The Great Dane Club

The Great Dane


The first appearances of the large sighthound-type hunting dogs in Scandinavia have been dated to about 500-400 BCE. In its original capacity as a working dog, the Great Dane was the hunting dog for big game, exclusively used by the Danish Royal family. With the arrival at the Royal Danish Court of the Par Force Hunt in the 16th Century, the original sighthound-type proves too light in built, leading to the introduction of a mastiff-type dog in to the breeding programme, imported from the English Royal family from 1585 onwards. The breeding result is in Danish termed “blending” – as in English from the verb “blend”. The word appears to be a well-defined cynological term at the time as it appears in German language scientific work as a ”Dänischer Blendling”. When the Hunt is disbanded by royal resolution dated 20th October 1777, the Great Danes from the royal kennel are disbursed to noble estates throughout Denmark and abroad, as well as to important citizens in the large cities. From about the middle of the 19th Century the present day de-centralised breeding of dogs emerges, including for the Great Dane. At this point in time the Great Dane changes from being a working dog to primarily being a companion and guard dog.



The first standard for the Great Dane submitted to the FCI was written and approved by the Dansk Kennel Klub (the “DKK”) 18th March 1935, as latter had joined the FCI in 1934. It was translated in to French in May 1937 and approved by the FCI that same year.



















The Great Dane Club of Denmark (”GDK”)


The GDK is one of the oldest dog breeding clubs in Denmark and is organised under the DKK.


Organised dog breeding outside the Danish royal stables commences in Denmark with the establishment of The Association of the Danish Hunt in June 1884. From this club emerges the DKK in 1897 to focus exclusively on the matter of dog breeding. The logo of the DKK was a Great Dane from its foundation through to the year 1995 (on kennel registrations).


Already in 1898 a demand arises for a club addressing exclusively the needs of breeders and owners of the Great Dane. The sheer quantity of Great Danes in Denmark leads to the founding of the GDK in 1928.


According to the preamble of the club its purpose is to "... work to promote the knowledge of the Great Dane and through information on suitable breeding to contribute to maintain and/or improve the quality of the breed in correlation to the standard, health, temper and exterior."


The GDK is thus the guardian of knowledge under the DKK in all matters relating to the breeding of the Great Dane. In order to further this objective the GDK also serve as a forum for social interaction between Great Dane breeders, Great Dane owners and prospective Great Dane owners.


As of 1st January 2015, the club had 234 members.



Honorary Members of the Great Dane Club of Denmark


1930: Dr. Count Carlo Brasavola de Massa di Verona, Italy. Founder in 1925 of Fondata la SIA (Società Italiana Alani).


1931: Mr. Gordon Stewart, Kennel Send, England. International judge and chairman of the Great Dane Club, United Kingdom.


1955: Mrs. Alfi Muriel Levison, Kennel Heimdalhus, Denmark. International judge and member of the board of directors of the Great Dane Club of Denmark.


1958: Mr. Axel P. Nørlund, Secretary in the Dansk Kennel Klub 1921-58. Co-founder of the Great Dane Club of Denmark.


1969: Mrs. Erna Madsen. International judge. Her husband, Mr. Knud Madsen was chairman of the Great Dane Club of Denmark 1948-64.


1976: Mr. Jacob Staunskjær, Kennel Blaaholm. Member of the board of directors of the Great Dane Club of Denmark.


1998: Mr. Ole J. Staunskjær, Kennel Blaaholm. International judge and chairman of the Great Dane Club of Denmark


2008: Mr. Kim Pensdal, Kennel Danish Danehouse. Member of the board of directors of the Great Dane Club of Denmark.