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Great Dane – Discover its history, characteristics, appearance and health of this breed

Gran Danés – Descubre su historia, características, aspecto y salud de esta raza

Lobo Azul |

The Great Dane or German Bulldog, which is the other name by which this breed is known and the one most commonly used, is a dog of enormous size, one of the largest in the world and the type that attracts attention there. where it goes

Although its appearance is imposing, the truth is that it is a kind and noble animal, ideal as a companion as long as we have plenty of space and do not mind spending money on its maintenance.

  • Size : 76 cm for females and up to 81 cm for males.
  • Weight : the range is from 45 to 59 kilos, but males reaching 80 are not uncommon.
  • Hair type : short, very easy to care for.
  • Character : Affable, with little tendency to bark and very dependent on its owner. Health: we can classify it as average. Very conditioned by its enormous size.
  • Life expectancy : 6 to 8 years, although specimens that do not reach six are not uncommon.

History of the Great Dane

As with most breeds, there are those who say that in Egypt you can see paintings showing dogs similar to the Great Dane, although the truth is that they had little to do with this breed, apart from being thin and large.

The most credible story tells us that its origin dates back around four centuries in an area that covers both Germany and Denmark and hence the name by which it has been known for years , and by which it is still called especially in the Anglo-Saxon countries.

Apparently, its characteristic appearance comes from the cross between mastiffs and sighthounds, with the idea of ​​being able to have a powerful and fast dog, something that is still done today in the rehalas, where mastiffs and hounds are mixed.

The first news we have of a dog that does resemble the current German Bulldog dates back to the 18th century, where the nobility used them to guard their estates and even their carriages when they moved, which was a sign of prestige.

History of the Great Dane

Already in the 19th century we can see the first representations of the Great Dane similar to the current one, and in fact there were famous people such as the chancellor of the German Empire, Otto von Bismark , who had dogs of this breed for about six decades .

Becoming an animal related to nobility is what saved it from disappearing, as happened with other breeds, when firearms became widespread and dogs became less and less necessary in the guarding and defense of property.

Coupled with this is the fact that there has been no “refoundation of the breed” as it was not necessary, something that has happened in other breeds that have survived to this day after searching for the last specimens and making crosses.

As for the name German Bulldog, it seems that it comes from an exhibition that was held in 1876 and in which the judges proposed it, something that has been generating controversy ever since, since in many places it is still known as the Great Dane.

In any case, the truth is that Germany's union with this breed is very close, since this was where the first club of the breed was born in 1888.

Characteristics of the Great Dane

It is a perfect companion dog, a calm animal and very affectionate with its master , so much so that it is not a dog that can be alone for a long time, since it will always seek the company of its owner.

They tend to be a little stubborn and due to their size it is advisable to educate them very well from a very young age, which will help us in management.

With strangers he is reserved, but never aggressive and the same goes for other dogs, since we could say that he is aware of his size and does not need to bark or show his teeth to command respect.

There is no problem in living with children or other pets, because it tolerates games very well, having its ears pulled, etc., although here you have to be careful with the size, especially when they are puppies and do not measure their sizes well. forces.

We can use it in guarding, although it is not a dog that has instincts for it. Here its great asset is its size, so much so that it is not unusual for people to cross the sidewalk when they see us “just in case”, although this dog will never attack anyone for no reason.


Its appearance is what defines it, since males can weigh 90 kilos and measure 80 cm at the withers, which means that from their head to the ground there can be close to a meter in height.

When people who do not know the breed and see it, they are struck by how it moves, because it is not a molosser of the type of mastiffs with clumsy movement, but rather it has the elegance of a sighthound and we are not wrong to say that it is majestic. .

Regarding colors, the standard recognizes three coats that should not be mixed. One is the fawn brindle, the other spotted and black, where we find what is the most spectacular variety of the breed, the harlequin bulldog and finally the blue, by far the tone that gives it greater elegance.

Until a few years ago, their tails and ears were cut off, which gave them an aggressive appearance that does not correspond to the character of the breed, while now these mutilations are prohibited and that makes this huge dog look friendlier.

Great Dane Health

If we look for a weak point of this breed, it is in health , since 30% of the specimens do not live more than five years and very few survive more than 10, although the latter is common to all large breeds. size.

