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Author Topic: Great Dane genealogy  (Read 9610 times)
oz
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« on: April 20, 2007, 11:53:44 AM »

A few years ago, I purchased an Irish Wolfhound from a geneticist who informed me that a few hundred years ago, the Irish Wolfhound and the English Mastiff were bread together and created what we now call the Great Dane...

I have not found information to prove or disprove it...

Does someone here know? Or point me to a place that does?
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mama23+pyrs2
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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2007, 12:10:01 PM »

Wikipedia says:

History

Some sources state that dogs similar to Great Danes were known in Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome.[1][2] Various sources report that the Great Dane was developed from the medieval boarhound, and or the Mastiff and Irish wolfhound lines.[1][3] It is also reported that the Great Dane was developed from mastiff-like dogs taken to Germany by the Alans.[4] The breed may be about 400 years old.[2]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Dane

I read somewhere else talking about it coming from crossing an Irish Greyhound.. Maybe someone else will have some more info.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2007, 12:10:28 PM by mama23+pyrs2 » Logged
schelmischekitty
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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2007, 12:20:07 PM »

i've been looking up and found that theory as well as this article (sorry for the length)

Often called the Apollo of dogs, the Great Dane can trace its paw prints as far back as time of the Egyptians. Drawings of dogs resembling Great Danes were found on Egyptian monuments dating from 3,000 B.C., and artifacts found in Babylonian temples built about 2,000 B.C. include a relief-plate showing Assyrian men walking huge, Dane like dogs on stout leashes. The dogs depicted have the same massive body and long, powerful legs as today's Great Dane.

Some zoologists believe that all Dane-type dogs originated in the highlands of Tibet. There is great similarity between the Tibetan Mastiffs that lived at the base of the Himalayas and the Dane like dogs of the Assyrians. The zoologists' belief gains credibility in that the earliest written report of dogs strongly similar in type to the Great Dane appeared in Chinese literature in 1121 B.C.

The highly cultured Assyrians traded their dogs to the Greeks and Romans along with other goods they manufactured. The Romans in turn bred the Assyrian dogs to British dogs they also acquired. Thus it appears both the Tibetan and English Mastiffs are forbears of the Great Dane.

There was some debate as to whether the Irish Wolfhound or Irish Greyhound played a secondary role in the Dane's development. The French naturalist Comte de Buffon, who lived during the 1700s, thought the Irish Wolfhound was the primary ancestor of the Dane because the Celts had taken some of the huge dogs from the Romans and English to Ireland where they were bred to the native Irish Wolfhounds. But Baron Georges Cuview, an anatomist who lived from the late 1700s thought it was the early result of an English Mastiff and Irish Wolfhound cross.

The earliest Danelike dogs were called Boar Hounds, for the prey that hunted, but by the 16th century they were known as English Dogges.
Around 1680, when German noblemen were breeding great numbers of the dogs, the biggest and most handsome dogs were kept inside their homes. These dogs were called Kammerhunde, meaning Chamber Dogs. These pampered pets wore gilded collars trimmed with fringe and padded with velvet.

Buffon gave the breed the name it's known by today. While traveling in Denmark, he saw the slimmer variety of the Boar Hound, which shared more similarities with the Greyhound. Buffon remarked that the Danish climate had caused the Greyhound to become a Grand Danois. Thereafter, the dogs became known as the Great Danish Dog, with the heavier dogs sometimes called Danish Mastiffs.
The Danish name stuck-despite the fact that Denmark had nothing whatsoever to do with the development of the breed.

German Influence

Most fanciers today credit Germany with the well-balanced, elegant Great Dane as we know it. It is known that German nobility imported these English Boar Hounds until the 17th and 18th centuries, by which time they had developed their own breeding stock and no longer needed the imports.
In 1880, a Dr. Bodinus held a meeting in Berlin where judges and breeders agreed that the breed as developed by the Germans was distinctly different from the stockier English Mastiffs and would henceforth be known solely as the Deutsche Dogge, or German Dog. The Deutsche Doggen Club of German was founded, and the name Deutsche Dogge took hold in parts of Europe.
The Germans had a hard time convincing other countries to accept the breed name, however. The Italians to this day call the breed Alano, which means mastiff. In England, the United States and other English-speaking countries, the dogs are called Great Danes.
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oz
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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2007, 06:10:26 AM »

thank you everyone for all the info...
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sunnydayz77
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« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2007, 07:20:57 PM »

I have a great dane and mastiff.  I can definately say there are great similarities beween the two. My vet says the dane is said to be greyhound and mastiff and I believe her.
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2008, 05:24:11 AM »

Out of my own curiosity and love of my Great Dane, I have researched this very anomoly.  Obviously, most research is based on educated guesses. Most Dane guardians I have met have have professed that they are mastiffs crossed with greyhounds; whereas my original research disclosed that they are mastiffs with Irish wolfhounds.  Delving further, the consensus seems to be that they started as Tibetan Mastiffs with English Mastiffs, then later with Irish Greyhounds.  In my experience there is a wide array of body/head proportionalit y, so my theory is that the Danes who are extremely "lanky" (very thin and not wide) in stature and have a proportionatel y small head have stronger greyhound heritage, and the Danes with a stronger more proportionate body style and head size are more likely to have a stronger Irish wolfhound heritage; as there head shape, eye placement and height compared to the Greyhound is different.
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