standard of any breed is the blue-print to which all breeders
and judges must adhere to at all times. Never must any
attempt to make the standard fit the dog be tolerated."
quotation from the opening paragraph of the English Standard
(General Appearance, Colour
& Markings, Size, Substance, Condition of Coat)
(Gait, Rear End, Front
(Head conformation, Teeth,
Eyes, Nose, Ears)
(Neck, Loin & Back,
Chest, Ribs & Brisket)
Faults of the Great Dane
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Great Dane combines in its distinguished appearance dignity,
strength and elegance with great size and a powerful, well
formed, smoothly-muscled body. he is one of the giant breeds,
but is unique in that his general conformation must be so
well balanced that he never appears clumsy and is always
a unit - the apollo of dogs. He must be spirited and courageous
- never timid. He is 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. 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 appear as square as possible. In bitches, a
somewhat longer body is permissable.
Lack of unity; timidity; bitchy dogs; poor musculature;
poor bone development; out of condition; rickets; doggy
colour ranging from light golden yellow to deep golden
yellow always brindled with strong black cross stripes.
The more intensive the base colour and the more intensive
the brindling, the more attractive will be the colour.
Small white marks at the chest and toes are not desirable.
Brindle with too dark a base colour; silver blue and
greyish-blue base colour; dull (faded) brindling; white
ii) Fawn Danes:
yellow up to deep golden yellow colour with a deep black
mask. the golden deep yellow colour must always be given
the preference. Small white spots at the chest and toes
are not desirable.
Faults: Yellowish-grey, bluish-yellow, greyish-blue,
dirty-yellow colour (drab colour), lack of black mask.
colour must be pure steel blue as far as possible without
any tinge of yellow, black or mouse grey.
Faults: Any deviation from a pure steel-blue
Faults: Yellow black, brown black or blue-black.
White markings, such as stripes on the chest, speckeled
chest and markings on the paws are permitted but not
colour pure white with black torn patches irregularly
and well distributed over the entire body; pure white
neck preferred. The black patches should never be large
enough to give the appearance of a blanket or so small
as to give a stippled or dappled effect. (Eligible but
less desirable are a few grey spots, also pointings
where instead of a pure white base with black spots
there is a white base with single black hairs showing
through which tend to give a salt and pepper or dirty
Faults: White base colour with a few large spots;
bluish grey pointed background.
Boston or Black-Mantled Danes:
black and white dog witha black mantle extending over
the body; white blaze or muzzle or both; white chest;
white on part or whole of forelegs and hindlegs; part
or whole white collar; white tipped tail; dark eyes;
dark nose. Acceptable but less desirable - lack of collar.
Faults: Any variation detracting from the general
male should not be less than 30 inches at the shoulder,
but it is preferable that he be 32 inches or more, providing
he is well proportioned to his height. The female should
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.
is that sufficiency of bone and muscle which rounds out
a balance with the frame.
Faults: Lightweight whippety Danes; coarse, ungainly
proportioned Danes; always there should be a balance.
|Condition of Coat
coat should be very short and thick, smooth and glossy.
Faults: Excessively long hair (stand-off coat); dull
hair (indicating malnutrition, worms and negligent care).
easy, springy stride with no tossing or rolling of the body.
The back line should move smoothly, parallel to the ground.
The gait of the Great Dane should denote strength and power.
The rear legs should have drive. The forelegs should track
smoothly and straight. The Dane should track in two parallel
Faults: Short steps. The rear quarters should not
pitch. The forelegs should not have a hackney gait (forced
or choppy stride). When moving rapidly the Great Dane should
not pace for the reason that it causes excessive side-to-side
rolling of the body and thus reduces endurance.
End (croup, legs, paws)
croup must be full, slightly drooping and must continue
imperceptibly to the tail root. Hind legs, the first thighs
(from hip joint to knee) are broad and muscular. The second
thighs (from knee to hock joint) are strong and long. Seen
from the side, the angulation of the first thigh with the
body, of the second thigh with the first thigh, and the
pastern root with the second thigh should be very moderate,
neither too straight nor too exaggerated. Seen from the
rear, the hock joints appeaer to be perfectly straight,
turned neither towards the inside nor towards the outside.
Paws, round and turned neither towards the inside nor the
outside. Toes short, highly arched and well closed. Nails
short, strong and as dark as possible.
Faults: A croup which is too straight; a croup which
slopes downward too steeply; and too narrow a croup. Hind
legs: soft, flabby, poorly muscled thighs; cowhocks which
are the result of the hock joint turning inward and the
hock and rear paws turning outward; barrel legs, the result
of the hock joints being too far apart; steep rear. As seen
from the side, a steep rear is the result of the angles
of the rear legs forming almost a straight line; over angulation
is the rsult of exaggerated angles between the first and
second thighs and the hocks and is very conducive to weakness.
