LUV My dogs: america

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Showing posts with label america. Show all posts
Showing posts with label america. Show all posts

Saturday, July 8, 2017

10 Most Popular Dog Breeds in America

10 Most Popular Dog Breeds in America
  Americans really, really love their dogs. And that’s in spite of dogs not being the easiest pet you could bring into your home. Training a dog is difficult, especially if you end up with a headstrong canine. Choosing the right dog breed for your lifestyle or your family can be a challenge. And owning a dog can be surprisingly expensive thanks to an assortment of hidden costs.
  So which dog breeds do Americans love the most? Take a look at the American Kennel Club’s ranking of the most popular dog breeds in America for 2016. Some of them might surprise you.

10. Boxers
  In 10th place is the boxer, part of the AKC’s Working Group. The boxer is a fun-loving dog that, interestingly enough, was one of the first breeds selected in Germany for police training. The AKC recognized the boxer in 1904. This breed is a medium-sized, square-built dog with an alert, curious face and a distinctive muzzle. Boxers move smoothly and gracefully. They’re related to practically all recognized breeds of the bulldog type. Boxers are patient and protective, which makes them great family dogs.
  Boxers were originally bred to be medium-size guard dogs. Today, although they are a part of the AKC’s Working Group, they mostly find homes as loving family companions.


  In ninth place is the Yorkshire terrier. The AKC first recognized this member of the Toy Group in 1885. Yorkies first became popular pets in the late Victorian era, and they have a distinctive coat and confident manner of carrying themselves. The AKC notes that Yorkshire Terriers “offer big personalities in a small package.” They’re brave and energetic, and most owners would say these dogs don’t know how small they are.
  Small in size but big in personality, the Yorkshire Terrier makes a feisty but loving companion. The most popular toy dog breed in the U.S., the “Yorkie” has won many fans with his devotion to his owners, his elegant looks, and his suitability to apartment living.

  In eighth place is the Rottweiler. This breed, a member of the Working Group, is one of the descendants of Roman drover dogs. The AKC recognized it in 1931. Rottweilers are powerful dogs, and the AKC notes that “the Rottweiler is happiest when given a job to perform.” The breed’s intelligence and endurance makes Rottweilers great service dogs and companions. And according to the AKC, “No one told him that he’s not a toy breed, so at some point he’s going to plop onto your lap for a cuddle.”
  If you want a Rottweiler, learn how to raise it first! If you don't get these dogs off to the right start, you may never be able to control them, and they will be a constant danger to you, your family, and others. With a bite strength roughly 25% greater than a German Shepherd, they must be trained - it isn't optional. If you do learn to do it right, you will own one of the best and safest pets it is possible to own.

  In seventh place is the poodle, a member of the Non Sporting Group. Poodles, officially recognized by the AKC in 1887, are a single breed commonly divided into standard, miniature, and toy sizes. Poodles are known for being very intelligent and active dogs. They excel in obedience training and are eager to please their humans. All sizes of poodles can be trained successfully. The standard poodle tends to be more outgoing.
  These fluffy dogs weren't always the delicate beauties they are today. Poodles were once natural-born hunters and were originally bred as water retrievers. These prim and proper pups are still excellent swimmers with a knack for anything that involves using their brains as well as their brawn. Named after the German word for puddle, this breed's webbed feet and water-resistant coat make them great lake and pool companions who love the challenge of obedience training at the highest levels.

  In sixth place is the French bulldog, which is included in the Non Sporting Group. The AKC notes that two distinctive features of this breed, which it recognized in 1898, are its bat ears and the unique silhouette of its skull. French bulldogs are affectionate and playful. And the AKC reports that this breed “is a great companion for single pet owners, as well as families with young children.” They’re a little bit stubborn in nature, so you’ll need to exercise some patience when training a French bulldog. But in general, Frenchies are intelligent and eager to please their family.
  The Frenchie will make you laugh. He's a charming, clever dog with a sense of humor and a stubborn streak. Bred for centuries as a companion, he's very fond of people, and becomes particularly attached to his family. In fact, sometimes he becomes a little too attached, which means he's not the best choice for someone who'll be away long hours every day. It also means he absolutely, positively cannot live in the backyard or garage, but only indoors as a member of the family. That's doubly true given that he, like all brachycephalic, or "flat-faced" breeds, has difficulty regulating his body temperature and needs to live in a climate-controlled environment.

