The Broholmer, also known as Danish Broholmer and Danish Mastiff, has been dated back to the late 1500’s. The daughter of the Danish King, King Frederick II, married the Scottish King, King James VI. King James VI gave English Mastiff-like dogs to the Danish royalty as a gift. Also, the legendary Danish Vikings, at times, would bring back Mastiff type dogs from their travels during the Middle Ages. These dogs then were mated with local drovers dogs known as slagterhunden or “butcher’s dogs”. These offspring are referred to as the Old Danish Dog. These dogs are regarded as the start of the Broholmer breed and are also considered as the “real” Great Dane.
The Old Danish Dog was revered by the Danish royalty and aristocrats. These dogs were commonly given as gifts to royalty and aristocrats of other countries around Europe. They were used for guarding castles and estates. They were also used widely for looking after herds and were big, fierce hunting dogs used mainly for stag hunting.
As hunting methods changed, the need for large breed hunting dogs diminished. The fierceness and hunting instinct were bred out of the breed. In time, the Old Danish Dogs became calmer and were only used as guard dogs for castles, estates and large farms. As time went on, the care of such a large breed dog became very expensive. The expensive upkeep, along with the change in hunting methods, led to the decline in interest for the Old Danish Dog. By the mid 1800’s, the breed was almost extinct.
With the Old Danish Dog on the brink of extinction, the Danish nobleman, Niels Frederik Sehested, took it upon himself to protect this revered breed from extinction Niels was so enamored by the breed that he eventually decided to
set up a breeding program to help this once abundant breed thrive again. To promote his program, he presented puppies to people within Denmark, but only if they promised to follow his breeding program. After decades following his strict breeding guidelines, the breed’s features standardized and became more defined. Also, the breed began to flourish again. This dog breed was now much appreciated by all social classes, not just aristocrats. Because of his commitment to the breed and inspired by his residence, the Castle Broholm, the breed became know as the Broholmer. xtinction. He set up a breeding program to help this once abundant breed thrive again. To promote his program, he presented puppies to people within Denmark, but only if they promised to follow his breeding program. After decades following his strict breeding guidelines, the breed’s features standardized and became more defined. Also, the breed began to flourish again. This dog breed was now much appreciated by all social classes, not just aristocrats. Because of his commitment to the breed and inspired by his residence, the Castle Broholm, the breed became know as the Broholmer.
At the beginning fo the 20th century the Broholmer number began declining again due to epidemics, canine distemper and problems with in-breeding. Also, after World Wars I and II, there was little room for affording such a large dog and the Broholmer was on the brink of extinction again. In 1974, the Danish Kennel Club took interest in the Broholmer and began a nationwide search for any remaining Broholmers. A few dogs matching the original breed standard established in 1886 were selected and a strict breeding program was started. The Society for the Reconstruction of the Broholmer Breed was formed to over see the breeding program. After years of following the strict breeding standards outlined by the Broholmer Society and the Danish Kennel Club, the Broholmer breed was successfully reinstated.
In 1998, the Broholmer breed was officially acknowledged by the international breed registry FCI. As the breed continued to flourish, it became recognized by the United Kennel Club in 2006. Up until 2009, the Broholmer had only been found in Denmark and a few other European countries.Then in June of 2009, the very first Danish Broholmer was imported into the United States, by Joe and Kathy Kimmeth (that’s us). This beautiful female Broholmer was the first of the breed to be registered with the United Kennel Club. In July 2010, this Broholmer, named Honor, made the breed debut at the UKC Premier in Indiana. Since that time, breed interest is gaining considerably in the United States. As of today, we now have imported the second Brohomer (Zeke) into the United States, and to be more accurate, the whole Western Hemisphere.. Please visit Honor and Zeke’s pages to learn more about this noble, large, gentle, loving, and healthy breed. They are truly a very rare and special family companion.