FCI Breed Standard of
UTILIZATION: Companion, Watch-and Guard
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE VALID ORIGINAL STANDARD:
CLASSIFICATION FCI: Group 2 Pinscher and
Molossian type and Swiss mountain and
Section 2 Molossian type.
|Brief Historical Summary
of the present day Deutsche Dogge one must look at the old
"Bullenbeisser" (bulldog) as well at the "Hatz-and Sauruden"
(Hunting and wild boar hounds) which were midway between the strong
English type Mastiffs and a fast, agile Sighthound. The term "Dogge"
was first understood to mean a large, strong dog which did not have
to be of any particular breed. Later, particular names such as
"Ulmer Dogge", "Englische Dogge", "Danische Dogge", "Hatzrude",
"Saupacker" and "Grosse Dogge", defined different types of these
dogs, according to colour and size. In the year 1878 a committee of
seven was formed in Berlin, consisting of active breeders and judges
under the chairmanship of Dr.Bodinus, which made the decision to
classify all the forenamed varieties as "Deutsche Doggen". Thus the
foundation was laid for the breeding of a seperate German
In the year 1880, on the occasion of a show in Berlin, the
first standard for Doggen was set down. This has been controlled by
the "Deutscher Doggen-Club 1888 e.V." and altered on a number of
occasions through the years. The present day version conforms to
The noble general
appearance of the Great Dane combines a tall, strong, well made body
with pride, strength and elegance. Through substance paired with
nobility, balance, well proportioned outline as well as a specially
expressive head, the Great Dane strikes the onlooker as a noble
statue. He is the Apollo amongst all dog breeds.
The build is nearly square,
this applies in particular to males. The length of back (point of
sternum to pelvic tuber) should not exceed height at withers in dogs
by 5%, in bitches by 10%. Height at withers : Dogs at least 80
Bitches at least 72 cm.
Friendly, kind and devoted
to his owners, specially to children; reserved towards strangers. A
self-assured, unafraid, easily guided and docile companion and
family dog is required. He must have a high resistance to any
provocation and must not be aggressive.
In harmony with the general
appearance. Long, narrow, striking, full of expression, fineley
chiselled (especially under the eyes). Superciliary ridges well
developed but not protruding. The distance from the tip of the nose
to the clearly defined stop and from the stop to the only lightly
defined occipital bone, should be as equal as possible. The upper
line of the foreface and skull should run parallel. The head must
appear narrow when seen from the front, but with the bridge of nose
as broad as possible. Muscles in cheeks only lightly defined and in
no way protruding.
developed, more broad than round with large nostrils. Must be black
with the exception of harlequin (white with black patches) coloured
Great Danes. In these a black nose is desirable but a butterfly nose
(partly depigmented) or flesh coloured nose is tolerated.
Muzzle: Deep and as rectangular as possible. Well
defined corners of lips. Dark pigmented lips. In harlequins not
totally pigmented or flesh coloured lips are tolerated.
Jaws/Bite/Teeth: Well developed broad jaws.
Strong, healthy and complete scissor bite (42 teeth according to
usual tooth formation).
size, round, as dark as possible with lively intelligent expression.
In blue Great Danes slightly lighter eyes are permissible. In
harlequins light eyes or two differently coloured eyes can be
tolerated. Lids should be close fitting.
Ears: Set on high, drooping by nature, medium
size. Front rims lying close to the cheeks.
Neck: Long, clean, muscular. Well defined set on,
tapering slightly towards the head with arched neckline. Carried
upright but inclined forward on a slight slant.
Withers: The highest point of the strong body.
Formed by the highest point of the shoulder-blades which extends
beyond the spinal processes..
Short and taut. Falling away imperceptibly to the rear..
Loins: Slightly arched, broad, well
Croup: Broad, well muscled.
Falling away very slightly from the sacrum to the tail set-on and
merging imperceptibly with the latter..
Tail: Reaching to the hocks. Set on high and
broad, tapering evenly towards the tip. In repose hanging down with
natural curve. When excited or moving, can be carried slightly
sabre-fashion but not markedly above the back line. Coarse hair
underneath the tail not desirable..
Brisket: Reaching to the elbows. Well sprung ribs
reaching far back. Chest of good width with well defined
Lower line: Belly well
tucked up towards rear, forming a gently curved line with the
underside of the brisket.
Shoulders: Strongly muscled. The long slanting
shoulder-blade forms an angle of approximately 100 to 110 degrees
with the upper arm.
Upper Arm: Strong
and muscular, close fitting, should be slightly longer than
Elbows: Turned neither
out nor in.
Lower Arm: Strong,
muscular. Seen from front and side, completely straight.
Pastern joint: Strong, firm, only slightly
distinguishable from the structure of the lower arm.
Pasterns: Strong. Straight when seen from front.
Seen from side, slanted very slightly towards the front.
