The first images of a dog very similar to the Great Dane can be seen on Greek money which dates back to 36 B.C. Powerful mastiff-like dogs were brought to Italy and Spain by Asiatic people.
These dogs were superb animals, and some of them were able to overcome bears. These dogs were then cross with Irish Greyhounds, and the dogs which came about was the gorgeous Great Dane.
The Great Dane has a good disposition, often called a "gentle giant". Charming and affectionate, they are playful and patient with children. They love everyone and need to be around people. The Great Dane does not bark much and only becomes aggressive when the circumstances require it. They are reliable, trustworthy and dependable. Courageous and loyal, they are good watchdogs.
The Great Dane's large and imposing appearance belies its friendly nature; the breed is often referred to as a gentle giant. Great Danes are generally well-disposed toward other dogs, other non-canine pets, and humans. They generally do not exhibit a high prey drive.The Great Dane is a very gentle and loving animal with proper care and training. They are also very needy. Some may find them frightening because of their huge structure and loud bark, but they generally have no intention of harming people.They also are very protective.
There are six show-acceptable coat colors for Great Danes:
Fawn: The color is yellow gold with a black mask.
Black should appear on the eye rims and eyebrows, and may appear
on the ears.
Brindle: The color is fawn and black in a chevron stripe pattern. Often also they are referred to as having a tiger-stripe pattern.
Blue: The color is a pure steel blue. White markings at the chest and toes are not desirable and considered faults.
Black: The color is a glossy black. White markings at the chest and toes are not desirable and considered faults.
Harlequin: The base color is pure white with black torn patches irregularly and well distributed over the entire body; a pure white neck is preferred. The black patches should never be large enough to give the appearance of a blanket, nor so small as to give a stippled or dappled effect. Eligible, but less desirable, are a few small grey patches (this grey is consistent with a Merle marking) or a white base with single black hairs showing through, which tend to give a salt and pepper or dirty effect. (Have the same link to deafness and blindness as Merle and white danes.)
Mantle (in some countries referred to as Bostons due to the similar coloration and pattern as a Boston Terrier): The color is black and white with a solid black blanket extending over the body; black skull with white muzzle; white blaze is optional; whole white collar preferred; a white chest; white on part or whole of forelegs and hind legs; white tipped black tail. A small white marking in the black blanket is acceptable, as is a break in the white collar
Height and weight range
Height: Dogs 30-34 inches (76-86 cm.) Bitches 28-32 inches (71-81
cm.) Weight: Dogs 120-200 pounds (54-90 kg.) Bitches 100-130 pounds
Like most dogs, Great Danes require daily walks to remain healthy. However it is important not to over exercise this breed, particularly when young. Great Dane puppies grow very large, very fast, which puts them at risk of joint and bone problems. Because of a puppy's natural energy, Dane owners often take steps to minimize activity while the dog is still growing.
Given their large size, Great Danes continue to grow (mostly gaining weight) longer than most dogs. Even at one year of age a Great Dane will continue to grow for several more months.
Great Danes, like most giant dogs, have a fairly slow metabolism.
This results in less energy and less food consumption per pound
of dog than in small breeds.
Great Danes are prone to bloat. Bloat is a serious condition which can be fatal if not treated almost immediately. It can compromise the stomach, spleen and other organs. There is conflicting information about how the condition is caused. It is often suggested that Great Danes be fed at an elevated level to prevent bloat. Danes should never be allowed to gallop and run for hours on end, as it is thought to cause excess air to become trapped in the abdominal area, resulting in the painful condition of bloat.