GREAT DANE (Deutsche Dogge) FCI-Standard N° 235 - 13.03.2001
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE ORIGINAL VALID STANDARD:
UTILIZATION: Companion, watch- and guard dog.
CLASSIFICATION F.C.I.: Group 2 Pinscher and
Schnauzer - Molossoid breeds - Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs and other
Section 2.1 Molossoid breeds, Mastiff type.
Without working trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY: As forerunners of
the present day Great Dane, one must look at the old "Bullenbeisser"
(Bulldog) as well as the " Hatz-and Sauruden " (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, Hatzrude (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.
GENERAL APPEARANCE: 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 a specially expressive
head, the Great Dane strikes the onlooker as a noble statue. He is the
Appolo amongst all breeds.
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS: Almost square in build,
this applies particularly to males. The length of the body (point of sternum
to point of buttocks) should not exceed height at withers in dogs by more
than 5%, in bitches by more than 10%.
BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT: Friendly, loving
and devoted to his owners, specially to the children. Reserved towards
strangers. Required is a confident, fearless, easily tractable, docile
companion and family dog with high resistance to provocation and without
Skull : In harmony with the general appearance. Long, narrow, distinct,
full of expression. Finely chiselled, specially under the eyes. Superciliary
ridges well developed but not protruding. The distance from tip of nose
to stop and from stop to the lightly defined occipital bone should be
as equal as possible. The upper lines of muzzle and skull should run parallel.
The head must appear narrow seen from the front with bridge of nose as
broad as possible. Cheek muscles only slightly defined and in no way protruding.
Stop : Clearly defined.
Nose : Well developeded, rather 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).
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/Teeth : Well developed broad jaws. Strong sound and complete scissor
bite (42 teeth according to the dentition formula).
Eyes : Of medium size with lively friendly intelligent expression. As
dark as possible, almond shaped with close fitting lids. In blue dogs
slightly lighter eyes are tolerated. In harlequins light eyes or two differently
coloured eyes are to be tolerated.
Ears : Naturally pendant, set on high, of medium size, front edges lying
close to cheeks.
NECK: Long, clean, muscular. Well formed set
on, tapering slightly towards the head, with arched neckline. Carried
upright but inclined slightly forward.
Withers : The highest point of the strong body. It is formed by the points
of the shoulder blades which extend beyond the spinal processes.
Back : Short and firm, in almost straight line falling away imperceptibly
to the rear.
Loins : Slightly arched, broad, strongly muscled.
Croup : Broad, well muscled. Sloping slightly from hipbone to tail set,
imperceptibly merging into the tailset.
Chest : Reaching to the elbows. Well sprung ribs, reaching far back. Chest
of good width with marked forechest.
Underline and belly : Belly well tucked up towards rear, forming a nicely
curved line with the underside of the brisket.
TAIL: Reaching to the hocks. Set on high and
broad, tapering evenly towards tip. In repose hanging down with natural
curve. When dog is alert or moving, carried slightly sabre-like but not
markedly above the backline. Bristle hair on tail undesirable.
Shoulders : Strongly muscled. The long, slanting shoulder blade forms
an angle of 100 to 110 degrees with the upper arm.
Upper arm : Strong and muscular, close fitting, should be slightly longer
than the shoulder blade.
Elbows : Turned neither in nor out.
Forearm : Strong, muscular. Seen from front and side, completely straight.
Carpus : Strong, firm, only slightly standing out from the structure of
Pastern : Strong, straight when seen from the front, seen from the side,
barely slanting forwards.
Front feet : Rounded, well arched, well-knit toes (cat feet). Nails short,
strong and as dark as possible.
HINDQUARTERS: 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
set parallel to the front legs.
Upper thigh : Long, broad, very muscular.
Stifles : Strong, positioned almost vertically under the hip joint.
Lower thigh : Long, of approximately the same length as the upper thigh.
Hocks : Strong, firm, turning neither in nor out.
Metatarsus : Short, strong, standing almost vertical to the ground.
Hind feet : Rounded, well arched, well-knit (cat feet). Nails short, strong
and as dark as possible.
