Great Dane

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Known as the Apollo of the dog world, the Great Dane traces its perfection of type to nineteenth-century Germany, though ancestors of the breed reportedly date back as far as 1121 B.C., as documented by Chinese literature. Many assert that the breed is the result of crosses between the old English Mastiff and Irish Wolfhound, two very ancient breeds. The Great Dane was employed to great success by German boar hunters and became known as the German Boarhound – nomenclature more accurate than that presently employed. There is no Danish in the Great Dane’s history, though perhaps early breeders found certain reflections of certain Shakespearean character in the breed. The preferred name for the breed in Germany is Deutsche dogge. The Great Dane enjoys a substantial worldwide following, and is well respected for its distinguished, elegant appearance, great strength and dignity. Puppies grow quickly into very large dogs, but full maturity is not reached until sometime after the 16th month of age. Great Danes have very substantial room requirements: despite their rather calm and sensible nature, they are not apartment dogs. Exercise, though necessary on a daily basis, is not overwhelming. Most Danes enjoy leisurely walks with their owners. Needless to say, feeding a Dane is feeding a lot.

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