Great Dane Standard.
|The Great Dane combines, in its regal appearance,
dignity, strength and elegance with great size and a powerful,
well-formed, smoothly muscled body. It is one of the giant working
breeds, but is unique in that its general conformation must be so well
balanced that it never appears clumsy, and shall move with a long reach
and powerful drive. It is always a unit-the Apollo of dogs. A Great Dane
must be spirited, courageous, never timid; always friendly and
dependable. This physical and mental combination is the characteristic
which gives the Great Dane the majesty possessed by no other breed. It
is particularly true of this breed that there is an impression of great
masculinity in dogs, as compared to an impression of femininity in
bitches. Lack of true Dane breed type, as defined in this standard, is a
|Size, Proportion, Substance.|
|The male should appear more massive throughout than the
bitch, with larger frame and heavier bone. In the ratio between length
and height, the Great Dane should be square. In bitches, a somewhat
longer body is permissible, providing she is well proportioned to her
height. Coarseness or lack of substance are equally undesirable. The
male shall not be less than 30 inches at the shoulders, but it is
preferable that he be 32 inches or more, providing he is well
proportioned to his height. The female shall not be less than 28 inches
at the shoulders, but it is preferable that she be 30 inches or more,
providing she is well proportioned to her height. Danes under minimum
height must be disqualified.
|The head shall be rectangular, long, distinguished,
expressive, finely chiseled, especially below the eyes. Seen from the
side, the Dane's forehead must be sharply set off from the bridge of the
nose, (a strongly pronounced stop). The plane of the skull and the plane
of the muzzle must be straight and parallel to one another. The skull
plane under and to the inner point of the eye must slope without any
bony protuberance in a smooth line to a full square jaw with a deep
muzzle (fluttering lips are undesirable). The masculinity of the male is
very pronounced in structural appearance of the head. The bitch's head
is more delicately formed. Seen from the top, the skull should have
parallel sides and the bridge of the nose should be as broad as
possible. The cheek muscles should not be prominent. The length from the
tip of the nose to the center of the stop should be equal to the length
from the center of the stop to the rear of the slightly developed
occiput. The head should be angular from all sides and should have flat
planes with dimen- sions in proportion to the size of the Dane. Whiskers
may be trimmed or left natural.
Shall be medium size, deep set, and dark, with a lively intelligent expression. The eyelids are almond-shaped and relatively tight, with well developed brows. Haws and mongolian eyes are serious faults. In harlequins, the eyes should be dark; light colored eyes, eyes of different colors and walleyes are permitted but not desirable.
Shall be high set, medium in size and of moderate thickness, folded forward close to the cheek. The top line of the folded ear should be level with the skull. If cropped, the ear length is in proportion to the size of the head and the ears are carried uniformly erect.
Shall be black, except in the blue Dane, where it is a dark blue-black. A black spotted nose is permitted on the harlequin; a pink colored nose is not desirable. A split nose is a disqualification.
Shall be strong, well developed, clean and with full dentition. The incisors of the lower jaw touch very lightly the bottoms of the inner surface of the upper incisors (scissors bite). An undershot jaw is a very serious fault. Overshot or wry bites are serious faults. Even bites, misaligned or crowded incisors are minor faults.
|Neck, Top line, Body.|
|The neck shall be firm, high set, well arched, long and
muscular. From the nape, it should gradually broaden and flow smoothly
into the withers. The neck underline should be clean. Withers shall
slope smoothly into a short level back with a broad loin. The chest
shall be broad, deep and well muscled. The forechest should be well
developed without a pronounced sternum. The brisket extends to the
elbow, with well sprung ribs. The body underline should be tightly
muscled with a well-defined tuck-up. The croup should be broad and very
slightly sloping. The tail should be set high and smoothly into the
croup, but not quite level with the back, a continuation of the spine.
The tail should be broad at the base, tapering uniformly down to the
hock joint. At rest, the tail should fall straight. When excited or
running, it may curve slightly, but never above the level of the back. A
ring or hooked tail is a serious fault. A docked tail is a
|The forequarters, viewed from the side, shall be strong
and muscular. The shoulder blade must be strong and sloping, forming, as
near as possible, a right angle in its articulation with the upper arm.
A line from the upper tip of the shoulder to the back of the elbow joint
should be perpendicu- lar. The ligaments and muscles holding the
shoulder blade to the rib cage must be well developed, firm and securely
attached to prevent loose shoulders. The shoulder blade and the upper
arm should be the same length. The elbow should be one-half the distance
from the withers to the ground. The strong pasterns should slope
slightly. The feet should be round and compact with well-arched toes,
neither toeing in, toeing out, nor rolling to the inside or outside. The
nails should be short, strong and as dark as possible, except that they
may be lighter in harlequins. Dewclaws may or may not be removed.
|The hindquarters shall be strong, broad, muscular and
well angulated, with well let down hocks. Seen from the rear, the hock
joints appear to be perfectly straight, turned neither toward the inside
nor toward the outside. The rear feet should be round and compact, with
well-arched toes, neither toeing in nor out. The nails should be short,
strong and as dark as possible, except they may be lighter in
harlequins. Wolf claws are a serious fault.
|The coat shall be short, thick and clean with a smooth
|Color, Markings and Patterns.
|Any Great Dane which does not fall within the above color
classifications must be disqualified.
|Any variance in color or markings as described above
shall be faulted to the extent of the deviation. Any Great Dane which
does not fall within the above color classifications must be
disqualified. (Note: This paragraph refers to all the color/pattern
descriptions, not just mantle).
|The gait denotes strength and power with long, easy
strides resulting in no tossing, rolling or bouncing of the top line or
body. The back line shall appear level and parallel to the ground. The
long reach should strike the ground below the nose while the head is
carried forward. The powerful rear drive should be balanced to the
reach. As speed increases, there is a natural tendency for the legs to
converge toward the centerline of balance beneath the body. There should
be no twisting in or out at the elbow or hock joints.
|The Great Dane must be spirited, courageous, always
friendly and dependable, and never timid or aggressive.
|Danes under minimum height
Any color other than those described under "Color, Markings and Patterns."
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© F. Rosenbeck.