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Once seen, never forgotten. That describes the majesty and sheer size of the Great Dane. The AKC recognized the breed in 1887, and it has been one of the most popular in the U.S. for decades. It was the 15th most popular breed in the most recent registration study. These are a few things the Great Dane would like you to know before he decides to live with you.

1. Do you get how truly large this dog is? He stands at least 30 inches at the shoulder (and many 32 inches and more!) and on his hind legs, he may be taller than you. An adult male can weigh up to 175 pounds. That's a lot of dog! He'll take up the sofa, the bed, the kitchen floor, and most of the room in your car.

tan great dane

2. He's not Danish. The Great Dane was developed in Germany to hunt boar. Boars are dangerous, savage, and powerful, and it took an uber dog to hunt them.

3. His large size doesn't mean he's clumsy. The Great Dane is elegant, well muscled, and regal and, according to the breed standard, moves with a “long reach and powerful drive.”

4. His physical power combines with courage and spirit, leading some to call the Great Dane the “Apollo of the dog world.”

5. Are you wondering why such a powerful dog, bred to hunt savage animals, is so popular as a pet? There's a reason the Great Dane is considered one of the gentle giants: he's got a heart as big as he is. The breed is known for having a sweet, patient, and kind disposition. They're great with kids and extremely sociable. In fact, they need human contact and affection. Your Great Dane wants to be wherever you are.

black great dane

6. Although not a high-energy breed, the Great Dane does need exercise. They enjoy a few good walks a day and some playtime. Just remember, they were bred to hunt and tend to follow their nose to prey, so a fenced yard is a must.

7. Big dogs have big needs. Be prepared for a large line item in your budget to feed and care for a Great Dane.

This combination of strength, power, and a sweet disposition is an intriguing mix and one that's won devoted followers the world over. Interested in adding this gentle giant to your family? Check out AKC Marketplace!

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