Orlando, Florida: Great Dane, Giant Dog (Gone)

Gone since 2002.

Visitor Tips and News About Great Dane, Giant Dog

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Great Dane - Gone

The great dane, according to Orlando Sentinel 3/10/02, has been removed because of owner selling the business.

[vicki vickers, 03/19/2002]

Great Dane.

Florida's forgotten - the no named Dane

For over 45 years he has greeted and bewildered Orlando travelers. To the locals who tend to have a love-hate relationship with their infamous mouse, he is an ominous presence ready to pluck unsuspected tourists from their cars. To truckers, he is a sigh of relief at the end of a long journey. Yet for someone of such distinguished character, he remains nameless.

Standing 20 feet high from his pedestal at 4420 North Orange Blossom Trail (The OBT) in Orlando, he is the greatest of Great Danes. A nameless wonder with a tireless stance molded from fiberglass and chicken wire, he seems the proudest of pooches peering out onto the open road as the town's most notable watchdog.

Bill Doerr conceived the monstrous mongrel in 1955. Doerr sold Diamond T and Great Dane trailers. Like other independent businessmen at the time, he knew success did not come to those who walked around with their tail between their legs. In an era when more and more Americans were taking to the road, nothing said legitimate business and grabbed a potential consumer's attention quite like a massive animal fetish by a front door. Although Doerr's business was bought out by the Great Dane franchise in 1971, the dog stayed on.

"Yeah, that dog is a landmark all right." comments Red, a resident roadside historian who has been with the company since its beginnings. "Don't know why he never got a name."

[Steven Schwarzkopf, 02/02/2001]
25-foot tall Great Dane

Muffler dog on US441, Fairvilla (North Orlando), at the Great Dane Trailer dealership. I would place the height more like 25'-30' rather than the 40' previously estimated.

[Tom Rose, 12/19/1999]
Great Dane statue

According to the Orlando Sentinel on Monday 4/27/98, the Great Dane statue at 4420 N. Orange Blossom Trail (the OBT to us locals) is "back and ready for grooming with a new paint job." Also says the doggie is a "decades-old, 40 foot landmark."

[Lisa Howell, 04/29/1998]
forty-foot tall Great Dane

The forty-foot tall Great Dane standing by US 441 near Orlando, Florida was recently the victim of a hit and run. When employees arrived for work, they discovered the dog lying on the ground, its four legs broken off. A subsequent police report cited in an Orlando Sentinel article blamed a hit-and-run tractor trailer driver, who apparently mowed down the Great Dane while attempting to turn his rig around. He then shamefully fled the scene.

Happily, the dog is being repaired and will soon (according to the Great Dane trailer dealership) be back gracing the roadside.

[Bob Cara, 03/22/1998]

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