  In fifth place is the beagle, part of the AKC’s Hound Group. The AKC first recognized the breed in 1885. The beagle was bred primarily for hunting rabbits and hares, and beagles are still excellent hunting dogs and companions. They enjoy the company of people and other dogs; however, they’re a challenge to train because they want to follow their noses. As the AKC puts it, “Beagles are at best temporarily obedient due to their independent nature, which is common among most hounds.”
   Small, compact, and hardy, Beagles are active companions for kids and adults alike. Canines in this dog breed are merry and fun loving, but being hounds, they can also be stubborn and require patient, creative training techniques. Their noses guide them through life, and they're never happier than when following an interesting scent. The Beagle originally was bred as a scenthound to track small game, mostly rabbits and hare. He is still used for this purpose in many countries, including the United States.

  In fourth place is the bulldog, a member of the Non Sporting Group. The bulldog originated in the British Isles, and the AKC recognized it in 1886. Bulldogs are thick-set dogs with short faces and sturdy limbs. The AKC describes these medium-sized dogs as “equable, resolute and dignified.” Despite a “well-earned” reputation for stubbornness, bulldogs are very intelligent and can be very successfully trained.
  Bulldogs originally were used to drive cattle to market and to compete in a bloody sport called bullbaiting. Today, they’re gentle companions who love kids. A brief walk and a nap on the sofa is just this dog breed’s speed.

  In third place is the golden retriever, a highly identifiable breed, which the AKC recognized in 1925. Golden retrievers are a member of the Sporting Group and are active, alert, and confident. As the AKC explains, “It’s not surprising that golden retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. Along with being exuberant and friendly, they are strong dogs and hard workers.”
  The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the U.S. The breed's friendly, tolerant attitude makes him a fabulous family pet, and his intelligence makes him a highly capable working dog. Golden Retrievers excel at retrieving game for hunters, tracking, sniffing out drugs, and as therapy and assistance dogs. They're also natural athletes, and do well in dog sports such as agility and competitive obedience.
 This sporting breed has a sweet, gentle, people-pleasing personality. A well-bred Golden Retriever does not have strong guarding instincts, so don’t expect him to protect your home from burglars. He will, however, make friends with them and show them where the treats are.

  In second place is the German shepherd, a member of the Herding Group. The AKC recognized this breed in 1908. These dogs are smart and courageous, and they come from a long lineage of old herding and farm dogs. German shepherds are loyal family dogs and good guard dogs. According to the AKC, German shepherds are “considered dogdom’s finest all-purpose workers.”
 The German Shepherd Dog is a natural protector and so adaptable and intelligent that he has performed just about every job known to dog. If he had opposable thumbs, he would be unstoppable.
  The German Shepherd Dog is one of America's most popular dog breeds — for good reason. He's an intelligent and capable working dog. His devotion and courage are unmatched. And he's amazingly versatile, excelling at most anything he's trained to do: guide and assistance work for the handicapped, police and military service, herding, search and rescue, drug detection, competitive obedience and, last but not least, faithful companion.

