Also called Deutsche Dogge or German Mastiff, is a dog breed known for its big size and delicate personality, considered to be “the Apollo of dogs”, big, powerful, but with a harmonious structure. It tends to be friendly and bold. Male Great Danes must have a stronger structure than female specimens.
Both the ancient “Bullenbeisser” and the “Hatz und Saurüden” (wild boar hunting dogs), which were among the most powerful English Mastiffs, and agile and fast Greyhounds, are considered to be the ancestors of the current German Mastiff. Originally, the word “Dogge” was used to describe a big and strong dog which did not belong to any breed in particular. Afterwards, the different types of dogs were called Ulmer Dogge, Englische Dogge, Hatzrüde, Saupacker and Great Dogge (Große Dogge), depending on their color and size. In 1878 in Berlin, Germany, took place a committee which was formed by seven members, active breeders and judges under the Dr. Bodinus presidency, who decided to get all the varieties abovementioned together and to group them under the term of “Deutsche Doggen” (German Mastiff). This way, they could get started with the basis of breeding an independent German breed. In 1880, during an exhibition in Berlin, the first German Mastiff Standard was established. Its current appearance suits with FCI requirements.
The strong and powerful German Mastiff has not always been the kind giant we know. Actually, it was a fighter and aggressive hunter, feared by people because of its combative and harsh appearance. Fortunately, thanks to excellent breeding programs and dedicated novices, this breed has become along the years a friendly and affectionate working dog, adequate for all families around the world.
Height bitch: 71~81 cm / Height male: 76~86 cm
Weight bitch: 45~60 kg / Weight male: 54~90 kg
The Great Dane is muscular and elegant. It has a long, arched and without dewlap. The triangular ears are carried forward on the head, and in some countries they are cut off. The tail is long and it is narrower in the ending. It has a really short and lustrous coat, and it can be of many colors: brindle, mantle, fawn, blue or harlequin.
Although Great Danes are big, they must not have a clumsy walk or movements. It is friendly and hardly shy. Male must have a stronger structure than female; male must have a masculine appearance and female a feminine appearance.
This is a giant dog. Its structure is strong and muscular; it is not light or double. The male are square-shaped; they are as tall as large. Females are allowed to be slightly larger than tall. The distance from the withers to the shoulders is equal to the one from the shoulders to the floor.
The head must be rectangular-shaped, and must be of the same size to the center of the stop from that point to the tip of the nose. The “stop”, the front side of the head under the forehead, is pronounced. The snout is big and square. It is more prominent in male than in female. They have a scissors bite, in which the incisor teeth in the upper jaw are in contact with but slightly overlap those in bottom jaw. The eyes are medium-sized and dark colored.
Male’s height: 80 cm as minimum.
Male’s weight: 50 – 70 kg approx.
Female’s height: 72 cm as minimum.
Female’s weight: 45 – 68kg approx.
Despite its serious features, the Great Dane is affectionate, discreet, prudent and intelligent. This breed is mistrustful with strangers and it will protect its owner at any cost. It tends to be more affectionate with children than others. This dog learns really fast but patience, gentleness and determination.
A Great Dane is recommended for families,as long as it is trained since it is a puppy in a constant way. It is considered to be “the biggest lapdog of the world” by animal experts, because of its preference to sit down and to spend time with its owner.
It is essential for the good developing of the Great Dane to live in a house with a lot of space and to do daily exercise, such as going for a long walk or playing with its owner. It would be ideal for it to move in a spacious area, because if it is tied up it could become aggressive.
As all big sized dogs, the Great Dane may be affected by Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus. Lifespan: 9 years.
You can download the FCI (International Cinological Federation) standard at the following link: http://www.fci.be/Nomenclature/Standards/235g02-en.pdf