Just when you thought you’d met every designer dog breed there is to meet, a new one pops up. This time, it’s the Italian Daniff, a giant gentle that combines all the best qualities of its parent breeds, the Great Dane and the Cane Corso Italiano. Despite their huge, intimidating bulk, the Italian Daniff is a sweet-natured, fun-loving dog with a laid-back personality and a ton of love to give. They adore children, like hanging out with other animals, and love to please. If you want to find out more about them, read on for 10 things you didn’t know about the Italian Daniff.
1. They’re a cross between the Cane Corso Italiano and the Great Dane
The Italian Daniff is a designer crossbreed that combines the best of its two parent breeds, the Cane Corso Italiano and the Great Dane. According to wagwalking.com, the Cane Corso Italiano is a direct descendant of the great war dogs of the Romans. Over the years, they’ve been utilized as both a farm dog and a hunter’s companion, but it’s their reputation as a guard dog that’s stood the test of time (and which, in fact, gives them their name: Corso is derived from ‘cohors’ which means ‘bodyguard’). The Great Dane, meanwhile, can trace its roots back to 3,000 BC Babylonia. Originally developed as a formidable hunter of wild boars, it eventually becomes the favored dog of the German nobility. In 1889, it was recognized by the American Kennel Club and has since become a much-loved companion breed.
2. Their history is a mystery
While we know the Italian Daniff is a cross between the Great Dane and Cane Corso, that’s about all we know about its origins. As canineweekly.com (canineweekly.com/daniff/) outlines, as is so often the case with designer crossbreeds, there’s very little information about where the Italian Daniff comes from. Most people believe it began to be developed in the US at some point in the last 10 to 15 years, but where, why, and when exactly, no one can say for sure.
3. They’re massive
Neither the Great Dane nor the Cane Corso are dainty dogs, and neither is their offspring. In fact, the Italian Daniff is nothing short of huge, with well-muscled hindquarters, a broad chest, giant feet, and slightly intimating jaws. Although sizes vary with any crossbreed, most Italian Daniffs stand between 35 and 36 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 115 and 130 pounds.
4. They’re low maintenance
The Italian Daniff might look impressive, but as greatdane.co.in notes, they actually require very little maintenance to stay in tip-top shape. Their short coat rarely sheds: a quick brush every few days to remove any stray hairs and add some luster is all that’s needed. Twice weekly brushing should be enough to keep their pearly whites in good condition. As their long, floppy ears can occasionally cause issues, they should be checked regularly for signs of infection or irritation and gently wiped once a week to remove any wax build-up. Toenails will usually wear down of their own accord, but if you notice them starting to make a clicking noise against tiles, use a pair of dog nail clippers to give them a trim. As their short coat doesn’t pick up or hang onto smells, you won’t need to worry about bathing them unless they decide to roll in something particularly obnoxious.
5. They’re surprisingly gentle
Although the Italian Daniff’s girth and height can make strangers cross the street to avoid them, they’re actually an incredibly gentle, sweet-natured dog with an easy-going, laid-back nature that makes them a great companion to children. Although interactions with young kids should always be monitored, the breed rarely gets overexcited enough to pose a threat. They’re also incredibly quiet: if they come across an intruder, they may bark to alert you to their presence, but other than that, they prefer to keep mum.
6. They don’t need as much exercise as you think
Given their size, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Italian Daniff would require an endless amount of exercise. In actual fact, they’re secret couch potatoes, preferring to snooze on the sofa than go for a run. A 30-minute walk to keep their muscles in good shape is all that’s really needed. They do, however, love interacting with other dogs and people, so will never say no to a trip to the dog park.
7. They can suffer from bloat
Most crossbreeds tend to escape the genetic health problems that sometimes afflict their parent breeds, but due to how new the Italian Daniff is to the world, it’s a good idea to keep your eyes peeled for any of the problems that regularly affect the Cane Corso and Great Dane. Possible ailments include elbow dysplasia, canine hip dysplasia, bloat, and allergies
8. They’re not suited to apartment living
The Italian Daniff is a big, big dog, Their exercise needs might not be extensive, but they still need plenty of space to stretch out in. If you live in a tiny studio at the top of a high rise, think twice before you welcome one into your life. This is a dog that needs a good-sized, family house to accommodate its bulk. If that house comes with a yard, so much the better.
9. They’re easy to train
Both the Cane Corso and Great Dane are smart dogs, and their offspring is no different. Thanks to their high intelligence and willingness to learn, they make great students. Like all dogs, they benefit from a training routine that involves lots of positive reinforcement and consistency. To avoid the risk of them getting bored, training sessions should be kept short and sweet.
10. They have a 12-year average lifespan
Giant breeds don’t tend to have the longest lifespans in the world, and in that at least, the Italian Daniff is no exception. Although every dog is different, most Italian Daniffs can be expected to live for between 8-12 years. To give yours the best shot at a long and healthy life, aim to feed them a well-balanced diet specially formulated for giant breeds and provide enough exercise to keep them sleek and tones. Regular checkups will with the vet are also recommended to allow any potential problems to be nipped in the bud.