  In first place is the Labrador retriever, a friendly and active member of the Sporting Group. The AKC recognized the breed in 1917. The Labrador retriever, the most popular dog breed in the United States, comes in three colors: yellow, black, and chocolate. These dogs are eager to please, which means they excel not only as family dogs, but also “as guide dogs for the blind, as part of search-and-rescue teams, or in narcotics detection with law enforcement.”
  Labrador Retrievers are among the most popular dog breeds out there today. Loyal, easy to get along with, and easy to train, these retrievers could be considered a neighborhood classic all around the United States and even in other parts of the world. But what exactly makes them such popular, well-respected dogs… and does a strong breed always mean that a Labrador Retriever will be the right dog for you?
  The Labrador Retriever was bred to be both a friendly companion and a useful working dog breed. Historically, he earned his keep as a fisherman’s helper: hauling nets, fetching ropes, and retrieving fish from the chilly North Atlantic. Today’s Labrador Retriever is as good-natured and hard working as his ancestors, and he’s America’s most popular breed. These days the Lab works as a retriever for hunters, assistance dog to the handicapped, show competitor, and search and rescue dog, among other canine jobs.



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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Everything about your Chinook

Everything about your Chinook
  Created in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the Chinook dog breed made his name on Admiral Byrd’s first Antarctic expedition in 1928. These days he’s a multipurpose dog who’s happy hiking, competing in agility and other dog sports, pulling a sled or other conveyance, and playing with the kids.

Overview
  This rare breed of sled dog got his start when musher Arthur Treadwell Walden of Wonalancet, New Hampshire, bred a farm dog of unknown heritage with a “northern” husky, producing a litter of puppies with tawny coats. One of the pups, named Chinook, grew up to father a breed of dogs who not only had his physical characteristics but also his gentle disposition. Indeed, the calm and dignified Chinook lavishes plenty of affection on each family member, but he’s best known for his love of children.
  With his heritage as a hard-working sled dog, the Chinook is intelligent and easy to train if you use positive reinforcement techniques, such as praise, play, and food rewards. If you lead an active, outdoorsy lifestyle, this is the dog for you. Chinooks are great companions for hikers and backpackers, and they thrive at dog sports, including sledding and skijoring.   They also perform well in agility, herding, obedience, and rally.

Highlights
  • Chinooks have a gentle, even temperament and are rarely shy or aggressive.
  • Chinooks should live indoors with their people, preferably in a home where they have access to a safely fenced yard.
  • Chinooks can be diggers.
  • Chinooks need 30 to 60 minutes of daily exercise. They enjoy hiking, jogging, and pulling, whether what's behind them is a sled, wagon, or person on skis or skates.
  • Chinooks are smart and learn quickly, but if you're not consistent in what you ask of them, they'll take advantage of you.
  • Chinooks are not barkers but can be talkative, whining and "woo-wooing" to express their opinions.
  • Chinooks have thick coats and shed heavily twice a year; the rest of the year they shed small amounts daily.
  • Chinooks need daily brushing to keep their coats clean, but baths are rarely necessary.
  • Chinooks love kids when they're raised with them, but can be reserved with them otherwise.
  • Never buy a Chinook from a puppy broker or pet store. Reputable breeders do not sell to middlemen or retailers, and there are no guarantees as to whether the puppy had healthy parents. Reputable breeders perform various health tests to ensure that their breeding dogs don't pass on a predisposition to genetic diseases.
  • Interview breeders thoroughly, and make sure the puppy's parents have been screened for genetic diseases pertinent to that breed. Ask breeders about the health issues they've encountered in their dogs, and don't believe a breeder who claims that her dogs never have any health problems. Ask for references so you can contact other puppy buyers to see if they're happy with their Chinook. Doing your homework may save you a lot of heartbreak later.
Other Quick Facts
  • In Inuit, Chinook means “warm winter winds.”
  • The Chinook is an uncommon breed, so expect to wait up to a year for a puppy to become available.
  • A Chinook can have either drop or erect ears, and you won’t be able to tell which type he’ll have until he’s four to six months old.
  • His hefty size may ward off an intruder, but the Chinook is not a guardian breed.
Breed standards
AKC group: Working Group
UKC group: Northern Breed Group
Average lifespan: 12 - 15 years
Average size: 55 - 70 pounds
Coat appearance: Dense to medium double coat
Coloration: Tawny, honey or reddish-gold
Hypoallergenic: No
Other identifiers: Muscular frame, wide nostrils, black nose, dark brown or amber eyes, moderate webbed toes and long curved tail
Possible alterations: May be white in color or have dewclaws, which are typically removed.
Comparable Breeds: Siberian Husky, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

