Great Dane Club of America Great Dane Illustrated Standard page six
The Great Dane Illustrated Standard part six
Gait, Temperament, Disqualifications, Scale of Points

AKC Standard

Gait - The gait denotes strength and power with long, easy strides resulting in no tossing, rolling or bouncing of the topline or body. The backline shall appear level and parallel to the ground. The long reach should strike the ground below the nose while the head is carried forward. The powerful rear drive should be balanced to the reach. As speed increases, there is a natural tendency for the legs to converge toward the centerline of balance beneath the body. There should be no twisting in or out at the elbow or hock joints.


The truth and consequences of structure becomes apparent when the Dane is gaited. Balanced structure and musculature will produce a smooth, effortless gait, indicative of strength, stamina and endurance. He should be allowed to move in a natural manner and not "strung up"; no dog can move properly with his head pulled up and back. The hock should fully extend at the end of each thrust of the rear leg and not show restriction ("sickle hocks").

The front and rear assemblies must be equal in angulation and muscle development so that the effort expended is balanced. Shoulders laid back at an angle with good length of upper arm that permits a long stride are just as important as strong rear quarters that provide the driving power. When viewed from the front, the dog's legs should appear to move forward in a free and easy manner with no tendency for the feet to cross over or interfere with each other. Viewed from the rear, the hocks should drive well under the body following on a line with the forelegs, neither too widely nor too closely spaced; and a straight line is maintained at all speeds of the trot, from hip to pad.

The importance of correct gait is acknowledged and highly desired as an indication of proper structure. The judge should remember that it is not our task to pick out the best mover, but the best overall Great Dane.


Great Dane Side Gait


Great Dane Gait

AKC Standard

Temperament - The Great Dane must be spirited, courageous, always friendly and dependable, and never timid or aggressive.


Intelligence, loyalty and dependability are true breed characteristics. Timidity and aggressiveness are alien traits and should be severely penalized.

AKC Standard

Danes under minimum height
Split nose.
Docked Tail.
Any color other than those described under "Color, Markings and Patterns."


In addition, of course, all general disqualifications contained in the current edition of "Rules Applying to Registration and Dog Shows" (American Kennel Club) apply.

Scale of Points

Inclusion of the point schedule is intended to indicate those characteristics of the Great Dane deemed most important in judging the breed; however, the dog should be judged as a unit

General Conformation - 30 points

General Appearance - 10 points
Color & Markings - 8 points
Size - 5 points
Substance - 3 points
Condition of Coat - 4 points

Movement - 28 points

Gait - 10 points
Rear end (croup, legs & paws) - 10 points
Front end (shoulders, legs and paws) - 8 points

Head - 20 points

Head conformation - 12 points
Teeth- 4 points
Eyes - 4 points
Nose - 0 points

Torso - 20 points

Neck - 6 points
Loin and Back - 6 points
Chest - 4 points
Ribs and Brisket - 4 points

Tail - 2 points

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