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Other names: Danish Mastiff, Danish Broholmer, Gammel Dansk Hund, Old Danish Dog, Dog of Frederick VII


This large Broholmer breed hails from Denmark, where it was often employed as a watchdog in wealthy homes. In Copenhagen, around the 1800s, he was nicknamed the “butcher’s dog” as he would frequently be discovered lying on the steps of the butchers’ shops. Previously, the Broholmer would be used as both a herder and a watchdog, yet even today, he is still a lovely dog to be around children, regardless of his large size.


Key facts about the Broholmer

  • Life expectancy : Between 10 and 12 years
  • Temperament : Affectionate, Calm
  • Size : Large
  • Type of coat : Short
  • Price : Between £700 and £1000

FCI Group

FCI Group

Group 2 - Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs


Section 2 : Molossian type

Physical characteristics of the Broholmer

Adult size

Female dog Between 27 and 28 in
Male dog Between 29 and 30 in


Female dog Between 88 and 132 lb
Male dog Between 110 and 154 lb

Coat colour

Black, light or brownish yellow.

Type of coat

Smooth and short.

Eye colour



A mastiff type, the Broholmer is a large sized dog, very well-muscled. He has a stance of dominance and power. This dog has a wide head and a broad, deep chest. The Broholmer has some loose skin, particularly around his neck region.



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The Broholmer displays extreme devotion to his master and can be quite protective yet affectionate too.


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This dog loves to play with older children, however his size is too large for families with younger children.


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A dog that is well trained should be friendly, good-tempered and calm, yet still watchful.


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The Broholmer is a very alert and intelligent breed.


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This breed has been used in Denmark since the middle ages for hunting purposes. 

Fearful / wary of strangers

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It’s important to socialise this dog from an early age, to ensure that he will tolerate strangers and guests in his home.


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The Broholmer can be quite a stubborn canine. Training should be consistent and ongoing, to make sure he knows that his master is the leader.

Behaviour of the Broholmer

Tolerates solitude

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As a dog that devotes himself to his family, he’s not too happy when left alone for long periods of time. 

Easy to train / obedience

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An intelligent dog that responds well to strict training routines. Early socialisation training for a young puppy is recommended.


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As a watchdog, the Broholmer will bark to alert you to any suspicious activity. 

Tendency to run away

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As a large size dog, the Broholmer needs a tall, solid fence to keep him contained. 


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If the Broholmer is left alone for long periods of time, he can become bored and stressed. He may show destructive tendencies, such as chewing the furniture or his pet basket.

Greedy / Gluttony

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Because he is a large dog, the Broholmer needs to be fed a nutritious diet, to meet his dietary needs, or he will search for other food items to eat.

Guard dog

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This even-tempered breed shows great confidence. He makes a brilliant guard dog and takes this role very seriously. 

First dog

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This intelligent, headstrong dog is not the ideal choice for a first time dog. Consistent training to show who is the master is ongoing. Add into this that the Broholmer needs lots of daily exercise and activities to keep him from becoming bored and destructive. 


Broholmer in a flat

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The Broholmer will live quite happily in a small indoor space, providing he receives plenty of daily exercise. 

Need for exercise / Sporty

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As a large, energetic dog, the Broholmer needs a long daily walk as a minimum to meet his exercise requirements. 

Travelling / easy to transport

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This large dog isn't really the ideal canine to transport in a vehicle, purely because of his size.


Broholmer and cats

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Cats and other small animals should be kept well away from the Broholmer, or they may come to harm.

Broholmer and dogs

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Providing that early socialisation takes place when the dogs are younger, this breed will get along fine with other dogs. Otherwise, the Broholmer doesn’t tolerate other dogs too well.

Broholmer and children

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The Broholmer does well in families where the children are older, but not perhaps around smaller toddlers and babies. 

Broholmer and the elderly

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This dog makes a great companion dog for both families and the older generation.


Expect to pay an initial purchase price of between £700 to £1000 for a Broholmer puppy. Add to this cost a monthly amount of between £80 to £100. 


The Broholmer, even though he has a short coat, has a dense undercoat. Weekly brushing should suffice, apart from times when he is shedding, when you will need to do this daily. It’s wise to begin grooming practices from an early age, so this large dog will be accepting of all grooming procedures. 


These dogs are heavy seasonal shedders. The Broholmer sheds his undercoat a few times each year. 

Nutrition of the Broholmer

This large sized dog needs to be given a diet specially formulated for dogs of this size. Because he is such a large dog, a Broholmer puppy should be advanced onto adult dog food at around 9 months of age, rather than waiting until the one year stage. A puppy needs 3-4 meals daily and an adult dog 2 times a day. 

Health of the Broholmer

Life expectancy

In most cases, the Broholmer isn't prone to major health issues. Due to his large size, he may be susceptible to musculoskeletal conditions such as elbow or hip dysplasia. Because of this, it is advisable not to allow your puppy to run long distances until his joints are fully developed. The average life expectancy for this breed is 11 years.

Strong / robust

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This large dog is well muscled and very strong. He displays great power and dominance.

Withstand heat

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As this canine has a dense, thick coat, during periods of hot weather he needs ample shade in his living quarters. The Broholmer is very sensitive to high temperatures. 

Withstand cold

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The Broholmer tolerates chilly weather but not freezing temperatures. 

Tendency to put on weight

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As a large dog who needs more than an average amount of nutrition to meet his needs, likewise, his daily exercise must be sufficient to prevent him from becoming overweight.

Common illnesses

Good to know

If the Broholmer bitch has puppies, the litter size can be between 4 to 10 pups. As this is a large-sized dog, it may take some time for the puppies to reach full-size. Because of this, it’s important not to over-exercise or do any strenuous activities that might cause damage to your pup’s joints which are still developing. 

Origins and history

The Broholmer’s ancestors can be traced back as far as the Middle Ages, when these dogs were used for stag hunting. Although there is little documented about this breed, it originated in Denmark and is nicknamed the Danish Mastiff. The Broholmer is actually a cross-breed between a local German breed and an English Mastiff. The dog was named after an 18th century gamekeeper, Sehested of Broholm. During the 19th century, the breed was very popular in Denmark, but then became almost extinct during the Second World War. The Broholmer breed was imported into the UK in 2009.


Dutch, Hubert, Esme, Lotte

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