History
  The Chinook is one of an increasing number of breeds claiming to be “made in America.” The powerful yet friendly dogs were created by musher Arthur Treadwell Walden, who started with some Greenland Husky sled dogs and a mastiff-type farm dog.  Walden was put in charge of assembling the team of 16 Chinooks used to transport supplies for Admiral Richard Byrd’s trek to Antarctica in 1927. Walden’s original dog, named Chinook, was part of this illustrious team.
  Following the expedition, Walden sold his kennel to Milt Seeley, Julia Lombard, and Perry and Honey Greene, but the breed’s numbers began to dwindle. In 1965, the Guinness Book of World Records declared the Chinook the most rare breed of dog in the world. When Neil and Marra Wollpert tried to find a Chinook in 1981, they discovered that there were only 11 dogs left who could be bred, so they worked successfully to preserve the dogs and rebuild the population.
  In an attempt to further save the breed, the Chinook Owners Association, in conjunction with the United Kennel Club, instituted a crossbreeding program. The intent was to add genetic diversity to the Chinook’s gene pool. Today, Chinooks are still uncommon — only 638 were registered with the American Kennel Club’s Foundation Stock Service in 2009. But the breed, which has been named the state dog of New Hampshire, appears to have a future.

Temperament
  One of the most wonderful traits of the Chinook is its gentle, even temperament, making it one of the easiest to own of all sled dog breeds. These calm and patient animals get along famously with children and other dogs. They are neither aggressive nor timid and, as working dogs, are programed to please their people. The Chinook does not make a good guard or watch dog. However, they do make wonderful dogs for high-energy families that have lots of time to spend with their pets. They will not thrive spending most of their time alone or apart from their family. Chinooks need constant companionship, either from other dogs or from their owners. A family that does not allow a dog in the house or rarely has time to train, exercise and socialize with their dog should consider a different breed. The Chinook has no trouble making friends but can be reserved at first with strangers or in unfamiliar surroundings.

Health Problems
  For the most part, Chinooks are pretty healthy dogs. They are prone to certain afflictions such as Cataracts, Seizures and Hip Dysplasia. Skin allergies have also been known to occur within the breed.

Care
  The coat of a Chinook requires little grooming, but because of its thickness it does shed, so a daily brushing may help to keep the shedding manageable. It requires moderate exercise and is a good family pet.

Living Conditions
  Chinooks adapt well to family life and prefer to accompany their "pack" on outings such as hiking or camping. They do not like to be left alone! Long periods of time without their family can lead to destructive behavior. Also, if left outside, they may attempt to dig under a fence. Although they are working dogs, Chinooks require little activity. They are happy to go along on long walks or hikes, but they are just as content to nap on the couch.


Trainability
  Chinooks are smart, versatile and highly trainable. However, they are strong-willed and can be a bit pushy. Almost every Chinook requires correction in order to avoid taking a dominant position in the household. This breed requires an owner with a firm but gentle hand to prevent personality and hierarchy controversies. Chinooks are high-spirited dogs that need consistent training and discipline in order to establish and maintain proper manners.   Training sessions give a Chinook the opportunity to expend some of its excess energy and use its brain power for constructive purposes. Chinooks are very clever, but they are likely to resist authority in favor of their own desires. Training a Chinook requires not just five or six weeks; training needs to continue every day for the rest of the dog’s life.

