GREAT DANE. A "gentle giant," the Great Dane is nothing short of majestic. Sometimes referred to as the "king of dogs," this extremely large dog breed is known for being strong yet elegant, with a friendly, energetic personality. Historians claim that there are drawings of dogs that resemble the Great Dane on Egyptian monuments from roughly 3000 B.C. The earliest written description of a dog resembling the breed can be found in Chinese literature of 1121 B.C. The origins of the Great Dane as we know it today can be traced to the Irish Wolfhound with mixture of old English Mastiff. The breed was originally developed by the Germans to hunt boar, a ferocious animal. When no longer used for hunting, the breed changed to one of a companion and estate guard dog.