Fédération Cynologique Internationale

The Kennel Club

United Kennel Club

Great Dane

(Deutsche Dogge)

Great Dane

Great Dane


ORIGIN

:
FCI
Germany.

PUBLISHED

:
FCI
08.10.2012.
KC
July 2008

UTILISATION

:
FCI
Companion, watch- and guard dog.

CLASSIFICATION

:
FCI
Group 2Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid
Section 2.1Molossoid breeds, Mastiff type
Without working trial

KC
Working
UKC
Guardian Dog

TRANSLATION

:
FCI
Mrs. C. Seidler, revised by Mrs R. Sporre-Willes, E. Peper and C. Bailey / Official version DE.

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY

:
FCI
As forerunners of the present day Great Dane, one must look at the old “Bullenbeisser” (Bulldog) as well as the « Hatz-and Saurüden » (Hunting and wild boar hounds), which were midway between the strong Mastiff of English type and the fast, handy Greyhound. The term Dogge was at first understood to mean a large, powerful dog, not of any particular breed. Later, particular names such as Ulmer Dogge, English Dogge, Great Dane, Hatzrüde (Hunting Dog), Saupacker (boarfinder) and Grosse Dogge (Great Dogge), classified 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 with Dr. Bodinus in the chair, which made the decision to classify all the forenamed varieties as “Deutsche Doggen” (Great Danes). Thus the foundation was laid for the breeding of a separate German breed.
In the year 1880, on the occasion of a show in Berlin, the first standard for the Deutsche Dogge was laid down.
This standard has been taken care of since the year 1888 by the “Deutsche Doggen Club 1888 e.V.” (German Doggen Club, registered Club 1888) and frequently been revised over the years. The present Standard meets the requirements of the F.C.I.
UKC
The ancestors of the Great Dane include British mastiffs and possibly wolfhounds, brought to Europe, first by the Romans and later by German aristocrats seeking to improve their hunting dogs. Despite its name, the Great Dane is a German breed. During the 15th and 16th centuries, German forests were filled with game, and hunting wild boar with dogs was a favorite pastime of German nobility. Each lord kept large numbers of boarhounds, which they carefully bred to improve their size, power, and endurance. When game in the forests began to dwindle, the large breeding kennels disappeared but the Great Dane continued to be a favorite with German aristocrats. Great Danes were exhibited at the first German dog show in 1863, and the first Danes were imported into the United States not long thereafter. In this country, Great Danes are popular family companions for people who admire their regal appearance and affectionate personalities. The Great Dane was recognized by United Kennel Club in 1923.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

:
FCI
The Great Dane in his noble appearance combines a large, powerful well constructed body with pride, strength and elegance. By substance together with nobility, harmonious appearance, well proportioned outlines, as well as an especially expressive head, the Great Dane strikes the onlooker as a noble statue, never coarse or with refined elegance. Perfect in balance and always with clearly defined sexual dimorphism. He is the Apollo amongst all breeds.
KC
Very muscular, strongly though elegantly built, with look of dash and daring, of being ready to go anywhere and do anything. Head and neck carried high, tail in line with back, or slightly upwards, but never curled over hindquarters. Elegance of outline and grace of form most essential.
UKC
The Great Dane is a very large, short-coated dog, with smooth, well-defined musculature. The body is square, but females may be somewhat longer in body than males. The length of the front leg (measured from point of elbow to the ground) is approximately equal to one-half of the dog’s height at the withers. The head is long, rectangular, and finely chiseled. Ears are medium in size, high set, and may be drop or cropped. The tail is a natural extension of the spine, thick at the base and tapering to a point. Gender differences are apparent in this breed. Typically the male is proportionately taller and heavier than the female. The female appears feminine in comparison to the dog. The Great Dane combines great size with dignity and elegance, giving rise to its nickname, the Apollo of dogs.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS

:
FCI
Almost square in build, this applies particularly to males. Females can be a little longer in body.
KC
Alert expression, powerful, majestic action displaying dignity.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT

:
FCI
Friendly, loving and devoted to his owners. Might be reserved towards strangers, but required is a confident, fearless, easily tractable, docile companion and family dog with high resistance to provocation and without aggression.
KC
Kindly without nervousness, friendly and outgoing.
UKC
The Great Dane is spirited, courageous, friendly, and dependable. Great Danes are easygoing dogs, affectionate with family members and self-confident with strangers. The Great Dane has a stable, easy-going nature, preferring to lounge on the couch near a loved one to almost any other pastime. They are good with children but their great size makes them more suitable for older children and teenagers. Great Danes are easily trained but need consistency.

HEAD

:
FCI
In harmony with the general appearance. Long, narrow, distinct and expressive. Never wedge shaped. Finely chiselled, especially under the eyes. The distance from tip of nose to stop and from stop to the slightly defined occipital bone should be as equal as possible. The upper lines of muzzle and skull should definitely run parallel. The head must appear narrow seen from the front with bridge of nose as broad as possible.
KC
Head, taken altogether, gives idea of great length and strength of jaw. Muzzle broad, skull proportionately narrow, so that whole head when viewed from above and in front, has appearance of equal breadth throughout. Length of head in proportion to height of dog. Length from nose to point between eyes about equal or preferably of greater length than from this point to back of occiput. Skull flat, slight indentation running up centre, occipital peak not prominent. Decided rise or brow over the eyes but not abrupt stop between them; face well chiselled, well filled in below eyes with no appearance of being pinched: foreface long, of equal depth throughout. Cheeks showing as little lumpiness as possible, compatible with strength. Underline of head, viewed in profile, runs almost in a straight line from corner of lip to corner of jawbone, allowing for fold of lip, but with no loose skin hanging down. Bridge of nose very wide, with slight ridge where cartilage joins bone (this is a characteristic of breed). Nostrils large, wide and open, giving blunt look to nose. Lips hang squarely in front, forming right angle with upper line of foreface.
UKC
The Great Dane head is proportionate to the size of the dog, long, rectangular, narrow and finely chiseled, especially below the eyes. Viewed from the side, the skull and muzzle are of equal length, straight, parallel to one another, and joined by a strongly pronounced stop. Viewed from above, the planes of the skull and foreface are parallel and the bridge of the nose is very broad. Gender difference is readily apparent. A correct head is essential to Great Dane breed type.

CRANIAL REGION

:

Skull

:
FCI
Superciliary ridges well developed but not protruding.
UKC
The skull is narrow, long and nearly flat, with parallel sides. Cheeks are clean and cheek muscles are not prominent. Supraorbital ridges are well developed.

Stop

:
FCI
Clearly defined.

FACIAL REGION

:

Nose

:
FCI
Well developed, more broad than round with large nostrils. Must be black with the exception of harlequins (white with black patches). In these a black nose is desired but a butterfly nose (black with pink patches) or flesh coloured nose is tolerated. In blue dogs the colour of the nose is anthracite (diluted black).
UKC
The nose is black, except for blue Danes where the nose is a dark blue-black. A black spotted nose is acceptable, but not preferred, on a harlequin Dane.

Muzzle

:
FCI
Deep and as rectangular as possible. Bridge of nose must never be concave (dish shaped), convex (roman nose) or falling away in front part (eagle nose).
KC
Teeth level. Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
UKC
In profile, the muzzle is long, equal in length to the skull, and deep. The underline of the lower jaw is nearly parallel to the bridge of the muzzle. The end of the muzzle is blunt, and almost perpendicular to the upper and lower lines of the jaw, forming a distinctly rectangular muzzle. The bridge of the muzzle is very broad, so that the end of the muzzle, viewed from the front, appears almost square. Mouth is dry. Removal of whiskers is permitted but not preferred.

Lips

:
FCI
Well defined corners of lips. Lips neither lacking flews nor being too pendulous or rolled in. Dark pigmented lips. In harlequins not totally pigmented or flesh coloured lips are tolerated.

Jaws/Teeth

:
FCI
Well developed broad jaws. Strong sound and complete scissor bite (42 teeth according to the dentition formula). Any deviation from a complete scissors bite (except for PM1s in lower jaw) is highly undesirable.
UKC
The Great Dane has a complete set of evenly spaced, white teeth meeting in a scissors bite.

Cheeks

:
FCI
Cheek muscles only slightly defined and in no way protruding.

Eyes

:
FCI
Of medium size with lively friendly intelligent expression. Almond shaped with close fitting lids. Eyes not set too wide apart or slit eyes. As dark as possible, light piercing or amber coloured eyes are undesirable. Although in blue dogs slightly lighter eyes are tolerated. In harlequins pale (ice blue) eyes or two differently coloured eyes are to be tolerated.
KC
Fairly deep set, not giving the appearance of being round, of medium size and preferably dark. Wall, or odd eyes permissible in harlequins.
UKC
Eyes are medium in size, almond-shaped, tight, and dark brown. A slightly lighter shade of brown is acceptable, but not preferred, in the blue Danes. Light-colored eyes, eyes of different colors, and walleyes are permitted in the harlequin Dane but not preferred.

Ears

:
FCI
Naturally pendant set on high, but not lifted above skull or hanging low. Medium sized. Front edges lying close to cheeks but neither hanging flat nor standing off from sides of head.
KC
Triangular, medium size, set high on skull and folded forward, not pendulous.
UKC
Ears may be cropped or natural, with no preference. Ears are high set and of moderate thickness. Natural ears are medium in size and fold forward close to the cheek. The top line of the ear fold is level with the skull. Cropped ears should be in proportion to the size of the head and stand erect, but a dog with properly set ears must not be penalized for an imperfect ear crop.

NECK

:
FCI
Long, clean, muscular and never short or thick. Well formed set on, tapering slightly towards the head, with arched neckline. Carried upright but inclined slightly forward, but no ewe neck. Throatiness or dewlap is highly undesirable.
KC
Neck long, well arched, quite clean and free from loose skin, held well up, well set in shoulders, junction of head and neck well defined.
UKC
The neck is long, well arched, and muscular. From the nape, the neck gradually broadens and flows smoothly into the shoulders. The underline of the neck is clean.

BODY

:
KC
Very deep, brisket reaching elbow, ribs well sprung, belly well drawn up. Back and loins strong, latter slightly arched.
UKC
The Great Dane is a square dog. Its height, measured from the withers to the ground, should equal its length of body, measured from prosternum to point of buttocks. The length of the forelegs (measured from point of elbow to the ground) should approximately equal one-half of the dog’s height. The topline of the Great Dane flows smoothly from the withers to a short, level back. The ribs extend well back and are well sprung out from the spine. The loin is short and broad, with a well-defined tuck-up. The croup is broad and very slightly sloping. The chest is broad, well muscled, and deep, extending to the elbows. The forechest is well developed. The body underline is tightly muscled.

Withers

:
FCI
The highest point of the strong body. It is formed by the points of the shoulder blades which extend beyond the spinal processes.

Back

:
FCI
Short and firm, in almost straight line falling away imperceptibly to the rear. Back never to be long or with top line rising towards the rear.

Loin

:
FCI
Slightly arched, broad, strongly muscled.

Croup

:
FCI
Broad, well muscled. Sloping slightly from hipbone to tail set, imperceptibly merging into the tail set. Croup must never fall away steeply or be completely flat.

Chest

:
FCI
Reaching to the elbows. Well sprung ribs, reaching far back. Ribs must never be barrel shaped or flat. Chest of good width and depth and must never look flat sided or shallow. Well marked fore-chest, although breastbone must not be too strongly pronounced.

Underline and belly

:
FCI
Belly well tucked up towards rear, forming a nicely curved line with the underside of the brisket. It is not desirable that females retain a slack belly line after maternal duties.