Exercise Requirements
  Every dog requires some form of exercise but the Chinook is a breed that craves it. He’ll never run around the backyard catching and bringing back balls or Frisbees but he’ll be a ready, willing and able jogging buddy or hiking companion. The Chinook will gladly stroll through the neighborhood with you on the other end of the leash or hop in the car for a trip to the pet store. With this being said, he will be thrilled to pull your kids’ sleds through the snow in the winter and do so exuberantly. He’ll even pull them around in their wagons in the summer. It’s simply that he was not born to retrieve things and few Chinooks enjoy that tedious task.
  After a good exercise session, he’ll be quite happy to stretch out in the kitchen while you make dinner or curl up next to you on the couch and watch TV. The Chinook is a calm companion indoors provided he does have a workout every day.

Grooming
  The Chinook has a thick, easy-to-groom double coat that sheds lightly every day. To remove dead hair and distribute skin oils, brush the coat once or twice a week. Baths are rarely necessary. Twice a year, the Chinook goes through a heavy shed, known as blowing coat. The process lasts for about three weeks, and you’ll want to brush your Chinook more often during that time to keep the loose hair under control.
  The rest is routine care: Chinook nails grow quickly, so trim them weekly. And brush his teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath.

Children And Other Pets
   A gentle and friendly Chinook can be a kid's best friend if they're brought up together. If your Chinook hasn't been socialized with kids, introduce the two slowly and calmly so the Chinook can become accustomed to the child at his own speed.
  Regardless, always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any ear biting or tail pulling on the part of either party.
  Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's sleeping or eating or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog, no matter how good-natured, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
  Because he was created to be a sled dog, the Chinook is a good team worker and usually gets along with other animals, cats included, but early socialization to other pets is still important. Males who haven't been neutered may be aggressive toward other males, especially unneutered males.

Is this breed right for you?
  Although bred as a working dog, the Chinook makes an excellent family pet with adults and children alike, although it is best that it is exposed to kids as a puppy. A calm and easy temperament, it is alert when needed and docile during rest periods. Tremendously loyal, the breed will follow its owner like a shadow and may experience separation anxiety. The Chinook will also need to be socialized early on and know that it is a dog and not a human. In addition, the breed requires very regular exercise and grooming.

Did You Know?
  In 1927, a team of 16 Chinooks accompanied Admiral Richard Byrd on his first expedition to Antarctica.

A dream day in the life
  The Chinook will likely wake up in the bedroom of its owner. Following you diligently, the breed will likely be your shadow throughout the day. After a long and brisk run, it'll settle in for breakfast with you. It will continue its day of activity, running in and out of the house and playing with the other members of the family. After its very busy day, it'll snooze happily at your feet.





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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Everything about your Great Dane

Everything about your Great Dane
  Very large but very gentle, this is truly a great dog. Sometimes referred to as the "Apollo of Dogs," the Great Dane was developed in Germany for its graceful appearance, large size, and hunting ability — all important attributes to the landed gentry. These same characteristics have made the breed popular today in America, even appearing in popular culture, such as the Hanna-Barbera cartoon character Scooby-Doo, the newspaper comic character Marmaduke, and Astro in the TV show The Jetsons.
  Great Danes combine robust strength with a refined dignity. In the home and around the yard, you’ll find them uniquely gifted with mental and physical strengths. Truly gentle giants, Great Danes are loving, affectionate and pleasant companions that like nothing better than to hang around the house with the family.

