Long-Legged Giants: Top 15 facts about Great Danes

People love dogs, and some of us have our own favorite breed of dogs. Generally, breeds have their own characteristics unique from another breed of dogs. Some have hunting genes, and few are naturally a human companion. Nonetheless, the breed that stood above them is the Great Dane. 

But how this breed greatly different from other types of the breed, and what are they naturally capable of doing? These are only a few questions we will find answers. Hence, in this article, we will unravel some of the amazing and fun facts of this great breed of dog. Continue reading, because you may not know, the information below actually exists.

What is Great Dane? 

Great Danes is a breed of dog that originated in Germany, contrary to the famous belief that they are from Denmark. It is likewise popularly known to cast a shadow over the majority of dogs and little kids. They are typically tall and very strong types of breeds with elegant posture. Some have reached a height of over thirty-two inches and weighing around 120 pounds. 

Physically, they can be distinguished by its large head with narrow structure and characterize with flat head top. It has prominent eyebrows and ears naturally forwardly dropped. Some breeders crop their ears to stand erect, adding beauty to their stature. 

Their long necks are very strong, and their legs are lengthy, packed with muscle, and naturally straight. It can be very apparent, especially when they are standing. It has a medium-sized tail with a base that is naturally thick and becomes narrows down the hocks. 

They do not usually shed, and when it happens, it is only light to an average level—provided that they have a short and shiny coating. Some Great Danes are in colors varying from black, white, brown, and many others. Sad to say, this great dog, Great Dane, is not naturally great in terms of the longevity of their lives. They can only live up to a maximum of eight years. Nonetheless, these are only a few known facts about the Great Dane. 

Top 15 facts about Great Danes

  1. Wild Boar Hunters

This enormous dog is rumored to be breeding of an Irish wolfhound, he classic English mastiff, and Greyhound. All of them provided genetic composition that responsible for its height, mass, and speed, respectively. They possess amazing strength that specifically a requirement in hunting boars. 

Also characterized to be very fast, assertive, aggressive, and ready for any dangerous challenge. Given by its size, this breed of dog is ready to face up any tasks that require strength and agility.

Compared today, Great Danes back history is greatly amazing in taking down boars with no sweat. They are deadly and behaviorally aggressive in nature. Tracing back the history further, ancient Egyptians have shown characterization in their monuments of giant dogs that have a similar depiction of the Great Danes. This was dated 3,000 B.C. It also has appearances in the pieces of literature of some countries like China, Tibet, and Greece. 

It was their first duty as a dog to work hard for their owners. Back in the days, owners do not typically own a pet that would literally just lay down the house all day. They seek for dogs that could function and put food on their plate. As well as serving as guards for any intruders and robbers.

Today, Great Danes still possess natural hunting genes and with instincts to safeguard. However, they are far calmer and sensitive now. Although their size is the main tool to drive away from any potential intruders, however, you cannot rely on them completely as they may only provide an alert if danger is within the parameter, and should have no plans of attacking. 

  1. Gentle Giants

For people with no experience or encounters with this breed, they may impose a very frightening appearance that expectedly immediately avoided by people. While this is a reality, provided that Great Danes are very large dogs and look mean, as mentioned above, the Great Danes have evolved into a calm and gentle dog and became less aggressive and violent killers as they were before, regardless of having a very intimidating and imposing posture. 

They have now yearned to live a life full of leisure and can make a great companion dog inside the house. Some breeds are also not into exercises because they surprisingly possess low in energy, perfect for apartment type pets or with limited spaces. Also, despite having a gigantic size, they eat up much less food compared to a huge breed of dogs. 

  1. Not the Tallest Dog

It is already a fact that Great Danes are huge dogs that reaches an enormous height as compared to other breeds of dogs. Most commonly, male dogs are greater in height in comparison to female dogs. When they stand, they can reach up to 7 feet and could make their owners feel small while giving a hug. 

It is impossible to imagine knowing there are other breeds of dogs that are larger than them. In terms of height, Great Danes only falls on the second place next to the Irish Wolfhounds. Surprisingly, this breed also comprised a portion of the overall genetic makeup of the Great Dane. 

