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Plush Danois Breed Information

Plush Danois

Recognized By: DBR , IDCR

Living with a Plush Danois

Temperament: Alert and intelligent, calm and observant. Instinctively protective, he is courageous and highly adaptable. He is very loyal and responsive. He is territorial and a natural guard. May be inclined to nighttime barking, so only the quietest specimens should be chosen for breeding. They are reserved around strangers but off its territory is acceptable and introduced properly a stranger is accepted. Responsiveness with animation is not characteristic of the breed. Early socialization is an absolute must to create a friendlier adaptable dog. They get along well with other animals and dogs, but will consider outsiders the "enemy" if not properly socialized and/or introduced.

Disqualifications and Faults: Aggression, dog aggression, shyness, submissive or fearful dogs-any dog (over the age of 6 months) holding its tail tucked to its belly due to stress or being overwhelmed is exhibiting shy and timid behavior and MUST be excused from the ring-if it does not or cannot improve with work it is to be disqualified from showing. Lack of self assurance, nervous, easily provoked, tense, overly submissive or tail between the legs.

Shedding: This breed sheds throughout the year and blows its coat in the spring and the fall.

Plush Danois Appearance

Appearance: The Plush Danois combines, in its regal appearance, dignity, strength and elegance with great size and a powerful, well-formed, smoothly muscled body. It is one of the giant working breeds, but is unique in that its general conformation must be so well balanced that it never appears clumsy, and shall move with a long reach and powerful drive. A Plush Danois must be spirited, courageous, never timid OR aggressive; always friendly and dependable. This physical and mental combination is the characteristic which gives the Plush Danois the regal and imposing qualities possessed by no other breed. It is particularly true of this breed that there is an impression of great masculinity in dogs, as compared to an impression of femininity in bitches. Lack of true breed type, as defined in this standard, is a serious fault.

Disqualifications and Faults: Lack of correct gender characteristics; Males must be well muscled, athletic, and VERY masculine in appearance with broad skulls, wide chest, muscular legs. Females are to be finer boned and refined in femininity, but not to the point of being whippety, or over thin or tall-they MUST be agile and athletic. Lack of harmony in proportions. Too light-dogs and bitches MUST be big boned and muscular any dog resembling a Grey Hound is to be disqualified and sent from the ring. Male dogs must have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum

Size: The male should appear more massive throughout than the bitch, with larger frame and heavier bone. In the ratio between length and height, the Plush Danois should be square. In bitches, a somewhat longer body is permissible, providing she is well proportioned to her height. Lack of substance in either sex is undesirable. The male shall not be less than 32 inches at the shoulders, but it is preferable that he be taller, providing he is well proportioned to his height-no dog should have preference of height over other more important qualities such as health and temperament. The female shall not be less than 30 inches at the shoulders, but it is preferable that she be taller, providing she is well proportioned to her height. Plush Danois under minimum height must be disqualified. Many specimens will be much taller than the minimum.

Disqualifications and Faults: Dogs below minimum height criteria. If you cannot see the last 2 ribs lightly through the skin on any dog it is overweight and must be sent from the ring until they have lost the weight.

Head: Head, taken altogether, gives idea of great length and strength of jaw. Muzzle broad, skull proportionately narrow, so that whole head when viewed from above and in front, has appearance of equal breadth throughout. Length from nose to point between eyes about equal or preferably of greater length than from this point to back of occipital. Skull flat, slight indentation running up centre, occipital peak not prominent. Decided rise or brow over the eyes but not abrupt stop between them; face well chiseled, well filled in below eyes with no appearance of being pinched: foreface long, of equal depth throughout. Cheeks showing as little lumpiness as possible, compatible with strength. Underline of head, viewed in profile, runs almost in a straight line from corner of lip to corner of jawbone, allowing for fold of lip, but with no loose skin hanging down. Bridge of nose very wide, with slight ridge where cartilage joins bone (this is a characteristic of breed). Nostrils large, wide and open, giving blunt look to nose. Lips hang squarely in front, forming right angle with upper line of foreface and must be pendulous, but not overtly Mastiff like in type.

Disqualifications and Faults: Upper lines of foreface and skull not parallel, apple head, wedge shaped head. Too little stop, over developed muscles in cheeks. Any head that is overly rectangular and/or lacking properly dropped jowls.

Eyes: Fairly deep set, not giving the appearance of being round, of medium size. Light colored, Blue, Bi-eyed variable colored or eyes correlating with a dilute color are permissible, with light eyes on dark dogs most desirable.

Disqualifications and Faults: Slack lids, haw too red. Eyes too far apart or slit eyes or eyes with over large Haws or missing Haws. Eye brows prominent and expressive when looking at you.

