How would you like to have a dog that’s taller than your kids? Well, you actually can. Meet the Great Dane, ranked as America’s 19th most popular dog breed, this breed of dogs is the tallest in the world. Owners know that Great Dane care is relatively easy, but it always keeps you on your toes. Here’s why:
As tall as 32 inches (nearly 3 feet) at the shoulder, Great Danes tower over most other dogs and can be taller than their owner when they’re standing on their hind legs! Oddly enough, though, they’re not the biggest breed. That title is held by English Mastiffs, as they can weigh an astounding 250 pounds.
Despite their size, Great Danes are one of the most gentle dog breeds. They’re large goofballs who think they’re small lap dogs, so make sure your couch is big enough for the two of you!
When it comes to looks, their coats come in different colors and patterns, though they’re best-known for the black-and-white patchwork pattern known as “harlequin.”
Here’s a quick look at the World’s Tallest Dog:
- Weight: 140-175 pounds (male), 110-140 pounds (female)
- Life Expectancy: 7-10 years
- Group: Working Group
Learn Their Personality
The Great Dane was originally bred to hunt wild boar, but they probably wouldn’t be very good at it today. Their hunters’ instinct and ferocity was bred out of the breed. They’re now gentle souls who love dogs, animals, and humans. They just don’t know their own size!
Many believe that they’re one of the best-natured dogs around. We’d have to agree! Great Danes are affectionate, eager to please, and love to play. They may nog know their own strength, but they do know how to be careful with things that are smaller than they are. If you’ve ever seen a Great Dane play with kittens, then you know what we mean!
For all of their size, Great Danes are sweet, affectionate pets. They love to play and are gentle with children. They also love strangers – the more pets they get, the better!
When it comes to interacting with humans, Great Danes demand attention. They tend to nudge people with their heads when they want to be pet. Or they’ll simply hop on the couch and become your new blanket.
Training MUSTS for Great Danes
We can’t say it enough: Great Danes have no idea how big they really are. They think they’re teddy bears and love bugs. This means they’re often oblivious to why some people are nervous around them.
You should train them to walk calmly up to new people, or to only come to strangers when called. Absolutely no running and jumping for this breed when they’re meeting someone new — they can easily knock someone over!
Thankfully, Great Danes are highly intelligent and are usually pretty easy to train. They love pets and treats, so motivating them to act correctly is a walk in the park.
Great Dane Care
Great Danes need a good diet to keep them healthy. They have a lot of muscles and big bones that need to support them for life. Feed your Great Dane high-quality dog food that’s appropriate to their age and avoid giving them table scraps. They’re big, but that doesn’t mean they need more fats and sugars than necessary.
The Great Dane’s short, smooth coat doesn’t shed much, though they do have a fair amount of hair. Brush them weekly to keep their coat smooth and your dog happy.
They are affected by “shedding season” though! Their winter coat will fall off, so when that happens, switch to daily brushing to keep up with all of the fur.
Other than that, bathe and trim their nails regularly to keep them happy.
They love to nap and they love to play, but keep both in moderation. Being the World’s Tallest Dog comes with downsides after all — they have a lot of weight to support all of the time. It’s hard on their joints!
Great Dane puppies should not do any hard jogs, runs, or hikes until they’re at least 2 years old. Why? Well, they’re extremely susceptible to joint problems when they’re growing into their full adult-sized body.
Danes tend to follow their nose wherever a scent takes them, so they should always be kept on a leash and only allowed loose in areas secured with a tall fence. Many Great Danes enjoy participating in agility, obedience, tracking events, weight pulls, and sports such as flyball.
Common Health Issues for Great Danes
Great Danes have a few common health problems you should know about before you get one. Bloat, or gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), is the number-one killer of Danes. You should educate yourself to recognize the signs of bloat and what to do if it’s happening.
Other health issues that can affect the breed include eye and cardiac diseases, hypothyroidism, torn CCLs, and autoimmune thyroiditis, and hip dysplasia. A responsible breeder will screen breeding stock for conditions that can affect the breed.
And that’s it! Enjoy your Great Dane and give them extra pets from us here at Doggy Brace.