Great Danes are considered majestic, elegant and regal, known as “gentle giants”. A very large breed of dog, these dogs stand 30 to 34 inches (76 to 86 cm) at the shoulder for males and 28 to 32 inches tall (71 to 81 cm) for females. They weigh 100 to 200 pounds (45 to 90 kg). The world’s biggest dog, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, is Giant George, a Great Dane dog that weighs about 245 pounds (111 kg) and stands 43 inches (109 cm) tall! George also holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the World’s Tallest Living Dog and the World’s Tallest Dog Ever Recorded. George was born in 2005 and even has a book written about him. The famous Great Dane has been featured on The Today Show and the Oprah Winfrey Show.
Great Danes are known for their friendly, gentle and loving dispositions, and therefore, make excellent family pets. They are affectionate and loyal. However, due to their large size, they should be supervised around small children. This breed greatly enjoys people, including children, but its large size can be frightening for many. These giant dogs can also be intimidating to adults, which makes them great assets as watchdogs, even though their temperament is more meek than menacing.
Great Danes came from Irish Wolfhound and English Mastiff lineages mingled with Greyhound. The Great Dane breed was developed by the Germans to hunt wild boar and to guard large estates. However, there are drawings of dogs that resemble Great Danes on Egyptian monuments that are dated back to 3,000 BC.
The short coat of the Great Dane can be a number of colors, including brindle, fawn, blue, black, harlequin (pure white with black patches throughout the body), or mantle (black or white with a black blanket or saddle extending over the body). The coat possesses a smooth, glossy appearance and needs minimal grooming – a simple brush. However, this energetic large dog needs regular exercise. Although it can live in an apartment if it receives a very long walk, this breed does best in a home with a decent-sized, enclosed yard.
A powerful, well-muscled body gives this dog its dignified, strong appearance. Its gait indicates long, easy strides, making it a lovely sight in the show ring. Unfortunately, this is not a long-lived breed, often not making 10 years of age.
Great Dane dogs can live in apartments as long as they receive adequate exercise. They are not prone to be barkers and they have a friendly temperament, and therefore can make friends with one’s neighbors! However, their giant size will be intimidating to intruders, helping them fulfill their original role as guard dogs. Great Danes are loving and loyal towards their owners. These very large dogs have great big hearts, and they eagerly shower towering loads of affection upon their people!