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Great Dane

Called Apollo like for its unmistakable noble bearing and impressive presence, the Great Dane delivers loyalty, intelligence and some measure of protection (though it is better suited as a watch dog than a guard dog) to those who share their home with him/her.  Do not mistake this giant as an outside dog, it is not suited to live apart from its family physically or mentally.  The home that cannot afford a spacious corner or couch for the Dane to lounge upon, is likely not well suited for this delightful and magnificent companion.

By Breed Name
By Breed Name
General Information
Group(s): Working Height: over 28 inches for females; over 30 inches for males
Weight: generally 110 pounds and more Longevity: often not more than 7 years
Colors: brindle, fawn, blue, black, harlequin, mantle Coat type: short, smooth, flat
Recognized Registries: NCA, UKC, FCI and others
Overall Appearance: This is often the first dog thought of when speaking of the giant breeds. This ambling individual is typically intelligent if not graceful and powerful if not agile. With a strong Mastiff type head and expression and long powerful legs, smooth coat, the Great Dane creates an impression and presence of definitive dog-ness. Friendly and approachable, devoted and yet imposing if necessary.
Personaility - Behavior - Training
Energy Level: moderate to low
General Nature: Ideally genial, friendly, responsive and attentive, easy going
  with Children: generally very good but needs to be socialized properly as do the children must be well mannered and supervised
  with other pets: generally very good but supervision is highly advised
  with dogs: variable, supervision and socialization required
Socialization requirements: moderate to high; this dog is too large and powerful to be allowed to become shy or anxious
Ideal home characteristics: One that appreciates all the challenges inherent in raising a well-trained, happy and mannered Great Dane. Exercise, training, socializing and supervision of various health needs due to the growth rate of a giant breed must be considered.
Temperament Notes: Easy going and confident when well socialized. Intelligent and laid back.
Training requirement: moderate, socialization and basic manners are minimal but acceptable
Trainer notes: The greatest challenge in working with the Great Dane is often one of finding the energy and motivation to achieve the desired response.  The Great Dane is not lazy or lacking in stamina as much as easily bored (and naps are very appealing).  As such, training sessions (even when initiating play sessions) should be kept very short and as age and maturity develop stamina, sessions can be extended.  Even so, the best results will be from working with a fresh, enthusiastic dog and this may be for only 5 minutes at a time.
Background Information
Year range of first recognition: Of ancient history perhaps dating back 2000-3000 BC with the Egyptians and Assyrians.
Country of Origin: Egypt, Assyria, Tibet, England and others potentially figure into its history
Original Function: Boar Hounds and companions
History: Probably descended from the Tibetan Mastiff and some sighthound (perhaps the Irish Wolfhound) of the age. Called the Grand Danois by the French naturalist, Comte de Buffon, the name stuck.
Adoption Information
Deviations from Standard: excessive skin or flews, incorrect coloration, overly refined
Health Notes: cardiomyopathy, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, wobblers, bloat, eye problems, HOD/Panosteitis
Health Testing: CERF, OFA for hips, cardiac issues and thyroid dysfunction
Questions to ask Breeder:  - The Breeder Questions as listed here provided with explanations and answers you will want to be looking for!

  • How long have you had Danes?
  • How long have you been breeding Danes?
  • What health issues have you observed in the breed?
  • What documented health clearances do you get for your breeding stock?
  • What titles do you seek for your breeding stock?
  • What did you find complementary about this breeding pair?
  • Do you intend to keep a puppy from this breeding?
  • What do you consider to be your priorities in your breeding program?
  • Do you have a written contract and puppy guarantee?
  • At what age do you send your puppies to their homes?
  • Do you microchip your puppies?
  • Do you have any suggestions for socializing and training a Great Dane?
  • What would you consider an ideal home for a puppy?
  • What would you consider a good Great Dane temperament?
Web Sites: - Great Dane Club of America Rescue


Other Resources
Breed standard: Standard of the Great Dane


Breeder Ethics: -Code of Ethics for the Great Dane Club of America


Other: Helpful article with needed information prior to getting your Great Dane; courtesy of GDCA

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