The Great Dane is a giant breed dog, and is on the top ten largest breeds list. A Great Dane has won world’s tallest dog in the Guinness Book of World Records on several occasions. The minimum height of a male Great Dane is typically 30 inches from foot to shoulder blades, and around 28 inches for females.
The current record holder is 44 inches tall from where his foot touches the floor to the spot between his shoulder blades. He weighs 155 pounds and has to eat 30 pounds of food a day. Now that’s a whole lot of kibble! He is 7 ½ feet tall when he stands on his hind legs. You wouldn’t want to get in the way of that dog running, that’s for sure.
People love to talk about their giant friends. One Great Dane, the winner of largest dog in 2010, has his own book, called Giant George!
History of the Great Dane
Great Danes are an AKC accepted breed and have been since 1887. Dogs that very closely resemble the breed have been found pictured on Egyptian monuments dating back as far as 3000 BC, so they have been around for a very long time. It has been speculated that the breed was started by cross breeding an English Mastiff and an Irish Wolfhound.
Some think that the Greyhound was bred in, also. The breed was given its American name by a French naturalist while he was traveling in Denmark. It was the first time he had seen the giant dogs and he nicknamed them “la grande danois” or Great Dane. The nickname stuck and became the name the breed that America would know them by for all time.
Great Danes were bred to hunt wild boars or even deer. They are strong and very tough, but now that these dogs are rarely used for hunting, they have become a beloved house pet. They also require little grooming and can even get by with just a brushing and a dry shampoo. I mean, really now…imagine trying to give a 7-foot-tall dog a bath in your tub!
More Great Dane Facts
Great Danes come in several colors that are accepted by the AKC, although not every color is “show ready.” The sad part is that oftentimes, the colors that aren’t AKC accepted don’t get adopted. The usual colors are black, blue, harlequin, brindle, fawn, and mantle, which is a black and white.
Other colors that sometimes occur are chocolate, although that is a recessive gene, or white. Sometimes the white Great Danes are deaf or blind due to genetic abnormalities.
The Great Dane is nicknamed the “gentle giant” and it can make a wonderful family pet. Owners have to be careful with the growing puppy, because they can hurt themselves in exercise or play. Many owners have even had to restrict exercise in the first year to avoid injury.
Great Danes are very loyal and distinguished. They need daily walks, but are fairly low maintenance. If you have a Great Dane, your pooch is in famous company. Scooby Doo, the Jetson’s dog Astro, and the comic character Marmaduke are all based off the breed.
The huge guard dog named Fang in the Harry Potter movies, the one that belongs to the even huger character Hagrid, is also alleged to be an even larger Great Dane, although they call it a “boar hound.”
If you are thinking about a Great Dane as a family dog, be sure to purchase some horse-sized furniture and a good dog food supplier!