Many families choose a Great Dane as a breed of dog to adopt into their family pack. Great Danes are absolutely beautiful and they come in over 30 different color combinations.
Learning about a breed in depth can help you to decide if this is the new four-legged family member for your situation.
AKC Show Dog or Family Dog?
Solid black Great Danes do very well in the dog show arena. The pitch-black coat allows light to bounce off his highly defined muscles that cover his body while he holds his head high and appears regal.
AKC registered all-black Great Danes are pretty expensive, especially if they come from championship bloodlines.
However, if you are just seeking a black Great Dane as a family companion and protector, you may not mind if he has some white markings on him.
Great Dane AKC Recognized Great Dane Colors
The AKC recognizes seven of the color combinations of Great Danes for show dogs. The most common color is fawn, in which the majority of the body and legs are fawn colored and the dog will have a black or very dark mask that covers over the ears and moves downward to the nose.
The brindle Great Dane has a mismatched pattern of different stripes in many colors, including black and red, fawn and black, light gray and dark gray or blue.
The undercoat of a brindle Great Dane is generally the most common color of fawn, although it can be a darker fawn or a red color.
The blue Great Dane is often called blue steel because of the shade of blue. A blue Great Dane may have a lighter or darker blue coat, but the true color is blue steel. This distinctive color will not have any other color anywhere on the body.
The black Great Dane is bred specifically for showing purposes, but it can also be a great companion dog for any family.
This puppy will be solid black and it can’t include any white on the chest or tips of the toes as some do to be recognized by the AKC.
Harlequin Great Danes have a pure white coat with black markings on it. The markings are splotched in irregular patterns as if someone spilled or splattered paint on them.
There are some additional items that must be satisfied also to be registered as AKC. The black areas can’t be very large as to cover most of the body and the neck must be purely white.
The two-colored coat on a Great Dane is called the mantle. The body is mostly all black with white markings on the muzzle, around the collar, chest, both front legs, and hind legs.
The Merle Great Dane is the most recent addition in a color that was approved by the AKC in 2018.
The base coat of this Great Dane is usually dark gray instead of white like a harlequin. The spotting on the body is not just black but also has white spots as well, making it a three-color coat with different patterns of splotches.
Each of these breeds must have two parents of the same color to produce puppies of the same color.
When two different coat patterns of Great Danes mix and have puppies, they will be many different colors and very interesting in about 30 other variations.
The Gentle Giant of a Dog
The Great Dane is a very large dog and he belongs to the giant category because of his great height and weight.
Great Danes have very slim and elegant figures and they are highly muscled, even as puppies. The Guinness Book of World Records recorded the tallest Great Dane at over 5 feet tall–now that’s a lot of dogs.
You can expect your Great Dane pup to grow up to 28 to 32 inches tall at the shoulder when he’s full-grown and he will weigh anywhere between110 and 175 pounds. The females are usually a bit shorter and lighter than the males.
Great Danes are very affectionate with their family members and love to lie in your lap when they are puppies.
Even as an adult, your furry friend will likely still want to be a lap dog. However, he may need to settle for being on the couch as he won’t really fit in your lap very well.
Great Dane Health Issues
Great Danes are predisposed genetically to certain different health issues for their breed. This includes bloat, hip dysplasia, thyroid issues, heart problems, and eye issues.
A good breeder will have both parent dogs screened for all of these health issues and will only breed puppies from healthy parents.
You can ask a breeder for these records to put your mind at ease when you are adopting a black Great Dane pup.
Great Danes, being a giant breed, have a much shorter lifespan than small and toy breeds of dogs.
You can expect your gentle giant to live to be somewhere between 7 and 10 years with good veterinary care and checkups as well as vaccines.
Great Dane Grooming Needs
Great Danes require very minimal grooming and only need to be brushed about once a week. When they are shed once or twice a year, you should brush them once a day with a medium bristle brush or a rubber shedding glove. You only need to give your big baby a bath when he gets dirty or about every 3 months.
You should also trim your dog’s nails about once every 3 to 4 weeks. Giant breeds of dogs with long nails will have pain in their toes because of the way it makes them walk.
Dogs that exercise on the pavement or a sidewalk will naturally trim their nails down a bit and won’t need clipping very often.
All Black Great Dane Exercising Needs
This magnificent breed of dog is very laid back and sedate and doesn’t require a lot of strenuous exercise on a daily basis.
