The Italian Daniff is a cross between the Cane Corso Italiano and the Great Dane. Cane Corso Italianos have a long history dating back to ancient Rome, where their ancestors served as war dogs. They were used to herd and protect livestock, as well as for hunting.
Great Danes were also used for hunting wild boar, later becoming the pet of royal families. Great Danes are now considered gentle dogs, but it’s important to remember where they came from.
Italian Daniffs are giant dogs who can weigh up to 130 pounds. This crossbreed requires 30 minutes of exercise per day. Despite their great size, they don’t need a long exercise session. They would do better with several short sessions throughout the day. Here are a few activities to keep your Italian Daniff healthy and happy.
A flirt pole is exactly what it sounds like: a pole with a dog toy attached to the end with string. You can make your own flirt pole or buy one at your local pet store. This is a "grrr-eat" activity for both the human and the dog to get exercise. The dog is encouraged to chase after the toy, while the human keeps it out of their reach. This is an outdoor activity due to your pup’s size. It’s best done in warm weather, but not during the hottest part of the day. If your dog doesn’t take to this activity, you can use flying discs or tennis balls to play a regular game of fetch.
Italian Daniffs are not dogs that enjoy jogging or running -- a brisk walk is more their speed. You might need to take several short walks throughout the day, especially in the warmer months. You can walk in your neighborhood or at a pet-friendly park. It's always a good idea to plan out your route beforehand to eliminate distractions during the walk. Your dog will most likely drool buckets along the way, so you might also want to bring along a towel. Don’t forget the water!
Italian Daniffs are large dogs, but they are also friendly. Great Danes are often called “gentle giants” because of their calm demeanor. Socializing your Italian Daniff is a must, so make an effort to spend time bonding with other dogs (and their owners!) in your area. Once your dog befriends some of the neighborhood dogs, have a doggy play date or a doggy slumber party. Unlike kids, dogs don’t need pizza or other treats at their play dates. All they need is some toys and a lot of room to run.You can also take your pup to the local off-leash dog park if you can’t find anyone for a play date. The dog park is one big play date, but it is risky without knowing how other dogs will react to your pup.
The Great Dane part of your dog is gentle, laid-back and a people lover. If your dog craves attention and pats, take them to a local park so they can observe and interact with people. Given your dog’s size, a “Pet Me” vest might be a great purchase so people are encouraged to approach your dog.
Part of your pup’s history was herding livestock on farms for generations. Your local area might have herding trials your dog can join to satisfy that herding itch. More farms are taking advantage of the growing popularity of herding and allowing dogs to herd farm animals. The animals are never in any danger and it gives your dog an outlet for their energy.
It might seem like your massive dog needs tons of exercise to stay healthy, but the breed generally doesn’t like to run or jog. Prolonged high-impact exercise can harm their legs. A brisk walk or a play date with another dog are great energy burners. If your dog’s personality is friendly, consider hanging out at a local park to let your dog people watch and learn socialization skills. For more energetic pups, you can use a flirt pole to keep your dog occupied. Herding trials are a great way to tap into your dog’s ancestry as a farmhand. Whatever you choose to do, remember to spice up your pup's activities to keep them stimulated and content.