The Great Dane (that I will refer from here on as GD, no vulgarity intended) is a large dog breed that is what comes to the mind of the majority of dog people when you say the term “big dog.”
These dogs are descendants of the Irish Wolfhound and Mastiff lines, and have been used to hunt elk, deer, and even bears!
If you have ever seen one of these dogs trained to hunt, you understand how effective they can be at bringing down large game!
The GD breed is also known for their loving temperament and loyalty, as well as being a very mellow dog near their middle to late years (though exceptions exist, of course).
My father (from whom I inherited my love of large breed dogs) had a GD when I was first born named Sherlock. Sherlock was, according to my father, an exceptional member of his breed regarding his sense of smell (thus the name Sherlock, as he could sniff out just about anything).
GD dogs, as a breed overall, have a good disposition towards children and strangers when raised properly, and an inborn loyalty means they make good companions and family security dogs (though the latter requires specific training to be safe and effective).
The name of this dog breed has a history of changes, with the Great Dane name actually being the result of growing tensions between Germany (the source of the breed primarily) and other European countries pre and post World War II.
Though short lived compared to many other dog breed (GD’s typically live for 6-8 years, though exceptions exist), these dogs can enrich the lives of the owners,specifically those who choose an active lifestyle. GD’s need regular exercise to prevent bone and joint issues, though this exercise is actually something to avoid during their growing period to avoid damage that will stay with them long term and worsen with old age.
Join us next time as we dive further into the large dog breeds!
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