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Great Dane - History, Appearance, Fur, Color, Characteristics, Breeding And Health

Great Dane
The Great Dane, German Bulldog or German Alano is a breed of dog known for its large size and delicate personality, considered the "Apollo among all races" by the International Cytological Federation. It is also considered to be descended from the Bullenbeisser with 50/50 blood mixture and is part of the Generation Bullenbeisser group.

The Great Dane, even though it is a giant breed, is not usually clumsy in its gait and movements. His character is usually friendly and never shy. Males should be stronger in build than females.

Its constitution is strong and muscular; it is neither light nor double. The shape of the males is square; it is as tall as it is long. Females are "allowed" to be slightly longer than they are tall. The distance from the cross to the shoulders is the same as from the shoulders to the ground.

Fiction has made it one of the best known dogs for the general public. The Scooby Doo character is a Great Dane.

It is not a dog for beginners, it requires a lot of care because, like other giant breeds, it is prone to gastric torsion, so it must walk daily but not exert itself or undergo sudden changes in temperature. Maintenance costs are very high and must be kept in mind before purchasing one.

He is considered as ancestors of the current German Bulldog to the old "Bullenbeisser" as well as to the "Hatz und Saurüden (wild boar hunting dogs) that were placed between the powerful English Mastiffs and an agile and fast sight hound. The term" Dogge "was applied back then to large, strong dogs that did not necessarily belong to a particular breed. Later, special names such as "Ulmer dogge", "English Bulldog", "Danish Bulldog" "Hatzrüde", "Saupacker" and " great bulldog ", defining different types of dog according to color and size. In 1878 a commission composed of seven members, active breeders and judges was integrated in Berlin under the presidency of Dr. Bodinus, who made the decision to gather all the varieties mentioned above within the concept "Deutsche Doggen" (German Bulldogs), thus starting with the basis for raising an independent German breed.

In 1880, during an exhibition held in Berlin, the first standard for the German Bulldog was established. This has been controlled by the "Deutscher Doggen-Club 1888 e.V" and altered on some occasions over the years. The current version conforms to the FCI model.

The strong and powerful German Bulldog was not always the "gentle giant" that is often depicted and described today. In fact, he was a much feared aggressive fighter and hunter due to his harsh temperament and combative disposition. Fortunately, through excellent breeding programs and dedicated hobbyists, this breed has been transformed over the years into a friendly and caring working dog, suitable for families around the world.

The Great Dane gathers in his aristocratic general appearance a large and well-endowed structure. Its height can reach 2.10 meters on two legs; its best qualities are fidelity, pride, strength and elegance. At first glance it is intimidating but in almost all cases it is a dog of excellent company that cares for its owners. It perfectly combines harsh features with the special and unique temperament of its breed.

Some specimens of black spots have gray around them. His hair is somewhat thick, shiny and beautiful if brushed daily.

Fawn: Pale golden fawn to deep golden fawn. A black mask is desirable. Never greyish tawny, bluish tawny or a sooty tawny. No white marks.

Tabby: Basic color from pale golden fawn to deep golden fawn with regular, clearly drawn black stripes running in the direction of the ribs. A black mask is desirable. Never with discolored stripes. No white marks.

Harlequin (Whites with spots dotted with black): Pure white base color as far as possible without any mottling with jet black spots well distributed over the entire body with an irregular shape and appearance of being broken. No gray, blue, or brownish areas are desired on the spots, nor is a blue-gray splash. The so-called "Grautiger" (they have a mainly gray base color on black spots) occur, are unwanted but are not disqualified.
Blacks: Jet Black.

White markings on chest and feet are allowed. This includes the "Manteltiger" in which black covers the body in the form of a cloak and the muzzle, neck, chest, belly, limbs and tip of the tail can be white as well as Great Danes with a white base color and large black plates (Plattenhunde). A fawn, brown or blue black color is a defect.

Blue: Dark steel blue color, allowing white marks on the chest and feet. Never with fawn or blackish blue shades.

Great dane
The Great Dane, also called the German Bulldog or the German Alano, is one of the largest breeds in the world. Despite their imposing appearance and large mouth, they are kind and calm dogs that seek affection and pampering from people, although in doing so they underestimate the weight of their own body.

The breed standard defines him as "loving, friendly and devoted to his master." These meek giants don't like to be left alone, they always prefer to be close to humans. Their reserved and simple character makes them an excellent company in any situation. They may be faithful animals, but not submissive, and surprise their owners by doing what they feel like.

