Exactly where are Great Danes from? Great Dane origin dates back thousands of years. Drawings of breeds resembling the Great Dane have been discovered on artifacts of the Egyptians from as early as 3,000 BC; while the exact origin of the Great Dane is a mystery, historians believe the breed's ancestors (likely Mastiffs or other Molosser types) existed in Tibet, Greece, Rome, and other regions in prehistoric times, and were crossbred with breeds like Wolfhounds and Greyhounds.
Originally called "Boar Hounds" because they were used to hunt wild boar, as the centuries passed the breed became more common in various parts of the world, especially in Europe. And though the history of Great Danes would logically include Denmark, modern Great Dane history centers in Germany, where the breed became popular among the nobility starting in the late 17th century. The name "Great Dane," oddly enough, did come from Denmark, where the breed became known as the Grand Danois ("Great Danish"), eventually shortened to Great Dane--and for some reason the name stuck in Germany and elsewhere.
By the mid-1800s in Germany the Great Dane had become popular with commonfolk as well; breeders there, meanwhile, developed the breed to be more elegant (and less aggressive) than it had previously been. The Germans began calling these dogs Deutsche Dogges (German Dogs), though that breed name wasn't really accepted in the rest of the world.
By this time the Great Dane breed began appearing in America as well. The then-fledgling American Kennel Club recognized the Great Dane in 1887; the GD was just the fourth breed to receive this status. Today the Great Dane ranks 16th on the AKC's list of 202 recognized breeds.