The Great Dane is a large German breed of domestic dog known for its giant size. The German name of the breed is Deutsche Dogge, or German Mastiff. The French name is Dogue Allemand. Dogs 101 Great Danes.
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Dogs 101 Great Danes
Welcome to Animal Facts. Now that’s a dog! The Great Dane is truly a great dog breed — large and noble, commonly referred to as a gentle giant or as the “Apollo of dogs.” The Great Dane certainly holds stature in the dog world; but though he looks imposing, in reality he’s one of the best-natured dogs around. Let’s get to know him.
10. GENTLENESS WAS BRED INTO THEM. As wild boar hunting, which they were originally bred for, became less popular, the breed evolved from vicious hunters to show dogs to giant lap dogs. Most Great Danes are surprisingly low-energy. They require less exercise and less food than you might imagine. They also make excellent pets for people who live in apartments.
9. They are not the tallest dog breed. Great Danes are huge, with an average height of 2.5 to 2.8 feet, but Irish Wolfhounds tend to grow a bit taller. That said, the tallest dog in the world is indeed a Great Dane named Zeus. Zeus is featured in a fact later in the list. Before we get there, take a moment to like and subscribe.
8. A Great Dane was awarded two blue cross medals. In 1941, Juliana, the Great Dane, awoke when a bomb fell on the house she lived in. The dog did what any self-respecting canine would do—she peed on it. The urine diffused the bomb and earned her her first medal. She was awarded her second medal three years later when she alerted authorities that a fire was raging in her owner’s shoe shop.
7. Just Nuisance, the Great Dane, remains the only dog to officially enlist in the US Navy. The dog was born in the late 1930s and grew up in the United Services Institute. He liked to take the train with his friends, but the train conductors were less than thrilled with having a CANINE stowaway (it’s not easy hiding a Great Dane on a train). Sailors were allowed to ride for free, which meant as a Navy man, Just Nuisance was able to ride without fear. When Just Nuisance passed away, he was buried with full naval honors.
6. They grow fast. When Danes are born, they weigh only one or two pounds. In just 6 months, they can weigh as much as 100 pounds. The dogs can continue to mature and grow until they’re two or three years old.
5. Despite the breed’s name, the Great Dane doesn’t have Danish origins. It comes from Germany, where it is called Deutsche Dogge or German Mastiff. In fact, the Great Dane is so iconic that Deutschland officially named the breed its national dog.
4. Pennsylvania named the Great Dane its official state dog in 1967. Pennsylvania’s founder, William Penn, was a Great Dane lover. A portrait of Penn with a Dane even hangs in the governor’s residence. He said, “The physical and other attributes of the Great Dane, to wit: size, strength, beauty, intelligence, tolerance, courage, faithfulness, trustworthiness and stability exemplify those of Pennsylvania.”
3. Although Great Danes are not the world’s largest dog breed on average, the currently recognized World’s Tallest Dog is a Great Dane named Zeus. Zeus, who stands 3 feet, 8 inches tall and weighs 150 pounds, earned the Guinness World Records title in 2012 when he was measured 1 inch taller than the previous record-holder, a Great Dane named Giant George.
2. SADLY, GREAT DANES HAVE ONE OF THE SHORTEST LIFESPANS OF ALL DOG BREEDS. As a rule of thumb, small dog breeds tend to live longer lives and large breeds tend to live shorter ones. That’s why the tiny Chihuahua can live up to 20 years, but most Great Danes don’t make it beyond their 10th birthday.
1. THREE FAMOUS CARTOON DOGS ARE GREAT DANES. Great Danes are majestic creatures, and their size seems to appeal to cartoonists. Marmaduke is a clumsily destructive Great Dane who has been mildly amusing Americans for 60 years in comic strips. Hanna-Barbera turned to the Great Dane as well — twice — first with the Jetsons’ dog, Astro, and later with Scooby-Doo.
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