As tall as 32 inches at the shoulder, Danes tower over most other dogs—and when standing on their hind legs, they are taller than most people. These powerful giants are the picture of elegance and balance, with the smooth and easy stride of born noblemen. The coat comes in different colors and patterns, perhaps the best-known being the black-and-white patchwork pattern known as “harlequin.”
Despite their sweet nature, Danes are alert home guardians. Just the sight of these gentle giants is usually enough to make intruders think twice. But those foolish enough to mistake the breed’s friendliness for softness will meet a powerful foe of true courage and spirit. Patient with kids, Danes are people pleasers who make friends easily.
National Breed Clubs and Rescue
Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country. Established in 1889, the Great Dane Club of America is the official AKC Parent Club for the Great Dane.
Feed the Great Dane a high-quality dog food appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Give table scraps sparingly, if at all, especially avoiding cooked bones and foods with high fat content. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Owners must be aware that the number-one killer of the breed is bloat, where the stomach distends and twists. The causes of bloat aren’t fully understood, but experts agree that multiple small meals per day and preventing vigorous exercise around mealtimes can help reduce the chances of it happening.
No one is quite sure how or why Great Danes, a German breed, came to be associated with Denmark. (In Germany they’re known as the Deutsche Dog, or “German dog.”) We do know that once upon a time, German nobles used Danes to hunt ferocious wild boars. Later, Danes became famous as protectors of their home and loved ones, a job they are still happy to perform.