Sunday, March 2, 2008
Here is an article I wrote about Great Danes. Let me know what you think.
Great Dane is a member of the domestic dog (canis lupus familiaris) family. This specific breed, the “Apollo of all breeds”, is famous for its monster size and gentle temperament. The "Gentle giant" is among the tallest dog breeds, along with the Irish Wolfhound. The Great Dane was originally used for boar hunting in the woods of Germany. Their use as boar hunting dogs was one of the primary reasons that their ears were traditionally cropped. For modern Great Danes, who are mostly pets the only use is create the traditional Great Dane appearance. Many Great Dane owners choose not to have their dog’s ears cropped and in fact it is now outlawed in some western European countries.
Great Dane History
The modern Great Dane is a mix of an older style of Great Dane which can trace its ancestry to dogs the Romans used in combat and for hunting. These dogs were combined with Irish Greyhounds to give Great Danes a more sleek body while retaining most of the massive size. Some people say that Irish Wolfhounds were also used to create the modern Great Dane. While Great Danes remain a member of the Working Breed family of dogs they are mostly employed as family pets today.
Is a Great Dane the Right Dog For You
There are some very important things to consider when making the decision to own a Great Dane as a pet. They are large even giant size dogs. Their size will have a tremendous impact in many facets of your life. While they do not need a tremendous amount of room or exercise, they do require some. As puppies they can be very boisterous and due to their size can be a hazard to things around the house and even people. Not because they are naturally aggressive but rather because they just do not have a firm grasp of how large they are. When they are puppies use some care when introducing them to older dogs. The Great Dane at this point could be large in size for its age but it very much still sees itself as a puppy. As they grow older their size will have a serious impact. Their toys, their beds, their treats and food consumption, well, it is just larger and more expensive. If you plan to travel with you new Great Dane you will need a vehicle that can support the dog’s huge size. They do not require a tremendous amount of exercise but a daily walk will do them and you some good.
Great Danes as Pets
Great Danes are very much family dogs. They can not be left outside for long periods of time by themselves, especially when the family is home. They love their families and want to be with them and long periods of being “banished” to the backyard while the family is home will cause behavioral and emotional problems in your Great Dane. Mistreating or simply ignoring your Great Dane combined with a lack of socialization can create an unsafe environment as Great Danes are sometimes prone to defensive biting.
Great Danes are of average intelligence in the dog world but they are usually very responsive to verbal commands due to their emotional makeup. They respond well to firm commands but not to overly stern commands. If you give an overly forceful correction you might have a giant sulking dog on your hands. As with all dogs, never strike your Great Dane to give corrections. They will not respond well to this treatment and it will eventually cause behavioral problems with your Great Dane. If you imagine your Great Dane as a big hearted teenage boy you will be pretty close as to their emotional make up.
Alternative names: Deutsche Dogge ("German Mastiff"); Grand Danois (in French)
Birth Country: the country of its origin is ascribed to Germany
Appearance: Giant and powerful, yet elegant and noble
Stature: the usual height is 30-40 inches (76-86 cm.)
Power: the usual weight is for male: 54-90 kg (120-200 lbs.) and for female: 45-68 kg. (100-150 lbs.)
Coat: polished, bulky and close-fitting hair
Color: Fawn, brindle, black, blue, mantle and harlequin (merle not recognized by the various kennel clubs)
Head: Long and narrow, with a highlighted front end and a relatively hefty nasal channel; distinguished, expressive, finely chiseled and rectangular in shape
Eyes: dark, round, deeply set medium size eyes with an energetic and bright look
Ears: pointed, long and straight or left natural cropped legs
Teeth: Well-developed, strong with scissor like bites
Limbs: perfectly straight Front legs
Feet: solid and circle-shaped
Tail: medium in length, reaching to the point of the hock
Life span: Median ~8-10 years
Great Facts about Danes
Dogs like Great Danes were also found in Ancient Rome, Greece and even Ancient Egypt according to ancient sources.
Sources confirm that the age of this breed is over 500 years and they are the direct successor of Bullenbeisser composing about the 40% of its make-up.
Danír tribe used Great Dane as hunting-dog with which it shares the taxonomical semblance.
Pennsylvania’s state dog is Great Dane.
In August 2004, a Great Dane named "Gibson" from Grass Valley, California was recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the world's tallest dog, measuring 42.2 inches at the withers.
Danes usually have some great health problems like:
Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)
Back check the ancestral history of your loving Dane. If its relatives ever had any of these diseases refraining your doggy from exercise immediately before and after meal can help to reduce the risk. Back checking also helps to prevent your doggy from several genetic disorders. If a Great Dane is white (lacks color) near its eyes or ears then that organ doesn’t develop properly and as a rule the dog will possibly be either blind or deaf. Many pure white Danes are deaf.