TAIL

:
FCI
Reaching to the hocks, must not be too long or too short. Set on high and broad, neither too high nor too low. Not too thick, tapering evenly towards tip. In repose tail is hanging down with natural curve. When the dog is alert or moving the tail is carried slightly sabre-like but not markedly above the backline, must never be carried above the back line. Hook tail or curled tail as well as a tail carried sideways are highly undesirable. Bristle hair on tail undesirable.
KC
Thick at the root, tapering towards end, reaching to or just below hocks. Carried in straight line level with back, when dog is moving, slightly curved towards end, but never curling or carried over back.
UKC
The tail is a natural extension of the topline. It is thick at the base and tapers to the tip. A tail of the correct length extends to the hock but never below. When the dog is relaxed, the tail hangs down naturally. When the dog is moving or alert, the tail may curve slightly upward but never above the level of the back.

LIMBS

:

FOREQUARTERS

:
FCI
Must be sufficiently angulated and with strong bone and muscles.
KC
Shoulders muscular, not loaded, well sloped back, with elbows well under body. Forelegs perfectly straight with big flat bone.
UKC
Shoulder blades and upper arms are long and slanting, forming an angle of approximately 110 degrees.

Shoulder

:
FCI
Strongly muscled. The long, slanting shoulder blade forms an angle of 100 to 110 degrees with the upper arm.

Upper Arm

:
FCI
Strong and muscular, close fitting should be slightly longer than the shoulder blade.

Elbow

:
FCI
Turned neither in nor out.

FORELEGS

:
UKC
The elbows are close to the body. A line drawn from the upper tip of the shoulder blade to the back of the elbow joint will be perpendicular to the ground. The forelegs are straight with strong, slightly sloping pasterns.

Forearm

:
FCI
Strong, muscular. Seen from front and side, completely straight with vertical stance.

Carpus (wrist)

:
FCI
Strong, firm, only slightly standing out from the structure of the forearm.

Pastern

:
FCI
Strong, straight when seen from the front, seen from the side, barely slanting forwards.

FEET

:
KC
Cat-like, turning neither in nor out. Toes well arched and close, nails strong and curved. Nails preferably dark in all coat colours, except harlequins, where light are permissible.
UKC
Feet are round, tight, and well arched. Nails are strong and as dark as possible, except that they may be lighter in harlequins. Front dewclaws may be removed.

Forefeet

:
FCI
Rounded, well arched, well-knit toes (cat feet). Nails short, strong and as dark as possible.

Hind feet

:
FCI
Rounded, well arched, well-knit (cat feet). Nails short, strong and as dark as possible.

HINDQUARTERS

:
FCI
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, viewed from behind, are parallel to the front legs.
KC
Extremely muscular, giving strength and galloping power. Second thigh long and well developed, good turn of stifle, hocks set low, turning neither in nor out.
UKC
The hindquarters are strong, broad, and muscular. The angulation of the hindquarters is in balance with the angulation of the forequarters.

Thigh

:
FCI
Long, broad, very muscular.

Stifle

:
FCI
Strong, positioned almost vertically under the hip joint.

HIND LEGS

:
UKC
The hind legs are strong and well angulated. When the dog is standing, the short, strong rear pasterns are perpendicular to the ground and, viewed from the rear, parallel to one another.

Lower thigh

:
FCI
Long, of approximately the same length as the upper thigh. Well muscled.

Hock joint

:
FCI
Strong, firm, turning neither in nor out.

Rear pastern

:
FCI
Short, strong, standing almost vertical to the ground.

GAIT / MOVEMENT

:
FCI
Harmonious, lithe, covering a lot of ground, slightly springy. Never with a short stride or pacing. Legs must be parallel in movement, both coming and going and always well co-ordinated between front and rear.
KC
Action lithe, springy and free, covering ground well. Hocks move freely with driving action, head carried high.
UKC
When trotting, the gait is effortless, with long, easy strides, and showing good but not exaggerated reach in front and drive behind. When moving, the backline remains level with only a slight flexing to indicate suppleness. Viewed from any position, legs turn neither in nor out, nor do feet cross or interfere with each other. As speed increases, feet tend to converge toward centerline of balance.