Overview
  The Great Dane was originally bred to hunt wild boar, but he probably wouldn't be very good at it today. The ferociousness necessary to track down such a large, wily animal was eventually bred out of the Great Dane. He's now a gentle soul who generally gets along well with other dogs, animals, and humans.
   However, his size and his power bark will scare the wits out of a burglar. Anyone who owns one of these dogs eventually understands that while you may be used to his awesome size, others usually need a little time to get there.
  The Great Dane was developed from Mastiff-type dogs, but he's more refined than other descendents of this ancient breed. A Great Dane is sleek and elegant. He has an athletic, muscular body. His massive head — and massive is the right word — is long and narrow. He's got a long, graceful neck. His ears can be cropped or left natural. 
  His size can present problems. Eyeballing a dog who weighs what you do makes some folks nervous. His tail can knock over a lot of things, particularly in a small space. And given the opportunity, he's an impressive counter surfer. Luckily, he isn't rambunctious or highly energetic.
  Size notwithstanding, a Great Dane is a sweet, affectionate companion. He loves to play and is gentle with children. He has a peaceful disposition, although he hasn't lost any of the courageousness that helped him hunt wild boar. Although he isn't particularly vocal , he wouldn't hesitate to defend his family.
  Even given his inherent gentleness, it's advisable to teach him good manners and attend obedience training classes when he's young. His sheer size alone could make him impossible to control when he's an adult, and — as with any dog — you never know when he might see something he just has to chase.
  He's eager to please and highly people-oriented, demanding a great deal of attention from those around him. He tends to nudge people with that big old head of his when he wants to be petted. Sometimes you'll meet one with lapdog tendencies who see no reason not to hop onto the sofa and drape themselves on you.
  Surprisingly, the Great Dane typically doesn't eat as much food as you'd think. And while he needs daily exercise, he doesn't need a huge yard to play in. 
Because of his beauty and gentle nature, more and more people are discovering the Great Dane. He currently ranks as the 24th most popular dog breed, according to registrations with the American Kennel Club.
  Just be aware that because of his size, he's got a relatively short life span of around eight years old. That means he takes up a huge space in your heart for a short amount of time.

Highlights
  • The Great Dane is sweet, eager to please, people-oriented, easy to housetrain, and he responds well to training using positive reinforcement.
  • Like many giant dogs, Great Danes are short-lived.
  • Great Danes require a lot of space. Even though they make great housedogs, they need a lot of room just to move around. There's little that they can't reach , and their tails can easily sweep your coffee table clean.
  • Everything costs more when you have a big dog — collars, veterinary care, heartworm preventive, food. In addition, you'll need both a crate and a vehicle that are large enough to hold your Great Dane without crumpling him into a pretzel. And let's face it, you'll scoop up a lot of poop.
  • It takes a while for the bones and joints of large dogs such as Great Danes to stop growing and become stable. Don't allow your Great Dane puppy to jump, and don't take him jogging until he's at least 18 months old; this will reduce stress on the growing bones and joints.
  • The Dane's special giant-breed dietary requirements have to be followed, or else orthopedic issues can develop.
  • Great Danes aren't particularly suited to apartments or small houses, simply because they're so big. They're not jumpers, fortunately, so a six-foot fence will contain them.
  • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.
  • Comparable Breeds: Boxer, Mastiff
History
   Drawings of dogs who look like Great Danes have been found on Egyptian artifacts dating back to 3000 B.C. and in Babylonian temples that were built around 2000 B.C. There's evidence that similar dogs originated in Tibet, with written reports of such dogs appearing in Chinese literature in 1121 B.C.
   The breed is thought to have been taken into various parts of the world by the Assyrians, who traded their dogs to the Greeks and Romans. The Greeks and Romans then bred these dogs with other breeds. Ancestors of the English Mastiff were probably involved in the breed development, and some folks believe that the Irish Wolfhound or Irish Greyhound also may have played a role.
  Great Danes originally were called Boar Hounds, because boars were what they were bred to hunt. Their ears were cropped to prevent boar tusks from tearing them. In the 16th century, the name of the breed was changed to "English Dogges."
  Late in the 1600s, however, many German nobles began keeping the largest and most handsome of their dogs in their homes, calling them Kammerhunde . These dogs were pampered and wore gilded collars lined with velvet. Talk about a sweet life.
  The name Great Dane arose in the 1700s, when a French naturalist traveled to Denmark and saw a version of the Boar Hound who was slimmer and more like a Greyhound in appearance.   He called this dog Grand Danois, which eventually became Great Danish Dog, with the more massive examples of the breed called Danish Mastiffs. The name stuck, even though Denmark did not develop the breed.
  Most breed historians give credit to German breeders for refining the breed to be the well-balanced, elegant dog we love today. In 1880, breeders and judges held a meeting in Berlin and agreed that since the dogs they were breeding were distinctly different from the English Mastiff, they would give it its own name — German Dog.
  They founded the Deutscher Doggen-Klub of Germany, and many other European countries took up the name as well. The Italians and English-speaking countries didn't accept this name, however.
  Throughout the late 1800s, wealthy German breeders continued to refine the breed. They turned their attention to the dog's temperament, because Great Danes had aggressive, ferocious temperaments due to the fact that they were originally bred to hunt wild boar, a particularly ferocious beast. These breeders tried to produce more gentle animals, and — luckily for us today — they succeeded.
  We don't know when the first Great Danes were brought to the U.S., or even where they came from, but the Great Dane Club of America was formed in 1889. It was the fourth breed club allowed to join the American Kennel Club.