Ears: Triangular, medium size, set high on skull and pendulous. Held forward when erect and should be trained to lie properly from the time of puppyhood. Pricked, Half Pricked or Fly away ears are a fault. Cropped ears are a serious fault.

Disqualifications and Faults: Set on too high or too low. Standing off sideways, fly away or lying quite flat to the cheeks. Any dog with cropped ears or long hound-like ears.

Muzzle: Disqualifications and Faults: Pointed, lacking in flews. Bridge of nose dished, narrow in width, Roman nose, too short in length or aquiline nose.

Teeth/Bite: Teeth level. Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Overshot, undershot, crooked or missing teeth are serious faults.

Disqualifications and Faults: Any departure from a complete set of teeth (only the absence of both PM1 in the lower jaw can be tolerated); irregular position of individual incisors as long as bite remains overwhelmingly closed. Too small teeth. Pincer bite. Undershot or overshot jaw.

Neck: Neck long, well arched, quite clean and free from loose skin, held well up, well set in shoulders, junction of head and neck well defined. Ewe neck, short neck or too thick neck lacking in length are all faults.

Disqualifications and Faults: Short, thick neck, ewe neck, throatiness or abundant dewlap.

Body: Very deep, brisket reaching elbow, ribs well sprung, belly well drawn up. Back and loins strong.

Disqualifications and Faults: Sway back, roach back, too long in back. Backline running up towards rear or slope from the hips and back. Falling away steeply or completely level. Flat or barrel shaped ribs. Lack of width or depth of chest. Strongly protruding sternum or front heavy in appearance-lacking proportionate angles and evenly distributed weight. Belly line not sufficiently tucked up or too tucked up and whippety in appearance.

Forequarters: Shoulders muscular, not over loaded, straight back, with elbows well under body. Forelegs perfectly straight with big flat bone.

Disqualifications and Faults: Insufficient angulation. Light bone, weak muscles, lack of muscle tone. Stance not vertical. Shoulders: Loose, or over loaded. Steep set of shoulder-blade. Elbows: Loose, turned in or out or rickety when in movement. Fore Arm: Distorted. Distended above the pastern.

Hindquarters: Extremely muscular, giving strength and easy trotting and lithe moving power. Second thigh long and well developed, good turn of stifle, hocks set low, turning neither in nor out. Strong, with broad thighs and heavily muscled. Angulations at the stifle and hock are in proportion to the forequarters. As seen from behind, the legs are parallel. The feet are strong and compact with well-arched toes, oval in shape. Double dewclaws may exist. Double, and rear Dewclaws may be removed in working dogs, but it is not required, with the preference being a dog with both front Dewclaws, even if rears are removed. Squatty stance or cowed hocks are a serious fault.

Disqualifications and Faults: Too much or too little angulations. Cow hocks, too narrow or bow legged stance or legs splayed outward. Dogs with a squatty stance in the rear as though caught in the process of sitting. Pastern-Joint: Distended, very flexible or knuckled over. Pastern: Too slanted or too steep in position. Hocks: Distended, unstable.

Gait: Action lithe, springy and free, covering ground well. Hocks move freely with driving action, head carried high. At the trot, the gait is powerful yet fluid. When viewed from the front or rear, the legs turn neither in nor out, nor do feet cross or interfere with each other. With increased speed, footfall converges toward the center line of gravity. When viewed from the side, the front legs should reach out smoothly with no obvious pounding. The withers and backline should stay nearly level with little rise or fall. The rear assembly should push out smoothly with hocks doing their share of the work and flexing well.

Disqualifications and Faults: Covering too little ground, restricted action. Frequent or constant pacing. Lack of coordination between front and hind action. High stepping front or hoppy, sloppy rears.

Feet: Cat-like, turning neither in nor out. Toes well arched and close, nails strong and curved.

Disqualifications and Faults: Flat, splayed, long hare shaped. Missing or removed front Dewclaws, only rear, or pendulous Dewclaws can be removed.

Tail: Thick at the root, tapering towards end. The tail should be long and reaching at or below the hocks. Set on rather high. When relaxed, it is carried low with the end curled upwards. When alert, the tail is carried high, making a "wheel" or "half wheel." Both low and wheel carriages are acceptable, when gaiting. "Wheel" carriage preferred. The tail will not necessarily uncurl totally when at rest, and may be held elevated from its base. Thin and whippy tails are a serious fault!

Disqualifications and Faults: Too thin or too short. Set on too low or too high above the back line. Tail which is damaged, thickened at the tip or has been docked.

Color: This breed is categorized by pattern, not by color alone. Color descriptions help further categorize the resulting dog by listing its Color first and coupling it with a Pattern (IE Blue Mantle, Chocolate Tri-Color etc). ABSOLUTELY NO DOG OF IMPRESSIVE TYPE, TEMPERAMENT, HEALTH, STRUCTURE AND TRAINABILITY WILL BE FAULTED OR DISCRIMINATED AGAINST BASED ENTIRELY ON COLOR, LACK OF COLOR, MIXED COLOR(S) OR UNPOPULAR COLOR OR PATTERNS.


