Great Danes are one of the largest breeds of dogs. Many people refer to them as the “gentle giant”, as well as the “horse” of the canine family, and rightly so. The Guinness World Record setter for being the largest dog was a Great Dane and he stood over 5 feet tall. Great Danes hail from Germany and the name for the breed is, Deutsche Dogge, or German Mastiff. This is a very regal looking breed that combines strength and elegance with dignity and power. It’s smooth-looking muscles are well-formed throughout its body and it moves with grace and exceptional balance, for its large size. The Great Dane is a short-haired working dog, and was originally used as a hunting dog. Today, many people own Great Danes as household pets due to their sweet, loving nature and generally well-disposition nature. Great Danes come in a variety of colors, including black. A true black Great Dane is not as easy to come by or as common as many of the other colors. If you are considering purchasing one of these dogs, keep reading to learn seven things you didn’t know about the black Great Dane.
1. Color combos that produce black
The black Great Dane are typically produced when there is a black and black mating, however, black with black can also produce the blue Great Dane if either of the parents had a “blue gene.” Even though most people wish for a pure black dog, there are many black Great Danes who are born with mild to moderate white fur also on the body, typically on the chest and toes. This color combo is usually found when a Harlequin/Harlequin or a Harlequin and Black breeding occur.
2. AKC requirements to be considered black
Although it is very common for a black Great Dane to be born with some white on his body, AKC will not consider a Great Dane with any other color markings, including white, to be qualified as a true black Great Dane. It is not acceptable and will be disqualified. Another unacceptable issue with trying to obtain a black Great Dane is by breeding a Brindle and a Black Fawn color combination, as well as a Fawn and Black together. These combinations often produce black offspring, however, it is not acceptable with the Great Dane Club of America’s Breeder’s Color Code.
3. Black shows off a Dane’s physique
One of the reasons many people, or those who like to show Great Danes, like the color black and choose the black color if at all possible, is due to the way the black shines and glistens, showing off the dog’s every muscle. The black sheen is known to reflect light and make the dog appear exceptionally muscular, which, for those who raise the dogs for show purposes, know it can add points for the dog, in the ring.
4. Ear cropping
Most people who own Great Danes, still choose to keep with the traditional look of the breed and have the ears cropped. The ears were originally cropped in an effort to help prevent injuries to their ears when they were hunting, chasing wild boars. The cropped ears helped prevent the dogs’ ears from getting snagged and caught in brush and thickets as it ran through the woods. Although some people let the ears grow and fall naturally into their place on the dog’s head, many don’t consider this the traditional look of the dog.
5. Largest lap dog
If you own a black Great Dane, then you probably already know what big babies they are. This is a very loving affectionate dog and they often times do not realize their own size. They prefer to be close to their owner and are known to try to climb into their owner’s lap while sitting on the couch. They are often referred to as largest lap dog and if you want to own one of these dogs, you might want to make room for it on your couch.
6. Can become aggressive due to fearfulness
It is very important that Great Danes are well trained and socialized well due to their size and their ability to cause a great deal of damage if they were to become aggressive. They are typically loving dogs and very well natured, however, Great Danes, including black Great Danes, are known to get fearful in strange environments and around new stimuli. This is often seen around strangers and in strange environments. If a Great Dane, or black Great Dane begins to feel fearful, it is not uncommon for it to become aggressive, especially if it is not properly trained or well socialized.
7. Health Issues
Large breeds of dogs often have health issues that small dogs don’t. One of the most common is with hip dysplasia. Other medical conditions often seen in the Great Dane family, including the black Great Danes, is with bloat, as well as heart conditions that can cause the shortening of its lifespan. One medical condition that can be treatable or resolve on its own, is Wobbler disease. This condition develops due to the fast growing pace a Great Dane does, and causes the vertebrae to push up against the spinal column, which weakens the legs.