A Great Dane is popularly called the gentle giant of the dog world, and that is the right name for this breed. It has the perfect temperament to be a family dog or rather suitable for any type of owner. They are also the World’s tallest dog breeds due to their formidable size. To support this statement, the current record holder of the tallest dog in the World is Zeus, a Great Dane in the United States as per the Guinness World Record. Some people even call great Dane Apollo due to their presence in ancient Roman culture, as depicted upon coins and scriptures.
But one must not get startled by their demeanor and size. It may be the tallest dog breed, but it is also one of the most loving dogs with the perfect temperament that you will ever choose to share space with. Although, with great size comes a different set of problems. It is likely to knock down some objects with its wagging tail. And that includes anything that comes in its way; from a flower vase to young humans and the frail-bodied. Of course, the big-guy does not intend of doing so. Danes are extremely attached to their immediate humans as in their families.
The Great Dane used to be a hunting dog. It was a mixed breed of three powerful breeds, developed for hunting boars and other wild animals. At that time, hunting was a popular and prestigious act, and hunting the English Boar was especially a matter of pride. Hence, this breed was specially bred to make that sport better. Great Danes are intelligent dogs that led the nobleman of England to keep them as a guarding breed.
In comparison to the hunting days, The Great Dane now is a domesticized breed that is fairly docile and friendly. It has German ancestors but was bred in England. A French Naturalist gave the breed the name Great Dane or Grand Donors. Even though it has no resemblance or relation with anything Dutch, the name surprisingly caught on.
The Great Dane breed was first recorded and bred around the 16th Century in Europe. But the scriptures of an almost identical dog are found dating back to about 3,000 B.C. The most likely parent breeds of this dog are English Mastiff and Irish Wolfhound.
Great Dane’s Hollywood relations
This breed has starred in various comics and movies as a loveable and docile pet. Some famous Great Danes that have been starring in movies are Marmaduke and Scooby-Doo. These are lovable comic strips featuring Great Danes as clumsy and fun characters. These strips have also been made into movies and the Great Danes as stars of these movies. This breed also starred in the Original Disney movie- The Ugly Dachshund. In addition to these, there is Back to God’s Country and Head over Heels that also feature great Danes.
Coming to the celebrity owners, Great Danes have been a part of the White House under the service period of Fraklin D. Roosevelt and have been a pet of various celebrities such as Greg Louganis, Tom Mix, Jim Carey, and Mark Sennett.
Great Danes are quite low maintenance, hence grooming them is not much of a task. They have short hair coats, so they do not need much effort while bathing. The baths are not required too often because of short fur, and well, it would not be easy to drag this giant dog of yours to the tub or grooming place for a bath. Even the shedding is not much, but since it’s a giant dog, you may see hair lying around everywhere. They only shed more when suffering from a disease. The Great Dane already has dry skin, so over bathing of this breed will lead to loss of essential oils from the skin. Their ears should be regularly cleaned to avoid the development of any infections.
The coat and skin do not require much grooming as mentioned above, but they should be checked for patches, red sores, etc. Oral hygiene maintenance is very crucial for your Great Dane. The easiest way is to brush the coat is with a rubber hound mitt and a soft-bristle comb weekly.
Your dog’s paws and nails require utmost. A split toenail or splinter can cause infection and pain if not attended to right away. Just look at this in another way. The extra care is because of the size of this breed because if smaller bread steps on a sharp object, it still won’t have much pressure on the paws, but the great size and weight of great Dane will make the same injury more painful.
Food and nutrition
- It is important to keep a check on the nutritional requirements of any breed because a balanced diet is primarily to give them a healthy happy and long life.
- A Great Dane’s body measurements should be maintained. It should be kept slim and fit as obesity is a serious concern for every dog, and an obese dog can catch diseases more easily.
- To provide a healthy diet, the protein levels should be monitored while feeding the Great Dane. The max limit of protein and fat in the diet of Great Dane is 24% and 14% respectively. A proper amount of protein and fat will prevent the breed from encountering any health problems.
- A Male Great Dane’s appropriate quantity of food is 4-8 cups of food. The food should be split into three servings or at least two. Three serving is apt for puppies as they get hungry more often.
- Females should also be fed the same amount of food as males. The quantity should be increased slightly when the breed is older, which is between 8 to 12 months old.
- Adolescent Danes require more food. Hence, they should be fed approximately between 8-15 cups, as per the gender of the breed.
- An average Great Dane needs about 2500 calories per day. This breed generally requires more food than any other breed.