The Great Dane has a very interesting history which goes back thousands of years depending on who you talk to. Some people believe that there are drawings of this breed on Egyptian monuments that date back to 3000 B.C.
It is believed that the earliest written description of a dog similar to this breed could be found in Chinese literature as early as 1121 B.C.
But most people however believe that the breed originated in Germany from a cross between the English mastiff and the Irish wolfhound. This is probably the most likely place of origin and although some people believe that the breed originated in Denmark, the Germans originally developed it as a breed to hunt wild boar.
It wasn’t until 1891 that the Great Dane Club of Germany actually decided on what the breed standard should be. In 1889 a Great Dane club was founded in Chicago and G. Muss-Arnolt was the first delegate to the American Kennel Club (AKC). In 1991 the club was officially reorganized as the Great Dane Club of America.
The name of the dog is believed to be from the English translation of the French words “grand Danois” which means “big Danish.” But this dog has actually had over half a dozen different names that it was called before the final name was decided.
As a side note, there is actually no known reason why the dog is connected to Denmark. The AKC officially recognized this breed in 1887 and placed it in the Working Group. The breed standard says that this dog must be a minimum height of 30 inches tall at the shoulder for males and 28 inches tall for females.