In popular culture, anyone would see several references of Great Dane dogs: from Hanna-Barbera’s Scooby-Doo and Astro of the Jetsons to Einstein in Disney’s Oliver & Company and Duke and Turk of the Swiss Family Robinson. That’s not all, there’s still Ace from Batman Beyond, G.B. Stern’s The Ugly Dachshund novel, Mars and Jupiter from the patriot, the 2003 movie Good Boy…and so on.
Great Dane dogs have enjoyed a history of celebrated success more than most dog breed because they have characteristics uniquely their own: long, slender and lanky bodies with a regal bearing coupled with a gentle temperament common to the mastiff breed, of whom it might be closely related.
Appearance of Great Dane Dogs
The general minimum height of Great Dane dogs is 28 – 32 inches at the withers, and weighs a general minimum of 100 – 120 lbs. Comparatively an English Mastiff can grow 27 – 32 inches and weighs 175 – 200 lbs, making a Great Dane impression as tall and lanky. One of its prominent features aside from a well muscled slender body is long slender legs and a broad skull with a generally square appearance, especially along the snout. Coats of fawn are the most common along with a black mask. Other common coat color is brindle, blue and black, some lesser occurring coat colors is the harlequin (pure white but with black patches distributed over the entire body) and mantle.
Temperament of Great Dane Dogs
Though a large, well muscled dog, Great Dane dogs are famed for being very tolerant, such is why they have earned the sobriquet “Gentle giants”. This also makes them poor guard dogs, being predisposed to human affection even to strangers. But because of such temperament, plus mild activity, they make perfect pets for aging individuals as well as younger children.
Great Dane dogs have strong dominance issues regarding other dogs and smaller animals, which is why it is imperative that Great Dane dogs receive obedience training as well as aggression training while still young.
Health Issues of Great Dane Dogs
Common to large dogs such as Mastiffs and Mossolers, Great Dane dogs have slow metabolism. That is also why Great Dane dogs are more placid than other energetic dogs like huskies and malamutes. And much like most dogs that are somewhat inactive, they are prone to bloating, hip dysplasia, and a string of congenital heart diseases. And like Dalmatian dogs, Great Dane dogs have a genetic disposition to become deaf as they age.