Through substance paired with dignity, strength, and elegance; the Great Dane strikes the onlooker
as a noble statue. It is regarded as the "Apollo of Dogdom", for its physical and mental characteristics which gives the Great Dane the majesty possessed by no other breed.
The essence of Great Dane type is created by the balanced combination of sculptured headpiece; long, tapered, clean neck; well developed body; strong bone; and heavily padded feet; clothed in a glossy coat of correct rich color and moving with precision and grace. In the ratio between length (from the point of shoulder to the back of the upper thigh) and height (from the withers to the ground), the Great Dane should be square. Its head is rectangular, long, distinguished, expressive and finely chiseled, especially below the eyes. Its eyes are medium size, deep set, and dark, with a lively intelligent expression. Its ears are high-set, be they cropped or natural, highlight the outline of the Dane head and create the desired alert appearance. It has a scissors bite. Its neck is firm, high set, well arched, long, muscular and slopes smoothly into the withers. Its withers slopes smoothly into a short level back with a broad loin. Its chest is broad, deep and well muscled. Its shoulder is strong and muscular. Its croup is broad, very slightly sloping and its tail falls straight, or may curve slightly when excited. It gaits with great strength and power taking long, easy strides resulting in no tossing, rolling or bouncing of the topline or body. The coat is short, thick and clean with a smooth glossy appearance and appears in colors of fawn, brindle, harlequin, black, blue and mantle.
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. 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.
The Great Dane is spirited, courageous, friendly, and
dependable. It can be elegant and dignified one moment, and then playful
and silly the next. Great Danes are easygoing dogs, affectionate with
family members and self-confident with strangers. Great Danes are easily
trained but need consistency. Fanciers of Great Dane breed often remark "There is nothing like a Dane" for their captivating experience of its breed characteristics.