Personality
  A well-bred Dane is one of the best-natured dogs around. He's a gentle, sweet, affectionate pet who loves to play and is relaxed with children. He has a great desire to please, which makes him easy to train.
  The Great Dane wants to be where the family is. He likes people a lot, including strangers and children, and will welcome visitors happily, unless he thinks you need defending. Then he can be fiercely protective.
  Some Danes wish they were lapdogs, and they'll keep trying to get there even if you and your lap mysteriously keep moving.
  Good-natured as they are, Great Danes definitely need early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Great Dane puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.
  Enrolling him in a puppy kindergarten class is a great start. Inviting visitors over regularly, and taking him to busy parks, stores that allow dogs, and on leisurely strolls to meet neighbors will also help him polish his social skills.


Is this breed right for you?
  As one of the tallest and largest breeds in the world, it's plain to see the Great Dane needs ample space to stretch its legs; however, due to its calm and lazy disposition, this breed can adapt to smaller dwellings. By nature, this is an athletic breed and daily exercise is required to keep the Great Dane in tip-top health. Great Danes love to be around people and do very well with families of all ages and sizes. Owners with very young children will want to make sure training and socialization is implemented early on as this extra-large breed could be a hazard to small children if not properly trained. This breed is prone to a short lifespan and may suffer from bloat. Owners should be prepared for potential health hazards and vet visits.


Health
  Great Danes, like most giant dogs, have a fairly slow metabolism. This results in less energy and less food consumption per pound of dog than in small breeds. Great Danes have some health problems that are common to large breeds, including bloat (gastric dilatation volvulus(GDV)). The average life span of Great Danes is 6 to 8 years. Like many larger breeds, Great Danes are at particular risk for hip dysplasia.
  Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and many congenital heart diseases are also commonly found in the Great Dane, leading to its nickname: the Heartbreak breed, in conjunction with its shorter lifespan. Great Danes also may carry the merle gene, which is part of the genetic makeup that creates the harlequin coloring.
   The merle gene is an incomplete dominant, meaning only one copy of the gene is needed to show the merle coloring; two merle genes produce excessive white markings and many health issues such as deafness, blindness, or other debilitating ocular issues. Great Danes can also develop something called "wobblers disease" that can affect their vertebral column. Since these dogs do grow at a rapid rate, the bones in their vertebrae can push up against the spinal cord and cause a little bit of weakness in the legs. This can be treated with surgery or it may straighten itself out.

Care
  Coat care for this breed is minimal. It does, however, need regular exercise, which can be accomplished with a lengthy walk or a fast-paced game. And although the Great Dane looks sturdy, the dog cannot live outdoors. Instead, it is more suited to an equal schedule of indoor and outdoor activities. While indoors, it should be given plenty of space and a soft bed for sleeping.

Living Conditions
  The Great Dane will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. It is relatively inactive indoors and does best with at least a large yard.


