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Great Dane Dog Breed Characteristics & Information
Great Danes stand first if you love a peaceful environment and a good companion. They are widely known for their affectionate nature. Great Danes are great with kids. Owing to their gentleness, they are straightforward to train and get along with other pets.
Keep reading to learn about the various important aspects related to Great Danes.
What is the History of Great Danes?
The Great Danes are initially from Germany, with Deutsche Dog as their German name. Initially, they were mainly bred for hunting. However, gradually, they were made watchdogs for families. During the early 1600s, their ears were cropped to prevent them from being torn by wild boars.
With time, Germans refined this dog breed and created a friendlier version, who is a friend and companion rather than a predator. The term ‘Great Dane’ was coined in the 1700s by a Frenchman travelling to Denmark.
What are the Characteristics of Great Dane Dogs?
The intriguing characteristics of the Great Danes are as follows:
- Lifespan: Just like other big dogs, Great Danes have a short lifespan of 6 to 8 years. However, some dogs are known to live up to 10 years.
- Height: The males are between 30 and 35 inches, while the females grow between 28 and 33 inches.
- Colour: The Great Danes are found in different colours, such as Fawn, Black, Harlequin, Blue, and Mantle.
- Weight: The males weigh somewhere between 120 to 200 pounds, whereas the females weigh between 100 and 130 pounds.
- Temperament: Great Danes are popularly known as ‘Gentle Giants’. Their personality is defined by them being very affectionate and excellent with kids. Great Danes get along with other animals well if raised with other pets.
- Energy Level: Great Danes are highly energetic but need a nap after a rigorous playtime.
How to Train Great Dane Dogs?
Although Great Danes are affectionate and loyal, they can become stubborn and independent if adequately trained. Training can make your dog obedient and compassionate when combined with the right approach.
Here are 6 tips for training Great Dane Dogs:
- Start Training in the Puppy Stage: Early training ensures successful puppy training as it establishes clear expectations. Also, it is easier for the Great Danes to learn during the puppy stage.
- Try to Be Consistent: Consistency is the critical factor in dog training. Every family member should be on the same page enforcing similar rewards. This helps the Great Danes understand the desired behaviour, avoiding confusion.
- Keep Training Sessions Short: Long sessions tend to bore dogs. Hence, go for short training sessions, such as 10 to 15 minutes twice or thrice daily. This helps the Great Danes to stay focused and remember better.
- Use Clear Commands: Use those commands that are easy for them to understand. Using too many words at a time may confuse your Great Dane and keep them struggling. Initially, one-word commands such as ‘sit’, ‘come’, ‘stand’, etc. should be used.
- Use Positive Reinforcement: Reward your Great Dane with sure treats whenever it obeys your command. This will help your Great Danes to associate the desired behaviour with their favourite treats. Hence, they will repeat the desired behaviour.
- Avoid Punishments During Training: Yelling or punishing your dog will ruin the bond between you and your Great Dane and scare them off. This will consequently hinder the training process. Hence, avoid punishing your dog while training.
What are the Common Health Problems in Great Dane Dogs?
This section talks about the various health problems that are commonly seen in Great Danes:
- Bloating: Owing to the narrow and deep chest of Great Danes, they have a high chance of bloating. The stomach twists on itself and cuts off blood supply to the gastrointestinal organs because of gas, which can even kill your dog if not treated promptly.
- Integrated Myopathy of Great Danes (IMGD): This inherited muscle-wasting disease is sporadic and is only seen in Great Danes. Clinical manifestations are observed during the puppy stage, and the majority of the dogs are euthanised if diagnosed with IMGD.
- Hip Dysplasia: Like other big dogs, Great Danes are also very prone to hip dysplasia, where the ball and socket joint of the hip don’t fit each other appropriately. Hip dysplasia can be corrected with diet and physiotherapy if present in a mild condition.
- Wobbler Syndrome: In this, a physical deformity in the cervical vertebrae puts stress on the delicate spinal cord and spinal nerves. This condition leads to a wobbly gait, hence the name wobbler syndrome.
- Obesity: Obesity is a common problem in dogs from all over the world. Great Danes should not become overweight as it can shorten their lifespan. It can also put a lot of pressure on the bones and joints. Obesity aggravates hip dysplasia.
- Eye Problems: Great Danes have almond-shaped eyes along with droopy faces. These features can lead to several eye problems, such as Entropion or Ectropion involving eyelids. They are also prone to developing glaucoma and cataracts.
- Dilated Cardiomyopathy: Big dogs like Great Danes are prone to developing certain heart diseases, such as Dilated Cardiomyopathy, where the heart muscle weakens and fails to pump efficiently.
How to Take Care of Great Dane Dogs?
The following section lists some of the tips to take care of your Great Dane:
Great Danes are highly active and need much exercise to keep themselves healthy and fit. They need at least 2 hours of exercise daily to utilise their energy and keep them from being obese.
Great Danes are generally low-maintenance owing to their short coat. They are minimal shredders for whom brushing once a week is more than enough. However, they need extra grooming during two seasons, spring and autumn, when they shed more.
During their puppy stage, Great Danes should consume calorie-heavy food, while grown-up Great Danes should have much more meat protein. Their daily food intake should be split into two meals and should be provided at the same time every day.
- Veterinary Care
The Great Danes require proper veterinary care such as vaccinations, dental check-ups, and other follow-ups to stay healthy. Owners should be mindful and plan vet visits to ensure the best care.
Great Danes are large and highly energetic dogs that might be difficult for some people to handle. With the proper training, Great Danes grow up to be adorable dogs who are true friends for life. However, adequate research before buying is a very essential step.