The Great Dane, also popularly known as the gentle giant has long been preferred by those looking for a giant dog without the inconvenience and hostility that accompany some other giant breeds.
This breed is playful, child-friendly, and affectionate with family, provided that you have the time and space to take care of them.
If trained from early on, Great Danes can make for exceptional family pets and companion dogs. This is an extensive guide on a popular yet uncommon variety of the breed, the blue Great Dane.
Know the Breed: What is a Blue Great Dane?
Great Danes are available in a variety of colours such as black, blue, merle, mantle, brindle, fawn, etc. Out of these, blue is the least common and the toughest to predict breed. Still, the blue Great Dane is highly admired and captures the attention of many dog lovers.
Their unique blue colour is simply the result of breeding two dogs that bear a recessive blue gene in their DNA. Without diving into the technicalities of genetics, the genetic make-up of dogs is similar to humans as they inherit half of their DNA make-up from each of their parents.
However, genetics can be unpredictable, as a dog’s colour is not wholly dependent on a single gene. Hence, breeding two blue Great Danes won’t necessarily guarantee that the result will be blue puppies.
Studying the Great Dane’s Temperament
Great Danes differ a lot from their hunting ancestors. Traditionally, they were bred to hunt wild board and protect country estates. While the breed no longer needs to show aggression, they are still fearless and very attentive.
Due to their fearless attitude, they are very cool-headed dogs. They do not frequently bark, so their quiet manner can be put to great use if socialized well. The only problem is their large size as they can accidently knock over things. Therefore, they require constant supervision and proper training since the beginning.
Does a Great Dane’s blue coat affect its temperament?
No, color has no influence on the temperament of a Great Dane. Its temperament will vary based on the manner it is trained and socialized. Other important factors that determine its temperament include how the owners treat it, whether it gets enough humans attention, and its exercise routine.
Personality Traits of a Blue Great Dane
As mentioned earlier, Great Danes are considered gentle giants. They are loyal, playful, affectionate, attentive, good for novice owners, and kid-friendly. They usually get along with other dogs and animals, specifically if bred with them. However, certain blue Great Danes can be aggressive with stranger dogs.
Blue Great Danes are easy to train with high sensitivity level, but according to some Great Dane fanciers, sometimes they can be stubborn learners and not very obedient.
Are Blue Great Danes Good with Kids?
At times, kids can be rowdy and aggressive, they’ll kick or shout and then run. The best way to deal with such rough behaviour is to show some patience. Luckily, Great Danes are one of the most patient dog breeds ever.
Blue Great Danes are large enough to handle the unruly play from the kids because they understand that children are just playing and having fun. It is quite uncommon for Great Danes to aggressively react to children playing with them; although it is possible. It is advised that you make sure to supervise your kid’s playtime no matter how well behaved your dog is.
Is the Blue Great Dane a Dependable Breed?
Blue Great Danes are considered as some of the most dependable dogs for families and novice dog owners. They are loyal and trustworthy when it comes to young children. They know that they are ‘giant’ dogs and realise they have a duty to protect children from harm.
They are also intelligent enough to understand they can knock over a child with ease. If the kids are older than six, many parents allow them to play with a Blue Great Dane in the backyard. A majority of adult Great Dane owners believe they can depend on their dog to watch over their children.
How are Blue Great Danes with toddlers and infants?
It is not recommended to leave a Great Dane unsupervised with a toddler, even for a few seconds. Some giant dogs do not realize the extent of their power and may end up hurting the child unintentionally.
At the end of the day, a god is an animal and they can be unpredictable no matter how sure you are about their training. Due to their huge size, even a small warning bite can cause serious harm. Even a little swipe of the tail to the face can make your infant cry.
When it comes to noise level, Blue Great Danes do not bark a lot which makes them highly suitable for families with kids. They are also considered as amazing apartment dogs.
If you try minimizing unsafe interactions between the Dane and your baby, your child will most likely be fine. Also, Great Danes are not annoyed by the sound of a crying, which is a plus point.
Living with Blue Great Danes
Anyone who wants to pet a Blue Great Dane must have ample room to accommodate this giant breed. It is important to note that a Great Dane will require larger quantities of food than other small breeds. So, cost incurred on feeding will be a lot more for a Great Dane.
A Great Dane must have enough space to exercise and move around easily, especially when it is young. Great Danes also need to be taken out for long walks regularly. People living in the city need to consider all these factors before making a decision.
Great Danes need to be obedience trained to make sure they are easy to manage when they’ve fully grown.
Are Blue Great Danes a Dangerous Breed?
Great Danes may be a bit too big or strong for some people to handle on a leash, but obedience training helps a lot. Although Great Dane owners need not worry about this breed becoming aggressive or violent. Unlike their early hunter ancestors, nowadays Great Danes are very patient, calm, and aren’t easily roused.
The best part about Great Danes is that they will project children and their home, but will not be a threat to humans or other dogs. Still, it is recommended to socialize Great Danes from a very young age.
Obedience training and socialization helps Great Danes deal with the periodic separation anxiety they may face. To sum it up, will proper training and breeding, Great Danes are not dangerous.
How to Socialize Blue Great Danes
Some people worry that their Great Dane might grow up to be aggressive, therefore, socialization is necessary. When your Great Dane is young, introduce it to as many strange dogs and new people as possible. This will open it up to new experiences and different people, thereby, reduce fear-filled responses.
Exercising a Great Dane
It is vital that Great Danes get the right amount of exercise every day. This breed is at a risk of developing skeletal and hip problems due to its big size, hence, it is essential to maintain balance and keep a check on their diet.
Just enough exercise each day prevents them from gaining weight and muscles from atrophying. All of these benefits help prevent serious health issues like dysplasia and hypothyroidism.
Usually, Great Danes prefer to relax, but no owner should encourage a sedentary lifestyle. A daily long walk or a quick jog does wonders for Great Danes.
Blue Great Dane Health and Care
The colour of a Great Dane’s coat is known to affect the dog’s chances of developing congenital deafness. Particularly dogs with white or light brown coloured coats are more susceptible to such health issues than those with blue or other darker coats.
Blue Great Danes are unlikely to suffer from congenital deafness but they may be genetically predisposed to other health conditions such as hip dysplasia, dilated cardiomyopathy, hypothyroidism, bloat, etc.
Bloat is a condition which involves possible twitching of the intestines or the stomach due to gas build-up. It is common in giant breeds such as the blue Great Dane. To prevent your dog from developing this life-threatening problem, do no feed it large meals, instead feed it three or four small meals in a day. Encourage your dog to rest for a minimum of one hour after eating.
Life expectancy of a Blue Great Dane
As it is a giant breed, unfortunately Great Danes have a short life span, usually of just six years. Six is considered to be the average, but some might live well past this mark.
Grooming and Feeding
Great Danes are born with a short and thin coat, so they do not shed hair. They only need to be groomed occasionally to remove dead hair. This also means they are not suitable for colder climates unless they wear a warm vest.
Great Danes do not require a special diet, but it is always recommended that you feed high-quality food and treats. Preferable, opt for a feed specially formulated for large-breed dogs. This is because different sized dogs have different nutrient requirements.
Blue Great Danes need the same love and care that you would need to give to any Great Dane. They require a well-balanced diet and some amount of regular exercise to stay healthy. If you are ready to dedicate your time training and socializing a dog, the Blue Great Dane may be the right fit for you.