Exercise
  Like most dogs, Great Danes require daily walks to maintain their health. However, it is important not to over exercise this breed, particularly when young. Great Dane puppies grow very large, very fast, which puts them at risk of joint and bone problems. Because of a puppy's natural energy, Dane owners often take steps to minimize activity while the dog is still growing.
Given their large size, Great Danes continue to grow (mostly gaining weight) longer than most dogs. Even at one year of age a Great Dane will continue to grow for several more months.

Grooming
 The smooth, shorthaired coat is easy to groom. Comb and brush with a firm bristle brush and dry shampoo when necessary. Bathing this giant is a major chore, so it pays to avoid the need by daily grooming. The nails must be kept trimmed. This breed is an average shedder.


Children and other pets
  A Great Dane loves children and is gentle with them, especially when raised with them from puppyhood. Keep in mind he doesn't have any idea how big he is compared to a small child, and so can accidentally knock them over quite easily.
  As with every breed, you should always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child not to approach any dog while he's eating or sleeping or to try to take the dog's food away.
  Generally speaking, a Great Dane will get along with other pets in the household, but occasionally some can be aggressive with livestock, or they just may not care for the other pets. It's an individual taste: some won't tolerate another animal in the house, while others will snooze with the cats and other dogs.

Popular culture
  • Fang, Hagrid's dog from the Harry Potter series, is a boarhound, another name for Great Danes. Though in the movie, the role was played by a Neapolitan Mastiff.
  • Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel was nicknamed the "Great Dane".
  • The Great Dane was named the state dog of Pennsylvania in 1965.
  • Scooby-Doo, the famous Hanna-Barbera character, was based on a Great Dane by animation designer Iwao Takamoto. Takamoto based his illustrations on sketches given to him by a Hanna-Barbera employee who bred this dog. Scooby closely resembles a Great Dane, although his tail is longer than the breed's, bearing closer resemblance to a cat's tail.
  • The athletic teams of the University at Albany have been known as the Great Danes since 1965. Damien The Great Dane has been the mascot since that time. In 2003, the school added Lil' D, a smaller Great Dane, to help Damien entertain the crowds.
  • The University of Iowa had Great Danes, Rex I and Rex II, as mascots before the Hawkeye was chosen.
  • Astro, the dog in The Jetsons.
  • Brutus in The Ugly Dachshund, a Great Dane raised by a Dachshund mother.
  • Marmaduke is a newspaper comic strip drawn by Brad Anderson from 1954 to the present day. The strip revolves around the Winslow family and their Great Dane, Marmaduke.
  • Singer, the main but tragic hero of The Guardian, a novel by Nicholas Sparks.
  • Elmer, a Great Dane in Oswald the Lucky Rabbit by Walter Lantz
  • In each film version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles, a Great Dane was cast as the cursed hellhound that kills the Baskerville family.
  • Ace the Bat-Hound, from the Batman TV series, was depicted as a Great Dane mix. In the animated series Batman Beyond, Bruce Wayne owns a black Great Dane mix he picked up on the street, also named Ace.
  • Ben, Hōgen, and Genba from Japanese anime and manga, Ginga Nagareboshi Gin and Ginga Densetsu Weed.
  • Just Nuisance who was the only dog to be officially enlisted in the Royal Navy. Done mainly as a morale booster for World War II enlisted troops, Nuisance proved to be a lasting legacy of the small Cape Town suburb of Simons Town.
  • Chestnut: Hero of Central Park revolves around the inventive ways the Great Dane is kept hidden from his new owners.
A dream day in the life of a Great Dane
  Watching a television show marathon on a cloudy Sunday afternoon would make this giant a happy camper. To make the day even better, a nap on your lap would complete a perfect day. This breed does have an athletic built and needs daily exercise. Although he would prefer the couch or bed, he'll be a healthier pooch with daily walks, meaning more time and more years to spend lounging around with you.



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