Breeds 101

Great Dane


The dignified but affectionate Great Dane is the national dog of Germany.

Its origins can almost certainly be traced to the dog brought to Europe by the Alans, a Scythian tribe from what is now Asian Russia. By the 14th century, Great Danes were prized in Germany as swift and powerful wild boar hunters. As time went on, the breed gained in popularity with wealthy landowners because of its imposing and noble appearance. These fighting mastiffs were probably crossed with greyhounds, producing the elegant, distinctive, and gentle breed that exists today.

The sheer size of the Great Dane can cause medical problems, including a greater-than-average incidence of hip and elbow arthritis, and bone tumors.

Though their size can be limiting, Great Danes continue to impress show people and pet owners alike.

Giant; females 30 inches or more, 100 to 135 pounds; males 32 inches or more, 145 to 185 pounds.

Color: Brindle, fawn, blue, black, mantle, and harlequin (white with black patches).

Spirited, courageous, friendly and dependable temperament.
With proper training and supervision, makes a fine family companion.

Medium energy level.

Confident owner in a suburban or rural home with time for training and exercise are best owners for Great Dane.

Needs: Fenced yard, early socialization, companionship. Soft bedding and elevated food bowls (to help prevent bloat).

Life expectancy: 7 to 10 years.