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Blue Great Dane: Facts, History & Origin (With Pictures)

Grant Piper

By Grant Piper

blue great dane dog lying on the grass looking up

Great Danes are one of the most recognizable and popular dogs in the world. It is hard not to notice a full-grown Great Dane no matter where they are. This is doubly true of Blue Great Danes. This quick guide will cover everything you need to know about the Blue Great Dane, including facts, its history, pet considerations, and more.

Breed Overview

Height: 28–32+ inches
Weight: 120–175 pounds
Lifespan: 7–10 years
Colors: Blue, Blue & White, Blue Brindle, Steel Blue
Suitable for: Large dog lovers looking for a striking and loving giant
Temperament: Alert, energetic, loyal, and loving

Blue Great Danes are a variation of the Great Dane. Blue Great Danes are Great Danes that have the official coat color of blue. Blue Great Danes can be solid blue, blue and white, blue and brindle, or steel blue. Blue Great Danes are relatively common, and blue is an officially recognized color in the breed standard. Blue Great Danes are not a different species or breed of dog from a regular Great Dane. Blue only represents the color. Some people have strong affinities for blue dogs, including Great Danes.

Blue Great Dane Characteristics


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The Earliest Records of Blue Great Danes in History

Great Danes are closely related to mastiffs. Mastiffs have been around for thousands of years and are one of the most enduring breeds of dogs. Great Danes descended from the honorable mastiff and became giant European boarhounds that appeared on the scene in Medieval Europe. There is no exact time for the emergence of the Great Dane from other similar mastiff breeds. The Great Dane did originate in Germany (not Denmark), and the name Great Dane was given to them by the French when describing German dogs.

It is likely that the Great Dane first emerged in the 12th or 13th centuries. The first solid evidence of large populations of Great Danes being bred for a purpose occurs in the 16th century from the records of Germanic princes and lords who used the dogs as stout hunters.

male blue great dane dog running across the grass
Photo Credit: Katho Menden, Shutterstock

How Blue Great Danes Gained Popularity

Great Danes have been popular with certain groups since the late Medieval Period. Great Danes are descendants of mastiffs, which have been popular for thousands of years. Great Danes were trained and kept as hunting and guard dogs for remote lodges in Europe, dating back hundreds of years.

The overall popularity of the Great Dane skyrocketed in the late 19th century when the towering figure of Otto von Bismarck, Germany’s Iron Chancellor, began keeping Great Danes as bodyguards. Seeing Germany’s famous leader striding around flanked by beautiful Great Danes made quite the impression. It was directly after this point that Great Danes began gaining recognition, popularity, and standards across the world. Before Otto von Bismarck took up the Great Dane as his own, they were popular with lords as powerful hunting dogs, but they were not a dog accessible by the common people.

Formal Recognition of Blue Great Danes

Formal recognition of Blue Great Danes took place in the last quarter of the 19th century. In 1876, Great Danes were declared the national dog of Germany (where they are known as the Deutsche Dogge). This declaration set off a frenzy of interest in the Great Dane. In 1881, the first official breed standard was written for the Great Dane by a German national breed club. In 1887, the American Kennel Club officially recognized the Great Dane. In 1888, the Great Dane Club of America (GDCA) was formed in North America.

Blue has always been an officially recognized color for Great Danes. That means the Blue Great Dane was officially recognized in the United States beginning in 1887, but you could make an argument for 1881 or 1876 for the official recognition date of the Great Dane worldwide.

blue Great Dane puppy standing on the sand
Image Credit: Guy J. Sagi, Shutterstock

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Top 5 Unique Facts About Blue Great Dane

1. Great Danes Were Bred to Hunt Boar

Great Danes were originally bred to hunt large wild boar. Great Danes need to be powerful, agile, loyal, and brave. These traits can still be seen in Great Danes to this day. Before breed standards were created for this dog, many people simply called them giant boarhounds. Boar hunting was a very popular activity for the rich and famous in central Europe, which is why Great Danes had a royal pedigree for many generations.

2. Great Danes Are the Tallest Dogs in the World (But Not Necessarily the Largest)

Many people believe that Great Danes are the largest dogs in the world. That is not the case. Great Danes are the tallest dog breed in the world, but they are not the largest in terms of overall size and weight. In fact, Great Danes rank fifth in terms of the overall largest dog breeds. Mastiffs are the largest. Great Danes are closely related to Mastiffs.

3. Great Danes Are Called the “Apollo” of Dogs

Great Danes are known as the “Apollo” of dogs, which references the ancient Greek god of the sun. Great Danes gained this moniker due to their “grace, courage, stature, and beauty,” which has been on display for centuries. Healthy silver Great Danes in Renaissance Europe would seemingly shine in the sun and remind people of ancient gods of mythology.

4. Great Danes Have a Relatively Short Lifespan

Great Danes have one of the shortest average lifespans of any dog breed. That can be troubling for prospective owners, but it is a reality that Great Dane owners must come to grips with. Due to their immense size, Great Danes have a number of unique health concerns that can cause them to die at a younger age. One of the most common and most dangerous is bloat, which is the #1 killer of Great Danes of any age.

5. Blue Is a Color, Not a Breed

When people say Blue Great Dane, they are referring to the color of the coat, not a separate breed. Blue Great Danes are just Great Danes. It is similar to saying a blonde woman or a brown Boston Terrier. Blue is a descriptor and has nothing to do with the dog’s personality, temperament, or breed.

blue great dane dog going for a walk with its owner
Image Credit: Guy J. Sagi, Shutterstock

Does the Blue Great Dane Make a Good Pet?

Yes. Blue Great Danes (and Great Danes in general) can make excellent pets. Great Danes are extremely attached to their owners. They are protective, loyal, and cuddly. However, due to their size and power, owners should be prepared to administer extensive training and socialization, especially when the dog is young, in order to ensure that it is well adjusted. Great Danes can get along with other pets, including dogs, in most situations. Great Danes can also do well with children, though their size can make them intimidating and can pose problems if your particular Great Dane shows any signs of aggression.

Overall, Great Danes have many fans, and they are part of families around the world. Great Danes are highly popular, coming in as the 19th most popular dog according to the AKC.

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Blue Great Danes are beautiful dogs. In fact, they are so beautiful they have been linked to the Greek god Apollo. Blue Great Danes have had a place in canine history for hundreds of years and were propelled to prominence by Otto von Bismarck in the 19th century. The Great Dane remains the official dog of Germany, and blue is one of the most popular colors for this incredible breed.

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Featured Image Credit: Guy J. Sagi, Shutterstock

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