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HISTORY It's always helpful to know what a particular breed was initially bred to do so we can understand how they came to be so loved today when those roles aren't always around. The Great Dane, for example, we know as a gentle giant and incredibly affectionate companion, but they were initially bred to hunt large game and be a defense against assassins. These roles meant the Dane was a fierce hunter of vicious wild boar, among other game, and had to be equally ferocious. Today, they are still exceptional protectors when the situation calls for it but prefers to cuddle with their family and maintain their gentle giant status. The Rottweiler today is thought of as a protection dog, and they are excellent in this role, but they were initially bred to herd and work cattle in the town of Rottweil, Germany. Their ancestors were working drover dogs for the Roman army's herds and left in the region as the Roman empire fell, and the armies receded. Already being adept at working livestock, the locals quickly adopted and refined the breed to assist in moving herds to market before the railroads took over the job.  APPEARANCE They may share a common German heritage, but they are clearly two very different breeds, especially when it comes to appearances. Few other canines can compare to the Dane, who is tall and graceful as a dancer once they've grown into their long legs, at least. They have large joules and short sleek coats that come in a vast array of color patterns. The Rottie is nearly the opposite of the Dane in looks though they can have large joules. They are almost exclusively black with tan color markings and have short, dense coats that lay close to their body. Where the Dane is tall and narrow, the Rottie is square and stocky in build.  TRAINABILITY When it comes to their personalities, the two imposing breeds have more in common than they do in their appearance. You'll find both the Dane and the Rottie to be smart enough to use their size and sweet eyes to their advantage. Their lower energy levels keep them from wanting to excel at any obedience work for long periods and can quickly turn to stubbornness. This isn't the rule for every individual, of course, since many Dane's and Rottie's are excellent service dogs, which require a high level of training and focus. Because of their size and protective instincts, both breeds will do best with experienced canine leaders that are calm and consistent with boundaries and expectations. It's generally not a great idea to get a dog that weighs as much or more than you if you don't have experience with large breeds. Their health needs, costs, and your consistency with boundaries are going to be a bit different than you might be used to with smaller dogs. TEMPERAMENT Dane's and Rotties diverge again when it comes to their general temperaments. The Dane is known for being a gentle giant with small animals and children and seems to have lost all of their ancestor's fierce hunting instincts. Their modern temperament is what makes them such fantastic family companions and service dogs. They are incredibly affectionate and loyal to their family but are generally friendly with strangers too.  Socialization is imperative with Dane's because their size makes them a magnet for attention and Rottie's because of their protective nature. A well-socialized Rottie can be very friendly with strangers and small animals just as quickly as a Dane. Rottie's are incredibly loving with their family and love to watch the home's activity from a comfy spot. Their spurts of energy make them very playful, and they do exceptionally well with children too. Both breeds really are fantastic family companions and fill their homes with plenty of love and cuddles.

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