The “Euro” Dane

Throughout its history, the Great Dane has been known by many names, some of them confusing or conflicting with the breed’s origins. We’re about to make things worse.

When the breed first came to the United States and was exhibited at dog shows, it was listed as the “Siberian,” “Ulm Dog,” or “Ulmer Mastiff,”  possibly because Ulm is a city in the federal German state of Baden-Württemberg.

There is another name for this breed that one might encounter on the Internet, and that’s the “Euro Dane.” This, too, has a couple of interpretations. Some sources tout the “Euro Dane” as a Great Dane with 100% European lineage, though some people will use the name to refer to an imported pup, or a pup whose parents were imported. The term also seems to be used as a marketing strategy or selling point to appeal to potential puppy buyers who want their dog to be different, or who believe that “Euro Danes” are somehow healthier and have better temperaments. 

People looking to add a Great Dane to their lives, however, should be aware that “Euro Dane” also refers to dogs that are bigger, bulkier, and more substantial. Some believe the heads are different, as well, the Euro Dane having a squarer head than the long, rectangular head described in the AKC standard.

Our view is that responsible Great Dane breeders breed to the standard of an established and respected registry. No heritage breeder worth their salt would suggest that a bigger, more massively muscled Great Dane is an improvement over dogs bred to that standard, dogs who are correct examples of their breed. To our knowledge, the breed standard is much the same in the AKC as it is in the FCI, so the logical conclusion is that Great Danes bred to either standard should be similar, interpretations of types and different lines notwithstanding.

Don’t be fooled when looking for a dog. Breed standards aren’t just for “show dogs,” they are blueprints that help a puppy buyer separate a good breeder working to create the next generation of sound dogs from the one looking at profit. Breeders are not all alike.

 Image: “Jest, I Surely Do Art Print” by Ande Hall is available as wall art, home decor and accessory items here.

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