The Great Dane is known as one of the most noble looking dog breeds. However, any Dane owner knows that these dogs are more worried about having fun and showering affection on their loved ones than they are about appearing distinguished. With a long history, a unique look and a great personality, these dogs are truly special.

History

Some images of Dane-like dogs indicate that their ancestors go back to ancient Greece and Egypt. They may have also been bred in the middle ages. Many countries claim their origin, but there is no reason to think that Denmark is more likely than any of the other possibilities.

Personality Traits

Great Danes are among the “gentle giants” of the dog world. They generally get along with adults, children, and other animals, unless trained to do otherwise. If they are trained as guard dogs or hunting dogs, they may develop aggression issues. However, this behavior is quite the opposite of their inherent nature.

This is one of the most truly devoted breeds. Great Danes fall in love with their owners and need to feel valued as a member of their family. They are great babysitters for a big family and great companions for a single dog owner.

Playful and clumsy, Great Danes are loveable clowns. Their sense of humor and tendency to make fools of themselves often belies their high intelligence.

Appearance

Great Danes are one of the tallest breeds, typically ranging from 28-34 inches tall and often weighing over 100 lbs. They have a long, solid head and muscular body covered in a short coat. They come in many colors, including fawn, brindle, black, blue, mantle, and harlequin. Their ears are naturally floppy, but are frequently docked (cropped to remain straight-standing) as a fashion choice more than for practicality.

Health and Upkeep

There are some health concerns to look out for with any Dane. Their size can cause problems, as is the case with other large breeds. Heart problems, hip dysplasia, and bloat are frequent worries.

A Dane’s size also leads to a slow metabolism. This makes them great city dogs, and they can live happily in an apartment despite their stature. They still need regular exercise a couple times a day, however, and can be quite energetic when they get out on a walk.

The short, smooth coat of this breed is easy to maintain. It should get a regular quick brushing and its nails should stay trimmed.

Considering a Great Dane

A Great Dane is not a small addition to your home. Danes become very emotionally attached to their owner and need lots of love. They don’t transition easily into a new home, so make sure that you are prepared to care for your dog for its typically decade-long life. Too many Great Danes end up at animal shelters because their owners were not prepared for the large, slobbery and emotional dog that their cute puppy would turn into. Whenever considering a new dog, visit your breeder and play with other members of the breed to familiarize yourself with their unique characteristics.

If all that sounds like a good match for your lifestyle, a Great Dane can make an excellent new companion. A Great Dane will give you back all the love you have for it tenfold.