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Breeding standard and reality
Attempting a comparison through the ages - from elegance to mass 

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Danes in the 1920s 

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Danes in the 1970s

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Danes in the 2020s

Merle, Mantle, Piebald, Fawnequin Great Danes_edited.jpg


A breeding club determines what a certain breed should look like, what characteristics the breeding animals should have and what goals are to be achieved with breeding. For this purpose, the association writes down these considerations in the so-called breeding standard.

If you compare the breeding standard of the Great Dane clubs (which are affiliated with the international world organization of cynology FCI via the VDH association) with intercontinental countries (e.g. Africa, Australia, Canada, America, etc.), you quickly realize that apart from a few insignificant details it´s congruent.


So the dogs - no matter where in the world - should look the same. Unfortunately that is not the case. Especially in Europe, a line has been bred in recent years that - if you look closely - has little to do with the standard of the Great Dane.


We can only speculate, but the bigger the cars got, the more molossoid the Great Danes became, which were and still are highly praised and chosen by judges and breed wardens at shows.  

This has led to the fact that only these dogs are found in the breeding lines.


In our opinion, the result is not only a dog that no longer has much in common with the standard, but also has to struggle with its own mass.


At Off Color Danes we try to conform to the original Great Dane standard in terms of conformation and temperament:

To breed dogs with a classic appearance full of pride, strength and elegance, who are balanced, physically and mentally agile and most importantly, healthy and longer lived.


We are convinced that a breeding restriction based on the current standard colors (which also had the unhealthy side effect of reducing the gene pool) made sense at a time when there was no possibility of genetic testing to protect the animals.


From our point of view, however, such a blanket restriction overshoots the mark today.


Even if it still means that we have to move against the tide, we have decided to breed an elegant, healthy and colorful dog, based on the motto:


A good Great Dane has never the wrong color!

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