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The Great Dane: A Loyal and Loving Family Companion

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Black and white great dane walking on a grassy cliff next to the coast

The Great Dane is one of the most recognizable dogs in the world. These huge pups are big, powerful, and immensely strong. While their size has made them famous, their friendly nature has also given the status as one of the more popular family dogs in America. The dog has been bred to show a variety of different colors in their fur, ranging from a beautiful brindle to a gorgeous blue, a sleek black, and even a white with black patches that are known as “harlequin.”


What was the Great Dane bred for?

While their name might make you think that these dogs come from Denmark, they’re actually from Germany! Known as the Deutsche Dogge, the puppers were originally bred for hunting wild boar. Since they needed to combat enormous weights, sharp tusks and strong fighters the Great Dane was originally very fierce. They were later incorporated into expensive estates as guardians and adopting a Great Dane into the family as a guard dog is still popular. These pups are thought to have been around for 400 years, maybe even more! Giant dogs, similar in looks to the Great Dane, have appeared on monuments and in artwork from ancient Egypt, Tibet, Greece, and China. There’s a long, rich history behind this wonderful breed!


Fun Facts

Did you know Scooby-Doo is a Great Dane? During the show’s production history he was originally named “Too Much.” When deciding on a breed, showrunners Joe Ruby and Ken Spears were stuck between creating a very brave but tiny pup or a large cowardly one. They chose the second option, renaming the character “Scooby-Doo,” and decided on a Great Dane. This is especially fitting as Great Danes were thought to ward away ghosts and evil spirits during the Middle Ages. Scooby-Doo was drawn with several odd physical characteristics to make him funnier and he even plays the bongos!

Great Danes are also known as the tallest dog in the world! Most of the pups measure at 2.5 to 2.8 feet tall, making them one massive member of the family. There’s a bit of debate about their status as the tallest since the Irish Wolfhound can grow a tiny bit taller depending on the breeder, but the tallest dog on record was a Great Dane named Zeus and for most this has settled the debate.

 As the proud owner of a Great Dane, you already know that these majestic dogs are some of the most loyal and loving companions around. But did you know that Great Danes have a lifespan of around 7 to 10 years? That's shorter than many other breeds, but with proper care and attention, you can help your furry friend live a long and happy life.One of the most important things you can do for your Great Dane is to provide them with regular exercise. These large dogs need at least a few walks per day to stay happy and healthy, and they'll also appreciate a chance to run and play in a safe, enclosed space. Just be sure to keep an eye on them in hot weather, as Great Danes are prone to overheating.Proper nutrition is also key to keeping your Great Dane healthy and happy. Look for a high-quality dog food that is formulated for large breeds, and be sure to provide your pup with plenty of clean, fresh water. Great Danes are prone to obesity, so it's important to monitor their food intake and make sure they're not eating more than they need.In addition to exercise and nutrition, regular grooming is essential for Great Danes. These dogs have a short, shiny coat that requires minimal maintenance, but they do shed a lot, so be prepared to vacuum and sweep regularly. You'll also need to brush your Great Dane's teeth, trim their nails, and clean their ears to keep them healthy.Finally, be sure to keep up with regular vet check-ups and vaccinations. Great Danes are prone to certain health problems, such as hip dysplasia and heart conditions, so it's important to catch any issues early on. With proper care, you can help your Great Dane live a long and healthy life, filled with love and joy.


Environment

Your furry friend is going to need a lot of room to exercise! If you’re an apartment dweller you need to be prepared to take these big pups out for a long walk a few times per day so they can blow off some steam. Make sure you stay with them and make them part of the family! A big yard can be a fun space for the Great Dane, but these are indoor dogs that are excellent with families and other pets.

Another reason to keep these pups indoors is that they don’t have a subcutaneous fat layer or the skin and fur combo that would help them with the weather. They aren’t built for cold temperatures or extreme heat, so they shouldn’t live outdoors!




Health

These pups grow fast and can reach their full height within a year, though most take between 2 and 3 years. This quick growth pattern comes with an unfortunate side effect - the Great Dane only lives 6 and 8 years. Their lives are quite brief, and anyone looking to adopt one needs to be aware of this.

Besides their short life-span, the Great Dane has a few health issues to deal with. Hip dysplasia, which is an occurrence when the ball and socket of a joint don’t fit together properly, this can develop into an issue for some of these dogs. It’s important to have your companion checked regularly. To completely avoid the issue is to check with the breeder to make sure that both parents are free of hip dysplasia.


Loyal, striking, and loving, the Great Dane will make a wonderful addition to any family up to the task of living with such a large companion. They’re sweet, fun, and easy to live with. With the proper knowledge beforehand, living with one of these puppers will be a joy in your life!


Meet The Author 

Grant Withers

Canine Specialist & Writer

Grant is an award-winning writer for SitStay with a passion for pets and especially dogs! Grant loves writing about furry little goofballs and aims to educate pet parents about anything and everything regarding their dogs.



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