The Broholmer temperament is one that could thrive in numerous households and become the best companion you could imagine. His protective, friendly personality would bring safety and joy to your home.
But some Broholmer behaviors and traits can be a little bit problematic. For one, he has a stubborn streak that could overwhelm some inexperienced owners. His massive size is another aspect that could make it tough for him to thrive with certain owners and households.
Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a larger dog, you aren’t going to do much better than a Broholmer. After all, he embodies the phrase “gentle giant” and will still guard your house with a fiery intensity.
The Broholmer Temperament & Personality
As we go through the following traits, it’ll become clear what environments the Broholmer temperament would thrive within. The key is establishing whether or not your household mimics those situations.
Protective and Loyal
One of the best things about the Broholmer temperament is his protective nature. And this protective nature comes hand in hand with a sense of loyalty for his loved ones. It makes him take his role as a guard dog seriously.
This seriousness makes it extremely unlikely an intruder could enter your home without being noticed. And if he sees them, there’s a high probability he could easily overpower them given his size.
It’s also helpful that his bark is deep and loud, which means he can effectively alert you as well; however, he’s not a constant yapper and only barks when he perceives a genuine threat. And when one does present itself, he will do everything in his power to ensure your safety.
But his protectiveness does come with one downside; he’s a little wary of strangers, which can be an issue because of his intimidating presence. You can quickly overcome this trait with socialization and the proper training from the right owner though.
His striking physique often makes people think that he has a menacing personality; but the Broholmer temperament is quite the opposite with him being calm and good-natured. He’s more likely to lick you than aggressively move towards you.
In fact, this sense of calmness even makes him an excellent dog to have around children. He won’t get annoyed by their erratic movements or snap when they might play too rough. Of course, you still have to monitor all the interactions as his size could be an issue.
His calm demeanor also does well with other pets as long as he has grown up with them. In most cases, he’ll never be aggressive towards them; but if you bring a new pet into your home, he might not know the limits and accidentally hurt them.
We should also mention that due to this trait the Broholmer exercise needs aren’t incredibly extensive. One long walk or 45 minutes of activity is all he needs. This amount of physical stimulation will be enough to work off all the excess energy he gained throughout the day.
The Broholmer temperament also has an element of self-confidence that’s almost staggering. This characteristic gives him a fearlessness when it comes to trying new things. There won’t be an environment or situation, which he walks into that'll cause him discomfort.
Given this information, If you want a larger dog that’ll you can bring out in public; he’s a viable candidate. And he won’t hate being the center of attention either. It’s not uncommon for him to end up being the star of whatever social gathering he enters.
You can also take comfort in this confidence lending itself useful in training as well. It’ll make the idea of new commands seem less daunting than they might to other breeds. But it does have one rather significant downside: he won’t back from a challenge.
In other words, if he sees a threatening larger predator such as a bear, he won’t hesitate to attack it. This trait could end up being quite expensive in vet bills.
The intelligence within the Broholmer temperament is higher than your typical dog breed. On the one hand, this trait something worth celebrating as it makes him more susceptible to training. But it also gives him the ability to think on his own that’ll make this same process a bit tricky.
You see it’ll make him stubborn, which can be overwhelming for some people. It’s why he isn’t an ideal fit for most first-time owners. If you do bring him into your home, you better be ready to keep a firm hand in his training.
If you don’t, it’s likely he’ll try to alpha status from you. And before you know it, you’ll end up his dog rather than him being yours. But once you do assume the alpha role, you shouldn’t have any issues teaching him a multitude of commands.
A Quick Look at the Broholmer History
The most interesting about Broholmer’s history is the beginning. You see his origin story has a royal component with it starting with a marriage between Danish and Scottish royalty: the daughter of the Danish King Frederick II married Scottish King James VI.
As a gift, King James VI presented Frederick II with several Mastiff-like dogs. These dogs were then crossbred with Slagterhundens or Butcher’s Dogs. And from these breeding sessions, the Broholmer was born.
He was first strictly a companion for Danish aristocrats and royalty as the Broholmer size made them perfect guard dogs. It was also a common practice for him to guard livestock or be used as a hunting dog.
But once hunting methods changed, his popularity started to lessen significantly. In fact, by the mid-1800s, he was facing extinction; however, a man named Niels Frederik Sehested put an end to all that through setting up a strict breed standard.
As a result, the breed started thriving thanks to his hindsight and was sought out by all kinds of people. Sehested even gave the breed his name, the Broholmer. From this newfound popularity, he began getting recognized by clubs and organizations as well: United Kennel Club in 2010 and the American Kennel Club in 2013.
The Broholmer Appearance
The Broholmer’s appearance can be quite striking the first time you see him. He has a large muscular body that evokes a sense of power and authority. This characteristic comes from the fact that the Broholmer height ranges from 22 to 30 inches.
The Broholmer weight factors into the equation as well given a full grown one weighs between 87 and 176 pounds. In other words, he’s massive and a little bit bigger than your typical dog. He also has a large, wide head, which will take a lot of room on your lap.
He has a broad chest as well, which further conveys his strength. His skin will be slightly loose and abundant particularly in the neck area. His coat will be short and tightly fitted to his body.
He will also have an undercoat that’ll be dense and shed seasonally. The Broholmer colors will come in three different configurations: yellow with a black mask, red golden, or solid black. And it’s imperative you understand the yellow version has to come with a black mask.
