The Great Dane is a canine breed originated from the crosses made between the ancient Bulldog and the large hounds used in boar hunting. The result generated a dog interposed between a mighty mastiff and a fast greyhound, an animal with the typical features of the Molossians and a less squat structure.
In fact, these large and mighty specimens did not fit into a well-defined breed. Before 1878, the year in which the standard of the Great Dane was drawn up during a dog show in Berlin, the breed indicated by the term “Dogue”Included the”Mastiff of Ulm”, The”English Mastiff”, The”Danish Mastiff “, the “hunting hound”, The”boar dog” and the “Great Mastiff”.
From that moment on, the Great Dane was selected and promoted as a dog breed with German origins (even though it is still called the “Great Danese” today), whose specimens represented the right combination of power and elegance. Thanks to the harmony of its appearance, the proportionate profile and the expressive head, the Great Dane was regarded as the Apollo of the dogs. Even today the Great Dane (called the “good giant”) presents itself as the perfect synthesis of pride, strength and elegance.
GREAT DANE CHARACTER AND BEHAVIOR
The Great Dane retains a docile, affectionate and protective character: its hunting skills have made it an excellent watchdog and a commendable guardian of its master. Despite its size and mighty bark, the sensitivity and lack of aggression have turned him into an excellent companion dog, suitable for families even with children (even if the little ones could be overwhelmed or trampled on). The specimens of this dog breed have proved extremely tolerant towards other dogs and towards cats.
GREAT DANE PUPPY
The Great Dane puppy is destined to become a dog with a harmonious and powerful structure. In this sense, keeping a close eye on the diet of the puppy’s first months of life can prevent the Great Dane specimen from growing incorrectly and out of harmony. To check that imperious growth does not develop an abnormal bone structure it is advisable to maintain constant contact with the reference breeder and the trusted veterinarian
To best calibrate the feeding of a Great Dane it is necessary to consider that it is a large specimen with very rapid growth (especially up to five months of life). It is therefore essential carefully dose all the nutrients necessary for growth and the development of the animal based on mass and size to avoid serious disorders and diseases: up to three months it will eat 4 times a day, up to 7 months it will eat 3 times a day and as an adult it will eat 2 times a day.
A diet based on commercial industrial feed is recommended. These specific foods are balanced and specifically formulated to provide the specimen with all the essential nutrients for psychophysical well-being and the needs related to age and physical activity (it is recommended to give it a good percentage of proteins and any supplements of calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D).
ALANO Grooming AND HYGIENE
The Great Dane’s coat is short, dense, smooth and shiny. Therefore, the management of coat care does not require particular efforts in terms of commitment and costs. It is advisable to brush the hair once or twice a week (to eliminate dead hair and to massage the skin) and wash the coat at least every two / three months.
HEALTH, CHECKS AND VACCINATIONS
From a genetic point of view, the most common pathologies in the Alano are: hip dysplasia, heart disease, eye diseases and gastric dilatation-torsion.
Good nutrition, an excellent dose of attention and a busy schedule of visits to the treating veterinarian allow a Great Dane specimen to reach normal life expectancy (6-8 years). The classic vaccinations (against distemper, viral infectious hepatitis, parvovirus, leptospirosis and rabies), deworming (to eliminate parasites present in the stomach) and antiparasitic treatments (aimed at avoiding diseases such as heartworm and leishmaniasis) allow to keep the dog strong and vital.