If you aren’t completely fascinated with the beauty and style of a Great Dane, you might not know as much about them as you should. These gentle giants are fantastic and we want you to know more about this charming breed. So here are 10 cool facts you never knew about them, just to help you see why we think Great Danes are totally awesome.
1. The Great Dane Is The 15th Most Popular Dog Breed
According To The American Kennel Club Registration list anyway. They were officially recognized by the AKC in 1887 and have 9 approved colors and 3 approved markings.
2. They Are Well-Suited To Live Wherever
Despite what most people think, Great Danes do not need much exercise, which makes them a good pet anywhere you decide to live. They also don’t bark much, which makes them ideal if you have close neighbors or live in an apartment.
3. Originally Bred to Hunt Boar
In Germany, where they were originally bred, Great Danes were called Englische Docke or Englische Tocke, and eventually German Boarhound. They were used to hunt Boar, Bear and Deer at the royal courts, and protect the sleeping Princes from assassins. In the 19th Century, some German breeders tried to change the name to German Mastiff to take away the notion that it was a working dog, and that it was a dog of luxury instead. However, due to many tensions with Germany and other countries at the time, it eventually became the Great Dane, even though it has no Danish ancestry.
4. They Hold World Records
A Great Dane named Zeus held the Guinness World Record for being the world’s tallest dog. Sadly, he died in 2014, at the age of 5. This mammoth dog was described as a “gentle giant,” and stood 44 inches tall and was 7-foot-4 when he stood on his hind legs.
5. They Have A Super Cool Genealogy
Since Great Danes were designed with boar hunting in mind, a unique mix of dogs were chosen for the job. To achieve the desired result, three breeds were used in the creation of Great Danes: Irish Wolfhounds for height, Mastiffs for muscle mass and Greyhounds for speed.
6. They Are Iconic
The founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn, absolutely loved Great Danes. Even now, hanging in the Governer’s office is a portrait of Penn and his Great Dane. In 1967, Pennsylvania named the Great Dane it’s official state dog. Penn stated “The physical and other attributes of the Great Dane, to wit: size, strength, beauty, intelligence, tolerance, courage, faithfulness, trustworthiness, and stability exemplify those of Pennsylvania.”
The country of Germany also loves Great Danes. In fact, they are so Iconic that in 1876 Germany declared the Great Dane its national dog. However, it is known as Deutsche Dogge there.
7. They have An Ancient History
There are actually drawings of dogs resembling Great Danes on Egyptian monuments dating to 3000 B.C. And early written descriptions of similar dogs were found in Chinese literature from 1121 B.C. These two works from Ancient Egypt date back to 3500 BC and 5000 BC.
8. Great Danes Have One Of The Shortest Lifespans
As a general rule, smaller dogs tend to live much longer than large breeds. Chihuahuas can live up to 20 years while most Great Danes don’t live to 10. The average lifespan of a Great Dane is 6-8 years.
9. They Make Great Cartoon Dogs
3 famous cartoon dogs were all Great Danes: Scooby Doo, Marmaduke, the Great Dane detective, and the Jetson’s dog Astro.
10. Their Looks Can Be Deceiving
Many people freeze up around Great Danes because of their gigantic size. They are afraid of this massive dog standing before them. There is no need for this because Great Danes are loving, loyal, and affectionate. In essence, they are just giant goofy teddy bears. Don’t let the size of these great dogs deter you from getting one, they are great with children, although because of their size they can be really good at knocking them over. Always supervise small children.
And just in case you didn’t quite get your Great Dane fix, here’s a video with even more fun facts!