Great Dane - Information and NZ Breed Standards

Membership ID

Great Dane

General Information - Great Dane

Non sporting

very large

Approx 10 years


very low


Watchdog ability:

Protection ability:

Area of Origin:

Date of Origin:
Middle Ages

Other Names:
Deutsche Dogge, German Mastiff

Original Function:
guardian, hunting large game


Referred to as the "Apollo of dogs", the Great Dane combines such impressive physical and mental characteristics as to make it one of the most majestic breeds known. Pictures in Egyptian tombs, dating as far back as 3000 BC, depict dogs resembling the Great Dane; and, Celtic and Germanic tribes used the early breed types as war dogs. Authorities state that the breed was already established in Britain before the Roman Conquest and that Romans took the dogs home with them where they were used as fighting dogs. Refinement and development of the breed, however, started in Germany during the Middle Ages, and not in Denmark as the name might imply. Founding of Great Dane Clubs in Germany and England took place in the late 1800's. The breed, when it was introduced to America in 1877, was markedly vicious. American breeders were credited with transforming the Great Dane into a sweeter, well-mannered breed by the early 1900's. The breed continues to make a good family protector and pet.


Although the Great Danes in Germany were often bred and used as estate guards and still maintain a protective instinct, the breed today is a friendly and even-tempered one. Great Danes are spirited, fearless, loyal and dependable. They make superb family pets.


The Great Dane needs daily moderate exercise. Its needs can be met with a good walk or romp. Despite its sturdy appearance, it is not well-suited to living outdoors and is best suited to dividing its time between indoors and out. Inside, it needs soft bedding and sufficient room to stretch out when sleeping. Some tend to drool. Coat care is minimal.

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