The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Diana Notestine
For The Sentinel 

Companion Animal: Meet the Breeds, Part 6: The Great Dane


October 30, 2019

contributed: Marta Block

SERIOUSLY MISNAMED: The great Dane may be great, but it certainly is not Danish. No one knows for sure this breed, originated in England and refined in Germany, came to be called Dane.

Today's great Dane is a far cry from the functional, hardcore "catch dog" of the middle ages. Bred from mastiffs, original bulldogs, and Irish wolfhounds, the stag or boar-hound of medieval Britain was used to hold fast to the furious cornered beasts so that the royal hunter-most often a king, prince, lord or other highly placed nobility-could approach on foot and slay the animal with a sword or short spear. The life of the hunter depended upon the courage and tenacity of his boar-hounds, and favored dogs became companions and protectors of their royal masters.

The great Dane is a kingly dog, and its history reflects this. First imported to mainland Europe by royalty hearing of the Englis...

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