Front Feet: Round, well arched and tightly closed
(cat food). Nails short, strong, as dark as
The whole skeleton is
covered by strong muscles which make the croup, hips and upper
thighs appear broad and rounded. The strong well angulated hind
legs, seen from behind, are parallel to the front legs.
Upper Thigh: Long, broad, muscular.
Stifles: Strong, standing almost vertically under
the hip joint.
Lower Thigh: Long,
approximately same length as upper thigh. Well muscled.
Hock Joints: Strong, sturdy, turning neither in
Hocks: Short, strong, almost
perpendicular to the ground.
Feet: Rounded, well arched and tight (cat foot). Nails
short, strong, as dark as possible.
Harmonious, lithe, covering
the ground and slightly springy. The legs seen from either front or
back must be parallel in movement.
Tight fitting. In solid
colours well pigmented. In harlequins the distribution of pigment is
mostly in accordance with markings.
of coat: Very short and dense, smooth and shiny
Colours: The Great Dane
is bred in three separate varieties: Fawn and brindle / harlequin
and black / and blue.
golden fawn to deep golden fawn. Black mask desired. Small white
marks on chest and toes not desirable
Brindle: Basic colour pale golden fawn to deep
golden fawn with black stripes running out in direction of ribs. The
markings must be as clear and regular as possible. Black mask
desired. Small white marks on chest and toes undesirable.
White with black patches (Harlequins, formerly
"Tigerdoggen"): Basic colour pure white, as far as possible
without any ticking. Jet black,irregular, well broken patches well
distributed on the whole body. Gray or brownish patches not
Black: jet black, white
markings permitted. Included here are also "Manteltiger" in which
the black covers the body like a blanket but muzzle, throat, chest,
belly, legs and tip of tail may be white.
Blue: Clear steel blue, white markings on chest
and feet permissible.
Any departure from the
foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness
with which the fault is regarded should be in exact proportion to
its degree. This applies particulary to the following departures
from the standard :
Appearance: Lack of correct gender characteristics, lack of
harmony. Too light, too coarse.
Temperament: Lack of self assurance, nervous,
Head: Upper lines of
foreface and skull not parallel, apple head, wedge shaped head. Too
little stop, over developed muscles in cheeks.
Muzzle: Pointed, lacking in flews, flews too
pendulous. Bridge of nose dished, Roman nose or aquiline
Mouth / Teeth: Any departure
from a complete set of teeth (only the absence of both PM1 in the
lower jaw can be tolerated); irregular position of individual
incisors as long as bite remains overwhelmingly closed. Too small
teeth. Pincer bite.
Eyes: Slack lids,
haw too red. Light, piercing or amber coloured eyes. Watery blue
eyes or two different coloured eyes in all solid colours. Eyes too
far apart or slit eyes.
Ears: Set on
too high or too low. Standing off sideways or lying quite flat to
Cropped ears: shape and
length ill matched with the head, not carried evenly taut and
Neck: Short, thick neck, ewe
neck, throatiness or dewlap.
Sway back, roach back, too long in back. Backline running up towards
Croup: Falling away steeply or
Tail: Too thick, too
long or too short. Set on too low or too high above the back line.
Hook shaped or squirrel tail as well as tail turned sideways. Tail
which is damaged, thickened at the tip or has been
Thoracic Cage: Flat or
barrelshaped ribs. Lack of width or depth of chest. Strongly
Lower Line: Belly
line not sufficiently tucked up. Teats which have not
angulation. Light bone, weak muscles. Stance not
Shoulders: Loose, loaded.
Steep set of shoulder-blade.
Loose, turned in or out.
Distorted. Distended above the pastern.
Pastern-Joint: Distended, very flexible or
Pastern: Too slanted or
too steep in position.
Too much or too little angulation. Cow hocks, too narrow or bow
Feet: Flat, splayed, long
Movement: Covering too little
ground, restricted action. Frequent or constant pacing. Lack of
co-ordination between front and hind action.
Make up: Stockhaar (double
coat), dull coat.
blue-fawn, isabella (cream) - fawn or dirty fawn.
Ground colour silver blue or isabella. Smudged
Harlequin: Blue-Gray ticked ground colour.
Largish fawn-gray or blue-gray patching.
brown or blue-black colour.
Blue: Yellowish or black-blue
/ Teeth: Overshot, undershot, wry mouth.
Eyes: Entropion, ectropion.
Tail: Kink in tail.
Temperament: Aggressiveness or fear
Nose: Liver colour or split
Fawn or brindle
Great Danes with white blaze, white neck collar ring, white feet
or "stockings" and white tip of tail.
Blue Great Danes with white
blaze, white neck collar ring, white feet or "stockings" and white
tip of tail.
Harlequin Great Danes which have white
without any black (albinos), as well as deaf dogs. So called
china-brindles (they show predominantly blue gray, fawn or brindle
patches); "gray-brindles" (these have gray ground colour with black
Height: Below minimum
Male dogs must have two
apparently normal testicles fully descended into the