Great Dane Breed Magazine - Showsight


By Dale Suzanne Tarbox

History I t’s hard to know exactly when the Great Dane came into being. Pre-biblical wall carv- ings, coins and tablets from Egypt and Greece show a large, unmistakable forerun- ner of the modern Great Dane. In many books, dating back to 1387, there are engravings of dogs at hunt, referred to as Aleuts, large dogs with square muzzles, cropped ears with body and size. During the late 18th and 19th century, the Ger- mans further developed the Great Dane. Th e German Boarhound, or Deutsche Doggen, was owned by estate owners, royalty and noblemen and used as hunt- ers of boar and bear and as guard dogs. Th eir fierceness was treasured. In the late 1800s, German dogs were imported into the United States. Th e American breed- ers started to breed to eliminate the coarseness and tough temperament of the German Danes. Breeding for a little more leg and a longer, narrower head; they contoured the Great Dane we have today. Th ey were no longer needed to hunt or guard and were developed into a noble companion dog with stable tem- peraments balanced with great size and dignity, the “Apollo of dogs”. Living with a Great Dane No breed is perfect for everyone. As great as they are, Great Danes have their problems; as do all breeds. Because of their great size and fast growth, (approx- imately 100 times their birth weight in “...developed into a noble companion dog with stable temperaments balanced with great size and dignity, the ‘Apollo of dogs’.”

their first year) they have a short life span, on average 7 to 8 years. Th ere are lines that have been more fortunate and good breeders try hard for more lon- gevity. Because of their deep chest and pendulous stomachs they are subject to a condition called bloat or torsion which can kill them if not treated quickly. Th ey are subject to spondylosis, an arthritic condition of the spine which eventually renders them unable to get up or down. Th ere are some bone growth problems that can occur, many of these can be the e ff ect of poor nutrition. A proper diet is essential. Needless to say, with the negatives that have just been written, there are still many of us who choose to live our lives with a Great Dane. Th ey are people dogs, living to be loved by us and to love us. Th ey are intuitive to their owners moods and are always there to comfort us when we need it. Even the most docile of Danes will instinctively know when someone is threatening their owners and they are quick to react. Th ey are devoted compan- ions. Th ey love to be part of the family, doing what we do. Hiking, swimming, even boating, anywhere their owner goes or anything we do; they want to be part of it. Temperament is of the utmost importance due to their size and potential power. Our standard says always friendly and dependable and that is exactly what we want them to be. An aggressive Dane should never be tolerated; while a timid one is equally unacceptable. Early social- ization is a must. Gentle discipline and

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