The Great Dane: A Truly Gentle Giant

The Great Dane: A Truly Gentle GiantThe first thing you notice when initially meeting a Great Dane is, obviously, its hulking size. Such mass, while very impressive, can also be a little intimidating. Certainly, first impressions are quite profound where the Great Dane is concerned, but there is much more to this dog than literally meets the eye. Without getting to know this dog of such large stature, one would be tempted to think that the “Great’ in its name is simply a description of its massive frame. That would be an unfortunate misunderstanding. The Great Dane, while large in stature, is also large in affection.

Historically, that apparently was not always the case. The Great Dane is a descendant of mastiff-type dogs, and was originally bred to be a hunter of wild boar. One would never know it today, as the aggression in the Great Dane was bred out of it over time, and today’s gentle version bears no significant resemblance to the “hunter” from days of old. Physically, in addition to its sheer size, the Great Dane has an elegant, muscular and athletic body, and a long and large head. While it does, admittedly, have a scary bark to go along with its size, and reportedly will not hesitate to defend its human family, this is where any semblance of ferocity in this graceful dog ends. is great post to read about how to travel with Great Dane

Great Dane owners everywhere describe their dog’s disposition in overwhelmingly glowing terms such as: loving, gentle (yes, with children too), affectionate, good-natured, playful with people of all ages, a great family pet, loyal, a “gentle giant.” It craves lots of attention, and loves to give people a nice nudge when seeking to be affectionately petted in return. In addition to people, the Great Dane is known to get along well with other dogs, and even other animal types. While not over-energetic, it loves to play with any member of the family that will lavish it with attention. Quite simply, the Great Dane is a breed of dog with a delightfully winning and gentle personality.Click here to read more information and characteristics of Great Dane

The only drawback to owning a Great Dane is that they find their way into one’s heart only to depart all too soon. Because of their large size, the Great Dane’s lifespan is an average of about eight years. Yet, ask any owner if it is worth having a Great Dane around, even if for a relatively short period of time, and they will answer with a resounding “yes.”

How to Travel With A Great Dane

Great Dane’s are big dogs, but they are easy tempered and love adventure. It may be difficult to imagine traveling with such a big dog, but if you take some steps to make the travel easier on the dog, you can enjoy time away from home with your companion. I hated boarding my dog while I traveled. I preferred to have family, friends or a great dog sitter watch him. Travel is difficult for any pet, and aside from being big, Great Dane’s are sensitive. However, I didn’t always have the option to leave him with someone rather than a kennel, but I found having him with me was well worth my peace of mind. Read more characteristics about Great Dane by going here

Before you leave

How to Travel With A Great DaneI schedule a veterinary check up before trips. This assures me that my dog is not sick before the trip. It’s also good to make sure my dog is fully vaccinated. I also get a copy his health certificate signed by his veterinarian in case anything does happen on our trip or if a specific hotel, resort or campsite require it. I have had the veterinarian prescribe a mild sedative. Before I leave, I make sure that I have contacted all hotels, resorts or campsites that I plan to stay in to make sure they will allow a big dog. My dog is used to traveling, so he has adjusted to the car. If you haven’t travelled with your dog yet, make sure to take him or her on many short rides to help him or her get used to it. Of course, you need a large car or van.

Things to take with you

Food, bowls, extra leashes and collars, bedding and toys are a must. I want him to be comfortable by having the things he knows with him. Some dogs won’t eat well when they are away from home, so I bring special treats so I know he will eat. I don’t always trust water away from home. I prefer bottled water just to make sure he doesn’t get sick. I also have a dog first aid kit.

It is much safer to have your pet secured while you travel. This is not the easiest endeavor with a Great Dane. I have a crate big enough for him, and he actually has his own doggy down comforter, it’s actually a toddler down comforter I found. He is happy contained in it with his regular bedding and toys. It also works great because you can put him in it outside of the car while you are busy packing or unpacking the car and you’ll know he is safe.

Things to remember

Never leave your dog alone in the car. It means that you can’t just stop and eat at restaurant on the road, but it’s never safe to leave the dog in the car alone. Be careful of admirers. Great Danes are friendly dogs, and people are attracted to them. They are big dogs and may not be having a great moment during travel. Leave them some distance between strangers to assure everyone’s safety. Have a fun and safe trip with your Great Dane!

Dog Competitions Great For Great Danes

Dog Competitions Great For Great DanesIt’s hard to imagine Marmaduke performing well in a Dog Competition. You’d think he’d be adorable but big and clumsy. In fact, Great Dane’s make wonderful show dogs. Their origin is Egyptian and they were originally used to hunt wild boar. As hunting dogs, they have great strength, speed and agility. The American Kennel Club recognizes them for the combination of mental and physical attributes. They are described as “majestic”. Great Dane’s are easily trained. They are loving, easy going dogs who can develop great relationships with their handlers. With proper training and diet they can be successful in many categories in Dog Competitions.


Great Dane’s do well in Appearance competitions. They are beautiful, majestic dogs. Although it is important to keep them at a healthy weight and size, they can succeed at these contests. In these show events, Great Dane’s are judged on several factors.

  • Entry and sound of mind – A graceful entry, fluid movement and proper temperament are important.
  • Stance and shape of head – A Great Dane should have a majestic profile with a steady stance and a
    well-angled square had.
  • Solid body and height – A good solid body that is not underweight and of course height are important.
    Great Dane males are typically 30 inches high and 120 pounds. Females are typically 28 inches high and
    weigh 100 pounds.


Rally competitions are obedience competitions. Because of the Great Dane’s willingness to learn and please, they are easy to train for these events. In Rally competition, dogs must walk to designated stations while performing basic commands such as sit, stay and heel. As a dog wins, it advances to the next level.

  • Novice – Dogs compete on a leash in 10-15 stations.
  • Advanced -Dogs compete off leash in 12-17 stations.
  • Excellence -Dogs perform off leash in 15-20 stations except for the honors exercise where they can be
    on a leash. Handlers may use voice commands but no physical commands.


Great Danes excel at Agility competitions. Contrary to popular belief, they may be big but they don’t need to be clumsy. Trained as hunting dogs, they have the natural ability of speed, courage and strength. As intelligent and easy to train dogs, they have good mental abilities. Their combined physical and mental strengths make them great candidates for Agility competitions.

Agility competitions require the dog to run an obstacle course in a certain amount of time. Dogs are off leash but handlers are able to use voice and some body movement commands. The dog is given a walk through before being judged. Obstacles include many forms of structures including A-frames, teeter totters and hurdles. As dogs advance they level up.

Agility competitions require a good amount of obedience training because the dog must respond to simple commands. The dog must be physically fit. Great Danes are strong, smart dogs that despite their size do very well at Agility competitions if trained well.