A Great Dane is impressive to behold. These dogs are known for their massive size and muscular body. But what else is there to know about this dog breed? Discover some fun facts about these dogs in the top German (or Danish) dog – 12 facts about the big goodies.
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Are they German or Danish
There is sometimes confusion about the name, is it a Great Dane or a Great Dane? This has everything to do with the English name, the “Great Dane”. This name suggests that these dogs are originally from Denmark. However, the Dutch name “Great Dane” suggests that the dogs come from Germany. German (or Danish) dog – 12 facts about the big goodies.
The breed has a long history, the possible ancestors already lived 3000 BC. They were used for bear hunting and protection. From the 17th century intensive breeding was done with the big hods, including English Mastiffs, bullies and (Irish) greyhounds were crossed. This happened in both Germany and Denmark. A feud has been going on for years between the dog associations of both countries where the breed comes from. The Danish Kennel Club officially objected to the FCI in 2010, but there is still no clarity. But whether you say German or Great Dane in the Netherlands, everyone knows what you are talking about!
They were used to hunt boars
Forget the friendly good guy we know today. Great Danes used to be real hunters. With their strength and speed, they were perfect for use in wild boar hunting. They were used as a ‘catch dog’. Other hunting dogs tracked down the prey and they had to kill the prey or hold it in place for the hunter to kill. Not only wild boars were hunted, but also deer and even bears. From the time guns were used in hunting, this type of dog became less useful and less popular. In the end, they were left only as pets.
The breed comes in six colors and patterns
Most Great Dane you will come across will have a blonde coat with a black mask (pigment on the head, usually from the muzzle to the ears). That is not the only kind you can find, because officially six different colors are recognized. You also have the black Great Dane and varieties with a blue-gray color. In addition, there are dogs with a blonde coat with dark stripes and dogs that are white with black spots. Finally, there is the black Great Dane with a white muzzle, chest, neck and legs.
They are mainly high and not wide
The Great Dane is known for its size, but it is not very wide. Its impressive appearance is mainly due to its enormous height. A male Great Dane can reach a shoulder height of as much as 81 centimeters, while most females reach a maximum height of 76 centimeters. This length is important because the dogs were originally bred to hunt. Thanks to their long legs, they can run very fast.
They reach a top speed of almost 50 km / h
They are large and slender and have long legs, an ideal mix for running fast, and they do. They can reach speeds of about 48 km / h! Of course not as fast as the Greyhound, which can run as fast as 72 mph, but a lot faster than most other dog breeds.
Unfortunately their ears are cropped in America
When you see an American Great Dane, you will often notice that his ears are partially cut off. This is because it is customary to cut the ears when the dogs are still young. Some breeders prefer the appearance of the ears. Slowly but surely, more and more breeders are coming to keep the dog’s natural ears. In the Netherlands, most Danish dogs will have somewhat longer and drooping ears. This is because the docking of ears has been prohibited here for decades.
They can easily live in an apartment
With a large dog like a Great Dane, you probably think they are best in a large house with an even larger yard. There is of course nothing wrong with that, but the Great Dane is also having a great time in a smaller apartment. The dogs need a lot of exercise, but are also very lazy at the same time. You really don’t have to worry about using your household contents insurance because they demolish your house. As long as you make them happy with a long walk a few times a day, they will laze and sleep for the rest of the time.
They do not have a long life expectancy
In general, the bigger the dog, the shorter his life. This also means that in most cases the Great Dane does not get very old. The life expectancy of these dogs is lower than with other dog breeds, so as an owner you should cherish with your Great Dane every day. Most dogs of this breed don’t live to be more than seven or eight years old.
Scooby Doo is a Great Dane
The famous cartoon dog Scooby Doo is a Great Dane, and for good reason. It used to be thought in some places in the world that the Great Dane chased off bad spirits.
They are not the greatest dogs
Great Danes have a very high height at the withers of at least 80 centimeters. However, they are not the largest, the Irish Wolfhound is just a hair higher. The biggest dog ever is a Great Dane called “Zeus”, he had a height of 111.8 centimeters. He was only 5 years old.
Many celebrities have a Great Dane
It is often thought that famous actors and musicians prefer to walk around with a Chihuahua, but nothing could be further from the truth. There are a number of celebrities who prefer to visit the company of a Great Dane. Jim Carrey, Amy Winehouse, Jon Bon Jovi, and Bruce Lee have all had a Great Dane. Maybe their strength and muscle mass will appeal to celebrities. German (or Danish) dog – 12 facts about the big goodies.
Disney contributed to the popularity of the Great Dane
In 1966 Disney released the movie The Ugly Dachshund. This film introduced children from all over the world to the Great Dane. The movie told the story of a Great Dane puppy who was taken in by a couple who only had dachshunds. The puppy does his best to adapt to his new home and mimics the dachshunds as closely as possible. Only when he is older and brought to a dog show, his tough features emerge. This is of course because he meets a beautiful female Great Dane.