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The Danish Mastiff: Elegant Giant with the Nature as Meek as a Lamb

05.01.2024 - Reading time: 4 minutes

Ein Broholmer Welpe schaut über eine Mauer.

The Danish Mastiff is a large dog breed with an impressive appearance. Although this Dane can instil fear due to its size, it has a peaceful and loving nature. If it is socialised and trained properly, this powerful dog is extremely calm and makes an excellent family dog.


Newsletter Danish Mastiff

Danish Mastiff
Pinscher and schnauzer – Molossus – Swiss mountain dog and other breeds
Males shoulder height at approx. 75 centimetres, females approx. 70 centimetres
Males 50 to 70 kilograms, females 40 to 60 kilograms
broad shoulders, broad body shape, large head
round, amber coloured eyes, with dark rings
floppy ears set high on the head, reaching to the cheeks
Coat and colour
short coat, colours: yellow, red, black
Special features
depending on the way it is bred and extremely friendly temperament
peaceful, friendly, alert, serene, confident
susceptible to joint dysplasia as well as eye and heart disease

From big game hunter to family dog

In the Middle Ages the ancestors of this powerful Dane were dogs of a similar size that were used for hunting wild boar. They were also used as guard dogs for house and home. Known as the Broholmer as well as (more colloquially) the Danish Mastiff, this breed is named after Duke Sehested of Broholm, an 18th century game-keeper, who began the targeted breeding of this fearless dog in 1850. As guns became more sophisticated, these animals became less sought after, since it was now possible to shoot game from greater distances. In addition, the Great Dane was rising in popularity and soon began to eclipse the Danish Mastiff as a hunting dog. After the two World Wars, the Danish Mastiff was almost extinct. With the help of the last few remaining representatives of the breed it was possible to establish a new breeding line, which was recognised by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) as a breed in 1982.

The character of the Danish Mastiff

A prerequisite when breeding the Danish Mastiff has always been a serene and peaceful disposition. For this reason the animals are extremely calm and friendly. These confident dogs are alert and their equanimity is hardly ever ruffled. Only if they or their owners are threatened do they react accordingly, but never in an impetuous or aggressive manner. Their temperament, which is as meek as a lamb and their patience with children make them exceptional family dogs. The Danish Mastiff is a devoted companion that loves and protects its family.

Training and care of the Danish Mastiff

If you have decided on a Danish Mastiff as your four-legged companion, you must bear in mind that these animals must be well trained and socialised from an early age. Puppy training followed by an obedience school is recommended, so that the dog understands basic commands. In addition, a sensitive, patient and consistent hand is needed. However, the training of these friendly giants is generally uncomplicated, since these dogs are happy to obey their owners once they have established a relationship of trust with them. Occasionally these great hounds can prove to be stubborn, but this should be met with consistent and loving correction.

These peaceful dogs do not have any special requirements when it comes to their care. Due to their size they should not be expected to mount stairs all too frequently and they enjoy a house with a garden where they can romp and play. They enjoy daily walks and new games and tasks such as tracking which challenge and occupy them. They are also good companions when jogging, cycling or in dog sports where they invariably cut a dash. Everything that this dog can enjoy with its owner promotes the strong and positive relationship between man and beast.

Caring for your Danish Mastiff

This calm dog breed does not need any particular coat care; the occasional really good groom is more than sufficient.

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Special features of the Danish Mastiff

Although the Danish Mastiff has only a very small breeding base, it is deemed to be a stable breed from a health perspective, since the breeding lines are extremely strong. As with most large dogs, it is susceptible to joint dysplasia. In addition, eye and heart disease occur somewhat more frequently in this breed. If you decide that you would like to own this friendly dog, make sure that the breeder you use is responsible and complies with the prescribed rules.

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