You might be thinking to get a Great Dane, or you already have one that livens up your days, so it’s never too late to find out more things about them. Also, if you are afraid of them, and take a step back every time you happen to meet one, reading this will prove useful for you as you have no idea how cool and friendly Great Danes actually are.
Without further ado, here are some cool facts about Great Danes. Let’s jump right in.
- They’re not actually… Danes
- They Were Boar Hunters
- Not Your Ordinary Lap Dog
- Scooby-Scooby Doo
- Holders of World Records
- Member of the Navy
- Three in One
- Not One, but Two Blue Cross Medals
- Present even in Ancient History
- Small Puppies – But not for too long
- Gentle giants
- They’re not the tallest breed
- Your lap is their favorite cuddling spot
- Highly adaptable
- An iconic breed
- They own you as much as you own them
- They come in many colors and patterns
They’re not actually… Danes
Let’s start off with the simple things. While you may think Denmark is responsible for this breed of canines, it, in fact, originates from Germany. The naming of this breed, done by Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, a French Naturalist, was made while the mentioned man was traveling in Denmark and came across this large dog.
They Were Boar Hunters
This might scare you a bit – but don’t worry, in time and with proper training, the fierce factor was pulled out of the Great Dane, which resulted in a dog perfect for your family.
But, initially, these large dogs were used to hunt deer, boars and even bears. Still, they were not all about power and swiftness. They were also in charge of the protection of sleeping princes and princesses from any dangers that might happen to cross their room.
Not Your Ordinary Lap Dog
If you think that, after getting yourself a Great Dane, your lap will not be deemed a great place to sit on, you are in the wrong. Despite their size – of which the Great Danes are aware – they just love to sit in their owner’s lap. The fact that they don’t cover only your lap, but almost your entire body is just an insignificant problem – just pet them, they love you.
Reading this section’s title has probably made you think if using Scooby Snacks as food for your Great Dane puppies will eventually turn them into fearful dogs that are afraid of ghosts. Well, probably not – but Scooby Doo was indeed a Great Dane. As this breed was thought to repel evil spirits and ghosts, the choice to make Scooby a Great Dane was more than natural.
Holders of World Records
If you own a Great Dane, then you should know that one dog part of this breed is the world record holder for the world’s tallest dog. Zeus, also widely known as “the gentle giant” was 44 inches tall and, when he stood on his hind legs, he was 7-foot-4. He was indeed, a big dog – sadly, he passed away, at the age of only 5, in 2014.
Indeed, one Great Dane had the honor to be enlisted in the Navy. This happened in the 1930’s when the dog named Just Nuisance, after being hidden in trains by the conductors many times – without paying for a ticket – joined the navy with the help of the sailors that begun to like him too much.
He used to train with them as his home was the United Services Institute. All of the problems he faced were no longer as members of the Navy were allowed to ride the train without paying anything.
Therefore, Just Nuisance was able to hang around the sailors that loved him so much – even if the Great Dane never set sail for the sea itself. And, when the sad moment of his passing happened, he was granted a funeral with full naval honors.
Three in One
The Great Dane is a specially bred dog. As mentioned, they were used to hunt down boars and even bear, and for this, the perfect combination was required so that the dog could handle these situations.
To achieve the power they have, the creation of the Great Dane consisted in the use of three breeds. Greyhounds were used for optimal speed, and for height, the Irish Wolfhounds were just the perfect choice. And when it comes to muscle mass, Mastiffs have played their role properly. Basically, the Great Dane is a mixture of power, speed, and size – and nowadays gentleness, as well.
Not One, but Two Blue Cross Medals
Usually, when your dog starts peeing here and there or when getting scared, you would probably get a bit angry. But a Great Dane named Juliana was awarded a Blue Cross Medal when she did just that. But wait and hear the rest of the story.
Peeing was involved when, in 1941, a bomb fell on Juliana’s house. With unknown intentions, the Great Dane proceeded with peeing on the very bomb, which actually diffused the bomb – not because it got scared, but because of the urine – and kept the premises of her house safe and sound. And another Blue Cross Medal was awarded to her when, after her owner’s shoe shop caught fire, she ran to to the police station and alerted the authorities.
Do you want a dog that can keep your family safe? Well, two Blue Cross Medals say enough.
Present even in Ancient History
Even if the Great Danes have their origins in Germany, some drawings that closely resemble this breed have been found on Egyptian monuments – and not any type of monuments, but some that are dated back to 3,000 B.C. And to make their history even more interesting, Chinese literature has records of descriptions of dogs quite similar to the Great Danes.