  1. Award-Winning Breed

Few dogs from this breed have received recognition by doing magnificent deeds that have transformed and saved the important lives of humans, just like the Great Dane named Juliana. Back in the year 1941, Juliana was awoken because of a bomb that fell on a house where she happens to be living in.

As many dogs would do, Juliana urinated on the bomb, and the pee was as to diffused the bomb. Because of this heroic deed, she was able to earn her first medal. Few years after the incident, Juliana managed to gain another medal when she was able to alert the authorities about the fire fuming from the shoe shop of her owner. 

Another Great Dane that was able to achieve great honor is the dog names Just Nuisance. His name was derived from a backstory, wherein this dog follows the navies up to their bases until their ships. He likes to lie down in any place or on the deck. He even so lazy to move, and sailors would usually tell him he is just a nuisance. That is how he got his name.

The navy has grown fondly of Just Nuisance, and they like him to be around; hence they decided to have enlisted him as one of them. Provided that navy sailors are free to ride all for no expense, Just Nuisance was able to enjoy the same privilege. He continues to be the sole dog to be enlisted officially as part of the Navy troops. 

Despite loving the deck of the ship, Just Nuisance was never to ride in the sea; however, he kept the Navy company and made an appearance during special events. Later he married a dog of similar breed named Adinda. When Just Nuisance finally left the world, his burial was honored by having a full naval respects at the S.A. Navy Signal School.

  1. Famous Celebrities 

Marmaduke, a famous Great Dane, is known to have clumsy and destructive personality was amusing American readers for six decades in comics. Also a Great Dane breed, Scooby-Doo is a very popular cartoon character on the television. However, Great Dane, being used as the breed of Scooby-Doo, is not just a fun choice, but it actually has deeper reasons. 

Back in the days, Great Danes are believed to ward off spirits and ghosts. They even feature a few unique traits of Great Danes that are naturally innate in them. Even Astro, a Great Dane dog from Jetson family wherein the cartoon features a Great Dane as the main character. 

Moreover, Lady Gaga has also been featuring Great Danes in some of her music videos, which included a few of her most popular songs like Poker Face and Love Game, for instance. However, when one of the Great Danes had died, she gradually stopped featuring dogs in her music videos. 

  1. Short Life Expectation

This great breed of dog will soon shatter your heart as they only have a short lifespan. For the fans of this breed, they already aware of the consequences of letting these dogs enter their lives. The reason for this is due to their enormous size that only allows their body to hold of lifespan within seven to ten years only. 

Hence, most of the owners opt to raise a few puppies to maintain the lineage of their pets. Nonetheless, many people still choose to pet the Great Danes with its remarkable characteristics possess that is worth to risk of sadness. 

  1. They Have Bloat Issues 

As a general requirement for most dogs, not just limited to the Great Dane, it is essential to take them to veterinarians for regular check-ups. Aside from assuring that he gets his vaccines, they are particularly prone to a digestive problem that requires a regular check-up to seek for signs and symptoms if there is any. This digestive issue is known as bloat. It is a lethal condition in the stomach.

Gas building up that cause intense stomach twitching is the most common sign of bloat. To prevent this from occurring, it is necessary to let them eat in a small portion of three meals per day rather than offering them a large bowl of food. Also, motivate them to have a rest for one hour the slightest after they have eaten. 

Moreover, they may also require a more nutritious diet as they reached old age. Compared to other breeds of dogs, Great Dane has higher chances of growing old fast. Hence, a four-year-old Great Dane may exhibit behavior and think of a dog older than its actual age. They may also be prone to have arthritis and joint pains, and just by ensuring their optimal health should do great for your Great Dane. 

  1. Pennsylvania’s Iconic Dog

The Great Dane has become an iconic breed of dog with its magnificent achievement as being recognized as the official state dog of Pennsylvania in the year 1965. Throughout the past significant history of Pennsylvania, the Great Dane has served an essential role as being a working dog and a great hunter. 

