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The Great Dane booklet, by the Grand Danois Klubben, Danmark

I can’t believe it’s finally here: I knew it had been in the works – and now the single most significant publication on the history of the Great Dane, in 150 years, has finally materialized. Printed, posted and delivered to my letterbox.

I’m one of the first few recipients: the much-awaited publication of the Great Dane Club of Denmark has just arrived. It’s hot-off-the-press, published in March 2018. And it’s in English.

The title is “The Great Dane Booklet – you Danish dogges!” (a quote from William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarkwritten between 1599 and 1602).

This is an absolute must for every Great Dane enthusiast. It is a limited edition print but if there is enough interest the Great Dane Club of Denmark will do a second run.

Ohhhh, I expect there will be more than enough interest: it’s nothing less than a monumental event – if we can say that about the trivial issue of a dog breed.

I can say that – and not just because entire forests have been felled to produce the paper that a gazillion words have appeared on, all on the subject of these dogs. I can say that because it matters to me and the issue is still pertinent to this day, about the future of a breed that has a global population and affects the lives of millions of people. We need to know where they came from, to know them better and manage them better. And to manage them better we simply must…

The booklet is 104 pages and its contents include:

  • The Great Dane Club of Denmark (history)
  • History of the Great Dane breed
  • The early standards
  • “Ye shall know them by their name” (how the breed was known through the ages in different countries & languages)
  • The Royal Danish stud book, 1710-1736
  • The visual journey through the ages
  • The German issue

and several appendices containing historical documents about the origin dispute.

It is illustrated by many rare and previously unpublished images.

The information included in this booklet has never before appeared in print: many of the foggy myths, historical errors, misconceptions and false assumptions that have been copied from Dane book to Dane book and repeated in the breed’s literature and numerous all-breed encyclopedias are once and for all laid to rest.

The reader will find out how the breed came to be known as exclusively German: the details of the dispute about the Great Dane’s origins and how the Great Danish dog became Deutsche Dogge, are presented from the early beginnings to this day, spanning a period of 150 years, from 1864 to 2014. The factual evidence is irrefutable and nothing short of astounding.

To sum it up, it is the most important addition to Great Dane bibliography about the breed’s origins and heritage, since the breed’s inception. Together with Jill Evans’ The Time Traveller, which tells the story of the breed’s development, this booklet completes the picture of the breed’s origin and its history to the earliest times.

I am told by the author, Flemming Rickfors (member of the Board of Directors of the Danish Great Dane Club) that the booklet will become available if there is enough interest in a reprint. I am delighted that the information it contains, known to the Danish enthusiasts for a long time, has finally been translated into English. This is a truly great service to the breed students everywhere.

It is imperative that this booklet gets the appreciation it deserves. It is about time breed Clubs around the world had access to the invaluable information about the breed’s history contained in this volume. A huge amount of painstaking research that no doubt took many years to accomplish, is presented for the first time in the English language.

So hopefully, when this booklet finds its way to the Kennel Club in London, the American Kennel Club, the Canadian Kennel Club, etc, we will stop hearing from the commentators at Crufts & Westminster that the Great Dane did not originate in Denmark or that Denmark had nothing to do with it. That is simply false. I have presented parts of the history from this blog. Now the diligent dog historians can have all of it and all in one place.

I hope the Great Dane Club of Denmark will send a copy to the show organizers of Crufts, Westminster and other prestigious dog shows so that misinformation of the public stops, at least as far as the Great Dane’s history is concerned.

In fact, the list of clubs and individuals that absolutely need to read this booklet would cover many pages. Every Great Dane Club in the world, for starters…

The readers should add this publication to their Great Dane library as soon as possible.  I can’t recommend it enough.

It will certainly be discussed a lot. And bound to change how Great Danes and their history are mentioned from now on. Thank you, Grand Danois Klubben i Danmark !

Now I have to go read it again.

And I know the blog followers just can’t wait to get their hands on a copy…

(To order a copy please contact the Great Dane Club of Denmark at:  sekretaer@granddanois-klubben.dk)




Oh, and while I have your attention… don’t forget to sign and share that all-important petition