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Home > Dogs > Brindle Great Dane: Facts, Origin & History (with Pictures)

Brindle Great Dane: Facts, Origin & History (with Pictures)

close up of a female brindle great dane dog

Great Danes can be intimidating at first sight, but anyone who owns one knows just how gentle and loving they are. The breed has several coat colors, but the brindle coat stands out from the rest. Their tiger-striped coats are one-of-a-kind, with no two brindles having the same coat.

Great Danes were bred for hunting and protection several years ago. They grew in popularity and eventually gained formal recognition from clubs all over the world. They are truly a fascinating breed, especially when you learn about their history and how they were first developed.


The Earliest Records of Brindle Great Danes in History

The Great Dane breed goes as far back as 400 years ago when they were bred as working dogs for boar hunting. Contrary to its name, this giant dog is German, not Danish, but no one is entirely sure how the name came to be associated with Denmark. The Great Danes that we are familiar with today were bred in the 1800s. They are mastiff-like dogs that were bred by German royalty to protect country estates and carriages, and they also hunted wild boar.

They were also popular among the wealthy elite for sporting purposes. The name “Great Dane” was banned in Germany in 1880, and the breed was renamed “Deutsche Dogge,” which means German mastiff. However, the breed is still known today as Great Dane in English-speaking countries. According to myth, Great Danes were set loose on properties to frighten away evil spirits.

brindle great dane in the living room
Image Credit: George Pagan III, Unsplash

How Brindle Great Danes Gained Popularity

We know that German nobles once used Danes to hunt wild boars, but later they became known as guardians of their homes and beloved owners, a job they are still proud and happy to do. As the world developed and modernized, Great Danes were bred more for companionship, resulting in a gentler breed.

Great Danes are now prized as the gentle giants of the dog world and are loved for their affectionate, playful, and loving personalities. It’s difficult to say when Brindle Great Danes first appeared, but the unique coat makes them a popular choice.

Formal Recognition of Brindle Great Danes

The first breed standard for great Danes was written in the 1800s, with some standards dating back to 1891. The brindle coat of a Great Dane has been considered part of the breed standard since its formal recognition. The Great Dane was formally recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1887 as a working dog.

Here is a list of clubs worldwide that recognize the brindle Great Dane:
  • American Canine Association
  • North American Purebred Registry Inc
  • Dog Registry of America
  • National Kennel Club
  • Continental Kennel Club
  • New Zealand Kennel Club
  • Australian Kennel Council
  • Canadian Canine Registry
  • United Kennel Club
  • Kennel Club of Great Britain

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Top 4 Unique Facts About Brindle Great Danes

1. Great Danes are the Tallest Dogs in the World

While Great Danes are not the heaviest in the world, these gentle giants reach about 28–30 inches tall, making them among the tallest dogs in the world. A Great Dane named Zeus held the world record for the tallest dog, standing 44 inches tall.

2. Brindle Coats are Caused by a Genetic Mutation

A dog’s genetics determine whether it will have a brindle coat. A brindle dog must have the brindle gene, which only certain breeds do. This mutation causes different shades in the hair shaft resulting in brindle coats ranging from light to dark. Almost all brindle Great Danes have a yellow or gold base coat with dark stripes.

brindle great dane on the grass
Image By: Whiteaster, Shutterstock

3. Great Danes Have a Low Life Expectancy

Great Danes live between 8 and 10 years, with some living only 6 or 7 years and a few living to the age of 12. Smaller dogs usually live twice as long. Because of the increased risk of certain diseases such as dilated cardiomyopathy, bloat, and cancer, Great Danes tend to live shorter lives. The oldest Great Dane ever recorded alive was approximately 15 years old.

4. Despite their Intimidating Size, Great Danes are Gentle and Loving

Being the tallest dog in the world, their size can be rather intimidating if you haven’t met one before. Although they were initially bred to protect humans and their property, these dogs are very affectionate, gentle, and patient.

close up of a brindle great dane puppy
Image By: MaxineA, Shutterstock

divider-paw Do Brindle Great Danes Make a Good Pet?

A well-bred and socialized brindle Great Dane gets along with all families, including children and strangers. While they love to play and need a great deal of exercise, they are gentle, affectionate, and patient.

While Great Danes make great family pets, there are some considerations to take into account. As you know, they are large dogs, and although they are gentle, they can unintentionally cause injury to children by standing on their feet or accidentally knocking them over. Children also need to be taught boundaries with the large dogs and how to interact with them. Great Danes have a much shorter lifespan than smaller dogs, so that is important to consider before growing attached to one. Like other breeds, they are also prone to predisposed health conditions.

great dane lying on the grass
Image By: Ralphs_Fotos, Pixabay


Final Thoughts

Brindle Great Danes will catch your eye with their tall bodies and exotic coats. Great Danes date back to the 19th century when they were bred to hunt and protect, but as they grew in popularity, they were bred more for companionship, and their temperament became gentle and loving. Great Danes are popular pets today for families, but sadly their big size predisposes them to health conditions, resulting in a shorter lifespan than smaller dogs.

Featured Image Credit: Tara Lynn and Co, Shutterstock

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