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What Kind of Dog is Marmaduke? Famous Dogs Presented

Kristin Hitchcock

By Kristin Hitchcock

Marmaduke and friends

Marmaduke, in both the movie and the original comic strip, is a Great Dane. Marmaduke was originally a newspaper comic strip revolving around the Winslow family and their Great Dane, Marmaduke, and his best friend, a Balinese cat named Carlos, drawn by Brad Anderson from June 1954 to 2015. It was then turned into a movie distributed by Twentieth Century Fox.

Divider 7Great Dane Facts and Care Info

Great Danes are thought of as giant, gentle, and lovable, and this is very true. While Marmaduke is a strong and clumsy dog, that may not be the same for all Great Danes. They are very large and are considered a life-long commitment, so be prepared if you are to adopt one.

Great Danes are known best for their great height and long limbs. However, this size does prove a challenge for potential owners. Due to their size, they have a big appetite and must be fed 6 to 10 cups of food daily. Their size makes them very difficult to transport, so keep this in mind when deciding if a Great Dane is the best for your household.

Great Danes are also prone to certain health issues. These include elbow and hip dysplasia, gastric torsion, bone cancer, and cardiomyopathy. Keep these possible medical problems in mind, as they can put quite a dent in your bank account.

Be careful where you buy your Great Dane. Some breeders can be cruel, so make sure to do your research. To get a guaranteed purebred Great Dane like Marmaduke, breeders are your best bet. While it is possible to find a purebred at a shelter or pet store, it is much better and more credible to buy from a good, trusted breeder.

There is the possibility that breeders will be a front for puppy mills, so make sure you do your research before committing to a breeder. Credible breeders will ensure your new dog is healthy and not carrying any genetic disorders or injuries.

European Great Dane
Image Credit: JumpStory

Was Marmaduke a Real Dog?

The creator of Marmaduke, Brad Anderson, owned a Great Dane named Marmalade, which could have provided some inspiration for Marmaduke. However, in short, Marmaduke was never truly a real dog. Many people have named their dogs the same name this famous Great Dane has, from Pugs to German Shepherds to Shih Tzus; the name has made the rounds in recent years and years passed. Who wouldn’t want to name their dog after such a beloved comic strip and movie?

Brad Anderson has had many dogs over the past years of his life. From Chihuahuas to Pugs to Beagles, he has the experience of writing about dogs and their lives. Anderson has stated that he takes inspiration from many different dogs, including his Great Dane at the time, Marmalade.

He also took inspiration from crazy stories that readers of the comic would tell him, making the story truer to the real world while also being very entertaining.

Marmaduke the dog
Image Credit: Characters by 20th Century Studios.  All rights reserved to the copyright owners.

Would a Great Dane be a Good Fit for You?

Great Danes are large, friendly, and generally lovable, but they can be difficult to handle, especially for families with small living spaces or large families with cramped spaces. Great Danes also come with their own possibilities of health issues such as thyroid issues or elbow and hip dysplasia, so be prepared for a vet visit if your Great Dane begins acting differently.

Due to their size, Great Danes require a large diet, so make sure you understand how much food will cost and what kind of food to get a Great Dane. Bone and joint supplements would benefit a dog like this as they have a high possibility of stressing its joints.

Great Danes also cost money in the first place to get from breeders. Before purchasing a Great Dane, do extensive research on the breeder you’re planning on purchasing it from, as you need to make sure the breeder is credible to ensure there are no pre-existing health problems for your possible new family member. Great Danes tend to cost anywhere from $1,800 to even as much as $3,000.

Great Danes, due to their size, can reach high places other dogs would be able to, so make sure to keep an eye on your food and other things that could harm them. While they’re not always mischievous, every dog has their own personality, which could mean trouble.

You should also ensure enough space in your house for such a large dog. A backyard could be a great idea if your house isn’t the appropriate size. It’s also common for Great Danes to be on the restricted breeds list if you’re renting a condo or apartment.

You also have to ensure that your Great Dane gets training and socialization. These are big dogs, and they can cause problems if not properly socialized, as someone can get hurt. Obedience training should begin as soon as possible daily for a minimum of several months, and ideally one full year. This will ensure you can keep your dog safe and make things much easier for yourself.

woman and her great dane
Image Credit: Yuri Nunes, Shutterstock

Divider 7Conclusion

Marmaduke is a beloved Great Dane from a comic strip and two movies. Great Danes are known for their size and loveable nature. However, this size doesn’t come without a cost. They have to consume a lot to keep themselves healthy and are prone to health issues.

They can also pose a problem for small homes like apartments or condos and may even be banned from such spaces due to their size. While Marmaduke popularized the Great Dane breed, you need to ensure that this kind of dog will fit in with your family before purchasing one and understand that it is a costly breed.

While Marmaduke was never a real dog, many pets ended up being named after him due to the media’s popularity surrounding him. The writer, Brad Anderson, took much inspiration from other animals and the many dogs that he had owned before creating Marmaduke. All in all, Marmaduke has created a special place in our hearts for the large dog breed, and Brad Anderson’s work will not be forgotten soon.


Featured Image Credit: Characters by 20th Century Studios.  All rights reserved to the copyright owners.

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