Small Puppies – But not for too long
As you bring your new Great Dane puppy into his new home, you look at how small it is and think that it might weigh about one or two pounds – which is true. However, within just six months, when you will be coming home from work, a Great Dane of around 100 pounds will greet you as soon as you step in.
And they just keep on growing until they reach the age of two or three years old. Well, no wonder they’re called Great Danes.
While Great Danes may look big and imposing, they have in fact a very unique personality and are appreciated for their calm and gentle demeanor. They are known as loyal and dependable dogs and that makes them perfect pets for families to own since they are very easy to train and have a good relationship with kids.
The only reason you’ll need to supervise the time that your Great Dane spends with a little child is because of their large size that makes it easy for them unwittingly knock kids down. They can even flatten out an adult in play, so you’ll need to be careful when kids are around.
This is one of the main reasons why training and socialization are very important for this breed, and this needs to start once they are young and small. These dogs are full of love and they will never hurt you but once they grow up it can be easy for them to forget just how big they are.
As long as you take the time to teach them early that they shouldn’t jump up on people, you’ll get a lovable dog that can spread its love to every member of the family.
They’re not the tallest breed
While the tallest dog in history was indeed a Great Dane and this breed can reach staggering heights compared with most other dogs, they are not, in fact, the tallest breed out there. This may seem like a surprise to most owners considering that males can measure over seven feet when standing on their hind legs.
There is indeed a breed that grows even taller than Great Danes, namely the Irish Wolfhounds. Another interesting fact is that Great Danes are in fact related to Irish Wolfhounds and have some of their genetics in their makeup which helps explain why both breeds have so much in common as far as size is concerned.
Your lap is their favorite cuddling spot
While this may sound surprising, considering their size, Great Danes love cuddling and if there’s one thing that they would like to do more than anything is to sit on your lap. Granted, this is very easy for them to do when they are small but it doesn’t take long for them to gain weight and size, making it hard for the owner to indulge this desire.
Once this happens you don’t need to stop cuddling with your pet but rather switch to a big size couch or get to the floor to play with your massive pup.
While you can train them to stay off the furniture and not to jump on your lap anymore, you should always make time to cuddle and play with your Great Dane since even when it’s older it will still think of you as the friend that let it play in your lap.
Due to their large size, you might be forgiven to believe that Great Danes will only do well in the countryside but the truth is that this breed is very adaptable and it can get used to and thrive in nearly any type of living environment imaginable, be it in the city or in the countryside.
As long as your dog gets good nutrition, enough space to get some exercise, and a lot of love from the family, it will have everything it needs to live a long and happy life. The only thing you’ll need is a large apartment since they do need a bit of space to move around comfortably.
You also won’t have to worry about disturbing your neighbors since this breed isn’t prone to barking and they are well behaved with strangers as long as they are properly trained and socialized.
An iconic breed
Great Danes have been showcased by some very famous people throughout history. If you go visit the Governor’s office in Pennsylvania you’ll find a portrait of William Penn with his Great Dane. William Penn was the founder of the state of Pennsylvania.
This is the reason why the Great Dane has been the official dog of the state of Pennsylvania since 1967. Penn was very open in praising this breed for its magnificent stature, intelligence, strength, beauty, courage, tolerance, and loyalty.
Great Danes are also associated with one of today’s biggest pop stars, namely Lady Gaga. She features this breed in her first music video including hits such as “Poker Face”, “Paparazzi”, “Love Game” and “Eh Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say).”
They own you as much as you own them
While this can be true with most pets, it is especially the case with Great Danes since no matter how much you train them, and how obedient they may be, it doesn’t mean that you will get your way every time. They love you very much and since they are very intelligent, they know how to get under your skin and make you do everything they want.
This doesn’t mean that they are manipulative since they do love you very much, but they are very personable and because they shower you with kind affection and faithful service, it requires a lot of strength to deny them their pleasures. At this point, it can be very hard to tell who really owns who.
They come in many colors and patterns
While golden fawn with a black mask is one of the most popular colors you’re likely to see in Great Danes, this breed standard has five other colors and patterns that are recognized by breeders. There’s brindle, glossy black, mantle, harlequin, and pure steel blue-gray.
While some are easy to understand since they do not involve patterns, other colors require some further details. Brindle, for example, means black chevron stripes on a gold background. Harlequin means a white base color with black torn patches that are distributed over the entire coat of the dog.
Lastly, mantle is a solid black blanket on the coat that extends over the body, including the head and with a white neck collar, chest, face blaze and white on the forelegs.