Stately in manner and impressive in size the so called “king of dogs” is a gentle giant known for its friendly, energetic personality. Drawings resembling Great Danes are claimed to be found on Egyptian monuments from 3000 BC and the earliest written descriptions of dogs similar to them are found in Chinese literature from 1121 BC. The Great Dane we know today is believed to have to have been developed from crosses between Irish Wolfhounds and old English Mastiffs and was originally employed by Germans as wild boar hunters. The breed eventually evolved into imposing companions and guardians of estates. As family pets they are gentle and loving but, due to their large size, require a degree of caution around children, frail adults, and smaller pets. Although a laid back breed, they need daily exercise to keep them physically fit and at a healthy weight. Their smooth coats come in a wide variety of colors and require minimal grooming.