Two or three brisk walks per day are sufficient or, if you have a house and a securely fenced back yard, you can play fetch with your pup several times a day for his exercise.
Great Danes make great jogging partners with their families, but you should wait until your pooch is at least 2 years old so he doesn’t get hip injuries, as the breed is predisposed to hip dysplasia. Also, don’t exercise your dog heavily just before or after he eats, as this can cause bloat.
Feeding Your Great Dane
Your Great Dane, being a giant breed, will eat about 6 to 10 cups of dry dog food per day when he is mature.
This can be a considerable cost that a new owner may not realize. It’s also best to feed your four-legged pal an adult dog food that is specially formulated for giant breed dogs.
These foods have glucosamine in them to support healthy joints because large and giant breed dogs will often have joint issues because of their size and weight, putting stress on the joints.
Remember that your gentle giant won’t reach maturity until he is at least 2 years old, so keep him on puppy food until then and then choose a large breed dog food with good sources of meat and poultry in it.
It’s also best to feed a giant breed dog 3 times a day if possible or at least twice a day to space out his food and give him energy all day.
This will also help to maintain his weight and keep him from overheating, which can lead to joint issues later in life.
Puppy Care For Cropped Ears
If you purchase an all-black Great Dane pup from a breeder, they most likely will already have their ears cropped.
It’s an appearance that makes your Great Dane look like the AKC breed, so most breeders have puppies’ ears cropped.
Not only does cropping the ears look nice and give your pooch that distinguished air, but it allows airflow to his ear canals and helps to prevent infections from forming when the ear canals stay moist after a bath or swimming.
It’s important to know what to look for and how to care for them properly to avoid any type of secondary infection.
Ear cropping is usually done by a veterinarian when the puppies are between 8 and 16 weeks old. This is the best time to do the procedure for the best results and quickest time in healing of the ears.
Aftercare is needed after the procedure and for up to 6 to 8 weeks while the ears heal. You should keep your fur buddy’s ears clean and use Neosporin or peroxide to clean them up to 3 times a day.
If your pup has scabs forming, soak them in some warm water and then gently remove them. Scabs can prevent the ears from standing up as they should.
If your puppy needs to go back to the vet to have stitches removed or a check-up on his ears, make certain that you do take him to prevent infections. The vet can help so that the ears will heal fast and properly.
If you notice any type of infection in its beginning stages, take your pooch to the vet right away so he can be examined and given antibiotics.
Great Dane Training
It’s important to note that if you adopt a Great Dane as a puppy, you should be prepared to start training him immediately.
He will grow very quickly and you should teach him basic commands of sit, stay, down and come.
These commands will help him to understand how to act around other people and pets as well.
You wouldn’t want a 120-pound dog jumping up on you when you return home from running errands or knocking over a baby.
Great Danes are easy to train because they love the praise and petting that comes with mastering a new command.
This breed is smart and very quick to learn any type of behavior that you want to see in them. Your newfound friend will love to be anywhere that your family is, whether it’s inside or outside.
Great Dane Personality Traits
Your black Great Dane will look particularly intimidating to strangers. It’s very important to teach obedience and socialization to your puppy at a very young age so he can act appropriately in different situations.
A great place for socialization is the dog park. Teach your pooch to walk on the leash properly and allow him to play with different kinds and sizes of dogs to get used to them.
He will also encounter the other dog’s family members who take them to the park and chances are, they quite dog friendly since they have their own dog.
This can be one of the best places to teach your pooch socialization. When Great Danes get uncomfortable in any situation, they may actually become aggressive–this is what you want to avoid with training and socialization from a very young age.
All Black Great Dane Puppies
Just as expected, a large dog usually comes with a sizeable price tag. You can expect to pay anywhere from $600 to $3,000 for a black Great Dane puppy.
If you are searching for a show dog, the price tag will be at least $3,000 but if you are looking for a family pet, you may only pay about $1,500 for a companion.
You may have to search quite a bit to find a solid black Great Dane puppy because they only occur when the sire and dam are both solid black.
If you don’t mind if your snuggly pup has some white markings on the toes or chest, it may be easier to find one to fall in love with.
You can check local shelters to see if there are any Great Danes available for adoption too. You may end up with an adult to adopt instead of a puppy that you can train to act as you wish it to, but most all Great Danes make loving family additions.
Great Danes make wonderful family companions for any family with children and other pets as well.
This breed is beautiful and sweet while wanting to please its family at all times. They are loyal and confident dogs that love doing anything with their family pack for entertainment.