Great Danes and Great Dane Rescue - South Australia
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A Brief History:

The Great Dane (Deutsche Dogge) is the national dog of Germany.

The Great Dane is rich in history, however the true origin is not definitely known.

This breed has changed it’s name many times and there is nothing in history of the breed to show it has any special connection with Denmark. The naturalist Buffon, in France, for the first time used the name Grand Danios or Great Dane.

Evidence of Danelike dogs have been found in ancient Assyrian artefacts and in the Royal Museum of Munich a Grecian coin, which dates from the fifth century B.C. Depicts a likeness of a dog that resembles the Great Danes of today.

great dane history photo

Originally hunting dogs in European forests, they were used to chase and bring down mainly, the fearsome wild boars.
Ear cropping was done during this time, not for cosmetic reasons, but for utility reasons, the large hound ears were very vulnerable, boars often grabbing and lacerating them, many dogs sustained horrendous injuries and infection, sometimes dogs died as a result.

Although the first Great Dane Club (1883) was in United Kingdom, German enthusiasts are credited with the early refinement we see in the breed today.

great dane history photo

Great Danes are wonderful with children and other animals, if introduced as soon as possible and mutual respect observed, do remember though some, not all, may have chasing instincts with some animals.

All children and dogs need to be supervised.

Caring, responsible breeders in several countries, over many years bred out the aggressive and fierce nature, preserving the breeds integrity and retaining the Great Dane’s enormous capacity for loyalty and devotion and now are referred to as GENTLE GIANTS.

great dane history photo

Typical Dane Puppy Growth Chart  - A guide ONLY

WEIGHT-----------------------AGE------------HEIGHT AT SHOULDERS

64 Lbs------------ 29 Kgs (4 months) ---------23.5" --------- 60 cm

75 Lbs------------ 34 Kgs (5 months) ----------26.0" ---------66 cm

85 Lbs------------38 Kgs (6 months) ----------28.5" ---------72.5 cm

90 Lbs----------- 41 Kgs (6-1/2months)-------29.0" ---------73.5 cm

110 Lbs----------- 50 Kgs (8 months)-----------32.0“----------81.5 cm

120 Lbs----------- 54 Kgs(10 months)----------33.0" ---------84 cm

130 Lbs----------- 60 Kgs(1 yr old) --------------34.0-----------86.5 cm

Nutrition & Health:

Both these subjects are extremely detailed and too long to go into in great detail here, a responsible breeder should always be willing to help you with any nutrition or health issues.

There are no hard and fast rules on feeding, and is largely common sense, however, Great Danes need to be fed twice a day and good quality food, there are differing views on feeding and this is a personal choice. Again, the breeder will supply you with a detailed diet and check list. DO NOT OVER FEED.

I cannot stress enough the importance of taking a little more time and expense when rearing a puppy, the first eighteen months, especially are a crucial time of their growth, do not make those young bones carry too much weight, it is impossible to make a dog bigger than he is genetically intended to be, as the ultimate size is determined long before birth, correct rearing will result in strong, sound bones.

Get your puppy used to having his/her nails clipped, as the feet are of the utmost importance, grooming should start early.

Like all pure-bred dogs, Great Danes are susceptible to a variety of health problems. These range from the life-threatening to conditions easily controlled with daily medication. It is your responsibility to learn as much as possible about these issues before committing yourself to this magnificent breed.

Before purchasing a Great Dane, PLEASE, educate yourself about their specific needs, costs involved and housing requirements. There is a large supply of reference materials available, both in written form and on the web.

When you have decided on a male or female, what colour, type etc, research breeders carefully, there are many pit-falls and visiting the kennel is recommended.

Don’t allow your puppy to get on beds or furniture, if you will one day, because he/she is now too big to do so, forbid this practice, this is a common issue and is unfair to the grown Dane, as stated previously the closer they are to you and your family the happier they are, set rules and stick to them.

Breeding is a time and money consuming exercise and should not be entered into lightly. Bettering the breed should be your goal.

They must have people. Great Danes are an extremely sensitive breed and do not fare well without close contact with their human family. Living outside in a doghouse with human interaction can destroy a Great Dane, make him mentally unstable, depressed, and even aggressive.
Anxiety can kill Great Danes. There is increasing evidence that bloat, a condition in which the stomach gets air in it and twists, or torsions, is related to anxiety. This can kill a Great Dane in less than an hour. Make sure to learn the symptoms and, if considering this breed, consider how much time per day the dog will have to be alone.

Some widely practiced Do’s and Don’ts.
  • Elevate food and water. It makes it more comfortable for them and is thought to help prevent bloat, there is no proof why Great Danes or other breeds get BLOAT, however I do everything possible.
  • Remember unlike smaller breeds Danes are puppies until 18 months of age.
  • Basic obedience is important – An untrained Dane can be more than a nuisance once fully grown.
  • Vaccinate puppies, however do-not over vaccinate Adult Danes.
  • Consult your vet about worming and heart worming treatments. RESPONSIBLE BREEDERS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ALLY YOU WILL HAVE.
  • Do feed a good quality food.
  • Always have fresh water available.
  • Ester-C should be started around 8 – 10 weeks – 250mg at first increasing to 1000/1500mg by 3 – 4 months up until maturity. This is an excellent help with teething and hips and any that the body doesn’t use gets flushed out in the urine so don’t worry about overdosing.
  • Provide soft thick well padded bedding to support your puppies elbows and joints.
  • Remember puppies chew. Supply enough safe toys so they are not eating your furniture.
  • No forced exercise – No jogging or road work until bones are set. (Consult your breeder).
  • Do not feed standard puppy or performance food as they are high in calories and promote accelerated growth. It is important these dogs grow slow and even, so that the bone develops at the same rate as the muscle. High protein/fat/calories food does not mean a bigger dog.
  • Do not encourage jumping on your shoulders as it is damaging.
  • Do not exercise for 1 –2 hours after meals.
  • Do not play tug of war games, no chasing games or wrestling on the floor games with your puppy, their bones are more delicate than you would think.
  • Don’t put your Great Dane in the backyard and forget about him/her. THEY NEED HUMAN COMPANIONSHIP.
  • Do not let young puppies climb up and down stairs as it is very hard on their shoulders and can cause serious injury, beware slippery floors.
  • Do not overfeed. Dane puppies need to be on the lean side.

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