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Getting to Know Great Danes

October 25, 2011

By Anthony Sages

For those who love them, Great Danes represent the best of the canine kingdom. Majestic in stature and mental capacity, representations of Great Danes adorn the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs. The Romans are said to have brought them home from their conquest of Britain. By the Middle Ages, Germanic tribes developed and refined the breed. Over many centuries, the breed gained recognition as a fighting dog. In the late 1800s, Great Danes first came to America and quickly earned a reputation for viciousness.

However, by the early 1900s, breeders set out to transform the Great Dane into a “kinder, gentler” breed. Today, Great Danes earn high marks as good pets and protectors. Owners find them loyal, dependable, spirited, and fearless. Great Danes reach about 30-32 inches in height and weigh up to 120 pounds. They require a lot of room for exercise and play. As of 2009, the Guinness Book of World Records measured the tallest Great Dane at 42.25 inches from floor to shoulder. Great Danes tend to mature slowly. Owners should consult specialists regarding their Great Dane’s nutritional needs during key periods of growth.

In addition, Great Danes possess deep chests, which put them at risk for bloating. Many people may wonder how Great Danes acquired their name. The name dates back to Comte de Buffon, a French naturalist, who saw the breed while traveling through Denmark. Noting that this breed appeared thinner in Denmark, he determined that the conditions in the country made these dogs “Grand Danois.” This led to the name Great Danish Dog, and later the term Great Dane.

About the Author:

Anthony Sages holds a leadership position in the financial services industry. In addition to his appreciation for Great Danes, Anthony Sages enjoys many pursuits, including coin collecting, marathon running, and big game hunting. 

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