Great Danes If Dogs Were Horses
Lifespan: 7 to 9 years
Activity Level: High
Coat: Short, smooth
Information / Facts: The Great Dane hails from Germany and is a very large breed of dog. This dog is also known as a German Mastiff in many circles, but is also affectionately known as "Dane" or "Gentle Giant." The Great Dane is the tallest breed of dog currently in the world. A Great Dane is generally shaped as a square; its height will be nearly equal to its length. When full-grown, the male of the breed can weigh up to 200 pounds, while a full-grown female Great Dane usually tops out at 130 pounds. It is believed that the Great Dane is a product of cross-breeding the English Mastiff and Irish Wolfhound. The Great Dane is a working dog, and was bred to hunt. Its large size makes it able to hunt for larger game.
Pros: Great Danes have different metabolism rates than other large dogs; as a result, they consume less food per pound of their body weight than other breeds. Great Danes do require some daily exercise, but it is very important not to overdo it. This breed is highly susceptible to joint and bone issues due to its large size. While a highly-active household may not be the right fit for a Dane, a minimally active family that takes a short, relaxing walk daily would be perfect. While Danes are very gentle and love children, they may not be a good fit for a family with tiny children due to their large size. They are very playful and may hurt a child on accident, because they are unaware of their own size.
Cons: Due to its massive size, the Great Dane is extremely prone to hip dysplasia, but this is a common problem in many of the larger breeds of dogs. The Great Dane also has a very short life expectancy compared to other breeds of dogs. The average Great Dane only lives six to eight years. Great Danes are also susceptible to bloat as with many large breeds. There are also several heart problems that are common in Great Danes. It is important to take your Dane to the vet on a regular basis so any potential problems can be caught early.