General Appearance:

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.

Upper head.

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.


Facial Bones:
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 (light black).

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).

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.

Von Hanging by nature, attached high, medium-sized, front edges should touch the cheeks.

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.

Short and taut, in an almost straight line slightly dropping away to the back.

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 tail.

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 not desired.


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.

Neither turned outwards nor inwards

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.

The entire 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.

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 muscular

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 dark nails.

Harmonious, supple, lengthy, slightly jaunty with parallel moving legs when viewed from the front and back.

Close-fitting, for plain colored well pigmented, for harlequin danes the pigmentation corresponds to the predominant color.


Very short and thick, close-fitting, shiny

The Great Dane is being bred in three independent varieties: Fawn and Brindle, Harlequin and Black, Blue

Light up to rich old gold, black muzzle desired. Not desired are small white spots on chest and toes

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 permissible.


Withers height:  
For dogs minimum 80 cm
                                          For bitches minimum 72 cm


Any 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.

Lack of self-confidence, nervousness, low stimulus threshold

Not parallely running head line, apple-shaped head, wedge-shaped head, too little stop, prominent cheek muscles

Pointed, minor chaps, jutted out chaps, bridge of nose concave (saddle nose), convex or dropping away to the front (eagle nose).

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

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.

Attached too high or too low, sticking out to the side or being too flat

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

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 tail.

Flat or barrel-shaped ribs, lacking broadness or depth of the chest, protruding breastbone

Lower profile:
Stomach line not sufficiently drawn back; faulty atrophied dugs.

Fore leg:
Not sufficiently angled. Light bones, weak muscles. Not in a vertical position.

Loose, overloaded. Steeply-positioned shoulder blade.

Loose, turned in- or outwards 
Forearm: Curved. Bumps above the tarsus joint of the forefoot.

VTarsus joint of forefoot:
Bumpy. Considerably giving or overbending.

Middle part of forefoot:
Too sloping or steep 
Hindleg: Angle too open or closed. Cow-like or barrel-like position or too tight.

Bumpy, unstable 
Paws: Flat, splayed, long

Not sufficiently lengthy, closed action, frequent or permanent amble, faulty correspondance between foreleg and hindleg movements.

Dull fur 
Color: Yellow-grey, yellow-blue, isabell or dirty-yellow color

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

ectropy, entropy

bent tail


aggressiveness, biting of fear

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.