General Appearance

The 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 give 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 permissible.

 **Please be cautious of the "Euro Dane" this is NOT a proper bred Great Dane, it does NOT conform to the Breed standards.  It is a Great Dane that is going towards mastiffication (a breed that looks identical to a Mastiff). Always do your research prior to adding a Dane to your family. Do not be impressed with "rare" colors or designer danes (ie "Euro Dane"). While there can be exceptions, people breeding off-color, Euro Danes or other Dane crosses rarely do health testing or offer any kind of breeder support and knowledge.**



The male should not be less than 30 inches (76 cm) at the shoulders, but it is preferable that he be 32 inches (81 cm) or more, providing he is well proportioned to his height. The female should not be less than 28 inches (71 cm) at the shoulders, but it is preferable that she be 30 inches (76 cm) or more, providing she is well proportioned to her height. Substance is that sufficiency of bone and muscle which rounds out a balance with the frame.

Coat and Color

The coat should be very short and thick, smooth and glossy.  

Brindle Danes

  Base colour ranging from light golden yellow to 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.

Fawn Danes

Golden 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.  


Blue Danes

The colour must be pure steel blue as far as possible without any tinge of yellow, black, or mouse grey.


Black Danes

Glossy black


Harlequin Danes

Base 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 strippled or dappled effect. (Eligible but less desirable are a few small grey spots, also pointings here 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 effect.)

Boston or Black-Mantled Danes

A black and white dog with a black mantle extending over the body; white blaze or muzzle or both; white chest; white on part or whole of forelegs and hind legs; part or whole white collar; white tipped tail; dark eyes; dark nose. Acceptable but less desirable--lack of collar.


For the full breed standard please click HERE to visit the CKC website.