SKIN

:
FCI
Tight fitting. In solid colours, well pigmented. In harlequins, the distribution of pigment mainly corresponds to the markings.

COAT

:

HAIR

:
FCI
Very short, dense, smooth and close lying, glossy. Must never be coarse, dull or a double coat.
KC
Short dense and sleek-looking, never inclined to roughness.
UKC
The coat is short, close, and thick with a smooth, glossy appearance.

COLOUR

:
FCI

The Great Dane is bred in three separate colour varieties Fawn and brindle, harlequin and black, and blue.
Fawn: Light gold fawn to deep gold fawn. Black mask desired. Never to be grey fawn, blue fawn or a sooty fawn colour No white markings.
Brindle: Basic colour, light to deep gold fawn with black stripes as regular and clearly defined as possible, running with the direction of the ribs. Black mask desired. Never with washed-out streaks. No white markings.
Harlequin: (white with black splashed patches): Basic colour pure white, preferably with no ticking. Pure black patches well distributed all over the body, having the appearance of being torn. Grey or brownish patches or nuances of those colours in the black are undesirable as well as blue-grey ticking in the white. So called “Grautiger” occur, they are neither desirable nor to be disqualified.
Black: Jet black, white markings on chest and feet permitted. Included here are “Manteltiger” in which the black covers the body like a coat (“mantel”) or blanket and muzzle, throat, chest, belly, legs and tip of tail may be white. Also dogs with basic white colour and large black patches so called “Plattenhunde”. The black colour must never have nuances of fawn or brown or bluish black colour.
Blue: Pure steel blue, white markings on chest and feet permitted. Never with a fawn nuance or blackish blue colour.
KC
Brindles: must be striped, ground colour from lightest buff to deepest orange, stripes always black, eyes and nails preferably dark, dark shadings on head and ears acceptable. Fawns: colour varies from lightest buff to deepest orange, dark shadings on head and ears acceptable, eyes and nails preferably dark. Blues: colour varies from light grey to deep slate, the nose and eyes may be blue. Blacks: a) Black is black. In all above colours white is only permissible on chest and feet, but it is not desirable even there. Nose always black, except in blues and harlequins. Eyes and nails preferably dark. b) Mantle: Black and white with a solid, black blanket extending over the body. Ideally - black skull with white muzzle, white blaze optional, whole white collar preferred, a white chest, white on part or whole of the forelegs and hindlegs, white tipped black tail. Nose always black, eyes and nails preferably dark Harlequins: pure white underground with preferably all black patches or all blue patches, having appearance of being torn. Light nails permissible. In harlequins, wall eyes, pink noses, or butterfly noses permissible but not desirable.
UKC
The following are the only allowed colors, markings, and color patterns: Brindle: Strong black stripes in a chevron pattern on a yellow gold background. Preference shall be given where the base color is more intense and the brindling is more distinct and even. A black mask is preferred. Black should appear on the eye rims and eyebrow, and may appear on the ears and tip of the tail. Boston: A solid black blanket extending over the body and skull with the following white markings: white muzzle, white collar, white chest, white on part or on the whole of the fore and hind legs, white tip of the tail. A full white collar is preferred. A small white marking in the blanket or a break in the white collar is acceptable. This color pattern is sometimes known as “Mantle.” Fawn: Yellow gold with a black mask. Black should appear on the eye rims and eyebrow, and may appear on the ears and tip of the tail. Preference is given to a deep yellow gold. Blue: Pure steel blue. Black: Glossy black. Harlequin: Black torn patches irregularly and well distributed over a white background. The black patches should never be so large as to give the appearance of a blanket, nor so small as to give a dappled effect. The presence of a few small gray patches or single black hairs showing through the white background, giving a dirty effect, are allowed but not preferred.

