Great Dane Breed Standard
© The Kennel Club -
General Appearance 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.
Characteristics Alert expression, powerful, majestic action displaying dignity.
Temperament Kindly without nervousness, friendly and outgoing.
Head and Skull 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.
Eyes Fairly deep set, not giving the appearance of being round, of medium size and preferably dark. Wall, or odd eyes permissible in harlequins.
Ears Triangular, medium size, set high on skull and folded forward, not pendulous.
Mouth 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.
Neck 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.
Forequarters Shoulders muscular, not loaded, well sloped back, with elbows well under body. Forelegs perfectly straight with big flat bone.
Body Very deep, brisket reaching elbow, ribs well sprung, belly well drawn up. Back and loins strong, latter slightly arched.
Hindquarters 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.
Tail 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.
Gait/Movement Action lithe, springy and free, covering ground well. Hocks move freely with driving action, head carried high.
Coat Short dense and sleek-
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.
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 -
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.
Size 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).
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 and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
Note Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.