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Description of Great Dane

´╗┐The Breed History

The name "Great Dane" originates in the French language; the meaning is "Big Danish". Proudly termed "King of Dogs", "Gentle Giant" or "Apollo of Dogs" by breed fanciers, this was actually a breed originating in Germany, so it is unclear how it became named "Dane". The Tibetan Mastiff is thought to be a direct ancestor of the Great Dane. Also linked to breed development is the Alaunt from Asian Russia, the English Mastiff and the Irish Wolfhound. Other reports place Greyhound in the mix later in the breed development, a step that may have greatly refined the mastiff type. Distinct Great Dane lineage can be traced back about 400 years. In a meeting that took place about 1880, a resolution was passed to name this breed "Deutsche Dogge" which translates roughly as "German Mastiff," and at that time, it was decreed that the breed name Great Dane should not be applied to this breed, but in spite of this, the name persists today in English-speaking countries. The first breed standard was adopted in 1891.

Breeding for Function

In Germany this breed excelled at wild boar hunting. Because it took great power, courage, and stamina to hunt boar, the focus of breeding programs was to produce a large, courageous, powerful, agile and very fast dog. They were also used as war dogs. Guarding of estates and carriages was also a task the Great Dane excelled at. These days, most dogs are companion dogs.

Physical Characteristics

Height at Withers: female minimum 28" (71 cm), but ideally, 30" (76 cm) or more. Male: minimum is 30" (cm), the ideal is over 32" (81 cm).

Weight: 100-120 lb (45.5-55 kg).

Coat: The very short, thick and glossy coat is accepted in the following colors: Fawn (yellow-gold with black mask), brindle (yellow-gold base with well defined black stripes and usually black masked), blue (steel blue), black, and harlequin (white base with medium-sized irregular patches of black over the haircoat).

Longevity: 7-9 years

Points of Conformation: These dogs possess a large well chiseled head with a flat skull, and the head is rectangular in outline, with a pronounced stop. The nose is ridged but not split. The conformation is well balanced; the build is heavier in males, both in bone and musculature. The gait is a straight, low, elastic long and powerful ground-covering stride. The almond-shaped eyes are usually darkly pigmented, medium-sized and deep-set and the palpebral margins do not evert. Ears are medium sized, high-set and the leather is moderately thick. The folded ears rest close to the cheeks. Ears are sometimes cropped to stay pricked in North America. The nose is large and pigmented black or close to black except in harlequins where a spotted nose is allowed. The neck is long and free of dewlaps, arched, and the topline is short and level. The thorax is very deep and broad, and ribs are well sprung. Abdomen tuck up is pronounced. The tail is set high, is thick at the base, then tapers to reach to the tarsus; is carried level during movement and low when at rest. Limbs are long and straight boned, feet are compact and well knuckled, and dewclaw removal is optional.

Thanks for description - Animal life club

Photo Gallery of Great Dane