The rear legs should never bee too long in proportion to
the front legs. Spreading toes (splay foot); bent, long
toes (rabbit paws); toes turned towards the outside or towards
the inside. Furthermore, the fifth toe on the hind legs
appearing at a higher position and with wolf's claw or spur;
excessively long nails; light coloured nails.
End (shoulders, legs, paws)
shoulder blades must be strong and sloping and seen from
the side, must form as nearly as possible a right angle
in its articulation with the humerus (upper arm) to give
a long stride. A line from the upper tip of the shoulder
to the back of the elbow joint should be as nearly perpendicular
as possible. Since all dogs lack a clavicle (collar bone)
the ligaments and muscles holding the shoulder blade to
the rib cage must be well developed, firm and secure to
prevent loose shoulders.
Faults: Steep shoulders, which occur if the shoulder
blade does not slope sufficiently; over angulation; loose
shoulders which occur if the Dane is flabbily muscled,
or if the elbow is turned toward the outside; loaded shoulders.
upper arm should be strong and muscular. Seen from the
side or front the strong lower arms run absolutely straight
to the pastern joints. Seen from the front, the forelegs
and the pastern roots should form perpendicular lines
to the ground. Seen from the side, the pastern root should
slope only very slightly forward.
Faults: Elbows turned toward the inside or toward
the outside, the former position caused mostly by too
narrow or too shallow a chest, bringing the front legs
too closely together and at the same time turning the
entire lower part of the leg outward; the latter position
causes the front legs to spread too far apart, with the
pastern roots and paws usually turned inwards. Seen from
the side, a considerable bend in the pastern toward the
front indicates weakness and is in most cases connected
with the stretched and spread toes (splay foot); seen
from the side a forward bow in the forearm (chair leg);
an excessively knotty bulge in the front of the pastern
and turned neither toward the inside nor toward the outside.
Toes short, highly arched and well closed. Nails short,
strong and as dark as possible.
Faults: Spreading toes (splay foot), bent, long
toes (rabbit paws); toes turned toward the outside or
toward the inside; light-coloured nails.
narrow, distinguished, expressive, finely chiselled, especially
the part below the eyes (which means that the skull plane
under and to the inner point of the eye must slope without
any boney protruberances in a pleasing line to the full
square jaw), with strongly pronounced stop. The masculinity
of the male is very pronounced in the expression and structure
of the head (this subtle difference should be evident in
the dog's head through massive skull and depth of muzzle);
the bitch's head may be more delicately formed. Seen from
the side, the forehead must be sharply set off from the
bridge of the nose. The forehead and the bridge of the nose
must be straight and parallel to one another. Seen from
the front, the head should appear narrow, the bridge of
the nose should be as broad as possible. The cheek muscles
must show slightly but under no circumstances should they
be too pronounced (cheeky). The muzzle part must have full
flews and must be as blunt vertically as possible in front;
the angles of the lip must be quite pronounced. The front
part of the head, from the tip of the nose up to the centre
of the stop should be as long as the rear part of the head
from the centre of the stop to the only slightly developed
occiput. The head should be angular from all sides and should
have definite flat planes and its dimensions should be absolutely
in proportion to the general appearance of the Dane.
Faults: Any deviation from the parallel planes of
the skull and foreface; too small a stop; a poorly defined
stop or none at all; too narrow a nose bridge; the rear
of thead spreading laterally in a wedgelike manner (wedge
head); an excessively round upper head (apple head); excessively
pronounced cheek musculature; ointed muzzle; loose lips
hanging over the lower jaw (fluttering lips) which create
the illusion of a full deep muzzle. The head should be rather
shorter and distinguished than long and expressionless.
well developed and clean. The incisors of the lower jaw
must touch very lightly the bottoms of the inner surface
of the upper incisors (scissors bite). If the front teeth
of both jaws bit on top of each other, they wear down too
Faults: Even bite, undershot and overshot; incisors
out of line; black or brown teeth; missing teeth.
size, as dark as possible, with lively intelligent expression;
almond shaped eyelids, well developed eyebrows.
Faults: Light coloured, piercing, amber coloured;
light blue to a watery blue, red or bleary eyes; eyes of
different colours, eyes too far apart, mongolian eyes, eyes
with pronounced haws; eyes with excessively drooping eyelids.
In blue and black Danes, lighter eyes are permitted but
are not desirable. In harlequins, the eyes should be dark.
