History of Great Dane, the making of one of the world's largest dog breeds in history.
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History of Great Dane ::
THE GREAT DANE The origin of the Great Dane, like that of many other varieties of dogs, is so obscure that all researches have only resulted in speculative theories, but the undoubted antiquity of this dog is proved by the fact that representatives of a breed sufficiently similar to be considered his ancestors are found on some of the oldest Egyptian monuments.
History of Great Dane :: He was commonly referred to as the Boarhound, or the German Mastiff, and for a time the breed had to undergo a probationary period in the "Foreign Class" at dog shows, but it soon gained in public favour, and in the early 'eighties a Great Dane Club was formed, and the breed has since become one of the most popular of the larger dogs. The Kennel Club has classed the Great Dane amongst the Non-Sporting dogs, probably because with us he cannot find a quarry worthy of his mettle; but, for all that, he has the instincts and qualifications of a sporting dog, and he has proved himself particularly valuable for hunting big game in hot climates, which he stands very well. Respecting the temperament of the Great Dane and his suitability as a companion writers have gone to extremes in praise and condemnation.
History of Great Dane Training
It is not sufficient to teach him in the haphazard way which might be successful in getting a small dog under control, but even as a companion he ought to be trained systematically, and, considering his marked intelligence, this is not difficult of accomplishment. The Great Dane attains his full development in about a year and a half to two years, and, considering that puppies have to build up in that time a very big skeleton and straight limbs, special attention must be given to the rearing of them.
History of Great Dane Breeding
The dam whelps frequently eight puppies, and sometimes even a few more. Mr. Larke's Princess Thor had a litter of seventeen, but even eight is too great a number for a bitch to suckle in a breed where great size is a desideratum. Not more than four, or at the outside five, should be left with the bitch; the others should be put to a foster mother, or if they are weaklings or foul-marked, it is best to destroy them. After the puppies are weaned, their food should be of bone-making quality, and they require ample space for exercise and play. Nothing is worse than to take the youngsters for forced marches before their bones have become firm.
History of Great Dane Characteristics
The general characteristic of the Great Dane is a combination of grace and power, and therefore the lightness of the Greyhound, as well as the heaviness of the Mastiff, must be avoided. The head should be powerful, but at the same time show quality by its nice modelling. The eyes should be intelligent and vivacious, but not have the hard expression of the terrier. The distance between the eyes is of great importance; if too wide apart they give the dog a stupid appearance, and if too close he has a treacherous look. Another very important point is the graceful carriage of the tail. When it is curled over the back it makes an otherwise handsome dog look mean, and a tail that curls at the end like a corkscrew is also very ugly.
History of Great Dane Appearance
The orthodox colours are brindle, fawn, blue, black, and harlequin. In the brindle dogs the ground colour should be any shade from light yellow to dark red-yellow on which the brindle appears in darker stripes. The harlequins have on a pure white ground fairly large black patches, which must be of irregular shape, broken up as if they had been torn, and not have rounded outlines. When brindle Great Danes are continuously bred together, it has been found that they get darker, and that the peculiar "striping" disappears, and in that case the introduction of a good fawn into the strain is advisable. The constant mating of harlequins has the tendency to make the black patches disappear, and the union with a good black Great Dane will prevent the loss of colour.
The following is the official description issued by the Great Dane Club:-- * * * * * GENERAL APPEARANCE--The Great Dane is not so heavy or massive as the Mastiff, nor should he too nearly approach the Greyhound type. Remarkable in size and very muscular, strongly though elegantly built; the head and neck should be carried high, and the tail in line with the back, or slightly upwards, but not curled over the hind-quarters.
Elegance of outline and grace of form are most essential to a Dane; size is absolutely necessary; but there must be that alertness of expression and briskness of movement without which the Dane character is lost. He should have a look of dash and daring, of being ready to go anywhere and do anything. TEMPERAMENT--The Great Dane is good-tempered, affectionate, and faithful to his master, not demonstrative with strangers; intelligent, courageous, and always alert. His value as a guard is unrivalled. He is easily controlled when well trained, but he may grow savage if confined too much, kept on chain, or ill treated.
