GREAT DANE WITH CHILDREN AND PETS
By William Atherton / October 29, 2020
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HISTORY The Great Dane is actually descended from the houses of German nobility, not Danish. Their ancestors were the ferocious Boarhounds, who as their name suggests were used to hunt wild boar and other large game. When the German nobility fell, their prized protectors and hunters were mellowed in temperament and the breed found a new role as a devoted family companion. Though much of their fierceness has been bred out of them, they are still amazing protectors of their homes and families. Their size and deep bark alone are often powerful deterrents, but they are still more than willing to attack should a true threat arise. That being said, Great Dane's are well known for being gentle giants that can border on outright lazy. OTHER CHILDREN The Great Dane is one of the most devoted family canines out there and they take immense joy in watching over children, both their own and others. Their temperament is friendly, calm, and affectionate with children of all ages. They don't tend to herd or guard around children and are content to be a watchful presence dozing on the couch most of the time. They have a very low reactivity level that pairs well with socially active households where other children are frequently running around. Their friendly nature makes them curious and willing to walk up to other people and children in search of affection. While other children might be frightened by such a large canine, the Dane remains calm will do its best to be gentle and unthreatening. It really is heart-warming to see such powerful dogs go to such lengths to make other children feel comfortable around them. It's always best to socialize every dog, even these gentle giants, from an early age. They are naturally very good with other children, but exposing them to many different ages and situations allows them to be confident when their size does frighten other children. The same holds true for other pets and small animals in the home. OTHER PETS/SMALL ANIMALS The tallest canines in the world year after year are generally Great Dane's so it's no surprise that almost any other household pet is going to be smaller than them. Like their temperament when it comes to other children, Dane's are extremely gentle with other animals in the home and even handle new or strange animals well when socialized. Dane's can be slightly wary or protective when it comes to strange animals but will warm up quickly after confirming with their leader (that's you!) that the other animal isn't a threat. They have a very low reactivity level and they will instinctively seek guidance from you in unfamiliar situations. They are wonderful with baby animals of all species but should of course be closely supervised. A gentle and playful touch from their paw could be devastating to extremely small animals. Like I mentioned with children, every Dane should be thoroughly socialized from a young age and still supervised with smaller animals because of their size. Providing you do your job in this area, you'll find the Great Dane to be a wonderful companion to you and all the other children and animals that come through your home. WRAP UP A Great Dane is truly one of the most magnificent canines in the world and they are all the more impressive with their sweet nature contradicting their immense size. They are extremely friendly with other children and animals especially when they are thoroughly socialized from a young age. You'll be hard-pressed to find another breed that can match the gentle nature of these giants when they are surrounded by other children and smaller pets.