Great Danes

The world record for the tallest dog is currently held by Gibson, a Great Dane standing 42.2-inches high. This, of course, is not a typical height for Great Danes; however, Great Danes are known for their incredible size. Remember the loveable giant cartoon dog Marmaduke? He was a Great Dane. Although he was often acting clumsy and knocking people off their feet with his overly enthusiastic bounding, most Great Danes are agile, dignified and very gentle.

Great Danes are also known as German Mastiffs. They are usually very well-behaved around people and other dogs. As with any breed, there are exceptions to this generalization; some Great Dane dogs can become territorial and aggressive. It is important to notice this behavior if it appears in your dog and nip it in the bud with stern discipline.

The breed of Great Dane is very old in comparison to other large breeds. Some believe that the Egyptians owned dogs of this breed (or resembling them) as early as 3000 B.C.E. Over 400 years ago, Great Danes were bred to hunt wild boar in Germany.

Male Great Danes typically have larger, thicker bodies than their female counterparts. AKC-accepted coat colors include: fawn, brindle, blue, black, harlequin and mantle. A Great Danes portions from height to length should form a near-perfect square. Sometimes owners crop the dogs’ ears to make them stand erect, a look prized in show dogs. In the past, the ears were cropped to prevent injury to the ear while boar hunting. These days it is entirely unnecessary to crop a Great Danes ears.

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