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Great Dane basic information

The Great Dane is a breed of dog known for its large size and gentle personality. The breed is commonly referred to as the "Gentle Giant".
Height and weight requirements for show dogs vary from one kennel club's standards to another, but generally the minimum weight falls between 100 to 120 lb (46 to 54 kg) and the minimum height must be between 28 and 32 inches (71 to 81 cm) at the withers. Most standards do not specify a maximum height or weight. In August 2004, a Great Dane named "Gibson" from Grass Valley, California was recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the world's tallest dog, measuring 42.2 inches at the withers. [1]

There are six show-acceptable coat colors for Great Danes:

Fawn: Yellow gold with a black mask. Black should appear on the eye rims and eyebrows, and may appear on the ears and tail tip.
Brindle: Fawn and black in a chevron stripe pattern. Often also referred to as a tiger-stripe pattern.
Blue: The color shall be a pure steel blue. White markings at the chest and toes are not desirable.
Black: The color shall be a glossy black. White markings at the chest and toes are not desirable.

Base color shall be 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, or a white base with single black hairs showing through, which tend to give a salt and pepper or dirty effect.
Mantle: The color shall be 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.

Other colors occur occasionally but are not acceptable in the show ring. Because they are not valid for show dogs, they are not pursued by breeders. These colors include white, fawnequin, merle, merlequin, fawn mantle, and others. These are sometimes advertised as "rare" colors to unsuspecting buyers. Any coat that includes "mouse grey" is disqualified from show.

Cropping of the ears is common in the United States and much less common in Europe. Indeed, in some European countries, in parts of Australia, and in New Zealand, the practice is banned, or controlled such that it may only be performed by veterinary surgeons for health reasons.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Great_Dane".
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