For other uses, see The Great Dane. The Great Dane is a large German breed of domestic dog known for its giant size. The German name of the breed is Deutsche Dogge, or German Mastiff. The French name is Reveries of a solitary walker pdf Allemand.
The Great Dane is one of the tallest dog breeds. Wall painting fragments with a representation of a wild boar hunt. These large boarhounds continue to appear throughout ancient Greece in subsequent centuries up to the Hellenistic era. Bigger dogs are depicted on numerous runestones in Scandinavia, on coinage in Denmark from the fifth century AD, and in the collection of Old Norse poems, known in English as Poetic Edda. In the middle of the 16th century, the nobility in many countries of Europe imported strong, long-legged dogs from England, which were descended from crossbreeds between English Mastiffs and Irish Wolfhounds. They were dog hybrids in different sizes and phenotypes with no formal breed.
The dogs were used for hunting bear, boar, and deer at princely courts, with the favorites staying at night in the bedchambers of their lords. While hunting boar or bears, the Englische Dogge was a catch dog used after the other hunting dogs to seize the bear or boar and hold it in place until the huntsman was able to kill it. When the hunting customs changed, particularly because of the use of firearms, many of the involved dog types disappeared. In the 19th century, the dog was known as a “German boarhound” in English-speaking countries.
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Some German breeders tried to introduce the names “German Dogge” and “German Mastiff” on the English market, because they believed the breed should be marketed as a dog of luxury and not as a working dog. The Great Dane combines, in its regal appearance, dignity, strength, and elegance with great size and a powerful, well-formed, smoothly muscled body. It is one of the giant working breeds, but is unique in that its general conformation must be so well balanced that it never appears clumsy, and shall move with a long reach and powerful drive. In the ratio between length and height, the Great Dane should be square.
Danes under minimum height are disqualified. From year to year, the tallest living dog is typically a Great Dane. Unusually, the American Kennel Club dropped the minimum weight requirement from its standard. Great Danes have naturally floppy, triangular ears. In the past, when Great Danes were commonly used to hunt boars, cropping of the ears was performed to make injuries to the dogs’ ears less likely during hunts.