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Dog Breeds - Alaskan Malamute









Great Dane

Dog Breed - Great Dane


The Great Dane was officially named in 1880 where prior to that it was referred to by numerous names including Boarhound and Deutsche Dogge and is the national dog of Germany.  Despite their friendly nature nowadays, they had a bloody history as bull baiters and hunters in centuries past. Bred in Germany they were used to hunt wild boar and bears, as farm guards and draft dogs and had more mastiff type features than the present day Great Dane.



This trusted and loyal companion makes a great housedog and has an excellent disposition.  They are friendly, affectionate, happy and outgoing and just adore spending time with their human companions.  Being territorial, most will bark at strangers on their property until once introduced.  These dogs cannot be just left in a backyard and ignored; they thrive on human interaction and love to be part of the family.


Photo of Kaya, Great Dane, courtesy of Charlotte Reeves Photography. Read our  interview with Charlotte



Height:  71-86cm  (28-34in)     

Weight:  45-90kg  (100-200lb)

The Great Dane is one of the largest dog breeds in the world and displays itself with dignity, strength and elegance.  It has a sleek, smooth coat in five colours, fawn, blue, black, brindle and harlequin, with harlequins varying in tones such as merle (grey-marle dappled with black), and Boston, mostly black with white socks and chest blaze.


As Great Danes have a short, thick, glossy coat it will only require weekly grooming and bathing, which could take some time, is as required but it is recommended to keep their nails trimmed and given a bone quite regularly to assist in keeping their teeth clean.


Life Expectancy

8-10 Years


Health Concerns

They need a well balanced diet to maintain their bone strength because of their giant size as these dogs can display health problems such as hip and elbow dysplasia, both inheritable defects causing degeneration of the hip or elbow, heart problems and also being a deep-chested breed they are vulnerable to bloat, so it will be important not to exercise your dog immediately after eating or drinking.



As Great Danes shed very little hair and are very well behaved indoor dogs (provided you have enough room) they will usually be quite content to stretch out on the floor or lounge, just lying at your feet.  But beware they do incline to drool on furniture, clothes and their owners.  Just their sheer size makes them reliable guard dogs and it is certain that few thieves would risk jumping into the yard with a strange Dane! If access to acreage is not possible Adult Danes which are kept in suburban backyards will need daily walks of at least 30 minutes.   It  will be necessary to ensure this dog receives adequate training starting from a very young age, as it is important to have control of such a huge dog at all times in all situations, especially when it comes to jumping up at people.

Photo of Luna and Kaya, courtesy of Charlotte Reeves Photography


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Working Dogs: This group  includes more breeds than any other. These dogs were bred to do a variety of work from guarding, herding, pulling sleds and rescue for example. A few in this group include Border Collie, Boxer and Bullmastiff to mention a few.



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