Broholmer

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87-160 lbs
22-26"
Denmark
Danish Mastiff, Danish Broholmer, Gammel Dansk Hund, Old Danish Dog, Dog of Frederick VII

The Broholmer is a large, Mastiff-like dog who is just a powerful looking dog. He was originally bred to be a guard dog, however, over time he has become a companion dog as well. He does well in families with older children, but is not recommended for families with younger children. He can be affectionate and protective, being wary of strangers or anyone who comes near his home. The Broholmer needs a strong trainer to be his leader as he can be a very stubborn dog. Training should continue throughout his adult life or he will try to take the leadership role from you. 

Purpose
guarding, companion
Date of Origin
1500s
Ancestry
molosser

Broholmer Health

Average Size
Height: 24-30 inches Weight: 95-176 lbs
Height: 22-26 inches Weight: 87-160 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Hip And Elbow Dysplasia
  • Arthritis
Minor Concerns
  • Entropion
  • Ectropion
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Cataracts
  • Heat Sensitivity
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Hip
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examination
  • Physical Examination

Broholmer Breed History

The Broholmer is believed to date back to the late 1500s when the daughter of Danish King Frederick II married Scottish King James VI. It is claimed that King James VI gave King Frederick II Mastiff-like dogs as a gift during the wedding festivities. During this time period, it is also believed that the Danish Vikings would bring home Mastiff-like dogs from their travels. These Mastiff-like dogs were then bred to Slagterhunden or Butcher’s Dogs, local drover dogs. The offspring of these breedings were called Old Danish Dogs and are thought to be the start of the Broholmer. Danes tend to consider the Broholmer the real Great Danes as the Broholmer was in existence prior to the Great Dane. The Old Danish Dog was reserved for Danish royalty and aristocrats and was used to guard castles and estates. At times he was also used as a livestock guardian dog and hunting dog. Many times the Old Danish Dog was given as a gift to royals and aristocrats throughout Europe. His popularity waned as hunting practices changed and by the mid-1800s, he was almost extinct. A Danish nobleman by the name of Niels Frederik Sehested began working towards reviving the breed. He set a strict breed standard and only allowed others to breed his dogs when followed the breed standard that was set. This allowed the breed’s characteristics to become more standardized. The breed began to flourish once more under his guidance and was loved by all social classes. Niels Frederik Sehested also had a hand in renaming the Old Danish Dog to the Broholmer. The breed is now named after his home, Castle Broholm. Joe and Kathy Kimmeth imported the first Broholmer into the United States. In 2010, the Broholmer was recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC). In 2013, the American Kennel Club began registering the Broholmer in its Foundation Stock Service.

Broholmer Breed Appearance

The Broholmer is a Mastiff-type dog, very well muscled and large in size. He gives the appearance of power and dominance. His head is wide and massive looking and he has a deep, broad chest. His skin is generally profuse and somewhat loose, especially around his neck. His pigmentation of the skin should be rich and should never look freckled or ticked. His nose, lips and eye rims must be black.  He has short coat that is close to his body. He does have a thick undercoat that will shed out seasonally. The Broholmer can be yellow in color with a black mask, solid black or red golden. The yellow Broholmer must have a black mask. The red golden Broholmer can have black on his muzzle but the black color should not extend over the eyes. There can be white markings on his chest and feet, but the markings cannot be excessive and detract from his overall appearance. 

Broholmer Breed Maintenance

The Broholmer is a seasonal heavy shedder. He will shed is undercoat a few times a year and does require regular and thorough grooming during times of heavy shedding. Even though his coat is short, he has a dense undercoat. He is also a constant shedder, but generally it is not excessive except a few times each year. Brush him at least once a week, except times of heavy shedding when he needs to be brushed once a day. Use a natural bristle brush or a slicker brush to remove the loose hair and dead skin. He will generally only need to be bathed two to three times a year, when he is shedding heavily it is suggested to loosen the hair quicker. Bathe him using a mild shampoo so skin irritation does not occur. You should trim his nails often to keep him comfortable with having his feet touched and his nails trimmed. He will mature into a big dog and must be accepting of all grooming practices to make it easier on his owner.

Broholmer Temperament

The Broholmer is an even-tempered dog when he is with his family and exhibits great self-confidence. He should never be timid or unwilling to try new things. He does take his job of being a guard dog very seriously and is naturally wary of strangers. The Broholmer must have a solid, tall fence to keep him contained. He will patrol his fence line and alert you to any suspicious activity. He does require continual training with a specific pecking order within the family. He will try to take the leadership role and must understand that he is lowest in the family. Generally, the Broholmer will do well with older children as long as they are a part of the training process and he sees them as above him. He is not recommended for families with young children. Small pets, including cats, should be kept away from him and in sturdy cages so he cannot harm them. 

Broholmer Owner Experiences