The Great Dane is an incredible animal. To say that I am partial to the breed is an understatement. Big, lovable and loyal. How can you beat that?
If you have a Dane in your family or are looking to get one, you might be interested in these 8 fun facts about Great Danes. Some you might now and some might surprise you. Enjoy.
One: Hero Is In Their Blood
In 1941 a British Great Dane named Juliana won a Blue Cross medal for successfully diffusing an incendiary bomb that had fallen through her owners roof. Her method of diffusal, peeing on it. She would go on to winning another metal a few years later for alerting her owner of a fire.
Two: They Were Bred To Hunt Wild Boar
Strong, big and remarkably agile, the Great Dane was once used to hunt wild boars. They were most likely bred from Irish Wolfhound, Grey Hound and Mastiff blood. Aggressive, fast, brave and deadly was what was needed at the time.
Today, they are no longer used for hunting and the aggressive behavior has been breed out of them over the years. They can now truly be called gentle giants all though you would not dare call their ancestors that.
Three: It’s Official
The Great Dane is the official state dog of Pennsylvania. It became official in 1965 and a portrait of William Penn and his Dane now hangs in the Governor’s reception room.
Four: There Are 3 Dane Cartoon Dogs
The Dane has been the source of 3 very famous dogs. Scooby Doo, Marmaduke and the Jetsons dog Astro were all based on Great Danes.
Five: They Are Not The Tallest
Although the tallest dog in the world was a Great Dane, as a breed, they come in second. The winner. a dog that they were bred from, the Irish Wolfhound. The Wolfhound is just a couple inches taller at the shoulders than a Dane.
Six: Germany Is Their Source
With a name like Great Dane, you would assume that they originated in Denmark but this is not the case. They were actually bred in Germany. There are many stories floating around as to how they came to be called Great Danes. One story suggests that the name comes from the English translation of the French name for the breed “grand Danois“.
Seven: They Are Apartment Friendly
You would think because of their size that they would not be well suited but this could not be further from the truth. After their initial puppy phase, they enter their lazy phase. They eat far less and require much less exercise than you might think.
Eight: Danes Are Getting Older
It used to be that 10 year old Danes were a rarity. The average lifespan was generally considered to be in the 7 to 10 year range. Nowadays, American Danes at least, tend to live longer. 8 to 12 years is a much more accurate year range.