Posts Tagged ‘Great Dane’

Book Review – “Amazing Gracie” by Dan Dye and Mark Beckloff

April 27, 2011

Amazing Gracie: A Dog's Tale

If I had to sum up “Amazing Gracie” with just one word it would be ‘Amazing’.  I was drawn to the book by a cute puppy on the cover.  I expected it to be a story about a special dog who touched someone’s life in a special way, but it was much more than that.  I also didn’t know this dog was famous.  She is known nationally but her home was in the Kansas City area – close to where I live.  I have even been to the store named her honor, never knowing the legacy which lay behind it.

Gracie was a Great Dane, born deaf and partially blind.  She would have been put to sleep by the backyard breeder if Anne hadn’t introduced her to her friend Dan Dye.  Gracie filled a hole in Dan’s heart, but in the long run she did so much more than that.

In chapter 3 we hear a hilarious story about how Gracie got her name (police were involved).  In chapter 6 we read about how Gracie was not so well received by Dottie and Sarah, two other dogs in the household.  But not to worry, that was only at first when Gracie was a puppy.  The relationship between the three sisters grew.  In chapter 8 we learn that it was Gracie’s sensitive stomach which ultimately inspired a chain of stores which sell the bested darned dog treats around.  This chain of stores is where Gracie’s fame is founded.

You see, when Dan learned that Gracie had a sensitive stomach he learned to cook for her.  He used natural and healthy ingredients with none of the preservatives or fillers which most dog foods today use.  From there, Dan and his good friend Mark began a small business of selling this food in the form of dog treats.  It was a home-based business at first, but it grew over time.  Eventually they had to get a store front and the Three Dog Bakery was born (named from Dottie, Sarah, and Gracie).  But the growth didn’t stop there.  The Three Dog Bakery is now a chain.  Dan, Mark, and the girls have even been on Oprah!  You can’t get more famous than that.  And to think that it all started with a deaf dog with a sensitive stomach who would have otherwise been put to sleep for her supposed imperfections.

Almost as amazing as Gracie’s story is Dan and Mark’s writing style.  “Amazing Gracie” is funny, heartwarming, and personable.  If I had had the time, I would have read it in a day.  But as it is, I have a full time job and part time job so it took me three nights instead.  I read it in a short amount of time but Gracie’s story will stay with me forever.

You can purchase “Amazing Gracie” for yourself at the Dog Lover’s Bookstore which is affiliated with  After you read “Amazing Gracie” by Dan Dye and Mark Beckloff, visit the Three Dog Bakery nearest you.

About the Really Great Great Dane Dog Breed

August 1, 2010
Great Dane Dog Breed

Great Dane Dog Breed

Despite the name, the Great Dane dog breed is not a Danish dog. He is a very old German dog breed. In ancient times, the Great Dane was used as a wardog and as well as for hunting boar. In fact, the Great Dane has been called a German Boarhound. The Germans, however, call him Deutsche Dogge.

The Great Dane is a big dog yet proportionately very graceful and elegant in appearance. Standing 28” to 35” tall and weighing 110-180 pounds, the Great Dane is truly a large dog breed but mostly very gentle. While the Great Dane dog breed was bred for courage on the hunt, he is only a good guard dog in the intimidation of his size. Otherwise, he is generally friendly to strangers. The Great Dane can be very affectionate and easygoing with people but may not get along well with other pets.

Although the Great Dane is not as eager to please as a Labrador Retriever, he is moderately easy to train. He can be a bit sensitive in training so use mostly positive reinforcement methods for maximum response.

You would think that such a large gallant dog would require a lot of exercise. But the Great Dane dog breed only needs moderate daily exercise. He is not overly energetic or playful. His easy nature makes him a great house dog but he needs a big bed and enough room to stretch out his long legs. Grooming for a Great Dane is even easier. Occasional brushing during shedding season or after baths may be all that is required. The only major upkeep concern for the Great Dane is his tendency to drool.

Health concerns for the Great Dane dog breed are relatively few, but require serious consideration if you want to buy one. As with most large breed dogs, the Great Dane has the risk of developing hip dysplasia. Elbow dysplasia is also a concern. Both of these can be tested and a good dog breeder will be willing to provide proof of such testing. Since a dog doesn’t develop hip or elbow dysplasia until after a year or more, do not accept any 1 year guarantees that an unscrupulous breeder may offer.

Other health concerns common with the Great Dane dog breed include gastric torsion, cardiomyopathy, and bone cancer. Gastric torsion is where the stomach twists and traps contents – a very dangerous situation which can cause death. Gastric torsion is not necessarily genetically inherited health risk like hip dysplasia. It is a health risk associated with large dogs in general. Cardiomyopathy is where the chambers of the heart enlarge and cause congestive heart failure. This health issue can also be inherited.

Besides his great size, features of the Great Dane dog breed are quite recognizable. If you have ever heard of the comic character (now movie character) Marmaduke, then you are already familiar with how the Great Dane looks. He has a long rectangular head, square jaw, and a thick heavy muzzle. Overall, his body is equally proportioned – his chest is neither too deep nor too narrow, his legs are long but not so long as in comparison to his body. The ears of a Great Dane are medium sized and droop. However, when his ears are cropped they stand erect.

The Great Dane dog breed comes in a variety of interesting and unique colors. The Great Dane which is white with irregular patches of black is called a Harlequin Dane. The term ‘harlequin’ for a black and white dog is unique to the Great Dane. The Great Dane dog breed can also be brindle in color. Brindle is a light color with black cross stripes, like a tiger but the stripes are much smaller. A fawn colored Dane is a Great Dane which is golden-yellow or tan color and has a black mask on his face. A blue colored Dane is a Great Dane which is a solid gray-blue. And finally, the Great Dane dog breed can also be a solid black in color.

The Great Dane is a great dog. Except for the dog food bill, his easygoing nature makes him generally easy to care for. He is perfectly content being an indoor dog and does not require a big yard – or any yard as long as he gets regular walks. If you want to purchase a Great Dane, be sure to research breeders thoroughly in order to avoid any unscrupulous dog breeders who don’t breed quality dogs and don’t check for inherited health issues like hip dysplasia, cardiomyopathy, and bone cancer. You can also check online or at your local animal shelter for Great Dane rescue groups. A Great Dane rescue group rescues and adopts out Great Dane dog breeds who might have been displaced, neglected, or given up by their owners for various reasons.

For a great Great Dane dog figurine, visit

Before You Get a Great Dane – A Dog Like Marmaduke

June 5, 2010
Great Dane Dog Breed

Great Dane Dog Breed

Here is a great article from Paw Nation about the Great Dane Dog breed – 10 Things You Should Know Before Getting Your Own “Marmaduke”.  This dog breed is sure to become popular now that the new movie, Marmaduke, is coming out.

If you are still considering getting a Great Dane dog breed after reading this article, also consider where you get him from.  There are going to be several unscrupulous dog breeders out there taking advantage of this opportunity.  They are going to breed dogs without care or concern about any genetic health traits they may be passing on.  Great Danes are prone to gastric torsion, hip and elbow dysplasia, cariomyopathy, and bone cancer.

If you want to get your own Marmaduke Great Dane dog breed, consider adopting one from a Great Dane rescue group.  The dogs may already be trained and any health issues may be known in advance.  Or if you purchase from a breeder, do your research and make sure they are a reputable Great Dane dog breeder.  A reputable breeder will not only be a member of the American Kennel Club, but they will also likely be a memeber of a breed club such as the Great Dane Club of America, Inc.