Mantle: A dog with 40-60% White coverage localized to the face, head, neck, shoulders, belly, legs, tail and feet. Usually a blanket of solid color over the back, head and shoulders with white exhibited elsewhere. It is NOT required for a dog exhibiting this pattern to have an all white neck, but is common in this pattern.

Solid: Any dog with 0% or less than 10% white on its entire body- white restricted to the chest, toes, backs of the feet and tail tip, with any facial markings less than 2 inches in length, width or diameter.

With White: Any dog with 10-20% white coverage overall. Any dog with white extending over the top of every foot, to below the knees, on the tail, a snip or stripe on the face and/or the back of the neck, and/or chest markings exceeding 5 inches in length, width or diameter.

Pinto: Any dog with clean edged, rounded spots consisting of 60% or more white on the body and color on ½ the head/face, the whole head/face, and the ears. NOT to be confused with Harlequin.

Harlequin: Any dog with torn, irregular patches on the body. Patches can be ANY color or combination of color(s). Heavily marked dogs are distinguishable from Minimal Marked Dogs and Mantles by the torn, patchy, unpredictable and skewed pattern created by the Harlequin gene. White necks are not necessary. All White puppies should be tested for hearing-most are Double Merles and when bred back to a solid patterned dog create normal Harlequin, or other white marked puppies. When breeding Harlequins a breeder must NEVER breed beyond two generations with another Harlequin OR Merle (considered mostly the SAME genetically) and MUST breed back to a Solid dog on the third generation.

Merle: Any dog with a diluted shaded background color with torn, irregular and multi sized patches, often with white ticking in their coat as an adult dog. This pattern is an incomplete Harlequin gene lacking the Harlequin modifier that determines where to cover up the color with white on a dog-white markings are different than Harlequin Pattern. The background color is usually a light shade of gray, chocolate, fawn, or blue with patches being black and/or darker shades of the background color. When breeding Merle dogs a breeder must NEVER breed more than one generation and should use avid discretion as Merle to Merle matings can produce blind, deaf, still born or absorbed puppies-this includes Merles mated with Harlequins. ALL dogs produced from Merle to Merle or Harlequin to Merle matings should ONLY be bred back to a Solid dog from Solid, Minimal White marked or Mantle bloodlines.

A code to follow is to always breed a Darker or more heavily marked dog with a lighter colored or lesser marked dog. White dogs are excluded, as they are often already the resulting offspring of a Merle to Harlequin or Merle to Merle Mating. Solid Patterned or Minimally White Marked dogs are the best choice to breed to.

White: Any dog with 10% or less colored markings. Many can be deaf due to lack of pigmentation in the ear canal, and ALL must be tested for hearing before consideration in any breeding program. If a dog is a color related Deaf dog (and not congenitally Deaf), it can be bred back to ONLY a Solid dog of Solid/Minimal Marked lineage-ONLY the most educated and knowledgeable breeders should deal with the breeding of White dogs. White dogs are prone to skin cancer and sun-sensitivity and most have Blue eyes that also require extra special attention. They do not however have defunct or deformed innards, and this is a MYTH associated with ignorance. Their eyes can have issues and some are born with small eyes, strange pupils that don't allow for proper constriction in light or other eye problems and should be checked by a Vet. A White and Deaf dog CAN live a healthy, happy life and does not need a "hearing dog companion". White dogs CAN be utilized with discretion in a breeding program and NEVER have to be mandatorily euthanized or culled.

Pointed: Any dog with cream, yellow, red or tan points on the eye brows, face, chin, neck, chest, lower legs, belly and inner thighs.resembling the markings of a Doberman or Rottweiler. These can appear along with ANY secondary coloration.

Tri-Color: Any dog exhibiting a Minimal Marked White or Mantle marked body that also has Points required in the "Pointed" description. The third color or pattern can be any of them mentioned in this standard.



Dilutes: Any color modified from its original color to a pale, washed out version-requires the dilution genes for black and red. When breeding dilutes a breeder must NEVER breed more than two dilute generations in any pedigree, and MUST breed back to a Solid, darker gene dog in the third generation. Included in the Patterns acceptable to breed with are: Harlequins, Mantles, Minimal Marked, Pie Bald and Merle with black patches.

*Blue: Any dog with a bluish gray coat color, with the same color for their nose, lips, and skin. It can be a light blue gray color or as dark as steel blue. Most puppies of this coloration are born lighter colored and gradually darken up as they age. They often have light colored eyes, either, gray, blue-gray or yellow gold that may or may not change as they mature.

