Great Danes: Gentle Giants

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One of the largest dog breeds in the world, the Great Dane is truly an elegant and majestic dog. Despite their imposing size, Great Danes are very friendly and happy-go-lucky dogs, virtual gentle giants. The Irish Wolfhound is the only dog breed that is taller than the Great Dane.History: Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs depict pictures of dogs similar to the Great Dane. This may indicate historical evidence that dogs similar to Great Danes were in existence in 3000 B.C. The earliest written historical reference to Great Danes is from 1121 B.C. when English Mastiffs were bred to Irish Wolfhounds to produce what we know as the Great Dane today.The Great Dane was developed by the Germans to hunt wild boar. Wild boar are ferocious animals and the dogs where known as Boar Hounds. In the 1800’s, the breed became very popular as hunting dogs and then aristocrats began to keep the dogs as a status symbol. By the late 1800’s, Great Danes were participating in dog shows as well as being used as hunting dogs.

With the subsequent high demand for these dogs, the bred was standardized and refined. In 1887, the American Kennel Club registered the Great Dane and classified the breed as a working dog. Great Danes began to be used as guard dogs or family pets and continue to remain popular despite their ungainly size.

Breed Temperament: Great Danes are very gentle amicable dogs with good protective tendencies. This makes them good guardian dogs for households with children.
The Great Dane is an moderately active dog that requires moderate levels of energy that need to be dispersed with sufficient exercise such as a daily walk.
It is imperative to obedience train your Great Dane to make them a wonderful family companion. You don’t need an aggressive Great Dane to scare off potential intruders, as their size will make most burglars think twice before breaking and entering!
Despite their extra large size, Great Danes make gentle companions and are great with kids but the dog will have to be trained not to jump on people. When a dog this size jumps on a person he can literally bowl that person over!

Grooming: Being a short haired breed, grooming requirements are basic. A good daily brushing will ensure the coat remains healthy and shiny as well as conditioning the dog’s skin.

To add shine to a Great Dane’s coat all you need to do is give the dog a rub with a soft cloth.

Great Danes don’t shed heavily and their nails should be regularly trimmed. Due to their enormous size, dry shampooing is recommended at home and when the dog needs a wet bath, they should be taken to a professional groomer who may be better equipped to deal with the dog’s size.

As with all dogs, attention should be given to the dog’s teeth and gums, regular brushing should be practiced as well as offering the dog crunchy dry food and porkhide chew bones.
Article by: Victoria
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