Thought to be of ancient origin, the Broholmer is said to descend from English Mastiffs brought to Denmark by the Vikings, who then crossed them with the Norsedogge. Regarded by many as the real Great Dane, this powerful breed was a common gift of the Danish Crown to the Germans, who in return gave their Deutsche Dogges to the Danes. When the Danish Kings later introduced the German Mastiff to England, it was given the name of Great Dane by the British, which unfortunately stuck to this day. But the Broholmer, unlike the German Dogge, is a Danish breed. Used as guardians of castles, protectors of livestock and companions of Danish Royalty, the Broholmers were very popular in its homeland up until the begining of the 1800's, when the breed nearly vanished. In the mid 1800's, the Broholmer was revived, using dogs that were found in remote areas, where they were still in plentiful existance. A popular breed once again, this time among butchers and hunters, rather than aristocracy, the Danish Mastiffs were also used as watchdogs in the Zoo and even as surrogate parents for litters of whelping lion cubs.
The 2nd World War nearly wiped out the entire Broholmer population, leaving a single breeder, a priest to try and preserve the breed. Unfortunately, when the priest died, so did the Broholmer breed, which was declared extinct soon afterwards. In the 1970's, the Danish Committee for National and Forgotten Breeds initiated a revival programme when it was discovered that some Broholmers survived in rural regions of Denmark and Germany. By mating those specimens with Broholmer-like dogs and a cross between an English and a Spanish Mastiff, the breed fanciers attempted to re-create the Old Danish Dogge of the Middle Ages. During the last 20 years of the 20th century, the Broholmer was successfuly reinstated and its future is looking bright, thanks to the efforts of the official breed Club and its strict breeding laws. A loving companion and a fearless watchdog, the Broholmer is becoming a popular breed once again.
The coat is short, coming in solid colours of fawn, brown and black, some with white markings. Average height is around 30 inches.