*Chocolate: Any dog with a chocolate brown color, with the same color for their nose, lips and skin. It can be as light as milk chocolate or as dark as dark chocolate. Nose color MUST be BROWN. Most puppies of this coloration are born lighter colored and gradually darken up as they age. They often have light colored eyes that may or may not change as they mature.

* Silver: A Blue dog with a double dilution on the Blue Gene. These are often born extra pale in color compared to other blue puppies in the same litter. When compared as adults they don't often get as dark as their siblings.

*Isabella: A color usually resulting for an extra diluted Chocolate or Blue dog resembling the color of a Weimeraner or Fawn Doberman. The hairs often give off the illusion of a haloed -glowing effect and shines like precious metal in the light. These dogs have pale colored eyes, skin, and nose leather, with self colored nails (unless marked with white patterns).

*Lilac: A color that can occur when breeding a Blue dog to a Chocolate or Isabella dog. The color resembles a lilac or purplish hue in puppies and may resemble both a Chocolate or a Blue as an adult, but always retains the purple hue.

*Lemon: A yellow or orangey yellow marked or colored dog with the same light pigment for their nose leather, skin and lips. Nose cannot be black in order for it to be a Lemon.

Black: Any dog with a solid, glossy black coat occurring in any Pattern.

Fawn: The color shall be yellow gold, red, or pale yellow with a Black, Blue, Silver, Chocolate, Lilac, Lemon or Isabella mask. Masking should appear on the eye rims and eyebrows, and may appear on the ears, back, chest and tail tip. Dark-fronted or sooty colored fawns are perfectly acceptable, but if/when bred should be bred back to lighter colored dogs so the resulting puppies do not progressively become too dark to be considered Fawn.

Brindle: The base color shall be yellow gold, pale yellow, gray, red or a lighter shade of the striping and always brindled with strong cross stripes in a chevron pattern. Striping can be Blue, Chocolate, Isabella, Lilac and Black, with variable shades in each. Masking on the face and head is preferred. Solid/self color should appear on the eye rims and eyebrows, and may appear on the ears and tail tip. The more intensive the base color and the more distinct and even the brindling, the more preferred will be the color. Reverse/Onyx Brindles (dogs that appear to have a dark body with lighter stripes) are acceptable, but when bred should be bred to lighter colored or lesser marked dogs.

Brindle-Merle: A dog exhibiting both the tiger-striping of the Brindle and the torn patches of the Merle for a ½ and ½ appearance. These can occur in dark colors and dilute colors, they can be picked out from among normal colored siblings by the unusual combination patterning. Any Brindle puppy exhibiting any unusual Patchy markings is considered a Brindle-Merle.



Disqualifications and Faults: Any dog bred beyond two generations for color or color pure credentials (IE a Blue to a Blue to a Blue to a Blue to have Blues etc) Every color is permissible to show, breeding and bloodlines unless otherwise researched and updated in this standard.

Coat: Plush (one inch minimum, never smooth) with a dense wooly undercoat and slightly oily texture to repel water and snow, may or may not have feathering on the body and ear fringing. Regular brushing can help lessen impact of shedding.

Wooly (approximately 2-4 or more inches in length) with neck hair slightly longer like a mane over the neck and shoulders, also with a slightly oily texture. Feathering is prominent in the Woolies along the ear fringes, back of the legs, breeching, and a richly plumed tail. Regular brushing and grooming are a must to maintain a matt-free coat. Trimming for neat lines is permissible and shaving is a disqualifying fault.

A thick undercoat is common to all.

Disqualifications and Faults: Any coat lacking an undercoat, short bristly hair, grizzled or wiry hair or any dog with hair obscuring eyes from the bridge of the nose. Any long coat lacking the slightly oily or water repelling traits. Curly coats or lack of coat.

Plush Danois Facts

More Info: The Plush Danois is currently in the preliminary stages of Breed Development and will eventually include both Longer Coated breeds and breeds with a dense undercoat that remains shorter--similar to a Smooth Coated Saint Bernard or Smooth Collie. Physically the dog being worked toward is built like a European Great Dane, with NO color prejudices and two coat types--a Plush (thick undercoat and shorter outer coat) and a Wooly (thick undercoat, oily/water repellant outer coat with possible guard hairs)

The standard we are working toward is as follows. Because this breed is in its infancy, deviances are possible until each successive generation is bred closer to the standard. With the addition of new breeds and new blood, resulting offspring will vary in temperament, size, shape, and other traits-this standard is a guideline for the eventual resulting Plush Danois.

* The most accurate way to determine characteristics of a mixed breed is by researching the parent breeds.
** Not all dogs being represented by this name consist of the exact percentages listed above.
*** It is important to do research on your dog's history before choosing a dog. We are dedicated to providing the most accurate information possible about each breed.

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