The size of a Great Dane ranges from 30-34 inches (76-86 cm.) high. A typical Great Dane weighs 120-200 pounds (54-90 kg.). There are some even larger than the average.
Their body is square, with the females slightly longer than the male. They have rectangular heads and a deep muzzle. The nose is usually black, but some are black with spotted harlequins.
The Great Dane has a short coat. The colors range from merle, mantle harlequin, black to fawn. Some have a chocolate color.
Life Span and Health Issues
Most have a life span of 10 years, but some are known to live for 13 years. Some of the health problems that may arise include tail injuries, heart ailments, tumors, bloat and dysplasia. Walking is essential. Jogging should not be started until it is at least one year old.
The size of a Great Dane means it needs plenty of exercise. Daily walks are recommended. A good sized yard is required so the dog remains in shape.
A bristle brush can be used to comb its coat. Dry shampoo should be used only if necessary. Daily grooming is advisable because bathing can be difficult. Trimming the nails is also recommended.
The dog is affectionate and can play with children. They are not very noisy but will bark. Training should be done when it is only a puppy. Properly trained, it will not cause problems.
The Great Dane is one of the oldest breeds in the world. Greek coins dating back 36 B.C. depict the animal. Some Egyptian drawings dating from 3,000 B.C. depict dogs that resemble the Great Dane.
Chinese writings from the 1121 B.C. speak of the Great Danes. They were also described by early European historians. According to their accounts, the animal could take down wild animals.
Its exact origin is unclear, but researchers believe it is a combination of the old English Mastiff and the Wolfhound. The Greyhound was probably included to produce the Great Dane.
During its early history, the animal was used for hunting. Later on it became a guard dog. Despite the name, the animals have no connection with Denmark. The animal was officially recognized in 1887.
The size of a Great Dane makes it an excellent guard dog. Its playful nature also makes it ideal as a pet. Problems of over aggression can be avoided if the animal is trained early on.