Great Dane vs American Molossus - Breed Comparison

Great Dane is originated from Germany but American Molossus is originated from United States. Great Dane may grow 20 cm / 8 inches higher than American Molossus. Great Dane may weigh 42 kg / 93 pounds more than American Molossus. Both Great Dane and American Molossus has almost same life span. Great Dane may have more litter size than American Molossus. Great Dane requires Low maintenance. But American Molossus requires Moderate maintenance

Basic Information

Group:
Companion dog
Molosser dogs
Origin:
Germany
United States
Height Male:
76 - 86 cm
29 - 34 inches
56 - 66 cm
22 - 26 inches
Height Female:
76 - 86 cm
29 - 34 inches
51 - 60 cm
20 - 24 inches
Weight Male:
54 - 90 kg
119 - 199 pounds
38 - 48 kg
83 - 106 pounds
Weight Female:
54 - 90 kg
119 - 199 pounds
32 - 43 kg
70 - 95 pounds
Life Span:
9 - 12 Years
10 - 14 Years
Litter Size:
4 - 15
6 - 8
Size:
Giant dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
Apollo of Dogs, Dane, Deutsche Dogge
American Molosser • American Brabanter • American Bullenbeisser
Colors Available:
black or brindle - bi-color, Fawn
Colors are black, black brindle with some white
Coat:
Short and smooth
coat type coarse, dense, smooth and long
Shedding:
Minimal
Minimal
Temperament:
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Docile, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Playful, Protective, Quiet, Social, Territorial
Alert, Courageous, Independent, Intelligent, Loving, Loyal, Protective, Quiet, Territorial
Grooming:
Low maintenance
Moderate maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Moderate
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
No

History

great daneKnown as the Deutsche Dogge or Apollo of dogs, the giant-breed Great Dane hails from Germany and not Denmark as many people believe.

The large Great Dane has been around for about 400 years already. They descend from mastiff-like dogs, being needed to protect country estates.

In the 18th century, apart from watching over estates, they were also popular with the upper class for sport.

Based on the massive dog of Mesopotamia in 5000 BC, the American Molossus is the same dog recreated in the United States by and for the lovers of these giant dogs. The ancient Molossus was fierce to look at, massive in size, courageous and loyal. He was undaunted by any animal and stood up to any man attempting to hurt his master. When Rome fell the descendants of today’s Molossus were scattered and attempts to revive the breed have created carious large dogs. The American Molossus is the first true recreation that hits the mark.

The original Molossus was one of the most primitive of dogs, one of the earliest dogs that men domesticated. Their initials duties were the guarding of herds and homes against all enemies. They were incredibly loyal to their one master and stayed with him and protected him. These dogs also ate carrion and served the villages by eliminating animal carcasses. They could handle any other hunting animals such as wolves and large cats. This dog, although extinct was the ancestor of all the Mastiff-type dogs of today. The Molossus is said to be the ancestor of the St. Bernard, English Mastiff, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Bernese Mountain Dog, Newfoundland, Great Dane, Great Pyrenees, Rottweiler, Rottweiler and the Neapolitan Mastiff. Now these breeds have become the ancestry of the American Molossus.

According to Marcus Curtis, the founder of the new Molossus, the nearest relative of the American Molossus is the Neapolitan Mastiff. The Hines Bulldog, German Rottweiler, American Bandogge, and South African Boerboel together with the Neapolitan Mastiff were used to form the American Molossus. The goal of the founder was to make a great family pet and protector. It was specifically bred to be courageous, loyal and protective.

Description

great dane puppyThe Great Dame is a tall, lean, athletic, muscular, elegant looking dog. He can stand anything between 76–86cm in height and weigh around 54–90kg. The large head is long and narrow, and the medium sized floppy ears can be left or they can be cropped.

The tail is long and held low. The coat is short and smooth and can be in several colors such as fawn, black or brindle.

Temperament:

Any kind of aggressiveness was bred out of the Great Dane and today he is a gentle giant of a dog, getting on well with other dogs, children and everyone in his human family.

Even though he is a gentle giant, he will still require training and socialization just because of his size. Then they become the devoted pet that they are so well known to be. You'll want to know that when he comes indoors, he will obey you when you tell him to lie-down, sit or come, otherwise his sheer size will see him knocking things accidentally off table-tops.

He is an intelligent dog and is eager to please so he'll learn easily. He craves human companionship, so make sure that your social Dane has plenty of interaction with you.

This is a giant, massive dog in every way and this recently developed standard makes that very clear. The Molossus should be heavy bones, muscular with a lot of loose skin and wrinkles of all kinds, everywhere. He is an intimidating presence, with a massive square head, broad shoulders, height and mass. No, the American Molossus is not athletic, but he certainly is intimidating.

His head is massive in comparison to his body and it must be square. He has extensive wrinkles and pendulous lips and dewlap. The face is all folds of skin and wrinkles. Deep set eyes, drooping upper lids and lower lids as well as an intimidating expression. His brow is well developed with a marked frontal furrow. The nose is large, and the muzzle is about a third of the length of its head. It is short and broad. Everything about the head must be square. It’s neck and body are powerful and muscular. The chest is deep, wide and barrel like. The back is also powerful and muscular. The front legs are heavy and muscular while the hind legs are broad, strong, powerful and wide-stance. Do not remove the front dew claws. His tail is thick and wide then gradually tapers at the tip.

Health Problems

great dane dogTypically of giant dogs, the Great Dane doesn't have a particularly long life-span and will live to be about 8 to 10 years of age. Also, giant-breed dogs like this are susceptible to what is known as bloat.

