They are one of the UK’s more popular breeds of large dog, but how much do you know about the loyal Great Dane?
The last few years have seen many of us welcome a new four-legged friend into our homes, as the Kennel Club has seen dog ownership soar to record levels.
But with 221 different breeds of pedigree dog to choose from, there’s plenty of thinking to do before you select your perfect pup.
Those with active lifestyles might want to consider a larger dog, while somebody with allergies will be looking for a hypoallergenic dog.
There’s even academic guidance to seek out, with Psychologist Stanley Coren’s book ‘The Intelligence of Dogs’ ranking breeds by instincts, obedience, and the ability to adapt.
One dog that often appears on people’s canine wishlists is the Great Dane – they are one of the UK’s most popular breeds of large dog and have a range of positive attributes that make them a great family pet.
Here are 10 fun and interesting facts about the breed.
1. An ancient breed
Dogs resembling Great Danes have been around for thousands of years - featuring on Egyptian monuments dating back to 3,000 BC. Large boarhounds resembling the Great Dane also appear in ancient Greek art from the 14th century BC. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
2. Short-lived pups
Small dogs tend to live longer than larger dogs and that's certainly the case for the Great Dane. Sadly they have one of the shortest average lifespans of any dog breed - just 7-10 years. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
3. A change of name
Great Danes used to be called the German Boarhound in the 18th century and were later marketed as the German Dogge or German Mastiff. Following increased tensions between Germany and other countries, the true place of the breed's origin was removed from the dog's name, and the Great Dane was created. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
4. A great mix
The Great Dane breed first emerged in the 16th century, when European nobility imported the descendents of crossbreeds between the English Mastiff and Irish Wolfhound from England. Photo: Canva/Getty Images