You’ve probably heard of the Great Dane, but did you know there are two different types of Great Danes?
One type comes from European stock, while the other is American. Although they are closely related, these dogs have some physical differences.
Let’s learn more about the difference between European and American Great Danes.
The History of European vs. American Great Danes
The Great Dane is a German breed, and the original German name was Deutsche Dodge.
The breed was brought to England in the 1800s and became known as the English Mastiff.
In America, the breed was further refined to create a dog that was more gentle and less aggressive.
Today, there are two main types of Great Danes: European and American.
Though both breeds still have strong mastiff bloodlines, today’s American variety has become smaller than its European counterpart.
While the Europeans can be upwards of 180 pounds, with a head as wide as 28 inches from ear to ear, Americans can weigh anywhere from 130-180 pounds with heads up to 26 inches wide.
The difference between their appearance is also primarily due to their ancestors.
While the Europeans take after their mastiff predecessors and often come in black or blue colors, Americans may come in any color but typically resemble greyhounds.
European vs. American Great Danes
Below outlined are the differences between both Great Danes.
Height & Weight
European Great Danes are, on average, about three inches taller than their American counterparts.
This is due to a difference in breeding standards; Europeans favor taller dogs, while Americans prefer shorter ones.
The extra height gives European Great Danes a more elegant look, while the shorter stature of American Great Danes makes them seem more stocky.
American Great Danes have broader heads and shorter muzzles, while European Great Danes have longer faces with thinner snouts.
European males weigh an average of 130 pounds and stand 31 inches tall, while American males weigh 120 pounds on average and stand 27-28 inches tall.
European females weigh an average of 110 pounds and stand 26-27 inches tall, while American females weigh 100 pounds on average and stand 25-26 inches tall.
European Great Danes are typically taller and have a more slender build than their American counterparts.
They also have a longer, narrower head with a more defined stop.
Their ears are set high on the head and have a long, tapering muzzle. Their coats are usually short and fine and come in various colors, including black, blue, fawn, brindle, mantle, harlequin, and merle.
In contrast, American Great Danes are stockier in build and have shorter backs. In addition, they often have wider heads with bigger muzzles.
Their ears can be set higher or lower on the head, but they’re usually triangular-shaped like most breeds from England.
Their coats can be any color, but it’s common for them to be brown, black, or grayish-blue.
The most significant difference between European and American Great Danes is in their temperament.
Europeans are bred to be more calm and docile, while Americans are bred to be more active and outgoing.
This difference is due to the different purposes for which these dogs were initially bred.
Europeans were initially bred as hunting dogs, while Americans were originally bred as working dogs on farms.
As a result, Europeans are typically more independent and aloof, while Americans are more social and outgoing.
The breed standards for Great Danes are different in Europe and America. In Europe, the breed standard is for a dog that is longer than it is tall, while in America, the breed standard is for a dog that is taller than it is long.
This difference is due to the different purposes for which these dogs were initially bred. European Great Danes were bred for hunting, while American Great Danes were bred for guarding.
As a result, European Great Danes tend to be more athletic and have higher energy levels than their American counterparts.
They also have longer legs and narrower chests, which makes them better suited for running and jumping.
American Great Danes, on the other hand, are more massive and muscular, with shorter legs and broader chests.
Another significant difference between European and American Great Danes is exercise requirements.
European Great Danes require much more exercise than their American counterparts, at least two hours a day.
This is because they are bred for hunting, which requires more energy and stamina.
In contrast, American Great Danes are bred for show, so they don’t need as much exercise. They can get by with just a few short walks each day.
A big difference between European and American Great Danes is their health.
Unfortunately, the American Great Dane suffers from several health problems largely absent in their European cousins.
For example, American Great Danes are more likely to suffer from hip dysplasia, while Europeans are not.
Americans are also prone to other skeletal problems, such as elbow dysplasia and wobbler syndrome.
Respiratory problems are also common in American Great Danes and relatively rare in Europe.
Finally, cancer is a leading cause of death for American Great Danes, while it is much less common in Europe.
Generally speaking, European Great Danes will have shorter coats that are easier to groom than their American counterparts.
You’ll still need to brush them regularly to remove dead hair, but you won’t have to worry about excessive shedding.
Bathing requirements for both types of Great Danes are relatively low; once every few months should suffice.
However, if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors or gets particularly dirty, you may need to bathe them more frequently.
The average lifespan of a Great Dane is 6-8 years. However, this number varies depending on whether the dog is of European or American descent.
European Great Danes typically live longer than their American counterparts, with an average lifespan of 7-9 years.
The difference in lifespan is believed to be because European Great Danes are bred for health, while American Great Danes are bred for size.
However, both types of dogs make great companions and are sure to bring joy to your life.
Which Great Danes are the biggest?
The biggest Great Dane ever recorded was an American-bred dog named Zeus, who weighed in at an impressive 155 pounds.
However, the average size of an American Great Dane is between 120 and 140 pounds. On the other hand, European Great Danes are typically between 110 and 130 pounds.
So while American Great Danes may be slightly bigger on average, there is quite a bit of variation within each breed.
Are there different breeds of Great Danes?
While there are different types of Great Danes, the two most popular are the European Great Dane and the American Great Dane.
The main difference between the two is their size. European Great Danes are typically larger than their American counterparts.
They also have longer snouts and legs, and their chest is more narrow. Another difference is in their temperament.
European Great Danes are known for being calm and gentle, while American Great Danes are more energetic and playful.
In conclusion, there are a few key differences between European and American Great Danes.
American Great Danes are bred for size and tend to be larger than their European counterparts.
They also have a shorter lifespan and are more prone to health problems. However, they are easier to train and make great family pets.
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