They are not always well accepted by society, due to their enormous size. "Is it a dog or a horse?" is the question frequently asked by those who walk with a German Bulldog.

Some small breed owners even cross paths when they see this colossus and think that they can do something for their little one. If you ever find yourself in one of these situations, don't let it affect you, as it is true that the size of the Great Dane can be intimidating, but once it is known, its friendly, kind and intelligent nature quickly conquers. You will undoubtedly observe kind and surprising reactions to your Alano.

The truth is that the proportions of this dog instill respect, something that, on certain occasions, can be very useful. They are highly valued as guardians; These attentive dogs are initially somewhat skeptical to strangers, though they rarely bark or threaten; they don't need it because what intruder would want to measure their strength with a great dane?

In fact, German bulldogs have a very high tolerance threshold and are not aggressive at all, they are very sociable with humans and other animals. Thanks to their way of being, pleasant and serene, they are very good to live with as a family, even in families with children, because they are playful and loving with them, the only thing that can sometimes pose an obstacle is their great weight.

An adult Great Dane can easily weigh up to 90 kg or even more. The height at the withers reaches, at least, 80 cm, in the case of males, and 72 cm in females, so its weight is not surprising. However, it is not a clumsy animal, on the contrary, its proud appearance radiates great strength and elegance.

In fact, due to its harmonious image, its shapely figure and the expressiveness of its face, the International Cynological Federation standard describes it as the Apollo of the hounds. Many see it as a majestic statue and perhaps for that reason it had the admiration of the nobility of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

There are three independent color varieties that should not be mixed:

Fawn and Brindle: Great Dane Fawn can come in shades from pale gold fawn to deep gold fawn. In the case of the tabby, on the basis of a golden fawn tone, regular black stripes should appear towards the ribs. Both the tawny and the tabby specimens must present a black mask, according to the breed standard, which, however, does not accept white markings.

Splattered and black: The hair of this type of Great Dane is jet black; White markings on the chest and feet are permitted. This classification includes the so-called Manteltiger and Plattenhunde. In the former, black covers the body as if it were a cloak; under this, the muzzle, the contour of the neck, the chest, the belly, the extremities and the tip of the tail stand out in white. Plattenhunde are characterized by presenting black plates on a white base.

The dappled Great Dane shows, on its white base, irregular and broken-looking jet black markings that are evenly distributed over the entire body surface. The breeding of dogs in this category, also called harlequin or diamond, is complex, because this trait is not homozygous. Only 10% of puppies are born with black marks distributed in this way.

Blue: Blue German Alans have dark steel blue fur; White markings on the chest and feet are permitted.

In addition to these three types, there are the so-called Grautiger and Weißtiger, although the breed standard considers these unwanted patterns. Grautigers have a gray base color with black markings. Despite the fact that the color gray is highly valued in other dog breeds, such as hunting dogs, Grautigers do not receive the highest scores on display. White German Bulldogs, known as Weißtiger, which were born from the crossing of two harlequins, are no longer selectively bred, since these can be carriers of the merle gene, which can be transmitted to puppies and cause blindness or deafness.

In the late 19th century, cynologists believed they had found the ancestor of the Great Dane. The illustrations of the large short-haired, snub-nosed fighting dogs that accompanied the Assyrians over 4,000 years ago are reminiscent of the German Bulldog we know today. In Denmark, skeletal remains of fighting dogs of similar size have been found dating from the period between 5000 BC and 1000 AD; however, the relationship between these dogs and the German Alano is a highly debated topic. The alleged relationship between the Great Dane and the Tibet Bulldog, one of the oldest breeds in the East, has already been ruled out by DNA tests.

No conclusive evidence prior to the 16th century on the origins of the Great Dane has been found. According to the available data, the large and elegant dogs from England and Ireland, coming from the crossing of mastiffs with Irish wolfhounds, arrived in Germany. Their appearance was still very disparate, but they shared one trait: their extraordinary size. Finally, in the 17th century, selective breeding of the so-called English dog began in Germany. Originally dedicated to hunting bears, wild boars, and other wild animals, these large, elegant dogs soon found their place in court as excellent companion dogs. The breed, then, was divided into camera dogs, companion dogs and hunting dogs. Among the chamber dogs were the specimens with the greatest strength and beauty, who were given the honor of wearing a golden collar and sleeping in the nobility's chambers on bear skins. Those who were not considered elegant enough to be part of this group were awarded the silver necklace and were in charge of protecting the court from intruders. Since both chamber and companion dogs lived among the nobles and their families, the breeding sought above all traits such as obedience and docility. Dogs with this character were not intended for hunting.

