The Ultimate Guide: Great Danes
The gigantic Great Dane is a breed of dog that is native to Germany, where it is popularly called the Deutsche Dogge or the German Mastiff. For its huge size, the canine has been dubbed “Apollo of Dogs.” Even the Great Dane puppy seems enormous. Great Danes, though imposing in size, are relatively peaceful and very gentle. An iconic dog that snagged the title of “tallest dog in the world” was a Great Dane, named Zeus. This gentle giant has a regal appearance coupled with agility and well-toned, muscled bodies. The reason is not far-fetched, as their ancestors were bred by Germans of noble birth.
By nature, Great Danes are hunting animals. Not only did they help protect their masters from assassins, but they also helped in hunting wild animals like the deer and boars. Their origin can be traced to the Medieval Era. Danes come in a number of coats including fawn, brindle, black, mantle, harlequin, and blue.
Like the Irish Wolfhound, the average weight of this gentle giant is 100 pounds; however, it is not uncommon to see individuals weighing more than that. Compared to smaller breeds of dog that use up more energy, Great Danes expend less. Contrary to the belief that, the bigger the size, the bigger the meals, these mongrels actually eat fewer calories. It is important to feed this breed of dog with an adequate diet that has been tailored to meet the needs of giant breed canines. In this vein, a giant breed puppy will consume more than calories than an adult breed.
The recommended daily intake for Great Danes by veterinarians equates to 23% protein and 12% fat. The fat should be from healthy sources like chicken and fish oil to maintain weight and keep your dog’s skin very healthy. Some of the finest dog foods available on the market contain more fat and protein, which exceeds these recommended rates. It is imperative to go for brands that are reputable.
It is advisable to feed Danes with small meals spread out during the day than giving them larger meals to prevent bloating.
Grooming A Great Dane
Great Danes need grooming from time to time, usually from once a week to every six weeks, depending on their level of physical activity. Consider yourself lucky if you own one or even more Great Danes as they require less grooming. Bathing your Dane is very important to reduce the rate of shedding, maintain coat, and keep their skin healthy. To remove any form of a loose coat, debris, and dirt, a slicker brush is your best bet. This brush can also accelerate the rate of shedding to prepare your pet for bath time. After bathing, it is beneficial to boost circulation with a grooming mitt, then follow up with a hydrating spray. It is advisable to use hypoallergenic shampoo, remoisturizer baking conditioner, and a mud brush for grooming.
Like other canines, Great Danes need daily walks to keep their health at an optimum level. However, it is advisable not to overwork Great Dane puppies. Why, you may ask? It is because the puppies grow very fast in such a short while. The growth spurts predispose them to bone and joint problems. Dane owners usually regulate the physical activity of their puppies because they are usually pumped with so much energy.
Training Great Danes
There are a plethora of ways to train your Dane. At maturity, Great Danes can reach a height of two feet and above, weighing about 200 pounds. Due to their huge body mass, they should be well trained, especially from a very young age. Failure to train them at an early age might cause difficulties when you try to restrain them for a misdemeanor at an older age. With patience and lots of tact, you will master the art of training your Great Dane. Here are some few helpful tips:
- Catch them young: It is in their genetic makeup to please their owners; hence, puppies of this breed are always easy to train. Start when your Great Dane is young so that you can assist him in learning good behavior. If this is done, your Dane will listen and follow instructions when he is older. The best time to commence treatment is when you canine is about 10 weeks old.
- Never go physical: Hitting or punishing your Great Dane when he behaves badly will only worsen things. The punishment might make them detest you or even develop a deep fear for you, which can lead to anxiety. An anxious and frustrated dog will get very aggressive with time. Aggressive Great Danes could be dangerous.
- Give rewards: Have incentives ready, whenever you embark on a training routine. Always reward your Great Dane with a treat, as they will be willing to be more obedient.
As any breeder will tell you, all large dogs including the Great Dane and the Irish Wolfhound, have numerous health problems, as well as having a slow metabolism rate. This causes lower energy levels and less intake of food. Danes have been dubbed “the heartbreak breed” because of their short lifespan. Danes are usually plagued with health challenges like
- Gastric dilatation volvulus also called bloat
- Hip dysplasia
- Dilated cardiomyopathy
- Wobbler disease
- To ensure that your Dane’s healthcare is top-notch, clean their ears, trim their nails, clean their anal area, and maintain proper dental care. It is not unusual to see pet owners use paw cream on their Danes.
As ESA Dog, Is This Breed A Good Choice?
Yes, Great Danes are perfect for emotional support so it’s little wonder they are usually called “gentle giants.” They have a friendly disposition toward other canines, humans they are familiar with and even non-canine counterparts. Also, these breeds of hounds, are nicknamed “couch potatoes” because of their adaptability. Naturally, Great Danes do NOT show extreme aggressiveness. Instead, they are very affectionate, loving, and their gentility is unrivaled. Their large size does not restrict them from being protective, trustworthy, and loyal pets. Make your Great Dane become an emotional support pet today.
The Bottom Line
Great Dane is an amazing pal and loyal guardian. It has very good instincts for hunting. The gentle breed has a minimal coat, which alleviates the burden of constant grooming. The huge dog will be your best friend for life—little wonder it is often called the biggest lapdog in the world!