Hip dysplasia is the most common problem, again as in all large and giant breeds, so we will have to be very attentive to this aspect and acquire certified dogs, with which we minimize the risk, although it is always there.

We must not forget that dysplasia, in addition to coming from inheritance, can also arise for environmental reasons, so veterinary control has to be strict during the growth stage.

We will also have to be careful with stomach torsion , an acute and very serious problem in which the stomach literally turns upside down. It can lead to the dog's death and is prevented by placing the food at the appropriate height and dividing the portions.

It is prone to bone cancer and heart problems, although this should not scare us when buying one, since all breeds, even the smallest, have their own diseases or that they tend to suffer from more frequently.

In order to have the healthiest dog possible, it is best to buy it from a breeder who gives us the maximum guarantees, such as that the ancestors are free of dysplasia and who can provide us with DNA tests in which we can see that there is no latent genetic diseases.

Great Dane Health

Breeding of this breed

When breeding him, the first thing to take into account is his health above all, controlling genetic diseases very well and giving up some characteristics such as a strong jaw, if we know that by doing so we encourage the bulldog to become permanently ill with conjunctivitis.

Aggressive dogs must be ruled out, although they do not usually appear because they have been selected for more than a century to be close to people, as a companion dog of enormous size.

Breeding is not complicated, and those who dedicate themselves to it usually say that it is easier than with mini breed dogs, although you do have to be very above the female, because due to the size of the puppies it is normal for them to be born through a cesarean section .

Due to the weight of the mother and the puppies, it is a very expensive breeding, which as future owners of a German Bulldog is very good for us, since only true hobbyists breed them, since it is almost impossible to make money with them.

In any case, if we want to buy one, it is best that we go to the Spanish club, since they can advise us here and even have a DNA record of their dogs in order to control the appearance of diseases as much as possible.

How do I train a Great Dane?

A Great Dane has to start his training as soon as he gets home, since he is very stubborn and his size does not help trying to handle him by force because we will not be able to pull him or lift him.

Thus, from a very early age we must teach him to get into the car on his own, to get into the bathtub, and above all not to pull , for which we can use a collar against pulling (never with a punishment collar or throttle).

We must not forget basic education, with commands such as sit, lie down, stay still or come when called, insisting a lot that he walks on the leash without pulling and always at our pace.

We must completely stop violence, which although it should never be used to train a dog, it is not convenient for us when we talk about animals with this physical power. Our best ally will be treats, especially at the beginning, to reward with caresses as time goes by.

They can be a little stubborn, so we have to arm ourselves with patience and be firm, seeking professional help if we see that the situation is beyond us and because of how stubborn they are, it is best to do short sessions so that they do not get tired or distracted.

Characteristics of the Great Dane

What should I take into account if I want a Great Dane?

Taking into account its physique, it is not a dog for beginners . Thus, if we have never had a dog, it is better that we opt for another breed that is more manageable and easy to maintain, since the Great Dane is an animal for people with a lot of experience.

Space is another of the conditions when bringing a German Bulldog home, and its 80 kilos make it inadvisable to live in an apartment, no matter how large it may be, and the same goes for the city.

It is an animal that needs large spaces, which cities cannot provide, so for it to be comfortable we must live in the countryside , in a town where we have access to large areas where it can exercise and run freely. without throwing anyone to the ground.

Our economy must be very healthy in order to be able to have it as it deserves, eating high quality feed (essential for it to grow without problems) which can cost us about 150 euros per month.

To this we will have to add visits to the vet, which will be frequent and when medicine is needed they will be the most expensive as they will have to give several tablets, since medicines for dogs are administered according to weight.

In order to move it, the size of the car will also be a determining factor, due to the fact that it does not fit in the classic utility vehicle. Maybe by removing the rear seats and the trunk tray you can fit inside, but then our car will become a two-seater without a trunk.

We were talking about the importance of training and avoiding pulling, but despite this it is advisable that the person who takes it out onto the street has physical strength and can control it at all times.

His 80 kilos are not easy to hold and we must not forget that despite his education he is an animal and obeys his instincts, that he can get scared, nervous and put us through complicated situations that we can only solve if we can restrain him.

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