Light-coloured eyes, two eyes of different colour and walleyes
are permitted but are not desirable.
nose must be large and in the case of brindled and single
coloured Danes, it must always be black. In harlequins,
the nose should be black; a black spotted nose is permitted;
a pink-coloured nose is not desirable.
should be high, set not too far apart, medium in size, of
moderate thickness, drooping forward close to the cheek.
Top line of folded ear should be about level with the skull.
Cropped ears; high set, not set too far apart; well pointed
but always in proportion to the shape of the head and carried
Faults: Hanging on the side, as on a Foxhound.
neck should be firm and clean, high set, well arched, long,
muscular and sinewy. From the chest to the head it should
be slightly tapering, beautifully formed, with well developed
Faults: Short, heavy neck, pendulous throat folds
withers form the highest part of the back which slopes downeard
slightly forward toward the loins, which are imperceptibly
arched and strong. The back should be short and tensely
set. The belly should be well shaped and tightly muscled,
and, with the rear part of the thorax, should swing in a
pleasing curve (tuckup).
Faults: Receding back; sway back; camel or roach
back; a back line which is too high at the rear, and an
excessively long back; poor tuck up.
deals with that part of the thorax (rib-cage) in front of
the shoulders and front legs. The chest should be quite
broad, deep and well-muscled.
Faults: A narrow and poorly muscled chest; strong
protruding sternum (pigeon breast).
with that part of the thorax back of the shoulders and front
legs. Should be broad, witht he ribs sprung well out from
the spine and flattened at the side to allow proper movement
of the shoulders extending down to the elbow joint.
Faults: Narrow (slab-sided) rib cage; round (barrel)
rib cage; shallow rib cage not reaching the elbow joint.
start high and fairly broad, terminating slender and thin
at the hock joint. At rest, the tail should fall straight.
When excited or running, slightly curved (sabrelike).
Faults: A too high or too low set tail (the tail
set is governed by the slope of the croup); too long or
too short a tail; tail bent too far over the back (ring
tail); a t ail which is curled; a twisted tail (sideways);
a tail carried too high over the back (gay tail); a brush
tail (hair too long on lower side). Cropping tails to desired
length is forbidden.
OF THE GREAT DANE
The non-disqualifying faults below are important according
to their groupings (very serious, serious, minor) and not
according to their sequence as placed in each grouping.
- Danes under minimum height
- Spayed bitches
- Without visible scrotum
- White Danes without any black marks (albinos)
- Danes with a predominantly blue, grey, yellow or also
- Docked tails
- Split noses
Merles (a solid mouse-gray colour or a mouse-gray base with
black or white or both colour spots or white base with mouse-gray
- Harlequins and solid-coloured Danes (except Boston or
black mantled) in which a large spot extends coat-like over
the entire body so that only the legs, neck and the point
of the tail are white
- Brindle, Fawn and Blue Danes with white forehead line,
white collars, high white stockings and white bellies.
Lack of unity
- Poor Bone Development
- Poor Musculature
- Lightweight, whippety Danes
- Bitchy Dog
- Roach back
- Pitching gait
- Short steps
- Undershot teeth
Out of condition
- Any deviation from the standard on all colouration
- Deviation from parallel planes of skull and foreface
- Poorly defined stop
- Narrow nose bridge
- Snipey muzzle
- Any colour but dark eyes in fawns and brindles
- Mongolian eyes
- Missing teeth
- Overshot teeth
- Heavy neck or short neck
- Hackney gait
- Narrow chest
- Narrow rib cage
- Round rib cage
- Shallow rib cage
- Loose shoulders
- Elbows turned inwards
- Chair legs (Front)
- Knotty bulge in pastern joint (adult dog)
- Weak pastern roots
- Receding back
- Too long a back
- Back high in rear
- In harlequin, a pink nose
- Poor tuck-up (except in bitches that have been bred)
- Too straight, sloping, or narrow croup
- Steep rear
- Paws turned inward
- Rabbit paws
- Wolf's claw
- Barrel legs
- Poorly muscled thighs
- Too long rear legs
- Small white marks on chest and toes - blues blacks, brindles
- Few gray spots and pointings on harlequins
- White tipped tail except in harlequins and Boston/black
- Excessively long hair
- Excessively dull hair
- Apple head
- Small stop
- Fluttering lips
- Eyes too far apart
- Drooping lower eyelids
- Any colour but dark eyes in blacks, blues and harlequins
- Even bite
- Pigeon breast
- Loaded shoulders
- Elbows turned outwards
- Paws turned inward
- Splay foot
- Excessively long toe nails
- Light nails (except harlequins)
- Low-set tail
- Too long a tail
- Too short a tail
- Gay tail
- Curled tail
- Twisted tail
- Brush tail