The noble outward appearance of a Great Dane unites a big, strong and
well-shaped body structure with pride, strength and elegance. Through
substance paired with nobility, harmony and a well-proportioned line as
well as a very impressive head, it looks like a noble statue. It is the
Apollo among the dog breeds.
Important Proportions: The body structure seems to be almost
square – especially with males. With males the trunk length (tip of
breastbone up to the bump of the hip bone) should not exceed the withers
height by more than 5% and with bitches not more than 10%.
Behaviour/ Character (Nature): Friendly, loving and attached to
their owners, especially to kids, restrained towards strangers. Demands:
a self-confident, intrepid family- and escort-dog with a high stimulus
threshold and without aggressive behaviour, who is quick and eager to
learn and easy to handle.
Head: Upper head:
Skull: Must be harmonious to the total appearance, long, slender,
prominent, expressive, fine features (especially the part under the
eyes), well-developed arch of the eyebrows but without being too
prominent. The distance from the tip of the nose up to the stop and from
the stop up to the weakly distinctive bone of the back of the head
should be about the same. The upper lines of fang and skull should be
parallel. Viewed from the front the head should seem slender whereas the
bridge of the nose should be broad and the cheek muscles should not be
prominent but only slightly show their features.
Nose sponge: well-developed, broader than too round and with big
nostrils. It has to be black, except for the the harlequin danes. For
these Danes a black nose is wished for but a black spotted or flesh-colored
nose is also tolerated. The nose color of blue danes is anthracite
FaNG: Should be deeply-set and rectangular. Well visible chaps
angle. Dark-pigmented chaps. With harlequin danes, incompletely
pigmented or flesh-colored chaps are tolerated.
Jaw/ Teeth: Well-developed, broad jaw. Strong, healthy and
complete scissors bite (42 teeth according to the tooth formula).
Eyes: Medium-sized with a lively intelligent and friendly
expression; should be dark, almond-shaped with flat eyelids. For blue
danes, lighter eyes are permissible. For harlequin danes, light-colored
or eyes of two different colors are tolerated.
Ears: Von Hanging by nature, attached high, medium-sized, front
edges should touch the cheeks.
Neck: Long, dry, muscular. Well-developed base, should taper a
little towards the head with a curved neck-line.
Highest point of the strong body. It is formed by the two
shoulder blades which tower above the spiny process.
Back: Short and taut, in an almost straight line slightly
dropping away to the back.
Loins:: Slightly bulging, broad, very muscular
Croup: Broad, very muscular, from rump-bone to base of tail
slightly dropping away and insignificantly running in the base of the
Chest: Reaching up to the elbow joints. Well-bulging with ribs
widely going back. Broad chest with prominent fore chest
Lower profile and stomach: Stomach should be drawn to the back
and form a well-curved line with the underside of the thorax.
Reaches up to the hock. Set up high and broad. Tapers gradually to the
tip. Being calm, it hangs down with a natural swing. Being agitated or
in motion, it is worn sabre-like but not much over the back line.
A ‘brush’ tail is
LIMBS FORELEG: Vorhand:
Very muscular. Shoulder blade is long and sloping in an
angle of 100-110 degrees to the upper arm.
Upper arm: Strong and muscular, flat to the body. Should be a bit
longer than the shoulder blade.
Elbows: Neither turned outwards nor inwards
Forearm: Strong and muscular, viewed from the front and side it
should be totally straight
Tarsus joint of forefoot: Strong, stable. Only slightly standing
out from the structure of the forearm
Middle part of forefoot: Strong, straight when viewed from the
front. Slightly directed towards the front when viewed from the side.
Front paws: Roundish, domed with flat toes (cat paws). Short,
strong and dark nails.
skeleton is covered with strong muscles which let the croup, the hip and
the thigh appear broad and roundish. The strong and well-angled hind
legs are parallel to the forelegs when viewed from the back.
Thigh:: Long, broad, very muscular
Knee: Strong, almost perfectly vertical under the hip joint
Lower leg:: Long, more or less the same length as the thigh, very
Hock: Strong, stable, neither turned inwards nor outwards
Middle part of hind leg: Short, strong, almost perfectly vertical
Hind paws: Roundish, domed with flat toes (cat paws).
Short, strong and
Harmonious, supple, lengthy, slightly jaunty with parallel moving legs
when viewed from the front and back.
Skin: Close-fitting, for plain colored well pigmented, for
harlequin danes the pigmentation corresponds to the predominant color.
Very short and thick, close-fitting, shiny
Color: The Great Dane is being bred in three independent
varieties: Fawn and Brindle, Harlequin and Black, Blue
Fawn: Light up to rich old gold, black muzzle desired. Not
desired are small white spots on chest and toes
Brindle: Ground color is light up to rich old gold with black,
even and clearly marked stripes which run towards the ribs. Black muzzle
desired. Not desired are small white spots on chest and toes.
