The Broholmer, also known as the Danish Mastiff, is a large molosser breed and guard dog originating in Denmark. The breed is recognized by the FCI and the Danish Kennel Club.

In 2006, the breed was also recognized by the United Kennel Club.

Origin and Etymology

The Danish Broholmer owes its name to Count Niels Frederik Sehested of Broholm-Funen, a royal game-keeper of the 1700s who kept these dogs for hunting, more specifically stag hunting. He spent decades standardizing the breed and largely contributed to its popularization in Denmark. The Danish Mastiff was also used as a guard and protection dog on large estates, much in the same way as the Dogue de Bordeaux in France.

The Broholmer was particularly appreciated among royalties and artists in Denmark. A 1859 painting of King Frederik VII and his wife show them with their favorite Broholmer Tyrk.

The breed probably stems from English mastiffs and Bulldogs brought as presents to the Danish court. These dogs interbred with local drovers' dogs, known as slagterhunden, literally 'butchers' dogs.

Unfortunately, after the two World Wars the breed had become nearly extinct. It was only thanks to the dedication of a group of fanciers known as the "Society for Reconstruction of the Broholmer Breed", supported by the Danish Kennel Club, that new breeding programs for the revival of the breed were being organized in 1975. Several Broholmers matching the 1886 standard were selected from all over the country, one of which was a black specimen, called "Manne", and one a golden male, known as Bjørn. Further important foundation dogs in the Broholmer's genealogy were Oscar for the black line and C.Bastian for the golden line.


A Mastiff-type of dog of large size, square and strongly built, with powerfull forequarters. The head is massive and wide and the chest broad and deep. At rest the head is carried rather low, as is the tail. When in movement the tail is carried higher, but never over the topline. When alert or aroused, head and tail are raised above the topline. The coat is either tan or black-colored.


The Broholmer is a friendly and good tempered dog. Although generally calm it is always alert, showing great self confidence. Viciousness or extreme shyness are disqualifying traits.

Current Status

The breed is still rare and breeding programs have to be approved by the original breed committee, who only allows the breeding of good-tempered, well-balanced dogs. In 1982, the breed gained international recognition through its approval by the FCI. approved the standard and the breed can be exhibited in international shows. The committee encourages the breeding of only steadfast, good-tempered dogs. These powerful dogs are naturally alert and make good watchdogs.

(Danish Mastiff, Danish Broholmer)
Catherine Marien-de Luca for Dog Breeds of the World 2004-2010 © All rights reserved by and

Dog Books
Dog Breeds A to Z
Dog encyclopedia - list of dog groups
Dog Breeds of the World > Molossers > Broholmer
Related Pages
Bulldog breeds
Molosser breeds
Guard dogs
Japanese dogs
Best dogs for families with children
Bull and Terriers
Sled dogs
Hairless dogs
Molossser breeds
Dogo argentino
Tosa Inu
Bulldog breeds
Japanese dog breeds

Dog breeds of the world
Popular dog breeds
Dog Breeds of the World 2004-2010 © All rights reserved and
Original idea, design and development by C. Marien-de Luca. Photos of the Dog Breeds of the World sphere of flags by Mark Stay.
No part of may be copied, distributed, printed or reproduced on another website without the owner's written permission.
Recommended Books
About Dog Breeds of the World: About us | History | Privacy | Copyright | Contact
An Owner's Guide Raising your Pet Protector
An Owner's Guide to Raising Your Pet Protector
by Lori Berg, Michael ''Gypsy'' Stratten
More information:

See also:
Molosser dogs
External links:
Danish Broholmer Club