a
GREAT DANE's "bite" IS as big as their bark!
Danes are not only great
companions for the elderly but can actually help in their time of
need. They are large and strong enough for an elderly person who
has fallen to use the Dane to pull themselves up off the floor or even
out of a burning room!
The Great Dane gets along well with children,
other dogs, and any household pets. Some Great Danes are dominant
with other dogs of the same sex or have a high prey instinct with
small cats. Great Danes should be socialized when young. The Great
Dane is usually wary around strangers, but will welcome friends of
The Great Dane should be brushed with a rubber
brush when shedding to remove dead hairs. Great Danes need a sizable
soft place to lie down indoors. Proper nutrition and avoidance of
excessive exercise is required when this breed is young. Great Danes
are prone to hip dysplasia and bloat, the latter of which can be
prevented by placing the food dish on an elevated platform, spacing
meals throughout the day, and avoiding exercise immediately after
meals. The Great Dane has a lifespan of 8-12 years, some even longer
when cared for properly by being kept on Probiotics and such!
The Great Dane requires a dominant but not
overly harsh trainer. It must be trained early not to pull on the
leash, because it grows to a very large size. Obedience training
when young is highly recommended for the Great Dane.