Know Your Breed: Great Dane

Hi down there. I’m the Great Dane. When they say “Great” it sounds like I’m better than your average Dane. A big and adventurous canine conqueror. Dane, the great big king of the dogs. But really, I’m just a very loving and lazy Dane. Which makes me great, if you think about it. Here are some great facts about me.

Size: Large
Weight: Males: 45-59kg
Females: 45-59kg
Height: Males: 81cm
Females: 76cm
Appearance: Slightly droopy-faced, slender, muscular, floppy eared with a short-haired coat. Colours include brindle, black, fawn, blue, mantle and harlequin.

Alexander the Great….Dane?
I was bred in Germany to hunt boars but my handsome mug can be recognised on Ancient Egyptian monuments dating as far back as 3000 B.C. In fact, I was also the face on Ancient Greek money which coined my nickname “The Apollo of dogs”.

Zeus the tallest of them all
Speaking of Greek gods, the record for the tallest dog in the world is held by a Great Dane called Zeus. Zeus measured in at a spectacular 1.12 metres from paw to shoulder. Despite his foreboding appearance, Zeus was a true gentle giant who spent his time serving as a therapy dog at schools and hospitals.

Giant dog, giant heart.
I am very patient with children and other animals, so you don’t need to worry about adding me to the family. I often forget how big I am when I want to be lazy and cuddle with my owners, but I will still make an excellent and reliable watchdog.

You can call me Able Seaman, ruler of the seas!
Just Nuisance, a Great Dane, was the first dog to be enlisted in the Royal Navy in 1939. His duties included escorting sailors on their train travels or home after a visit to the pub. Rumour has it, he was quite the rowdy rascal who refused to travel with his pass (collar) and resisted his eviction from pubs at closing time. Despite his misdeeds, he was a cherished morale booster who was immortalised as a bronze statue in Jubilee Square, Simon’s Town in 1985.

A little lazy but I need space!
Although I am generally inactive indoors, I still need a 30-60 min daily walk to maintain good health. Too much exercise in the first 18 months of my life can lead to joint and bone problems, so you can go easy on me. Other problems include bloating, heart disease and hip dysplasia so be sure to check in with your local vet.

A short, but significant life…
Unfortunately I have a short lifespan of 6-8 years. Veterinarians speculate that this is because my big body puts a lot of pressure on my heart and organs. Whatever I lack in years I make up for in love and reward! Courageous, gentle and big on affection…that’s me, the greatest of all Danes!



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