If you are interested in owning a Great Dane, there is more to selecting Great Dane puppies than simply visiting a breeder and picking the cutest one. You need to know what to look for in relation to the breed standard.
First, you want to look at the Great Dane’s head. You’re looking to make sure that the head is proportioned and slightly narrow, and the skull is flat. The length of his head should be proportioned to the rest of the body.
Next take a look at the muzzle of the Great Dane puppies. The muzzle should be long and fashioned with a black nose. However, if the Great Dane you are interested in has a harlequin coat, a pink nose is permissible. The nostrils of a Dane are large and wide, which gives their nose an abrupt look.
Examine the dog’s mouth by taking his snout in your hand and gently pulling the lips up and down. Great Dane puppies should have white teeth that form a perfect scissor bite. Teeth should be straight and set in strong jaws.
Observe the ears and eyes of the dog next. Great Danes have medium sized ears that are triangular in shape and are set high on their skull. The ears are folded forward. The medium sized eyes of the dog are deeply set in the head, and do not appear round. Although the eyes of Danes should be dark, harlequin coat colors may have odd or wall eyes (milky film over the cornea that gives eyes a glazed look).
After fully inspecting the head of the dog, you should then turn your attention to the body. The Great Dane has a large strong body that features well sprung ribs, a strong back and loins that are also strong and slightly arched. The coat on the body of Great Danes is short and dense. It has a very sleek look and does not appear rough. The coat color of Great Dane puppies may vary and can include: brindle, fawn, black, blue and mantle harlequin.
As far as the tail of the Great Dane is concerned, it is very thick at the base of the root, but tapers near the tip. The tail should be carried straight and level with the back. The tail should never curl towards the back or hang down. Tails are covered with the same short dense hair present on the rest of the body, and should not have any feathering.
Lastly, you need to observe the dog’s legs, feet and gait. The forelegs of a Great Dane are perfectly straight and have large, flat bones. The hindquarters are exceptionally strong and muscular. This is where the Dane gets all of his galloping power. The hindquarters are long and have a good turn of stifle. The back legs do not turn in or out.
Great Dane puppies should have straight feet that do not turn in or out. They have well arched toes with strong curved nails. Their nails should be dark, except in Harlequins when light colored nails are permissible.
The Great Dane has a very free and high spirited walk. He carries his head high, and can cover a great deal of ground with one stride. Observe how Great Dane puppies move in the liter to make sure that none of them seem to favor a paw or leg. You will likely notice that they are off balanced when moving, but this is due to the fact that they are playful puppies in a constant state of growth.
Should you have a hard time seeing the breed standard in the Great Dane puppies you are observing, find out what the parents of the liter looks like, and base your opinions on them. The sire and dam of the liter will give you a perfect idea of what to expect when the puppies are fully grown.