HEIGHT--The minimum height of an adult dog should be 30 ins.; that of a bitch, 28 ins. WEIGHT--The minimum weight of an adult dog should be 120 lbs.; that of a bitch, 100 lbs. The greater height and weight to be preferred, provided that quality and proportion are also combined.
HEAD--Taken altogether, the head should give the idea of great length and strength of jaw. The muzzle, or foreface, is broad, and the skull proportionately narrow, so that the whole head, when viewed from above and in front, has the appearance of equal breadth throughout.
LENGTH OF HEAD--The entire length of head varies with the height of the dog, 13 ins. from the tip of the nose to the back of the occiput is a good measurement for a dog of 32 ins. at the shoulder. The length from the end of the nose to the point between the eyes should be about equal, or preferably of greater length than from this point to the back of the occiput. SKULL--The skull should be flat rather than domed, and have a slight indentation running up the centre, the occipital peak not prominent. There should be a decided rise or brow over the eyes, but no abrupt stop between them.
FACE--The face should be chiselled well and foreface long, of equal depth throughout, and well filled in below the eyes with no appearance of being pinched.
MUSCLES OF THE CHEEK--The muscles of the cheeks should be quite flat, with no lumpiness or cheek bumps, the angle of the jaw-bone well defined. LIPS--The lips should hang quite square in front, forming a right angle with the upper line of foreface.
UNDERLINE--The underline of the head, viewed in profile, runs almost in a straight line from the corner of the lip to the corner of the jawbone, allowing for the fold of the lip, but with no loose skin to hang down. JAW--The lower jaw should be about level, or at any rate not project more than the sixteenth of an inch.
NOSE AND NOSTRILS--The bridge of the nose should be very wide, with a slight ridge where the cartilage joins the bone. (This is quite a characteristic of the breed.) The nostrils should be large, wide, and open, giving a blunt look to the nose. A butterfly or flesh-coloured nose is not objected to in harlequins.
EARS--The ears should be small, set high on the skull, and carried slightly erect, with the tips falling forward. NECK--Next to the head, the neck is one of the chief characteristics. It should be long, well arched, and quite clean and free from loose skin, held well up, snakelike in carriage, well set in the shoulders, and the junction of head and neck well defined. SHOULDERS--The shoulders should be muscular but not loaded, and well sloped back, with the elbows well under the body, so that, when viewed in front, the dog does not stand too wide.
FORE-LEGS AND FEET--The fore-legs should be perfectly straight, with big flat bone. The feet large and round, the toes well arched and close, the nails strong and curved. BODY--The body is very deep, with ribs well sprung and belly well drawn up.
BACK AND LOINS--The back and loins are strong, the latter slightly arched, as in the Greyhound.
HIND-QUARTERS--The hind-quarters and thighs are extremely muscular, giving the idea of great strength and galloping power. The second thigh is long and well developed as in a Greyhound, and the hocks set low, turning neither out nor in.
TAIL--The tail is strong at the root and ends in a fine point, reaching to or just below the hocks. It should be carried, when the dog is in action, in a straight line level with the back, slightly curved towards the end, but should not curl over the back.
COAT--The hair is short and dense, and sleek-looking, and in no case should it incline to coarseness.
GAIT OR ACTION--The gait should be lithe, springy, and free, the action high. The hocks should move very freely, and the head should be held well up.
COLOUR--The colours are brindle, fawn, blue, black, and harlequin. The harlequin should have jet black patches and spots on a pure white ground; grey patches are admissible but not desired; but fawn or brindle shades are objectionable.
Note's:: This is the end of the History of Great Dane page, you may also be interested in a general overview of the History of Dogs.
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