All About Great Danes

About This Breed

Great Danes originated in Germany, where it was used to hunt wild boar. More recently this enormous yet graceful dog has become a popular pet.

Physical Characteristics

The Great Dane is one of the largest dog breeds, able to stand up to four feet tall from the shoulders to the floor. It has long legs, deep chests, and a high tucked abdomen. Its head is large and blocky with drop ears. Its eyes are set close together, and its muzzle is long with narrow lips that typically hang down over the chin.


The Great Dane is most commonly seen in fawn, brindle, black, blue, or harlequin.


Short and smooth.

Personality and Temperament


Low to Moderate


The Great Danes is loyal and loving to its human family. In fact, it is often said that the breed is the biggest lap dog of them all. It does well with children and other animals when raised together. The Great Dane also makes for an excellent watchdog, as it will bark with a loud and deep tone when encountering strangers.


The Great Dane is sometimes oblivious to its own size and strength. Some are also heavy droolers.



The Great Dane fares well in the city or country.


The Great Dane requires daily exercise to work out those long legs.


The following conditions are commonly seen in Great Danes:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Bloat

History and Background

The Great Dane is believed to be a cross between the Greyhound and Molossus, an ancient Greco-Roman war dog breed. It may have first appeared in Germany during the 1300s and used by the residents to capture wild boar and other prey.

How the breed got its current name is quite mysterious, as the breed is not Danish. In Germany, the breed was and is still popularly referred to today as Deutsche Dogge. Meanwhile, the British who came upon the breed named it the German Boarhound, based on its function.

As it became popular in the United States, the Great Dane Club of America formed in 1889 in Chicago. And in 1891, the Great Dane Club of Germany adopted a standard, or official description of the breed. Today the breed continues to be praised in the U.S. for its power and beauty.

National Clubs and/or Organizations

Great Dane Club of America
1446 North Buckner Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75218

Fun Fact(s)

The popular cartoon character Scooby-Doo is a Great Dane.