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Breed Profile: Great Dane


Great Dane Photos - Photo of Great Dane Dog Breed Photo © Compassionate Eye Foundation / Getty Images




Today's Great Dane originated in Germany, though some believe the breed has ancient origins. The Great Dane most likely emerged from the English Mastiff and Irish Wolfhound and was developed in Germany as a boar hunter. Over time, the breed was no longer considered a hunting dog, but became more known as a watchdog and companion.

The Great Dane appeared in the United States in the late 1800s and has become gradually more popular since then.


Weight: 100-140 pounds
Height: 28+ inches at the shoulder

Weight: 120-200 pounds
Height 30+ inches at the shoulder

Colors / Markings / Patterns:

Harlequin (white with black patches)
Mantle (black and white)

Health Problems:

Responsible breeders strive to maintain the highest breed standards as established by kennel clubs like the AKC. Dogs bred by these standards are less likely to inherit health conditions. However, some hereditary health problems can occur in the breed. The following are some conditions to be aware of:

About the Breed:

The Great Dane is known as a giant dog breed and one of the largest of all dog breeds. This is a regal, intelligent and loyal dog with a warm temperament. Often called "gentle giants," Danes are loved for their joyful spirits and loving companionship. Unfortunately, the lifespan of this breed, as with other giant breeds, tends to be shorter than the average dog. That is why it is so important to keep your Dane healthy.

The Great Dane has a short haircoat that typically needs nothing more than routine grooming. Danes with natural (floppy) ears should have routine ear checks and cleanings. While some people prefer to surgically crop the ears, this practice is becoming less common and is actually banned in some countries.

Proper training and socialization is absolutely essential for the Great Dane. The giant size of this breed can render it out of control if not properly trained. These dogs do not realize their large size, so careful attention should be placed upon prevention of jumping, leaning and leash pulling.

Danes are playful and energetic - especially when young. Proper exercise will help keep your Dane calm and fit. Danes are very gentle companions and family protectors that lack aggression. A well-trained Great Dane can make an absolutely wonderful family pet.

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