Coat, Color and Grooming
The six usual colors of Great Danes' smooth, short coats are:
- Fawn (a golden color with a black mask)
- Brindle (fawn and black intermixed all over the body in a tiger-stripe pattern)
- Blue (steel blue, which is really a sort of gray)
- Harlequin (white with irregular black patches over the entire body)
- Mantle (black and white with a solid black blanket over the body)
He sheds a lot, but his coat is easy to keep in top condition with regular brushing. Use a firm bristle brush and shampoo as needed. Regular brushing keeps your Great Dane's coat healthy and clean, and cuts down on the number of baths he needs.
As you might imagine, bathing a Great Dane is a daunting task, particularly if he's not looking forward to it. Hard to imagine him hiding under the kitchen table while trying to escape a bath, but it happens.
Brush your Dane's teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk inside it. Daily brushing is even better if you want to prevent gum disease and bad breath.
Trim his nails once or twice a month if your dog doesn't wear them down naturally to prevent painful tears and other problems. If you can hear them clicking on the floor, they're too long. Dog toenails have blood vessels in them, and if you cut too far you can cause bleeding — and your dog may not cooperate the next time he sees the nail clippers come out. So, if you're not experienced trimming dog nails, ask a vet or groomer for pointers.
His ears should be checked weekly for redness or a bad odor, which can indicate an infection. When you check your dog's ears, wipe them out with a cotton ball dampened with gentle, pH-balanced ear cleaner to help prevent infections. Don't insert anything into the ear canal; just clean the outer ear.
Begin getting your Dane used to being brushed and examined when he's a puppy. Handle his paws frequently — dogs are touchy about their feet — and look inside his mouth. Make grooming a positive experience filled with praise and rewards, and you'll lay the groundwork for easy veterinary exams and other handling when he's an adult.
As you groom, check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin, in the nose, mouth, and eyes, and on the feet. Eyes should be clear, with no redness or discharge. Your careful weekly exam will help you spot potential health problems early.