Great Dane puppies are some of the most adorable little animals you will ever see, and we are completely in love with them. They’re so sweet that it is often easy to forget that they will grow into very large animals that want to sit in your lap and continue to cuddle you even though they are not tiny puppies anymore. I grew up with Great Danes. Everyone in my family had one and I spent the vast majority of my life with one in the house with us (and in the yard, and in the car and just about everywhere else) and I have a special fondness for the breed. In fact, I think that eventually, after our twins are a little older, we might end up with another one in the house for our four kids to enjoy. What’s so much fun about Great Dane puppies is that they grow into such beautiful dogs that have so much love and affection to give, and there are even a few surprising facts about the breed that some people don’t even realize.
It’s not the Biggest Breed
There is a misconception that the Great Dane is the largest dog breed in the world, but it’s actually not. According to the American Kennel Club, it’s close, but there is no cigar to be had here. Where did that saying even come from, really? The Irish Wolfhound is actually a bit bigger than the Great Dane and that makes it impossible for this beautiful breed to be the biggest in the world.
The Tallest Dog, However, is a Great Dane
Zeus is currently the tallest living dog in the world, and he is a Great Dane. He’s just getting taller and taller, and he’s breaking all kinds of records. Let’s just say that if you are not familiar with the breed – and probably even if you are – you will find that you don’t want to see Zeus alone in a dark alley. Even though he’s probably sweet as pie (and here come my southern roots), he’s big and he’s going to make you a bit nervous.
They Don’t Live Long
These are not dogs that live a long time. The sad fact is that this is a dog that typically does not make it past its 10th birthday. The breed just does not have the lifespan of other dogs, and that is sometimes a deal breaker for people. No one wants to have a dog for a few years before losing it. People want their dogs for a long period of time. I remember ours growing up, and she didn’t live very long. Neither did her brother, but my family just adores this breed and wanted them even though they didn’t live past a decade at any point.
They’re Bred for Boar Hunting
This gorgeous breed was originally bred as a boar hunter. It’s the kind of dog that really does seem to have the best of everything, and that’s for a reason. People very long ago needed something that would catch the boars for them since they are so fast and agile (doesn’t that seem a bit strange, though?). So they developed a large dog that would also be very fast and agile and good at its job and that’s where the Great Dane was born.
They’re Gentle Giants
If you don’t have any experience with this gorgeous breed, chances are pretty good it’s going to scare you. It’s a big dog with a big face and big body parts. It’s tall and that makes it look scary to people unfamiliar with the breed. It’s not, though. Despite its large size, this beautiful dog is really a big giant teddy bear. It’s cuddly and sweet. It gets along very well with kids and it’s very gentle with them. It seems to be a breed that is very aware of its size and very conscious of the fact that it is so big that it might just be the kind of dog that people want to keep around. It’s just what we said; a gentle giant.
It’s the German National Dog
Another fun fact about the Great Dane is that it’s not a Dutch dog. There is a misconception that the dog was bred in Denmark for purposes by the people there, but it was not. It’s a German dog that was bred there so that people could hunt for boars. And in fact, it’s the German national dog because of its history in the country. That’s just one of those fun facts most people are unaware of because they believe what they hear without first checking out the facts.
It’s Also the Pennsylvania State Dog
The people of Pennsylvania also love this dog so much that it’s the state dog. And that serves to remind me that there are such things as state dogs. You kind of forget that this is a real thing until you hear something like this. It almost takes me back to my days in elementary school learning about state birds and things of that nature you promptly forget and then remember on a whim at some point three decades later. I’m not sure if it’s the state dog of any other state, but it is definitely the state mascot in Pennsylvania, and that’s cool.
They Make Great Animated Pets
If there is any animated dog in the world that people seem to love more than any other, it’s certainly Scooby-Doo. He’s a big old scaredy-cat (dog) who loves Shaggy and hates all things related to ghosts. Makes you wonder why he is in the ghost hunting business, doesn’t it? He’s one of the most famous animated characters in the world, and he almost does mimic a real life Great Dane, too. Except that while these dogs are very gentle and sweet, they will protect the people they love by using their very intimidating appearance to ward off those that they don’t feel belong around their homes or families.
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