The big dog crosses the field in an effortless gallop, muscles stretching and contracting, devouring the ground with his long, powerful strides. His sleek black coat glows with vitality; his elegant manner is manifest in every stride. Closer he comes, and the ground shakes under his great size and speed. Ever closer he comes, slows to a trot, then stops. He doesn't wait to be petted but instead nudges a hand with his giant head. This is the Great Dane.

The Great Dane is a man's dog; he is big, fast, powerful, and courageous.
The Great Dane is a woman's dog; he is gentle, affectionate, and protective.
The Great Dane is a child's dog; with his inborn patience and understanding.

Through substance paired with dignity, strength, and elegance; the Great Dane strikes the onlooker as a noble statue. It is regarded as the "Apollo of Dogdom", for its physical and mental characteristics which gives the Great Dane the majesty possessed by no other breed.    

The essence of Great Dane type is created by the balanced combination of sculptured headpiece; long, tapered, clean neck; well developed body; strong bone; and heavily padded feet; clothed in a glossy coat of correct rich color and moving with precision and grace. In the ratio between length (from the point of shoulder to the back of the upper thigh) and height (from the withers to the ground), the Great Dane should be square. Its head is rectangular, long, distinguished, expressive and finely chiseled, especially below the eyes. Its eyes are medium size, deep set, and dark, with a lively intelligent expression. Its ears are high-set, be they cropped or natural, highlight the outline of the Dane head and create the desired alert appearance. It has a scissors bite. Its neck is firm, high set, well arched, long, muscular and slopes smoothly into the withers. Its withers slopes smoothly into a short level back with a broad loin. Its chest is broad, deep and well muscled. Its shoulder is strong and muscular. Its croup is broad, very slightly sloping and its tail falls straight, or may curve slightly when excited. It gaits with great strength and power taking long, easy strides resulting in no tossing, rolling or bouncing of the topline or body. The coat is short, thick and clean with a smooth glossy appearance and appears in colors of fawn, brindle, harlequin, black, blue and mantle.

It is particularly true of this breed that there is an impression of great masculinity in dogs as compared to an impression of femininity in bitches. The male should appear more massive throughout than the bitch, with larger frame and heavier bone. In the ratio between length and height, the Great Dane should appear as square as possible. In bitches, a somewhat longer body is permissable. The male shall not be less than 30 inches at the shoulders, but it is preferable that he be 32 inches or more, providing he is well proportioned to his height. The female shall not be less than 28 inches at the shoulders, but it is preferable that she be 30 inches or more, providing she is well proportioned to her height.    

The Great Dane is spirited, courageous, friendly, and dependable. It can be elegant and dignified one moment, and then playful and silly the next. Great Danes are easygoing dogs, affectionate with family members and self-confident with strangers. Great Danes are easily trained but need consistency. Fanciers of Great Dane breed often remark "There is nothing like a Dane" for their captivating experience of its breed characteristics.

Males - 30-34 inches (76-86 cm.)
Females - 28-32 inches (71-81 cm.)

Males - 120-200 pounds (54-90 kg.)
Females - 100-130 pounds (45-59 kg.)

The Great Dane breed is unfortunately not a long-lived breed. Their lifespan is generally 7-10 years. Longevity can be promoted by breeding healthy individuals (whose ancestors were long-lived), and by practicing good health management. But, even though the Dane is not long-lived, Dane fanciers would acknowledge that they'd rather spend 8 years with this breed than 20 with any another.

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  • "The standard of any breed is the blue-print to which all breeders and judges must adhere to at all times. Never must any attempt to make the standard fit the dog be tolerated."

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