Devin Harris of Joplin, MO is the owner and operator of Great Danes of the Ozarks, a family business where he breeds and shows these majestic animals. In the following article, Devin Harris discusses the history of the Great Dane, and how these canines have been essential to their humans for hundreds of years.
To see a Great Dane is to fall in love with one. Not only are they majestically large in stature, but their capacity to steal the hearts of those they come across is just as overwhelming. This is one of the most well-loved and sought-after dog breeds in the world. Learning about the history of the breed will only create an even greater love explains Devin Harris of Joplin, MO.
Origin of the Breed
For those who know about the Great Danes of today, there’s no question that they are one of the most affectionate dog breeds around. Commonly referred to as the “gentle giant”- their size is nothing but a testament to how much they can love.
However, it may be unsurprising to find out that their size is the result of meticulous breeding to have the dog look intimidating rather than cute. When the Great Dane was first bred, they were primarily known as a hunting breed or kept for protection, rather than companion animals according to Devin Harris of Great Danes of the Ozarks.
The stature of the Great Dane didn’t come without careful calculation explains Devin Harris of Joplin, MO. In order to formulate the most effective hunting breed possible, this variety was formed to replicate the size and hunting ability of other notable breeds at the time: the Irish Wolfhound, the Greyhound, and the English Mastiff.
Devin Harris of Great Danes of the Ozarks explains that the result was nothing short of intimidating- as the mere sight of a Great Dane guarding an estate was enough to send unsavory characters running. On top of that, the dog made the perfect hunting companion due to its innate knack for boar hunting.
As previously mentioned, the first families who owned Great Danes did so to protect estates, as well as to have an extra set of paws to take down a wild boar or two (especially since so few breeds had the capacity to take down wild game in the way a Great Dane could!).
That being said, Devin Harris of Joplin, MO explains that they were a breed of prestige and often found themselves in the homes of royal families or households of nobility. Despite their name of “Dane”- they are a German-born breed and were often called “Deutsch Dogge” in the 1800s.
Devin Harris of Joplin, MO explains that it’s been hundreds of years since their existence, but the love for the Great Dane has far from diminished. In fact, it’s only grown with the times!
Devin Harris of Great Danes of the Ozarks says that due to the sheer size of the dog, it goes without saying that this breed is best for those who have enough space to accommodate them. They’re quite an active breed and require lots of attention and exercise to keep them happy and fulfilled.
In spite of that, Devin Harris of Joplin, MO says that they’re extremely gentle and affectionate creatures and do fantastic with children and other dogs. The main point to keep in mind is that they are extremely curious animals, and though a bulk of their hunting instincts have been bred out of them- they do have a tendency to follow their nose (so keep them on a leash when necessary!).
Also not bred out of them is their sheer strength. These are muscular animals- and they’re totally not aware of how much damage they can cause when they’re excited! That means that owners should take the time to train their new pet to ensure they can be kept under control when it counts. The Great Dane brain absorbs like a sponge, so training shouldn’t be exceedingly difficult.
Things To Keep in Mind
Great Danes, due to their size, are often at risk for a number of health concerns- more than the average breed. Their bone structure makes them prone to joint and bone diseases, while their deep chests make them prone to potentially serious diseases like GDV and bloat explains Devin Harris of Great Danes of the Ozarks.
These dogs also have a tendency to get sick, as most large dog breeds do, so it’s vital that potential owners are aware of the likely medical costs that come with owning a Great Dane explains Devin Harris of Joplin, MO. They are also known for their shorter life spans, around 7-10 years.
Though their life expectancy is shorter than most other breeds, owning a Great Dane can be one of the most fulfilling experiences of any dog owner’s life- they’re a breed as big in what they have to offer as their size!