Where Did the Great Dane Originate?

did-great-dane-originate Credit: Jim Cooper/Stone/Getty Images

The Great Dane was bred by German hunters to primarily hunt wild boar. Eventually, the breed was also used to hunt bear and deer. The Great Dane was originally a cross between an Irish Wolfhound and an Old English Mastiff.

Some historians claim that the Ancient Chinese wrote descriptions of a dog resembling that of the Great Dane in 1121 B.C. Other historians say that images of a dog that resembles a Great Dane can be seen on Ancient Egyptian monuments dating back to 3000 B.C.

Despite all of the occurrences of a large dog resembling the Great Dane throughout history, most historians and zoologists agree that the Great Dane as it is known today was bred by noble German courts to be a ferocious, ruthless hunting dog and a bed chamber dog that guarded his master as he slept. Great Danes are also loyal, loving companions. In the early 19th century, the Great Dane was called a German boarhound. As time went on, the German boarhound was renamed the Great Dane and became a luxury dog instead of a hunting dog.

Regardless of its grisly past as a barbarous hunter, the Great Dane is primarily known today as a gentle giant and a wonderful family pet.