Breed Spotlight: The Great Dane
Updated: Jun 28
The Great Dane is an easygoing breed, most notably referred to as the "Apollo of Dogs," they are a joy to be around. Though their size may intimidate most dog owners due their imposing weight and strength, the commitment is takes to care for these giant breeds takes is not as hard as many think.
The Great Dane, stands at a length of 32 inches at the shoulder, towering over most other dogs. Even standing on their hing legs, they tend to be taller than most people! But these powerful breeds are by far the very picture of elegance and grace with the careful stride of a born nobleman. Their coats come in different shades and colors, some come in patterns as well. The most well-known Great Dane, may be the black-and white patchwork pattern known as the "Harlequin" seen commonly amongst this breed along with the iconic cookie brown shade, reminiscent of Scooby-Doo. Despite their gentle nature, Danes tend to make great home guardians for protecting the home, they're patient with kids, and are ginormous people pleasers, making friends easier.
During the year, the Great Dane's short coat doesn't shed much, but don't think you won't be dealing with a bit of shedding, given their size, they can still discard a fair amount of hair. Weekly brushing with a medium-bristle brush,a rubber grooming mitt, or a hound glove are good items to keep when removing shedding. During shedding season, at least once or twice a year, hair loss will be more profuse, with daily brushing. Great Danes require a bath only occasionally unless they're around messy things a lot. As with most if not all breeds, the Dane's nails should be trimmed and regularly. As their nails can cause the dog pain as well as walking and running problems.
The Great Dane should be fed high-quality dog food that's appropriate for the dog's age. If you're going to feed them table scarps, do so sparingly, and avoid cooked bones and foods with high fat content. Learn about what human foods are safe for them to eat, and take the time to avoid those that aren't. Owners of this breed must also be aware of bloating, the number one killer for Danes, where the stomach distends and twists. The causes are not well researched, but vets and experts agree that multiple small meals per day and no exercise on a daily basis around mealtimes can help to reduce the chances of dealing with this.
While these dogs may seem languid, they still require daily exercise appropriate for their age. Taking them on walks two or even three times a day can be enough. If you're a jogger or enjoy a good outside hike, these dogs makes for good exercise partners. But it's best to wait until the dog is at least 2 years old to avoid damaging their joints. Because of the risk of bloating, try to avoid rigorous exercise around mealtimes. Danes tend to follow their noses, so they should always be kept on a leash and only allowed loose when in areas secured with tall fences. They love to play in agility, obedience, tracking events, weight pulls, and sports such as flyball.