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Great Dane History

Like so many of the different varieties of dogs the actual origin of the Great Dane breed seems to be shrouded in mist. It has been said that Egyptian drawings have been discovered containing dogs that look like an ancestor of the Great Dane. One of the first and earliest images dates back to the 12th century. It displays a massive Great Dane like breed of dog being led by an Assyrian and attached by a woven lead.

It is thought that the actual breed of dog depicted in the drawing is an Assyrian fighting dog. This breed was extremely similar to the Tibetan Dog breed of modern day.
Some years ago the debate arose concerning the breeds designation. The Germans decided to name the breed ‘Deutsche Dogge.’ Germany as a country already had numerous big breeds of dog including the Saufanger, Ulmer Dogge and the Hatzrude.

Along with these other breeds there was also another dog which appeared to be much nobler in its attitude and personality than the other breeds, it was known as the Great Dane. The Germans were after a dog that they could deem to be their ‘national dog,’ this was following the war in the year 1870. They decided to rename the Great Dane and it became the Deutsche Dogge.

The breed itself was first introduced to the United Kingdom approximately 35 years ago. The Great Dane’s title then was either the Boarhound or the German Mastiff. The Boarhound name was presented to the breed as they were once used to help hunt wild boar. When the breed began its showing history at events such as Crufts it had to be entered into a ‘foreign class’ initially.

Then during the early 1980’s a club for the Great Dane alone was produced, since this time the Great Dane has become a firm favourite amongst the larger dog breeds. The Kennel Club has placed the breed as a non-sporting breed as although back in time it was used for hunting the Kennel Club ruled that the Great Dane is viewed as the ‘gentle giant’ of the larger dog breeds.

They are a favourite breed with families everywhere and especially children because after all what breed of dog do you think the famous Scooby Doo is? That is right he is a Great Dane!

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