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Male Broholmer.jpg
A male Broholmer
Other names
  • Danish Broholmer
  • Danish Mastiff
Height Male 75 cm (30 in)
Female 70 cm (28 in)
Weight Male 65–90 kg (143–198 lb)
Female 40–60 kg (88–132 lb)
Coat Short with thick undercoat
Color Yellow with black mask; golden red; black
Life span 10-13 years
Kennel club standards
Dansk Kennel Club standard
FCI standard
Dog (domestic dog)

The Broholmer, also called the Danish Mastiff, is a large Molosser breed of dog from Denmark, recognized by the Danish Kennel Club and the Fédération Cynologique Internationale. It has been employed as a guard dog in the homes of the wealthy. The breed's numbers dwindled severely during World War II, but the dog made a successful return in the 1970s.


Picture of a male Broholmer.jpg
Female Broholmer running next to a bike.

The Danish Broholmer is a dog that strongly resembles a Mastiff. It is large and powerful, with a loud, impressive bark and dominant walk. A well trained Broholmer should be calm, good tempered, and friendly, yet watchful towards strangers. Females stand about 27.5 inches (70 cm) and weigh in at 90–130 pounds (41–59 kg). Males stand about 29.5 inches (75 cm) and weigh in at 110–150 pounds (50–68 kg). The body is built square and rectangular with a large and massive head. The width and length of the skull and the length of the nose should be of equal length. The head is generally not carried very high. The coat is short and harsh, and the color can be light or brownish yellow, or black. Some white markings on the coat are permitted, and a black mask may be found. The average life span is around 7–12 years.

Head study of a Broholmer
Male Broholmer

Historical note[edit]

The Broholmer breed was generated from a cross between English Mastiffs and local dogs in Germany, and was named after Sehested of Broholm, a game-keeper who lived in the 18th century. During the Second World War, the Broholmer became a victim of the strife and almost became extinct, but was saved by a group of Danish enthusiasts after isolated members were found in the 1970s. King Frederick VII and his consort, Countess Danner were owners of several Broholmers and one of their portraits depicts them with one of their dogs. The breed was established in the early 19th century and was moderately popular, especially as a guard dog in the homes of wealthy Danes. The Breed was imported to the UK in 2009 with a view to being put on the UK kennel clubs import list.[1] It was discovered in the recent years (2016) that the Broholmers that were imported into the USA were all afflicted with Degenerative Myelopathy (DM), a spontaneously occurring, adult-onset spinal cord disorder that affects dogs, and is similar to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig's disease in humans (1). With DM, there is degeneration of the “white matter” of the spinal cord and the peripheral nerves. The white matter tracts of the spinal cord contain fibers that transmit movement commands from the brain to the limbs and sensory information from the limbs to the brain. The first Broholmer ever to be imported into the United States with the intent to breed it, died in 2018 due to DM, and all other dogs imported have DM as well. These dogs were never presented and therefore never accepted by Broholmer Selskabet, the Danish main organization for the protection and the breeding of healthy Broholmers. One completely healthy male Broholmer, Bodholdts Bedste Bergthor, approved for breeding by the Broholmer Selskab, was imported into the US in 2010. He was, however, never bred in the US.


  1. ^ Cunliffe, Juliette (2004) [1999]. The Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds. Parragon Publishing. p. 299.

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