Oh, baby! A Great Dane is truly a great dog breed — large and noble, commonly referred to as a gentle giant or as the “Apollo of dogs.” Apollo is the Greek god of the sun, the brightest fixture in the sky. The Great Dane certainly holds stature in the dog world; but though he looks terribly imposing, in reality he’s one of the best-natured dogs around. For all of his size, a Great Dane is a sweet, affectionate pet. He loves to play and is gentle with children.
Dog Breed Group:Working Dogs
Height:2 feet, 4 inches to 2 feet, 10 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight:100 to 200 pounds
Life Span:7 to 10 years
- The Great Dane is sweet, eager to please, people-oriented, easy to housetrain, and he responds well to training using positive reinforcement.
- Like many giant dogs, Great Danes are short-lived.
- Great Danes require a lot of space. Even though they make great housedogs, they need a lot of room just to move around. There’s little that they can’t reach (kitchen counters and dinner tables are no problem), and their tails can easily sweep your coffee table clean.
- Everything costs more when you have a big dog — collars, veterinary care, heartworm preventive, food. In addition, you’ll need both a crate and a vehicle that are large enough to hold your Great Dane without crumpling him into a pretzel. And let’s face it, you’ll scoop up a lot of poop.
- It takes a while for the bones and joints of large dogs such as Great Danes to stop growing and become stable. Don’t allow your Great Dane puppy to jump, and don’t take him jogging until he’s at least 18 months old; this will reduce stress on the growing bones and joints.
- The Dane’s special giant-breed dietary requirements have to be followed, or else orthopedic issues can develop.
- Great Danes aren’t particularly suited to apartments or small houses, simply because they’re so big. They’re not jumpers, fortunately, so a six-foot fence will contain them.
- To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they’re free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.