Great Dane Alternate Names
Dogue Allemand (German Mastiff)
Grand Danois (big Danish)
Common nickname: “Gentle Giant” or “Superdog”
Great Dane Appearance
Body: Large, square and smoothly muscled with a powerfully strong back, deep v-shaped chest and well-sprung ribs, full croup (the back, from the loin to the hind legs), an elegant neck line, and long sloping shoulders.
Coat: Short, thick and glossy.
Color: Fawn (yellow gold) with a black muzzle, brindle (fawn and black), blue (deep grey with a bluish tint), black, harlequin (black patches on white) or mantle (black and white with a solid black blanket).
Ears: Medium size, high set and triangular-shaped with forward folds, usually cropped in the U.S.
Eyes: Medium size, dark and deep set with oval eyelids and expressively intelligent.
Feet: Round, compact and cat-like with well-arched toes and short strong, dark nails.
Head: Elongated or rectangular-shaped and elegant with a well-pronounced stop, large black nose (dark blue-black in the Blue Dane), and thick, firm lips.
Neck: Crested, firm, long, well-arched and muscular, tapering from the nape down to the withers.
Legs: Forelegs are straight, well-muscled and strong with flat bones. Hindquarters are very powerful with broad muscular thighs, well bent hocks and stifles and well let down hocks.
Height is 28 – 32 inches (71 – 81cm)
Weight is 100 – 190 pounds (46 – 54kg)
Tail: Long, high set, thick at the base and tapering to the point, carried straight and level with the back.
Great Dane Behavior
Recommended for experienced dog handlers.
Not recommended for small apartments.
Drooling and slobbering of his food is normal.
The Great Dane is friendly, loyal, and curious. An impressively large and beautiful dog with a natural dignity and elegance about him.
The AKC Standard say, “In appearance and nature the Great Dane is one of The Most Elegant and distinguished varieties of giant-type dog. The Great Dane combines, in its regal appearance, dignity, strength and elegance with great size and a powerful, well-formed, smoothly muscled body.”
Danes love companionship and don’t do well if left alone for extended periods of time. He is good with children that are raised with him but because of his size and strength be cautious with younger toddlers who may be unintentionally injured.
If you are thinking of owning this breed be sure you are considering the space he will need and the expense of feeding such a large dog. It’s equally important that you are able to devote a fair amount of time training and socializing him in order to develop a well-tempered, well-mannered Dane. Because of his enormous build and strength, he is best suited for an experienced dog handler capable of controlling him.
My first encounter with Great Danes was when I was a child standing only 4 feet high. My friend from school invited me over to go sledding in his back yard. As I approached the house I suddenly encountered three of the largest dogs I had ever seen in a fenced in area of the yard.
I grew up with horses, dogs, cats and other animals but had no idea that a dog could grow so large. Nothing I could say would express how impressed and surprised I was. I believe they out-weighed me by 60 pounds or more and they were tall enough to look me in the eye – if not down at me.
My most recent encounter was in my booth at the Hartford Pet Show. I’m just as impressed every time at the gentleness and beauty of these dogs. This was a blue Dane that took his time checking out each item in my booth, including the top of the tall counter where I wrote out receipts for customers. I enjoyed watching the children at the show who, like myself, were in awe of this tall, handsome dog. What a display of exuberant strength and dignity.
Great Dane Breed Type
AKC Group: Working Group
Used for hunting large game such as wild boar.
Great Dane Care and Grooming
Exercise: Moderate exercise is all that is required. Daily walks and some play time will keep him fit and happy.
Grooming: Brush one to two times weekly and bath two to three times annually.
Great Dane Health
Life Expectancy: 9 – 10 Years
Bloat (potentially fatal) – limit exercise immediately following meals.
Calcium Phosphate Deposition – can cause bone deformity.
Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) – progressive loss of cardiac output.
vWD – a blood disorder
Wobblers Syndrome – neurological problems usually occurring in the first 2 years of life.
CERF – for eyes
OFA – for hips
Great Dane Country of Origin