They may look intimidating, but don't let their size fool you. Great Danes are extremely friendly and loyal. Males grow to about 76 inches and weight between 140-175 pounds, and bitches grow up to 71 cm and weight between 110-140 pounds, and are happiest living in large environments (like a farm or in a large house with a big backyard). Although Danes make great guard dogs, they become depressed when chained outside for most of the day. Danes require lots of human interaction and love, and need to be given a prominent place inside the home and within your family. Danes are not overly aggressive dogs, and do not tend to bark much. They do, however, make excellent guard dogs, as they can become extremely aggressive if the situation calls for it.
Great Danes are good with children, especially when raised with them, but due to their size precautions should be taken. Never leave a small child unattended in the presence of a Great Dane. While the chance of an attack from this breed is minimal, Danes sometimes innocently forget their own size and strength which, without proper monitoring from a guardian, can spell disaster for an infant.
Great Dane are short-haired dogs. They are considered a "giant" breed - one of the largest - and are often referred to as "gentle giants". Appearance wise, Great Danes are often compared to horses - the manner in which they walk is similar. Danes come in a variety of colour, ranging from Brindle (golden yellow or golden yellow with black striping), Fawn (golden yellow to deep golden yellow), Blue (grayish black), Black, Harlequin (white with black patches), and Black Mantled (black and white patches). Males tend to be larger than females, with heavier frames and bone structure. Because their coats are not sufficient to keep them warm in colder climates, Great Danes need to be kept indoors. Danes were originally bred for hunting, but today they are mostly seen as guard dogs, family pets, and show dogs.
Danes naturally have large ears that "flop" over. Some owners prefer to crop their Dane's ears, to give them a smaller, straighter appearance. Originally, this was done for hunting purposes; small ears made it harder for wild animals to grab onto them. Today, it is done for cosmetic purposes. Ear cropping has been banned in some countries, such as the UK and Australia, and many countries have strict regualtions regarding the practice, declaring it is only legal if it is preformed in a controlled enviroment by a qualified professional.
Great Dane Puppies
Great Dane puppies reach their full height between 12 and 15 months, but are not fully mature until three years of age. Training when young is imperative for this breed. As puppies, Great Danes should be taught not to jump or lean on people, and they should be socializes with animals and people. When selecting a breeder to purchase a puppy from, make sure the breeder is reputable and ethical. This will help prevent future health problems, and will ensure that your puppy has come from a loving home.