SIZE

:
KC
Minimum height of an adult dog over eighteen months: 76 cms (30 ins); bitches: 71 cms (28 ins). Weight, minimum weight over eighteen months: dogs: 54 kgs (120 lbs); bitches: 46 kgs (100 lbs).
UKC
The Great Dane is a giant working breed and should always appear well proportioned for its size. A mature male may not be less than 30 inches at the shoulder. A mature female may not be less than 28 inches, although 30 inches or more is preferred.

Height at withers

:
FCI

Males at least 80 cms, should not exceed 90 cms.
Females at least 72 cms, should not exceed 84 cms.

FAULTS

:
FCI

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
  • Insufficient stop.
  • Rolled in lip (the lower lip is pinched between the incisives of upper and lower jaw).
  • Irregular position of individual incisors as long as the bite remains correct, teeth too small. Partial pincer bite.
  • Eyes protruding or too deeply set.
  • Shoulders that are loose or loaded or with upright shoulder blades.
  • Elbows lose.
  • Carpus bent, enlarged, or knuckling over.
  • Pasterns which are markedly weak, too sloping or too upright.
  • Hindquarters with too much or too little angulations.
  • Hock joints that are open, enlarged or unstable.
  • Cow hocked as well as rear pasterns too close together. Dewclaws.
  • Feet splayed or long.
KC
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.
UKC

Muzzle: Muzzle too long or too short; loose, fluttering lips.
Nose: Pink nose.
Eyes: Round or protruding eyes; yellow eyes; eyes too close together.
Ears: Any deviation from the standard that contributes to a hound-like appearance.
Neck: Short, thick neck; ewe neck, goose neck.
Forelegs: Toeing in or out; down in pasterns.
Hind Legs: Steep croup; lack of rear angulation; over-angulation; cow hocks; open hocks.
Feet: Hare foot; splay foot.
Color: White markings on the chest and toes; black-fronted or dirty colored fawns.
Color: Too much or too little brindling; white markings on the chest and toes; black-fronted or dirty colored brindles.
Color: White markings on the chest and toes.
Color: White markings on the chest and toes.

MINOR FAULTS

:
UKC
Teeth: Crowded lower incisors; level bite.

SERIOUS FAULTS

:
FCI

  • Lacking self-confidence, shy, nervous.
  • Apple head and too prominent cheek muscles.
  • Slack eye lids and showing red haw.
  • Sway back or roach back.
  • Croup sloping too much.
  • Constant pacing.
  • Tail which is damaged thickened at the tip or which has been docked.
UKC

Teeth: Overshot, undershot, or wry mouth.
Eyes: Visible haw; obliquely set Mongolian eyes; functional abnormality of eyelids or eyelashes.
Feet: Rear dewclaws.
Tail: Ring or hooked tail.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

:
FCI

  • Aggressive or overly shy dogs.
  • Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
  • Fear-biting, easily provoked.
  • Liver coloured or split nose.
  • Bite that is overshot, undershot or a wry mouth, pincer bite, missing teeth apart from two P1 in the lower jaw.
  • Ectropion, entropion or macroblepharia.
  • Wall eyes or differently coloured eyes in all solid colours, except in harlequins.
  • Tail with kink (i.e. deformed vertebrae).
  • Silver blue or isabella colour in fawns and brindles.
  • Fawn, brindle or blue dogs with white as blaze, collar, socks or on tip of tail.
  • Miscoloured harlequins brindle or blue patches (‘porcelain tiger’), white with fawn.
  • Albino, i.e. no pigmentation.
  • Deafness.
  • Below minimum height.
UKC

Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Split nose. Docked tail. Color other than those described in “Color” paragraph. Albinism.
Nose: Split nose.
Tail: Docked tail.
Color: Any color, marking, or color pattern not described above; albinism.
Note: The docking of tails and cropping of ears in America is legal and remains a personal choice. However, as an international registry, the United Kennel Club, Inc. is aware that the practices of cropping and docking have been forbidden in some countries. In light of these developments, the United Kennel Club, Inc. feels that no dog in any UKC event, including conformation, shall be penalized for a full tail or natural ears.


Anatomical Features of the dog

N.B.:

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.