The Great Dane Illustrated Standard part two
Size, proportion, substance. Head and eyes.

AKC Standard

Size, Proportion, Substance - 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 be square. In bitches, a somewhat longer body is permissible, providing she is well proportioned to her height. Coarseness or lack of substance are equally undesirable. 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. Danes under minimum height must be disqualified.

Discussion

The minimum size requirements set forth in the Standard apply to all Great Danes age 6 months and over; however, the judge will rarely encounter a 30" male or a 28" bitch after the 6-9 month puppy class. Probably the average height for mature specimens will be about 34" for males and 32" for bitches. All things being equal, the larger Dane is preferred; but great height at the expense of overall soundness and balance is not desired.
The squareness of body called for is measured from the withers to the ground, and from the point of shoulder to the back of the upper thigh. Any deviation from the square appearance, other than the allowance permitting a slightly longer body in the bitch, should be penalized according to the extent of the deviation.
Substance has been defined as the sufficiency of bone and muscle to round out a balance with the frame. It should be recognized that coarseness is not a substitute for substance, nor overabundant flesh a cover-up for lack of it.

Great Dane Size and Proportion  
Correct Great Dane
Great Dane High on Leg


 

AKC Standard

Head - The head shall be rectangular, long, distinguished, expressive, finely chiseled, especially below the eyes. Seen from the side, the Dane's forehead must be sharply set off from the bridge of the nose, (a strongly pronounced stop). The plane of the skull and the plane of the muzzle must be straight and parallel to one another. The skull plane under and to the inner point of the eye must slope without any bony protuberance in a smooth line to a full square jaw with a deep muzzle (fluttering lips are undesirable). The masculinity of the male is very pronounced in structural appearance of the head. The bitch's head is more delicately formed. Seen from the top, the skull should have parallel sides and the bridge of the nose should be as broad as possible. The cheek muscles should not be prominent. The length from the tip of the nose to the center of the stop should be equal to the length from the center of the stop to the rear of the slightly developed occiput. The head should be angular from all sides and should have flat planes with dimensions in proportion to the size of the Dane. Whiskers may be trimmed or left natural.

Discussion

The correctly chiseled head, with the strong square jaw, broad muzzle and parallel planes of skull and foreface, all in proportion to the size and gender of the Dane, is indispensable to the achievement of true breed type.

The head is well described in the Standard and in the accompanying illustrations. Please note the requirement that the length of muzzle and skull be equal; too long a muzzle is a deviation from the desired proportion, although frequently seen; the long, narrow head is just as faulty as the short faced, blocky head. The mouth should be 'dry' without an excessive pouch in the flew to collect saliva. A loose "fluttering" lip overlapping a weak under jaw may give the appearance of the desired square muzzle, but is not correct.

The Correct Great Dane Head


AKC Standard

Eyes - shall be medium size, deep set, and dark, with a lively intelligent expression. The eyelids are almond-shaped and relatively tight, with well developed brows. Haws and Mongolian eyes are serious faults. In harlequins, the eyes should be dark; light colored eyes, eyes of different colors and walleyes are permitted but not desirable.

Discussion

The desired alert, intelligent expression is projected through the correctly placed, almond shaped, dark eyes. In Blue Great Danes, a somewhat lighter eye is permissible. In Harlequins, blue eyes and/or flecked eyes or eyes of a different color are acceptable but darker eyes are more desirable. Yellow, piercing eyes detract greatly, giving a mean-spirited look; round or protruding eyes likewise are unattractive, as are eyes placed too close together. Any abnormality of lids or lashes should be noted and faulted.

Great Dane Eyes

continue to page 3 (ears, nose and teeth, neck, topline and body)
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