|Group:||Non Sporting (Group 7)|
|Club:||Great Dane Club Of Victoria Inc|
|Contact:||Ms Hannah MacGregor|
|Phone:||0434 929 590|
Background The origin of the Great Dane has always been a controversial subject. Most of the credit is given to Germany, as they were basically responsible for the Great Dane as we know it today. History proves that Dane-type dogs existed in Russia, Poland and middle Germany. In the middle ages large packs of wild boar roamed the European forests. It is well known that the royalty (Lords, etc) formed large packs of these large dogs similar to Great Danes and they became known as Boar Hounds, due to their capability of pulling the boar to ground. Over the generations the Great Dane’s nature has changed to the present day type that is known as the "gentle giant".
Average Lifespan When considering a dog please realise you are taking it on for its lifetime. The average lifespan for the Great Dane is 9 to 10 years of age.
Breed Personality/Characteristics/Temperament The Great Dane is a very muscular animal, strongly though elegantly built, with a look of dash and daring, of being ready to go anywhere and do anything. Elegance of outline and grace of form is most essential. It carries its head and neck high with an alert expression and it has a powerful majestic action when moving. Known as the "gentle giant" it is kindly without nervousness, friendly and outgoing.
Compatibility with other pets Excellent. At all times it must be remembered that it is the owner/handler’s responsibility to keep their dog under control.
Care Requirements The coat of the Great Dane is short, close and sleek looking. Daily grooming of five to ten minutes will be ample to keep the coat under control. It has a single coat; therefore as the dead coat is falling out, the new coat is coming in.
There are five colours:- Fawn - This colour varies from the lightest buff to the deepest orange, dark shadings on head and ears acceptable. Brindle - Must be striped which are always black, the ground colour from the lightest buff to the deepest orange. Black - Black is black. Blue - Colour varies from light grey to deep slate, the nose and eyes may be blue. In the above colours white is only permissible on chest and feet, but is not desirable even there. Harlequin - Pure white underground with preferably all black patches or all blue patches having the appearance of being "torn". The nose is always black except in Blues and Harlequins. Eyes and nails are preferably dark.
Ideal Owner/s It is a misconception that the Great Dane requires estate-sized living quarters or a huge exercise area. It is quite happy living in a flat or unit BUT they must be given exercise by walks or free running, if possible. The Great Dane will normally adjust happily to whatever quarters are provided but it must always be remembered they need love and human companionship that will be returned a thousandfold. Due to the exceptionally quick growth of a Great Dane puppy, it should not be given too much formal exercise before 12 months of age. Make sure your property is well fenced. When away from your well fenced property your Dane should always be kept on a lead. The Great Dane, due to its size, can jump fences quite easily but this is contrary to their nature. One of the first things a new owner should do is to visit a vet with their Great Dane where the animal will be examined and correct vaccinations completed.
The Great Dane is a man’s dog - they are big, powerful and courageous. The Great Dane is a woman’s dog - they are gentle, affectionate and protective. The Great Dane is a wonderful dog for children - with their innate patience and understanding. As with all dogs, young children and pets should always be supervised when together.
In Conclusion Now you know a little about the Great Dane and have decided this is the dog for you or you want more information, make contact with the breed club or your State controlling body for purebred dogs. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog shows where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs.