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Great Dane

Muscular and elegant descendant of boar hunters

As early as 3000 BC, carvings of dogs on Egyptian tombs depict the Great Dane. Archaeological evidence exists of a Dane-type dog used for hunting and to fight bears and bulls. However, the Great Dane as we know it today was developed in Europe during the 1800’s and declared the national breed of Germany in 1876. As a boar hound, the Dane of yesterday was very different, both in structure and temperament from the Dane of today. When no longer used for hunting, the breed changed to one of a companion and estate guard dog.

Despite the size, the Great Dane makes a wonderful family dog: they have dash and daring but is also kind and loyal to their family. As tall as 30 inches at the shoulder, Great Danes tower over most other dogs, and when standing on their hind legs, they are taller than most people. Despite their sweet nature, Great Danes are alert home guardians. Just the sight of these gentle giants is usually enough to make intruders think twice. But those foolish enough to mistake the breed’s friendliness for softness will meet a powerful foe of true courage and spirit. Great Danes tend to follow their nose wherever a scent takes them, so they should always be kept on a lead and only allowed loose in areas secured with a tall fence. Early socialisation and puppy training classes are recommended. For a breed as large and powerful as the Great Dane, obedience training is a must. Great Danes are sociable, friendly, and eager to please, and they respond well to firm, consistent training methods. They need to have human contact, affection, and socialisation with other people and animals. Thanks to their sweet, gentle, patient dispositions, Great Danes are even great with kids, though like all dogs, they should never be left alone with young children, and they’ll need to be taught not to play as rough as they would with a puppy.

Read more about the history of this breed – HERE


Most of these stats are from the The Kennel Club UK. You can view stats from kennel clubs around the world at the links below, which may have different standards and classifications.

Group – UKWorking
Bred ForGuarding, Hunting, Companion
Rare BreedNo
Country of OriginGermany
TemperamentFriendly, Outgoing, Kind
Exercise NeededMore than 2 hours a day
Size of Home NeededLarge
Height at Withers – Females 71 cm / 28 in
Height at Withers – Males76 cm / 30 in
GroomingOnce a week
CoatShort and Dense
Life Expectancy7 – 9 years
  • They are also called Deutsche Dogge and German Mastiff.
  • The Great Dane is known for their classic cropped ears standing straight on top of their head. This was done 400 years ago to prevent the ears from being mutilated while hunting wild boar. Cropped ears are not naturally occurring on Great Danes and the process has been outlawed in many countries.
  • These gentle giants sadly tend to live just seven to ten years — though they will certainly fill those years with several lifetimes’ worth of love.
  • As strong, intelligent working dogs, Great Danes are wonderful competitors in a variety of dog sports, including Agility, Obedience, Tracking, Weight Pulls, and Flyball.
  • Scooby-Doo, the famous cartoon character is Great Dane!


Breed standards vary throughout the world, these links will inform you of those standards and give further information about Great Danes.


Click on any picture below to view it larger and in a slideshow, it’s worth it! 😃


Enjoy this video about Great Danes, you can view the entire playlist of videos about this breed on our YouTube Channel by clicking the button below:


Here’s some websites specifically dedicated to the Great Dane breed, click to view them. I am not affiliated with any of these sites, they’re just here for further information. Please note I will not advertise breeders on this site and as many websites dedicated to a specific breed are run by breeders, sometimes there’s fewer sites listed here.

Thanks for reading!

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