Great Danes are large dogs that are among the tallest of dog breeds. They are muscular dogs with long narrow heads, long muscular necks, and perfectly straight front legs. They have an appearance that exudes both elegance and power. They have round, dark eyes that are filled with lively and intelligent expressions. Great Danes teeth are well developed and close in a scissors bite. Male dogs are usually 30-34 inches (76-86 cm) tall and weigh 120-160 pounds (54-72 kg). Female dogs are slightly smaller at 28-32 inches (71-81 cm) tall and a weight of 100-130 pounds (45-59 kg). All Great Danes have short coats consist of shiny, thick and close-fitting hair.
The Great Dane comes in an assortment of colors including black, blue, merle, harlequin, fawn, striped brindle. The color of a Great Danes coat indicates what variety it is. It is easy to groom this smooth, shorthaired coat by brushing it daily with a firm bristled brush. Bathing these dogs is a monumental task that owners may wish to prevent if possible. Dry shampoo may be used if necessary. It is also important to keep their nails trimmed.
This breed is known for being affectionate, gentle, patient and kind. They are playful with children and make great family pets. They love to be around people and are very loyal to their owners. They make good watchdogs and only become aggressive under certain circumstances or threats. Responsible, dependable and loyal are all terms that describe the temperament of these dogs.
Great Danes are not the easiest dogs to train. If owners start training these dogs while they are still young however, they will become manageable and obedient adult dogs. It is important to teach Great Danes not to lean on people or children so injuries may be avoided.
Plenty of regular exercise is required to keep these dogs fit and healthy. Daily walks are a good way to give them the activity they need. It is not recommended that the owner jog with a Great Dane until the dog is at least one year old. Owners may also want to take note that exercise after meals is not recommended since Great Danes are prone to bloat.
Health concerns that the Great Danes may face include hip dysplasia, genetic heart problems, bloat, tumors, and tail injuries. The average life expectancy of a Great Dane is usually less than 10 years.
Great Danes were well liked originally by German aristocrats for hunting boar and stags. The dogs were known for their speed, agility, and powerfulness as early as 400 A.D. Later, the dogs were crossed with Irish Greyhounds and developed into thinner and more beautiful dogs. Some of their many talents include tracking, pulling carts, and being watchdogs. One of the most famous Great Danes is Marmaduke of comic strip fame.