Anecdotes Bismarck and his Danes

Prince Otto von Bismarck was known for his admiration of this breed and he also owned severeal dogs (Great Danes). One of them nearly caused an international incident when it showed its dislike towards a Russian diplomate. A brisk conversation was going on between the German Chancellor and the Russian Prime Minister Gortschakoff. The latter gesticulated more lively than usual, which led the dog Tyras, that was lying on its blanket, to assume an attack on its master. It jumped on the proud Russian and threw him onto the floor.

Many excuses were necessary, but accepted. Gortschakoff was not bitten but only scared so that the peace in Europe remained untouched. If another Great Dane of Prince Bismarck, Sultan, did not approve of anyone, the Chancellor used to consider this assessment for his decisions

Bismarck was always accompanied by one or several of his preferred dogs when he was a law student and civil servant in Berlin, during his travels to many countries, during his diplomatic career in Frankfurt, St. Petersburg, Paris and elsewhere, even in Varzin and Friedrichsruh. Sultan, who died in Varzin in 1877, was most likely his favorite Dane.

Of all dogs that have a place in history, Tyras is the most famous Ulmer Dane of the German Chancellor. The only dog whose death was considered so important that the news of the incident not only spread through Europe but throughout the whole world. In fact, Tyras’ reputation not even ended with life. News have been brought to the world that the first visitor after the death, on the Prince’s birthday, brought a new dog of the same type as Tyras as a present. Almost for 60 years Prince Bismarck kept Great Danes, among which usually were one or even several of an extraordinary size.

The first dog he got when he lived with his parents in Kniephof was one of the biggest and feared by the farmers of the surrounding area. Later on this dog accompanied its young master to the university of Göttingen where it soon made a name for itself. One time Bismarck was called to see the principal for he threw an empty bottle out of the window. So he took his huge dog along to scare the honorable master off, who promptly found refuge behind an easy chair. There he remained until the dog was removed from the room.

Supplementary to the punishment Bismarck received for his original misdemeanour, he was fined for five Thaler because he brought this terrible beast to the principal’s sanctum.