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Great Dane Dog Breed Profile

Great Dane

Other Names
Dog Group Kennel Club
Breed Classification
The Great Dane is a member of the working group. They were originally used as war dogs and for hunting wild boar, stags, wolves and other large game; today they are companion and guard dogs.  
Cost of Ownership
Average Food Cost
£7.50-10 per week
Feeding Requirements
The feeding of this dog can be quite considerable, both in terms of amount and cost. Calcium supplements should be avoided, as should other supplements unless recommended by the breeder or vet. Too much, or too little of the wrong types of food can result in growth problems which may not be noticed until the dog is older. 
Other Expenses
A Great Dane puppy can cost from £700 up to £1000. 
9 - 15 years
The average lifespan is anywhere between 5-10 years. Some Danes live longer or shorter than this; they have been recorded as living as long as 14years.  
Average Litter Size
The Great Dane generally has large litters, 8 being the average, although larger litters are frequently born. 
General Physical Description
The Great Dane is a large sized dog that is very muscular and strong The head is rectangular and long in appearance They have a short dense coat They give the appearance of being very noble and dignified

Height Min Max
Bitch 71cm (28") 76cm (30")
Dog 76cm (30") 81cm (32")
Weight Min Max
Bitch 46kg (101lbs) 54kg (119lbs)
Dog 54kg (119lbs) 62kg (137lbs)
Size Category
Weight Height Range
Over 18 months of age the minimum height of dogs should ideally be 76cms at the withers and weigh 54kgs. Bitches, of the same age should have a minimum height of 71cms at the withers and weigh 46kgs 
All deep chested dogs are prone to bloat or gastric torsion. Precautions should be taken with feeding regimes in order to prevent the sudden onset of this disorder. Most large dogs also suffer from hip dysplasia which can sometimes be kept at bay with good quality nutrition and controlled exercise. Setters in general tend to have a problem with Progressive retinal atrophy which can lead to blindness. This is a genetic disorder and carriers can be identified so they are not bred from. Prospective buyers should ask to see hip scores and eye certification of the sire and dam. 
Common Ailments

Bone Cancer
Lymphocytic Thyroiditis  
Susceptibility To Illness
Dogs resembling the Great Dane have been seen in drawings in Egyptian tombs dating back to 2200 BC. They were shorter of leg and resembled mastiffs in body type. These types of dogs made their way via traders to many other countries. It was in Germany that the breed was further developed into the dog that we recognise today. It is thought that the original mastiff type was crossed with a greyhound to give the agile, slender dog that is known as a Great Dane. They were first used as bull baiters and in 1592 they were being used by the nobility for hunting wild boar. By the 1800s it was a very popular dog and was used by estate owners for large game hunting. The first Great Dane club was started in the UK in 1885 and in America in 1889. 
The Great Dane is an intelligent dog that, with an experienced handler, can be trained for protection work. As they grow very quickly into a very large dog their training has to start when they are young. All training must be consistent. As puppies they do require lots of socialisation and training. < 
Show Characteristics
The head should be strong, long and be flat between the ears. They should have a powerful blunt muzzle and a strong jaw with a perfect scissor bite. The bridge of the nose should be wide. The eyes should be of medium size and dark. The ears should be triangular, high set and fold down. The neck should be long, strong and well arched. The chest should be very deep and the topline strong and straight. The front legs should appear straight and strong, the back legs should be very well muscled and strong. The feet should be compact with well-arched, close together toes. The tail should be thick at the base and taper to a point, set high and carried level with the topline. The tail should never curl or be carried over the back. The coat should be short and dense. The movement should allow them to cover the ground well; the head should be carried high. The preferred colours for the show ring are fawn, blue, black, brindle and harlequin. 
Country Of Origin
Famous Examples
Records Held
Overall Exercise
40 - 60 minutes per day.
The Great Dane does not require as much exercise as it size indicates. They enjoy exercise and will happy go along will the family on their outdoor activities. They also enjoy spending time in front of the fire, enjoying any creature comforts that are available. Exercise must be given in limited amounts during the growth period, as too much can cause serious bone, joint and muscle problems.  
Distress if Left Alone
Personal Protection
Guard Dog Suitability
Risk of Sheep Worrying
Tendency to Bark
Level of Aggression
Compatibility With Other Animals
Suitable For Children


General Character And Temperament
The Great Dane is an intelligent and affectionate dog. They can become very close and loyal to the family and close family friends that are frequent visitors. They do get on well with other dogs, household pets and children. They are ideally suited to the active family. They are quick to alert the family of any strangers approaching their territory, as they are excellent guard dogs, although they do not bark very much. They should be socialised and training started at an early age.  
Coat Length
Grooming Requirement
Once a week 
Requires Professional Groomer
The coat of the Great Dane is short and dense. They can be groomed using a rubber-grooming mitt, which will remove the loose and dead hairs.  
They can be fawn, black, blue, brindle and harlequin in colour.  
Suffers From Allergies

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