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The Great Dane is a German breed, known as one of the tallest of canines. Dogs similar to the Great Dane appear on many ancient monuments and were originally used as hunting dogs.
Although breeders have bred out the hunting instinct, their courageous nature remains, with the Great Dane being a gentle giant who is loyal to his family.
Great Danes get on well with other pets and children, but with early training being the key. If they are not socialised properly, Great Danes can become fearful or aggressive.
They also need plenty of exercise and should be taken on long walks daily. Jogging can also be done, but only after the age of between 18 months to 2 years when their bones and joints are fully developed. The Great Dane has a smooth, shorthaired coat that is easy to maintain with daily grooming, a must as bathing this playful giant can be a difficult task! Common colours include fawn, brindle and blue.
Life expectancy: 6 to 8 years
Originating country: Germany
Temperament: friendly, sociable, charming, mellow
Interesting fact: Scooby doo was based on a Great Dane owned by one of the employees of Hanna-Barbera (the makers of the cartoon)