#BreedIntroduction

Breed Introduction – Great Dane

Hello, friends!

Today I would like to start a series called “Breed Introduction” where each post will allow you to meet a different breed. Many of us like certain breeds based on their appearance but aren’t sure if they are the right dog for us. These posts should help you find the perfect dog for your family. Today we’ll be introducing the Great Dane which is my personal favorite.

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The Great Dane is one of the biggest breeds in the world, adult males weigh up to 90 kilograms! That’s more than a typical grown man! Of course, not all great danes are as heavy, females weigh between 45-60 kg and males from 55-99kg. Their height ranges between 70 and 90cm and their life span usually reaches 10 years. Sadly these amazing creatures are prone to gastric torsion, hip dysplasia, and rheumatism based on their anatomy, which means we might have to run to the ER and hope for the best.

Great Danes are also known as the Apollo of Dogs and Gentle Giants. The German name of the breed is Deutsche Dogge or German Mastiff. Just like their nickname says, they are gentle dogs often seeking physical affection with their owners. They’re usually good with other dogs, families and other noncanine pets.  However, if not properly socialized, a Great Dane may become fearful or aggressive towards new stimuli, such as strangers and new environments. It’s best to train with an expert from the early stages to eliminate unwanted behaviors in the future.

The next thing you should now is the variety of coats!

Fawn and brindle

  • Fawn: The color is yellow gold with a black mask. Black should appear on the eye rims and eyebrows and may appear on the ears.
  • Brindle: The color is fawn and black in a chevron stripe pattern. Often, also, they are referred to as having a stripe pattern.
  • Harlequin and black
    • Black: The color is a glossy black. White markings on the chest and toes are not desirable and considered faults.
    • Harlequin: The base color is pure white with black torn patches irregularly and well distributed over the entire body; a pure white neck is preferred. The black patches should never be large enough to give the appearance of a blanket, nor so small as to give a stippled or dappled effect. Eligible, but less desirable, are a few small gray patches (this gray is consistent with a merle marking) or a white base with single black hairs showing through, which tend to give a salt and pepper or dirty effect.
      Gray merle (Grautiger) dogs are acceptable in conformation shows under the FCI as the gray merle dogs can produce correctly marked black/white harlequin dogs, depending on the combinations. The aim for deleting the colour gray merle as a disqualifying fault is to provide a wider gene pool. Their status is that they are “neither desirable nor to be disqualified”.Consequently, this color must never obtain the highest grading at dog shows.
    • Mantle – The color is black and white with a solid black blanket extending over the body; black skull with white muzzle; white blaze is optional; whole white collar preferred; a white chest; white on part or whole of forelegs and hind legs; white tipped black tail. A small white marking in the black blanket is acceptable, as is a break in the white collar.
  • Blue: The color is a pure steel blue. White markings on the chest and toes are not desirable and considered faults.

Other colors occur occasionally, but are not acceptable for conformation showing, and they are not pursued by breeders who intend to breed show dogs. These colors include white, fawnequin, brindlequin, merle, merlequin, blue merle, chocolate and fawn mantle. The white Great Dane coloring is typically associated with vision and hearing impairment.
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It’s easy to tell that these huge teddy bears aren’t cheap pets. Maintaining a healthy diet tends to be expensive based on the ammount of food they eat. They need a normal amount of exercise and plenty of love from their owners!

I hope this post helped you learn a little bit about the breed! What dog should we talk about next?

pobrane

all photos found via Google Images
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Behavior & Training

Dogs – Aggressive Behavior

Hello,

Many dog owners experience behavior problems based on aggression. Although many people think that these unexpected attacks aren’t based on the current situation, there are many occasions that cause unwanted behaviors.

Black dog face
Male Doberman

Let’s learn about aggression.

1. What is it and what is it caused by?

Aggressive behaviors occur in various situations. Dogs are usually protecting their territory, defending their offspring or protecting themselves. Aggression is based on a wide range of behaviors which usually begin with a warning and can cumulate into an attack.

2. Do dogs warn us before attacking?

Many of our pets warn us before attacking. Here is the course of the attack beginning with warnings and ending with painful wounds.

WARNINGS
– becoming very still and stressed
– lunging forward or charging at the target
– losing contact with the owner
– growling
– showing teeth
– snarling
– snaps

ATTACKS
– quick and harmless nips
– quick bites that leave a mark
– bites with pressure that may cause bruising and punctured wounds
– repeated and rapid bites

Once we noticed that our pet is showing any signs of attack, we should try to calm him down and eliminate the situation that caused unwanted behavior.

3. Classifying aggressive behavior
Answer a few questions which will allow you to understand what really happened.
– When and where did the attack occur?
– What else was going on at the time?
– What had happened and who/what created a stressful situation?
– What seemed to stop the unwanted behavior?

An accurate diagnosis will help you to classify your dogs behaviors into the following categories.

Territorial Aggression

Some dogs will attack and bite an intruder, whether the intruder is friend or foe.

Protective Aggression

Dogs may show aggressive behavior when they think that one of their family members or friends is in peril.

Possessive Aggression

Many dogs show the tendency to guard their possessions from others, whether they need to or not.

Fear Aggression

A fearful dog may become aggressive if cornered or trapped.

Defensive Aggression

Motivated by fear, defensively aggressive dogs decide that the best defense is a good offense.

Social Aggression

A dog who perceives herself as high in status may show aggression toward family members.

Frustration-Elicited Aggression

A dog who’s excited or aroused by something but is held back from approaching it can become aggressive.

Redirected Aggression

Redirected aggression occurs when a dog is aroused by or displays aggression toward a person or animal, and someone else interferes.

Pain-Elicited Aggression

An otherwise gentle, friendly dog can behave aggressively when in pain.Expand to read more
Sex-Related Aggression

Intact male dogs will still vie for the attention of females in heat, and females will still compete for access to a male.

Predatory Aggression

Some pet dogs show classic canine predatory behaviors, including chasing and grabbing fast-moving things.

4. Can aggression be cured?

I came across and article from the ASPCA which inspired me to write this post and they’ve nailed the answer to this question.

“Pet parents of aggressive dogs often ask whether they can ever be sure that their dog is “cured.” Taking into account the behavior modification techniques that affect aggression, our current understanding is that the incidence and frequency of some types of aggression can be reduced and sometimes eliminated. However, there’s no guarantee that an aggressive dog can be completely cured. In many cases, the only solution is to manage the problem by limiting a dog’s exposure to the situations, people or things that trigger her aggression. There’s always risk when dealing with an aggressive dog. Pet parents are responsible for their dogs’ behavior and must take precautions to ensure that no one’s harmed. Even if a dog has been well behaved for years, it’s not possible to predict when all the necessary circumstances might come together to create “the perfect storm” that triggers her aggression. Dogs who have a history of resorting to aggression as a way of dealing with stressful situations can fall back on that strategy. Pet parents of aggressive dogs should be prudent and always assume that their dog is NOT cured so that they never let down their guard.”
I also highly recommend to work with a behavior specialist, or trainer who can help decrease unwanted behavior and possibly “cure” your dog. Just like the quote written above says, you can never let your guard down even if there are no signs of aggression for years. You never know when someone/something triggers your pet.

I really hope that this post helped you understand you pet more! The next post will include tips on training your dogs and help them to live happy lives!