Breed: Great Dane
Country of Origin: Germany
Color: Brindle, Fawn, Black, Blue, Mantle, Harlequin
Life Expectancy: 7-10 years
Height: Female: 71-81 cm, Male: 76-86 cm
Weight: Female: 45-59 kg, Male: 54-90 kg
Litter Size: 5-11 puppies
In Germany, the Great Dane has been the country's national dog since 1876. The breed came to Britain the following year.
The Great Dane is a giant dog that combines nobility with robustness and power with elegance. It has a long narrow head with an accentuated frontal stop and a rather large nasal canal.
Its neck is long and muscular and its front legs are perfectly straight. It has muscular thighs and round feet with short, dark nails.
The Great Dane's tail is medium-length, reaching to the point of the hock. Its eyes are round and usually dark - with a lively intelligent expression.
Its ears are either cropped rather long, pointed, and carried erect, or left natural. Its well developed white teeth must close in a scissors bite.
All Danes have short, thick, shiny, close-fitting hair. The color of the coat indicates the variety, fawn, brindle, black, blue, mantle harlequin and sometimes merle.
Although not a recognized color, chocolate does occur in a recessive gene. Merle is a common result of harlequin breeding, but it is not a recognized color. Black coats and dark eyes, while blue Danes may have lighter eyes.
Temperament: Devoted, Reserved, Friendly, Loving, Gentle, Confident
Health Problems: Great Danes, like most giant dogs, have a fairly slow metabolism. This results in less energy and less food consumption per pound of dog than in small breeds. They have some health problems that are common to large breeds, including bloat (gastric dilatation volvulus). To avoid bloat, a rest period of 40 minutes to one hour after meals is recommended before exercise. Their average lifespan is 6 to 8 years; however, some Great Danes have been known to reach 10 years of age or more. Like many larger breeds, Great Danes are at particular risk for hip dysplasia.
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