With this, the state acknowledges the tremendous aid of the dog and its loyal commitment to the people of Pennsylvania as compared to another breed of dogs. 

The Great Dane was even described by the founder of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth as a breed that not only huge in size but also possesses strong, responsible, noble, brave, reliable, and devoted in nature while its physical attributes are characterized by strength, elegance, courage, resilience, and trustworthiness. 

With such great honor, even the painting of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s founder with his Great Dane dog is displayed in the entertainment hall of the Governor’s Office. 

  1. They Are Very Adaptable 

Regardless of where you live or the city you are staying with, the Great Dane can effortlessly adapt to various environments. It may only demand the adequate provision of nutritious food, sufficient health care, and are for exercise, and of course, oozing love, this breed of dog will surely thrive accordingly without complaints. 

Provided that Great Danes are a large breed of dogs, they naturally thrive in a spacious living area; it does more necessarily require you to have one. They are enough with the area where they can stretch and do a few exercises. One of the incredible traits they possess is their less inclination to bark, which is a pretty good characteristic if you have nearby neighbors. 

  1. Ranks As High Popular Breed

The Great Danes, with very elegant and promising characteristics, have ranked as a highly popular breed in the world. They placed in the fifteenth spot as the most famous breed of dog, as told by the American Kennel Club. They may be gained in the fifteenth position, but given that there are a lot of various breeds listed in their Club, ranking on the spot is already a sign of being highly popular. 

This should not be surprised about given that the Great Danes are breeds that have promising qualities, which makes them a great and ideal family companion. They are fairly intelligent dogs that are relatively manageable to train. They are also a very loyal type of breed, and people can depend on them at all costs. These few things about making them really famous around the world. 

  1. Tallest Dog in the World

Despite not being listed as the largest breed of dog in the world, they are presently acknowledged the tallest dog in the world, and no dog has been able to break its record. The dog named Zeus was recorded to have a height of three feet and eight inches with weight in pounds of 150. 

In the year 2012, they attained this award from the Guinness World Records, beating the previous title holder for about an inch only. It was also a Great Dane breed that goes by the name of Giant George. Zeus now is gone past and only lived within five years. It is believed its massive size was the aspect of his early death. 

  1. A Great Family Companion 

With its innate gentleness and calm characteristics, the Great Dane is a fun and loving family companion. Regardless of their size, it never hinders them from being playful, friendly, and possesses a balanced temperament. They are even are known for their outstanding loyalty and trustworthy breed of dogs. 

However, due to its gigantic size, they may need strict supervision, especially when they play with kids. They may accidentally thump them out regardless of how big the kids are. They may not intend to hurt your purposely, but they surely not aware they are doing it.

  1. Loves Lap Time

Provided by its size, it is very surprising that the huge fan of cuddles and they surely love to sneak on your lap. Owners would be tempted not to let them have their sweet time on your lap despite having a massive size and weight, as they are so charming and adorable. Since they tend to grow faster, you may not notice they have outgrown your couch already. If you are exactly a fan of it, train them while young. 

  1. Great Dane is Not from Denmark

Basing from its name, many would assume that this breed originated from Denmark. However, it is far from what it is believed. Few questions raised as to why they are named such a way if they did not come from Denmark. 

Well, there is one explanation for that matter provided directly from the American Kennel Club. Le Grande Danois, a French name that literally means Great Dane, was given by a French naturalist in the early years of 1700. Since that time, the words just retain up to this date. 

  1. Sprawling Buddy

The Great Danes are similarly great in terms of sprawling. They love to extend their legs, and to do it; many require a lot of space as their legs happen to be really long. It is part of their needs to exercise while alternating some lazy period. Hence, this kind of breed is not suggested to have if you have tiny space. A room just enough to have his exercises should be sufficient, though.


Great Danes are a truly great breed of dogs. They are not only outstanding physical attributes, but they also possess an amazing set of traits that is perfect for everyone. With the above-mentioned traits and facts about it, you will surely love your Great Danes more, or if you have not had one, you might be tempted already to have one. 

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Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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