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Great Dane

The gentle giant... (other names: Grand Danois, Deutsche Dogge, Dogue Allemand, Alano)

Great Dane
origin:Germany
life expectancy:9-10 years
classification:Mastiff
height:71 to 86 cm
weight:45 to 90 kg
exercise: Mediumtraining: Reasonablefeeding: Demandingsize: Giant
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History [ edit ]

The Great Dane, also known as Deutsche Dogge, Dogue Allemand, Grand Danois and Alano, is an ancient, giant breed of dog known for its affectionate and gentle personality. Contrary to what the name seems to indicate, the Great Dane have not originated in Denmark and although its ancestors are controversial (some Greek coins dating back to 36 B.C. depict a dog very similar to the modern Great Dane) it is generally believed that it has been brought from Asia into Europe by the Alans (some Alan tribes came west during the 4th century). The powerful mastiff-like Alan dogs were crossbred with the Greyhound an the English Mastiff. Other experts say that the Great Dane stemmed from the German Bullenbeisser dogs. Whatever its ancestry may be, the Great Dane, commonly referred to as the Gentle Giant and  the Apollo of Dogs  is the national dog of Germany. Once used to chase wild boar in its native country, the Great Dane became to its many followers a loving companion, the dog of the dogs.
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General Appearance [ edit ]

The Great Dane is one of the most elegant and distinguished of the giant breeds that combines nobility with robustness and power with elegance. The body is large and thin, powerful, well-formed and smoothly muscled, the shoulders sloping smoothly into a short level back. The loin is broad and the underline is tightly muscled with a well-defined tuck-up. The V-shaped chest is broad, deep and well muscled, the forechest being well developed without a pronounced sternum. The ribs are well-sprung. The brisket extends to the elbow, with well sprung. The head is big, long and narrow, carried high on an elegant, muscular, neck with no loose skin. The plane of the skull and the plane of the muzzle must be straight and parallel to one another and the stop is  strongly pronounced. The jaw is square with a deep muzzle and firm, thick lips that hang symmetrically. The nose is black, dark blue-black in the blue dane, and black spotted in the harlequin. The medium-sized eyes are fairly deep set and usually dark in colour, with an intelligent and lively expression. The ears are medium-sized and of moderate thickness, folded forward close to the cheek and can be either cropped (less common in Europe) rather long, pointed, and carried uniformly erect, or left natural. The tail is of medium-length, set high and smoothly into the croup, reaching to the point of the hock. It falls straight when the dog is relaxed and it it may curve slightly (but never above the level of the back) when the animal is excited or running, it may curve slightly, The close-fitting  coat is  short and dense with a smooth glossy appearance and comes in five official colours: black, fawn, blue, Brindle (the base colour is fawn  with strong black cross stripes) and harlequin (the base colour is white with bolack or blue patches).
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Temperament [ edit ]

he Great Dane is a friendly and dependable, courageous, dignified and kind dog, never timid or aggressive, hence the name of Gentle Giant. Great Danes have a steady temperament, do not bark a lot and are brave, loyal and very protective their owners. They are intelligent and reasonably obedient but because of their sheer size they must be properly trained from puppywood especially not to to lean against people, namely children. They love being around people, are playful and patient with children and generally good with other dogs, although some tend to be agressive towards other males.They need to be socialized from an early age. These gentle giants love the comfort of the fireplace, are relatively inactive indoors, and will do well in a not too small apartment providing they are sufficiently exercised. However they do best with at least a large yard. They make good watchdogs and certainly magnificent companions.
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Health [ edit ]

Great Dames are prone to hip and elbow arthritis and bone tumours.

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Dog trivia [ edit ]

The name of the Great Dane is the English translation of one of the breed´s names in French: Grand Danois, meaning "big Danish” although its native country is Germany, not  Denmark.
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