GAIT / MOVEMENT: Harmonious, lithe, ground
covering, slightly springy. Legs must be parallel in movement coming and
SKIN: Tight fitting. In solid colours, well
pigmented. In harlequins, the distribution of pigment mainly corresponds
to the markings.
HAIR: Very short, dense, smooth and close
COLOUR: 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. Small
white marks on chest and toes undesirable.
- Brindle : Basic colours, 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. Small white markings on chest and toes
- 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
- Black : Jet black, white markings 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
- Blue : Pure steel blue, white markings on chest and feet permitted.
Height at withers : Dogs at least 80 cm,
Bitches at least 72 cm.
FAULTS: 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.
- General appearance : Lack of male or female characteristics, lack of
balance, too light, too coarse in built.
- Temperament : Lacking self-confidence, nervous, easily provoked.
- Head : Lines of head not parallel, apple head, wedge shaped head, too
little stop; too prominent cheek muscles.
- Muzzle : Pointed, lacking flews, lips too pendulous. Bridge of nose
concave (dish shaped), convex (roman nose), falling away in front part
- Jaws/Teeth : Any deviation from a complete set of teeth (only the missing
of both PM1 in the lower jaw may be tolerated). Irregular position of
individual incisors as long as the bite remains otherwise correct), teeth
- Eyes : Slack lids, haw too red. Light, piercing, amber coloured eyes.
Wall eyes or differently coloured eyes in all solid coat colours. Eyes
too wide apart or slit eyes. Eyes protruding or too deeply set.
- Ears : Set on too high or too low. Standing off from the sides of the
head or flat lying.
- Neck : Short thick neck, ewe neck, throatiness or excess of dewlap.
- Back : Sway back, roach back. Too long in back. Topline rising towards
- Croup : Falling away steeply or completely flat.
- Tail : Too thick, too long or too short, set on too low or too highly
carried above the back line. Hook tail or curled tail as well as tail
carried sideways. Tail which is damaged, thickened at the tip or has been
- Ribcage : Flat or barrel-shaped ribs. Lack of width or depth of chest.
Too strongly protruding breastbone.
- Lower line : Belly line not sufficiently tucked up. Teats not sufficiently
- Forelegs : Insufficient angulation. Light bone, weak muscles. Stance
- Shoulders : Loose or loaded. Upright shoulder blade.
- Elbows : Loose, turning in or out.
- Forearm : Bent, enlarged above pastern.
- Pastern : Enlarged, markedly weak or knuckling over.
- Metacarpus : Too sloping or too upright.
- Hindquarters : Too much or too little angulation. Cow hocked, close
together or open hocked when standing.
- Hocks : Exaggerated large or unstable.
- Feet : Flat, splayed, long. Dewclaws.
- Gait/Movement : Covering too little ground, lack of freedom in action.
Frequent or constant pacing. Lack of co-ordination between front and hind
- Coat : Double coat (coarse, short coat), dull coat.
- Colour :
- In fawn : Grey fawn, blue fawn, isabella (cream) or sooty fawn colour.
- In brindles : Basic colour silver blue or isabella. Washed-out streaks.
- In harlequins : Blue-grey ticked basic colour. Large fawn-grey or blue-grey
parts in the patches.
- In blacks : Fawn, brown or blue-black colour.
- In blues: Fawn or black-blue colour.
- Temperament : Shyness.
- Jaws/Teeth : Pincer bite.
- Eyes : Ectropion, entropion.
- Tail : Kinky tail.
- Temperament : Aggressiveness, fear-biting.
- Nose : Liver coloured; split nose.
- Jaws/Teeth : Overshot, undershot, wry mouth.
- Colour : Fawn or brindle dogs with white blaze, white collar, white
feet or socks and white tip of tail.
Blue dogs with white blaze, white collar, white feet or socks or white
tip of tail.
Harlequin dogs : White without any black (albinos), deaf. So called Porcelain
tigers (dogs that show predominantly blue, grey, fawn or brindle patches),
so called "Grautiger" (dogs that have a basic grey colour with
- Height : Below minimum height.
N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normally developed testicles
fully descended into the scrotum