Even those who did not have the necessary qualifications to be chamber or companion dogs, and lived in the stables, were considered so valuable that they were not used for hunting. For this, other dogs were used, whose task was to follow the trail of the pigs and the bears and make them leave the forest; once the wild prey were in sight, the English hunting dogs were released, and they had to catch and hold them with their powerful jaws until the hunter had them within range. So that these valuable dogs were not injured, they were covered with thick animal guts.

As the use of firearms spread, these dogs lost their usefulness, and many of the breeds of that time ended up disappearing. Unlike them, the Great Dane was still considered a luxury dog ​​and a symbol of social status. In the middle of the 19th century, the breed became increasingly popular. One of the most famous owners of the German Bulldog was Otto von Bismark, the first chancellor of the German Empire, who had these dogs for more than 60 years, which earned the German Alano the nickname of the dog of the Empire.

Since these dogs lived mainly as a family, the breeding focused on the search for a calm, balanced and obedient character. Several types of Great Dane emerged that received different names: Ulmer's Bulldog, Danish Bulldog, English Bulldog or Great Bulldog, among others. In 1876, a few different specimens of the German Alano were presented to an exhibition and the members of the jury proposed to the breeders a common name for the breed: Deutsche Dogge, which literally means German Bulldog. This name generates some controversy, as not all countries consider the breed to be native to Germany. For this reason, some countries have baptized it as Great Dane, Great Dane in English, etc. The first breed club to be founded was the German, in 1888.

Breeding and health
The Great Dane Club, based in Berlin, was founded in 1888 and to this day is responsible for setting the standard to be followed in breeding the breed, although it is overseen by the International Cynological Federation and publish. One of the aspects that are most taken into account in breeding is a calm and sociable temperament with people. The fact that the Great Dane has been a family dog ​​in the past and continues to be so now, despite its size, is due to its tame character. Of course, there are also those who value its size as a symbol of prestige. Although very popular, breeders also have to deal with the breed's own diseases. Some of the conditions to which they are most prone, due to their size, are hip dysplasia, gastric torsion, bone cancer, cardiomyopathy. 28% of German bulldogs die before the age of five and only a few are older than 10 years. Mistakes that occur in breeding can lead to an increased tendency for certain diseases, for example, focusing the breeding on obtaining a strong jaw can often lead to conjunctivitis.

Have and train a great Dane
Fortunately, with the help of responsible breeding, which is guided not so much by the size of the dog but by its health and life expectancy, it is possible to reduce the risk of disease. Diet and physical exercise are also determining aspects. The muscles and tendons of the German Alano must be trained to stay healthy and fit as long as possible. In the life of an active dog you can not miss a long daily walk and, if possible, better without a leash. However, stair climbing is not a recommended activity for large dogs. For young dogs, very long walks, wild games, and stairs should be avoided. The best place to have a Great Dane is a house with a garden. If you have questions about the most appropriate diet for a German Bulldog, a vet or breeder can best answer. There is no doubt that a Great Dane needs more of everything: more space, more exercise and even more food.

Thanks to their docility and their loyalty to humans, they are generally simple animals and not at all problematic, making them excellent companion and family dogs. Their big heart makes them suitable even for animal assisted therapy. As it happens with the rest of the races, it requires a consistent training, as well as caring, in order to develop its positive character. Nor should we forget that, due to their large dimensions, they need a person at their side who sets their limits and whose strength they can trust. To be happy, they need, above all, contact with theirs. The Great Dane is an affectionate breed with a tendency to over salivate, something that you will undoubtedly get used to seeing in your jeans.

Great dane photo :

Great dane video : THE GREAT DANE - THE TALLEST DOG IN THE WORLD / Animal Watch

Article about Great Dane

Great Dane Dog Breed Information, Pictures, Characteristics

Great Dane Dog Breed Information 

Great Dane - Wikipedia

Great Dane Dog Breed - Facts and Personality Traits

Great Dane Dog Breed: Facts, Temperament and Care Info

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