Home   »   Breeds   »   Great Dane

Get to know the
Great Dane
Looking for a Great Dane?

AKC Meet the Breeds®

A "gentle giant," the Great Dane is nothing short of majestic. Sometimes referred to as the "king of dogs," this extremely large dog breed is known for being strong yet elegant, with a friendly, energetic personality. Striking in the show ring, this breed is also popular as a family pet. Coat colors can be brindle, fawn, blue, black, harlequin and mantle.

Learn about lifestyle, grooming, and more here.



A Look Back

Historians claim that there are drawings of dogs that resemble the Great Dane on Egyptian monuments from roughly 3000 B.C. The earliest written description of a dog resembling the breed can be found in Chinese literature of 1121 B.C. The origins of the Great Dane as we know it today can be traced to the Irish Wolfhound with mixture of old English Mastiff. The breed was originally developed by the Germans to hunt boar, a ferocious animal. When no longer used for hunting, the breed changed to one of a companion and estate guard dog.

Right Breed for You?

Great Danes have gentle and loving dispositions, making them excellent family companions, but as with all dogs, they should be supervised around young children. Daily exercise is necessary, but their short coats require minimal grooming.

Learn more about purchasing a Great Dane puppy.

  • Working Group; AKC recognized in 1887.
  • Minimum height of 30 inches tall at the shoulder for males and 28 inches tall for females.
  • Boar hunter; estate guard dog.

© The American Kennel Club, Inc.