German Mastiff or Great Dane Breed Origins and Caracteristics

The mastiffs are in reality a variety of lighter mastiff and less adapted to hunting. Towards the end of the 16th and 17th centuries, the mastiff was crossed with the Irish wolfhound and the puppies were very appreciated in the court of the German Princes. The mastiffs were used for large game hunting and they carried padded or iron armors and collars with thick spikes. The best and biggest specimens were chosen as reproducers and thus dogs similar to the current German mastiff were gradually born. Thus two types were created: the Ulm mastiff, slighter and a heavier type called the Dantzig mastiff and later the Dane mastiff, though these dogs do not have nothing to do with Denmark. But the name persisted in the English terminology "Great Dane". In 1876, in the canine exhibition of Hamburg, it was decided that the two types should be united. This was produced three years later when a systematic breeding was started with the objective of creating a powerful, big–sized, brave and tenacious breed. Few breeds were cared with such affection, dedication and perseverance as the German mastiff, which has been qualified as the Apollo dog.

The German mastiff is vigilant, and mistrustful with strangers. It is an unbeatable adversary dog that attacks quickly and without noise. The mastiffs have a relatively weak sense of smell; that is why it is convenient to talk to them while you are getting closer, especially at night. It is not a dog easily trained because it does not stand to be corrected.

Size: males 76-90 cm, females at least 70 cm. Weight: 50-60 for the male, 45 kg for the female. Regarding the color, five types are distinguished: straw-color (3) – the base color is light golden yellow or dark yellow with black stripes; dark yellow – with a black mask; blue-pure steel blue (in this color, the lighter eyes are accepted); black – chestnut-colored black with the possibility of dark eyes and black jaws; with patches – the base color is white, pure white with black patches distributed irregularly.

This type of dog is also called tiger mastiff (2) or harlequin mastiff. There is also another dog classified as mastiff with a black coat and where only the neck, the limbs and tip of the tail are pure white. The mastiff ears are cut when they are about 3 month-old. The specimens which ears were not cut (4) come from England where the practice is forbidden. In continental Europe, the cut of the ears is being abandoned and it is forbidden in many clubs.

Dog Breeds Descriptions by Breed Neapolitan Mastiff Tibetan Mastiff Mastiff German Shepherd Groendaell or Belgian Shepherd Collie Shetland Shepherd, Shetland or Sheltie Bobtail Pembroke Welsh Corgi Briard or Brie shepherd Pumi Affenpinscher or Monkey Pinscher Doberman Miniature Pinscher Schnauzer Boxer Bulldog Bullmastiff German Mastiff or Great Dane Bordeaux Mastiff Mastiff or English Mastiff Neapolitan Mastiff Rottweiler Hovawart Leonberger Pyrenean Mastiff Newfoundland Saint Bernard Great Swiss Mountain Dog Airedale Terrier Bedlington Border Terrier Fox Terrier Irish Terrier Jagdterrier or German Terrier Lakeland Terrier Manchester Terrier Welsh Terrier Dandie Dinmont Terrier Norwich Terrier Scottish Terrier Sealyham Terrier Skye Terrier West Highland White Terrier Boston Terrier Bull Terrier Yorkshire Terrier Kerry Blue Terrier Teckel Siberian Husky Alaskan Malamute Spitz Chow-Chow Basenji St. Hubert Hound or Bloodhound Foxhound Beagle Basset Hound Bavarian Red Dog German Short-Haired Pointer Stichelhaar, Pudelpointer and Spinone Weimar Pointer Hungarian Pointer or Viszla Large Munsterlander Brittany Spaniel Pointer English Setter Gordon Setter Labrador Retriever Golden Retriever Wachtelhund American Cocker Rhodesian Ridgeback Cocker Clumber Spaniel Springer Spaniel Irish Water Spaniel Maltese Caniche or Poodle Belgian Griffon Hairless Dogs Lhassa Apso Shih Tsu Chihuahua Dalmatian King Charles Knight King Charles Spaniel Chin or Japanese Spaniel The Pekinese Spaniel French Bulldog Pug Barzoï Whippet