Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Long time, no see + Great Dane article

I don't extensively remember writing this, but apparently I did. I haven't posted anything in forever, and I don't plan on it anytime soon, but here you are.


The Great Dane - also known as the German Mastiff and Deutsche Dogge. However, despite common assumption, the breed did not originate from Denmark, nor do they have anything to do with the country. In the early seventeen-hundreds, Compte de Buffon experienced these magnificent creatures while on a trip going through Denmark, and came up with a name for it; "le Grande Denois", meaning Great Dane. Therefor, this breed has no link with Denmark aside from it's name.

The first record of Dane likes canines was in 36 B.C., when they appeared on Greek currency. Later on in 1121 B.C., a breed that resembled the Great Dane was written about in ancient Chinese Literature. In around 3000 B.C., again coinciding dogs appear in drawings carved in Egyptian monuments. A thought possibility is that the breed was taken from Rome and brought over to Europe. But no matter when it first came to be, or where it is derived - it is known that they were used as Estate Guard dogs and Boar Hounds during the 16th century. In fact, the Great Dane has taken on the opposite personality over the years. Up to the 18th century they were used as such, and were bred as aggressive, tactical, swift and strong canines, which was of much use for hunting boar. During the 18th and 19th century, however, the Germans took care in breeding these dogs to expand them into being less aggressive, but more friendly and laidback. With all luck, patience has paid off and today we have the perfect, loving companions.

Further than this more are many other speculations on how this breed came to be.

When someone calls these dogs Gentle Giants, you'd best take their word for it. Great Danes are generally laid-back and inactive indoors, just wanting to stay by your side. They are calm, gentle creatures that offer a big galoot for cuddling with, playing with, and for love ...companionship. Great Danes are incredibly loyal canines and will stick with you until the end. Their sweet disposition hasn't aggression, but they will be there to protect you at all costs. While friendly, they are commonly aloof of visitors and will pay a close eye on them. They are often portrayed as elegant, graceful dogs but this is often not the case. Almost all are goofballs, whether exclusively clumsy or not. They are playful outdoors and need a fair amount of room, also needing plenty of exercise, including one long walk a day {or divided}, unless given plenty of room and time to play and run around. As long as they are given this proper exercise daily, the breed does surprisingly well in small homes and apartments.

Danes are playful, patient and tolerant with and of children, but it's a good idea to supervise, merely due to their large size. Even with their gentle nature, proper training is needed and should be a high priority. They tend to lean on people, and need to be taught not to jump, because these canines are incredibly large and this behaviour would not be acceptable when grown up - which leaves it important to never tolerate it, even as a puppy. They are relatively easy to train when using positive methods, but you will have to be consistent. Whoever a dog lives with is their pack. So when you have a family, it instantly becomes their family - their pack. All members of the family must be higher in rank than the dog. Otherwise they will often develop dominance and aggression towards the ones he sees as lower in the chain as him, sometimes even to anyone. You will need to be a firm and confident pack leader in order for success, and learn how to properly and positively correct him. The life span of this dog is low, at an average of seven to ten years, however many have known to live longer. Great Danes are highly prone to Gastric Torsion, often referred to as bloat {links below on what it is, prevention, et cetera} - in fact, they are the most prone breed to it - and can easily get tail injuries due to the thinness and length of it. Other major considerations are tumors, heart disease and hip dysplasia.


Exercise needs: 73 {a reasonably long walk a day}
Child compatibility: 95
Intelligence: 67
Obedience: 70
Train-ability: 50 - 70 {depending on what being taught and how}
Guard dog: 85 {only when needed}
Watch dog: 62
Aggression: 21
Sociability: 85
Grooming: 24
Shedding: 48
Size: Female - 115 - 160 | Male - 150 - 200 {weight varies vastly with the breed and sometimes exceeds these amounts}

Bloat links: