10 BIG Things to Know About Great Danes - Pet Hub USA

10 BIG Things to Know About Great Danes

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The towering and friendly Great Dane is a beloved breed. If you’re a fan of these gentle giants and want to know more about their origins and traits, read on! Here are ten fun facts about Great Danes.

Extremely Friendly

Blue Merle Great Dane
Photo by Matthias Zomer on Pexels

You might think a towering dog with strong limbs and a background as a hunter would be a dangerous creature. In reality, Great Danes are among the sweetest, most relaxed dogs you can meet. They’re much more at home lying on the couch than battling a boar these days.

Not Danish

Adult Tan Great Dane Standing on Top of Mountain Under White Sky
Photo by David Kittel on Pexels

Despite their names, Great Danes aren’t actually, well, Danish. They’re originally German dogs and were called “German boarhounds” in English around the early 19th Century. When the first World War broke out, anything with the word “German” on it got its name changed, including the German boarhounds, which reverted to a variation of the French name for the breed: Grand Danios, or “Big Danish”.


Great Dane

Great Danes have been around for a long time, so they’ve got tons of fur patterns and color variations. They can have blue, black, brindle, white, and gray colorations, in addition to several other patterns. One such rare pattern is the Dalmatian-like “Harlequin” coat!

Relaxed Temperament

brown short coated dog on green grass field during daytime
Photo by Marcelo Pinto on Unsplash

Despite their large size and imposing appearance, Great Danes are very laid back. They’re even considered “lazy” by some people due to their love of lying around and chilling. It makes sense that they don’t like to exercise too much: it takes a lot of calories to move such a big dog!

Warding Properties?

Great Dane Standing near a Tree
Photo by David Kanigan on Pexels

Throughout the centuries, Europeans have viewed Great Danes as having mystical warding abilities. In fact, some people in the Middle Ages slept near Great Danes as a way to prevent themselves from having nightmares! While they might not ward off evil spirits, the dogs certainly make would-be burglars think twice.

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German National Dog

shallow focus photo of short-coated brown dog
Photo by Gabriel Jimenez on Unsplash

The Great Dane’s German origins are so strong that it’s actually the national dog of Germany. It won a vote in 1876 and has kept is slot ever since. In its native country, the breed is still called the “German mastiff,” contrasting it against similar European breeds like the English Mastiff.

State Dog of Pennsylvania

gray short coated large dog
Photo by BeAlex Barcheri on Unsplash

Germans aren’t the only ones who love the big, goofy Great Dane breed. They’re beloved in Pennsylvania, too! They were used as hunting dogs in the Commonwealth back in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Great Danes were voted the state dogs in Pennsylvania in 1995!


brown and white short coated dog
Photo by Nayeli Rosales on Unsplash

The animated mystery-solving dog Scooby-Doo is perhaps the most well-known Great Dane of them all. The snack-eating pup runs around haunted houses with his owner, Shaggy, and helps the gang capture criminals who pose as ghosts and monsters. If he looks a little strange for a Great Dane, read on.

Read More: 10 Best Cartoon Dogs Ever Drawn

Cropped Ears

gray short coat large dog
Photo by Andrea Caramello on Unsplash

Many older depictions of Great Danes show them with “cropped” ears. Ear cropping is a practice in which a portion of a dog’s ear is cut off to change its appearance. Great Danes naturally have floppy ears. When cropped, like you can see on Scooby-Doo, they become pointed and erect.

Read More: 10 Best Dog Breeds for People Who Travel


brown dog
Photo by Nathalie SPEHNER on Unsplash

One Great Dane in particular holds the world record for the tallest dog to ever live. While the Irish Wolfhound breed is technically taller on average, an individual Great Dane named Zeus was the tallest dog ever at 41 inches tall!

Read More: The Ten Largest Dog Breeds Known to Man

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