This section is from the book "A History And Description Of The Modern Dogs Of Great Britain And Ireland. (Sporting Division)", by Rawdon Briggs Lee. Also available from Amazon: A History and Description of the Modern Dogs of Great Britain and Ireland: Sporting Division.
The standard of points and description of the Great Dane as adopted by the new club are as follows :
The Great Dane is not so heavy or massive as the mastiff, nor should he too nearly approach the greyhound in type. Remarkable in size, and very muscular, strongly though elegantly built, movements easy and graceful; head and neck carried high; the tail carried horizontally with the back, or slightly upwards, with a slight curl at the extremity. The minimum height and weight of dogs should be 30 inches and 120lb.; of bitches, 28 inches and 100 lb. Anything below this shall be debarred from competition. Points : General appearance, 3; Condition, 3; Activity, 5; Height, 13.
Long, the frontal bones of the forehead very slightly raised, and very little indentation between the eyes. Skull not too broad. Muzzle, broad and strong, and blunt at the point. Cheek muscles, well developed. Nose large, bridge well arched. Lips in front perpendicularly blunted, not hanging too much over the sides, though with well-defined folds at the angle of the mouth. The lower jaw slightly projecting - about a sixteenth of an inch. Eyes, small, round, with sharp expression and deeply set, but the "wall" or "china" eye is quite correct in harlequins. Ears very small and greyhound-like in carriage, when uncropped. Points, 15.
Rather long, very strong and muscular, well arched, without dewlap, or loose skin about the throat. The junction of head and neck strongly pronounced. Points, 5.
Not too broad, and very deep in brisket. Points, 8.
Not too long or short; loins arched, and falling in a beautiful line to the insertion of the tail. Points, 8.
Reaching to or just below the hock, strong at the root, and ending fine with a slight curve. When excited it becomes more curved, but in no case should it curve over the back. Points, 4.
Well drawn up. Points, 4.
Shoulders, set sloping; elbows well under, neither turned inwards nor outwards. Leg : Fore-arm, muscular, and with great development of bone, the whole leg strong and quite straight. Points, 10.
Muscular thighs, and second thigh long and strong, as in the greyhound, and hocks well let down and turning neither in nor out. Points, 10.
Large and round, neither turned inwards nor outwards. Toes, well arched and closed. Nails, very strong and curved. Points, 8.
Very short, hard and dense, and not much longer on the underpart of the tail. Points, 4.
The recognised colours are the various shades of grey (commonly termed "blue"), red, black, or pure white, or white with patches of the before-mentioned colours. These colours are sometimes accompanied with markings of a darker tint about the eyes and muzzle, and with a line of the same tint (called a "trace") along the course of the spine. The above ground colours also appear in the brindles, and are also the ground colours of the mottled specimens. In the whole-coloured specimens, the china or wall eye but rarely appears, and the nose more or less approaches black, according to the prevailing tint of the dog, and the eyes vary in colour also. The mottled specimens have irregular patches or "clouds" upon the above-named ground colours; in some instances the clouds or markings being of two or more tints. With the mottled specimens, the wall or china eye is not uncommon, and the nose is often parti-coloured or wholly flesh-coloured. On the continent the most fashionable and correct colour is considered to be pure white with black patches; and leading judges and admirers there consider the slate coloured or blue patches intermixed with black as most undesirable.
Too heavy a head, too slightly arched frontal bone, and deep "stop" or indentation between the eyes; large ears and hanging flat to the face; short neck; full dewlap; too narrow or too broad a chest; sunken or hollow or quite straight back; bent fore-legs; overbent fetlocks; twisted feet; spreading toes; too heavy and much bent, or too highly carried tail, or with a brush underneath; weak hind-quarters, cow hocks, and a general want of muscle.
Hind quarters ............
Size (Height) ............
Grand total, 100.
Scale of Points for Height divided as follows:
of 30 in.,
or Bitch of
So much for the Great Dane, Ulmer dog, German boarhound, German dogge, or whatever his owner likes to call him. I have been told that I am not one of his staunchest admirers, and that the foregoing chapter is a little biassed against him. I do not think this is the case. I am certainly no advocate for keeping these enormous dogs as companions, and, although they find favour in what may be called their native country, and some foreigners keep them as house dogs here, they are not generally popular as such. Their great activity, muscular development and power should make them of particular use where dogs are required for big game hunting, and, being pretty hard in constitution, they are certainly better adapted for the purpose than our British mastiff, or the converted bulldog. Perhaps the Great Dane might cross efficiently with the latter, and produce a more powerful dog than the ordinary bull-mastiff cross, which is often bred and trained as a watch dog and as an assistant to the game-keeper in such districts where a dog is required by him on his rounds at night.