You'll notice it because there is swelling of the stomach with gas buildup and also twisting of the stomach. It's a life-threatening condition and you'll need to get your dog to the vet as soon as possible. You can combat it by feeding him smaller, more frequent meals and perhaps buying a slow-feeder dish, forcing your hungry pet to eat slower and not gulp his food down.

Also, large dogs like this can develop hip dysplasia and with a dog like the Great Dane, it takes a while for the bones and joints to grow and then become stable. That is why it is important not to make him do any vigorous exercise till he is at least 18 months of age, as these exercises can put a lot of stress on the joints and bones which can lead to hip dysplasia later on.

Like all Mastiffs the American Molossus faces a variety of potential illnesses, some brought on by its size, some not.

Spondylosis

This could easily be a function of its massive size. It is a degenerative disease and can cause the dog to become lame. In many cases the vertebrae can fuse, or severe pain can result. This is mostly seen in older members of the breed.

Cystinuria

Male Molossus can contract this inherited metabolic disease primarily. It can be life threatening and very serious as it affects the kidney and the bladder.

Wobblers Syndrome

This is essentially Cervical Vertebral Instability (CVI) and is caused by the pressure of the nerves in the neck and cervical spinal cord. This compression can cause deformity, pain and abnormal stance/gait. IT has been attributed to the nutrition needs and rapid growth of the Mastiff breeds.

Like all giant Mastiff breeds the Molossus can have skin issues from the wrinkles, dysplasia in the joints which we will address below.

Caring The Pet

Diet:

great dane puppiesThis is a large dog so you’ll notice that with commercially manufactured dog foods, there are those made specially for large- or giant breeds. It is important to choose the right dog food for his large size so that you can be sure he gets the right amount of nutrients in for him to grow strong and healthy.

If you aren't sure about what food would most benefit your Great Dane, ask your vet. While it is important to also feed him quality home-made food and raw meat, when buying kibble for him,check the label of the food you buy him and make sure that the concentration of protein isn’t more than 23 to 25%.

Remember to provide him with a constant supply of fresh, cool water.

Grooming:

Brush your Great Dane’s coat at least twice a week. He has a short, smooth coat so it will be easy, and the brushing will keep his coat soft and shiny. Use this time to also check for fleas and ticks or lumps. You will also need to check his nails and trim them if they don’t trim down on their own.

Exercise:

Your Great Dane will need to be exercised every day if you want him to maintain his lean, muscular shape. It keeps him happy too. He isn’t the kind of dog though that you want to turn into your running partner when you go jogging or cycling. He can go on a walk and play in the garden, but the exercising shouldn’t be for long periods of time.

His first checkup:

Every puppy needs to get to the vet for his first check-up when he is 6 weeks of age, and your Dane will also have to. As a puppy he will need to be de-wormed which will happen with this 6 week check up. He will also be vaccinated for distemper.

Feeding

Remembering that this is a very, very large dog you need to be careful about nutrition and how fast your puppy will grow. American Molossus puppies need four meals a day until 12 weeks old. Then until they are 6 months old feed then 3 times a day. Finally, from 6-month-old puppy to adult – feed them twice in 24 hours.

At one year either feed them once or two small meals.

Many people feed their Molossus eggs, vegetables, fruit, and cottage cheese as ten 5 of the total for the day but avoid other table foods. The Molossus can become very picky about what he eats if you feed him too many table scraps.

Health issues

In addition to the health problems listed above, the American Molossus is also susceptible to: Ditichiasis – Eyelashes that are in the margin of the eyelids and can cause eye irritation. May require surgery to correct.

Cataract

Could cause blindness if not removed. Ectropian/Entropion: Eversion and inversion of eyelids which cause ocular irritation.

PRA or Progressive Retinal Atrophy

This is a degenerative disease which causes the dog to go blind. It is a disease the affects the retinal visual cells, first causing night blindness then day blindness. A DNA test is available for detecting PRA in all Mastiff breeds.

Dysplasia of the Elbow or/and the Hip

Common in large breeds and especially in giant breeds like the Molossus. Multiple forms and causes but all can cause pain and lameness.

Skin issues

Do to wrinkles and loose skin – check often for moisture and infections.

Panosteitis or Wandering Lameness

The is a problem based on a variety of possible causes. It happens when the puppy is between 6-16 months of age. Lameness occurs over time in one limb or in all. It can be intermittent and might be caused by diet, genetics, stress, autoimmune or metabolic issues or infection.

HOD or Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy

This issue is developmental as the dog’s toes turn either inward or outward, then as the condition advances the dog suffers fever, pain in all joints, lethargy and the inability to stand. This happens when the dog consumes too many calories for his activity level in the development times.

Exercise and games

The American Molossus is not a couch potato. He needs to be walked at least twice a day and loves to play fetch. He will be greatly benefited by obedience training. Do not overdo it with exercise but make sure they don’t just lay around.

Characteristics

great dane dogsThe Great Dane is a large breed, bred to hunt wild boar. The intelligence, bravery and fearless nature of the dog meant that he was sought after for this task.

Known as the Apollo of Dogs, you won’t find the Great Dane being used for hunting purposes anymore, being more suited as a companion dog.

While developed as a working breed, today he is a well balanced, intelligent, calm, loving, social, dependable dog that just wants to be loved by his human family and to provide love, loyalty and companionship back in return.

The American Molossus is an intimidating massive giant bred for protection and guard duty. He is incredibly loyal to his family and courageous in his protection of them. They are guard dogs, not attack dogs. Their simple appearance is usually enough to frighten off anyone intending harm on their families. He is in reality a loving giant. He is intelligent and stable with a strong desire to please his owner. He is a calm yet vigilant presence in the home.

Because the Molossus is so large, it is recommended that the puppy be socialized and trained professionally. It takes a strong owner to handle this breed. They need to know the rules and have the rules consistently applied. The owner must be the pack leader.

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