Great Dane: Fun Facts About the Apollo Dog Breed

Great Dane: Fun Facts About the Apollo Dog Breed

Author WDF Staff


Great Danes are one of the most impressive breeds in the world, certainly a unique one. Many thoughts run through our minds when we encounter them, but thinking about the Great Danes’ fun facts is rarely any of them. If you are anything like us, you will research a breed you are interested in, and we can certainly understand how this breed piqued your interest.

There is a lot more to these dogs than what meets the eye, and here is a list of seven fun facts about Great Danes.

1. Tallest dog in the world

The canine kingdom is a versatile universe where members come in different sizes, shapes, and colors. Just because they belong to the same species doesn’t mean they are the same. If you ever wondered what the tallest dog breed is, you probably won’t be too surprised to hear that Great Danes are not the tallest breed in the world. There are some other contenders to this prestigious title like St. Bernards, Scottish Deerhounds, or Kangals, but they all come behind the mighty Irish Wolfhound.

However, the tallest dog ever, Zeus, was 3 ft 8 inches tall when standing on all four of his paws. That is truly a behemoth. Fully stretched, Zeus was 7 ft 5 inches, which makes him taller than most modern-day NBA stars.

great dane puppy sitting

2. Hunting history

Giant dogs are known throughout history and can even be found in ancient Egyptian art. Dogs that looked a lot like the Great Dane we know today appeared in carvings dated back to nearly 250 B.C. Those dogs’ exact breed is not fully known, but we know that these giants were bred about 200 years ago in Germany. Their name might suggest that they are Danish, but that is a common misconception surrounding these dogs.

Great Danes had a different role in those days; they were bred with a specific task in mind - hunting wild boar. Original Great Danes were a lot different than those dogs we can see today. They were fearless hunters who were agile and powerful enough to bring down a 200-pound wild boar. Of course, the dog wasn’t alone on the hunt; they were always accompanied by the hunters whose job was to shoot the prey.

3. Surprising temperament

You could never tell by looking at their pictures, but Great Danes are nothing to be afraid of; in fact, they are gentle, peaceful, and affectionate pets whose hunting days are long behind them. They have a completely different role these days, and the only hunting they do is for the softest spot to lay down in.

Great Danes are fun, calm, and very social. They love having lots of friends and family around them, and they love playing. They might take some time to get used to strangers, but they will accept them as long-lost friend who just found them when they do. They make fantastic family pets that are great with kids. The only thing is that they require plenty of room to move and not accidentally knock down an expensive vase.

If you love Great Danes, check their full profile here.

great dane dog on couch

4. Training and noses

Even though these dogs are not an active hunting breed, some traits and characteristics remained with them. Great Danes have extremely sensitive noses, and if they are allowed to, they will follow an interesting scent no matter where it leads them. Such “nosy” breeds need to be trained and should listen to their owner.

Such large dogs are very powerful, so training is even more critical. You don’t want to be battling your 120-pound dog constantly because when they pull the leash, they might pull you as well. These dogs have the potential to be a bit stubborn, so make sure you train them with plenty of patience.

5. Pop culture

One of the most beloved childhood characters, Scooby, is a Great Dane. The comics’ creators were thinking about what breed their main character should be, and they had trouble deciding between a cowardly sheepdog and a cowardly Great Dane. It certainly looks like they made the right choice, and Scooby became internationally known.

One more thing influenced their decision: a lot of Great Danes can be a bit shy, and they often act scared. Seeing such a huge dog being afraid of something can be funny, and making this breed into a beloved comic character certainly fueled that reputation.

great dane laying

6. Biggest lapdogs in the world

One of the best things about Great Danes is the level of affection they have for their owners. They are very loving and love nothing more than to be close to their humans. Some Great Danes forgot how huge they are, and they act like tiny lapdogs.

There are many different videos on YouTube and social networks that can clearly show you what we mean. It is hilarious to see this huge dog trying to climb in the lap of their owner. They love napping together, and if you are thinking of becoming a Great Dane owner, be prepared to share your favorite napping place with a huge dog that will love to lay over you.

7. Health concerns of big dogs

Every dog breed is prone to certain conditions, but large dogs are especially prone to developing health problems that can cause all sorts of issues. Great Dane is a loving breed that has a relatively short lifespan. These dogs only live 6 - 8 years on average.

Other than a short lifespan, they are prone to;

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Gastric torsion or bloat
  • Bone cancer
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Eye problems
  • Luxating patella

Learn more about hip dysplasia, and how to treat it here.

World Dog Finder team

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