Drawings of a large dog similar to today's Great Dane were discovered on Egyptian monuments over 5000 years old. However, selective breeding of this type of dog began centuries later in Germany when mastiff-type dogs were crossed with Irish Wolfhounds. (Despite the name, the dog does not originate in Denmark.) The Great Dane was a favorite of the great German chancellor, Bismarck. This noble breed has been used in war, as a coach dog, boar hunter, guard and watchdog. Today the Great Dane is primarily a watchdog and companion.