The Great Dane, also denoted as Grand Danois, is a German breed of domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) known for its giant size. The name of the breed in Germany is Deutsche Dogge (German Mastiff). They are known for their enormous bodies and tall height.
The Great Dane is one of the world's tallest dog breeds; the current world record holder, measuring 112 cm (44 in) from paw to shoulder, is "Zeus". Their large size belies their friendly nature, with Great Danes known for seeking physical affection with their owners.
Dogs resembling the Great Dane have been seen on Egyptian monuments dating back to 3,000 BC.
Bigger dogs are depicted on numerous rune stones in Scandinavia, on coinage in Denmark from the 5th Century ACE and in the collection of Old Norse poems, known in English as Poetic Edda. The University of Copenhagen Zoological Museum holds at least seven skeletons of very large hunting dogs, dating from the 5th Century BCE going forward through to the year 1000 ACE.