Harlequin (so-called Tiger Danes): Ground color is pure white
without any cast. Glossy black spots of different shapes and sizes
spread over the entire body. Not desired are grey or brownish spots.
Black: Glossy black, white spots are permissible; among these we
also count the mantle harlequin who wear the black color like a mantle
around the body, whereas the fang, neck, chest, stomach, legs and tail
may be white; just like danes with a white ground color and large black
‘plates’ (‘Plate Dogs’).
Blue: Pure steel-blue, white spots on chest and paws are
Withers height: For dogs minimum 80 cm
For bitches minimum 72 cm
deviation from the aforesaid points has to be regarded as faulty, whose
assessment should be in proportion to the degree of the deviation.
General Appearance: Faulty sex distinctiveness, lacking harmony,
too light, too coarse.
Character: Lack of self-confidence, nervousness, low stimulus
Head: Not parallely running head line, apple-shaped head,
wedge-shaped head, too little stop, prominent cheek muscles
Fang: Pointed, minor chaps, jutted out chaps, bridge of nose
concave (saddle nose), convex or dropping away to the front (eagle
Jaw/ Teeth: Any deviation from the complete set of teeth (only a
missing PM1 of the lower jaw can be tolerated): uneven positioning of
individual incisors, too little teeth
Eyes: Loose eyelids, too intensely reddened conjunctiva; light,
penetrating, amber-colored eyes; watery-blue or eyes of two different
colors for all plain colored danes. Both eyes being too wide apart or
having slit eyes, protruding or hollowly eyes.
Ears: Attached too high or too low, sticking out to the side or
being too flat
Neck: Short, thick neck, ‘deer neck’, too much loose skin on the
throat or dewlap
Back: Fallen back, carp-like back, too long, back line rising up
to the back
Croup: Plummeting or being horizontal
Tail: Too strong, too long or too short; attached too low or too
high over the back line; hooked or curly tail, as well as a tail turned
sideways. A tail that’s widened out, thickens at the end or a docked
Thorax: Flat or barrel-shaped ribs, lacking broadness or depth of
the chest, protruding breastbone
Lower profile: Stomach line not sufficiently drawn back; faulty
Fore leg: Not sufficiently angled. Light bones, weak muscles. Not
in a vertical position.
Shoulders: Loose, overloaded. Steeply-positioned shoulder blade.
Elbows: Loose, turned in- or outwards
Forearm: Curved. Bumps above the tarsus joint of the forefoot.
VTarsus joint of forefoot: Bumpy. Considerably giving or
Middle part of forefoot: Too sloping or steep
Hindleg: Angle too open or closed. Cow-like or barrel-like
position or too tight.
Hock: Bumpy, unstable
Paws: Flat, splayed, long
Gait: Not sufficiently lengthy, closed action, frequent or
permanent amble, faulty correspondance between foreleg and hindleg
Fur: Dull fur
<>Yellow-grey, yellow-blue, isabell or dirty-yellow color
Brindle: Ground color silver-blue or isabell, faded brindle
Harlequin: Ground color with a blue-grey cast, large yellow-grey
or blue-grey spots
Black: Yellow-, brown- or blue-black color
Blue: Yellow- or black-blue color
Jaw/ Teeth: pincer bite
Eyes: ectropy, entropy
aggressiveness, biting of fear
Nose: liver-colored nose, split nose
Jaw/ Teeth: fore bite, back bite, cross bite
Fawn and Brindle Danes with a white line on the forehead, a white
collar, white paws or ‘socks’ and white tip of the tail
Blue Danes with a white line on the forehead, a white collar,
white ‘socks’ or white tip of the tail
Herlequin Danes Danes that are plain white without any trace of
black (Albinos) As well as deaf danes; so-called Porcelain Tigers (these
show predominantly blue, grey, fawn or brindled spots); so-called Grey
Tigers (these have a grey ground color with black spots)
Zize under minimum size
ATTN: Males must have two obvious normally developed testicles which
are situated entirely in the scrotum.
01 - Nose
02 - bridge of Nose
03 - Chaps (upper Lip)
04 - forehead (Stop)
05 - Cheeks
06 - upper head
07 - Kehlgang
08 - Ears
09 - Neck
10 - nape of neck
11 - Withers
12 - Back
13 - Croup
14 - Pelvis
15 - Base of tail
16 - Tail
17 - Forechest
18 - Aidechest (costal arch)
19 - Lower chest
20 - Shoulder blade
21 - Upper arm
22 - Elbow jointk
23 - Forearm
24 - Tarsus joint of forefoot
25 - Middle part of forefoot
26 - toes
27 - Penis
28 - Thigh
29 - Kneecap
30 - Lower leg
31 - Bump of anklebone
32 - Hock
33 - Middle part of hindleg