On the other hand, the red golden type may have black on his snout, but it can’t expand over his eyes. The coloring of his nose, eye rims, and lips will be black: any other color isn’t acceptable within the Broholmer traits.
You might see some white markings on his feet and chest as well; however, these white markings can’t be widely apparent or distract from the rest of his look.
A Guide for Broholmer Training
In most cases, training a Broholmer is a pleasant experience due to his intelligence. But his smarts can sometimes come with a downside: stubbornness. This side of him only comes out when his handler isn’t being firm with their commands.
As a result, owners need to be consistent and authoritative in the training sessions. It’s also best to use positive reinforcement methods as they're the key to solving the riddle of his training. There’s no reason to use harsh methods on a Broholmer as it’ll only anger him.
You should start these training sessions and socialize him as soon as possible. Most vets agree an excellent starting point would be around the 3 or 4-month mark. This early start will ensure good behaviors are second nature to him before he becomes fully grown.
If you wait too long, he’ll be more likely to become reserved and have issues being in chaotic environments.
The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan a world-class Dog Trainer from New Zealand is worth taking a look at. This online resource has hundreds of fun informative dog training videos that can help you learn the basics and more.
The Broholmer Grooming Requirements
If you’re looking into getting a Broholmer, there are some things you must know about their grooming. The first thing is his shedding will go through heavy seasonal periods. You see he’ll shed his undercoat a couple of times a year, which requires a lot of upkeep.
During these periods, he’ll need daily brushing to ensure the shedding fur doesn’t cause significant issues. This requirement decreases to weekly in the other parts of the year. You should use a bristle brush as it’ll effectively remove both dead skin and loose hair.
His bathing needs are much less excessive as it’s typically only a couple of times a year. Vets often will recommend bathing him during his heavy shedding period; it’ll loosen the hair more efficiently. A mild shampoo should do the trick as skin irritation does tend to be an issue for him.
Aside from these notable things, the rest of his grooming requirements are rather standard for any dog breed: trim his nails monthly, brush his teeth weekly, and checking ears for wax and tar build-ups regularly.
Relevant Broholmer Health Issues
In the world of larger dog breeds, this one is of the healthier ones: the average Broholmer lifespan hovers between 8 and 11 years. He does still sadly suffer from a proclivity to quite a few health issues though:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Heat Sensitivity
All of these conditions might seem like a lot to keep track of for a dog owner. But there’s an easy way to lighten this burden, and that’s by regularly visiting your vet. These visits will ensure you stay up to date with all the things your dog might need.
They’ll also give you the opportunity to ask any questions about what you can do better as a dog owner. And remember, larger breeds often represent a more significant challenge; therefore, keeping consistent contact with a vet could make this whole process a lot smoother.
You need to make sure any Broholmer puppy you’re considering has parents with OFA certified hips as well. This certification is incredibly vital for larger breeds due to the pressure their size puts on their limbs. This pressure could lead to conditions like hip dysplasia or arthritis.
And since an OFA certification reduces the risk of obtaining these issues, you can imagine why it’s so important. Keeping him out of the sun during hot summer days is another must for a Broholmer dog owner; it’ll reduce the risk of his heat sensitivity causing him issues.
Note: Don't let the many issues above scare you. The best way to approach health problems is to prevent them in the first place. The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health is a great place to start. Get a copy to keep at home. It will help you prevent the painful health issues that can plague your lovely Canaan pet from expressing his winning personality and maximizing his life expentancy.
Finding Your Broholmer
If you’ve decided the Broholmer temperament is the right fit, there’s one more thing to think about: adopt or buy. However, since he's considered a rare breed, you might have trouble a suitable one to bring home.
But regardless, we’re going to outline both processes, which will ensure you’ll have the best chance possible at getting one.
Broholmer For Sale
The best place to look for Broholmer puppies that you can buy is the American Kennel Club database. If you go through this source, the chances you come into contact with a lousy breeder are slim.
This positive aspect comes from AKC’s strict guidelines that they make their affiliated breeders follow. But these guidelines make it harder to find available puppies than on other sites; there’s just less of them.
If you do strike out with the AKC, you should then move onto sites like Puppyfinder.com. These sites will locate the nearest buyable puppy and provide you with the contact info; however, the Broholmer breeders you meet on there have a higher probability of being bad breeders.
After all, there are no strict guidelines these breeders must follow. With this in mind, it’s imperative you understand some signs that might signal a bad breeder: numerous litters for sale, unsanitary breeding facilities, online payment with credit card, lack necessary paperwork, etc.
It’s also essential you set up a meeting with the breeder at their breeding facility before purchase. It’ll give you the chance to evaluate the whole operation and make an informed determination about the situation.
If your breeder demonstrates any of the warning signs, it’s best to move onto a different one. But if he/she does pass your test, you should expect a Broholmer price to be around $1600. This price could be higher or lower depending on bloodlines, medical issues, shipping costs, etc.
Broholmer For Adoption
Finding a Broholmer up for adoption will be a bit tougher than buying one. You see there isn’t a strictly Broholmer rescue in the United States. But there are a few giant dog rescues, which might have a couple of them available.
One of these rescues is Mastiff to Mutts Rescue, and all you have to do is fill out the application. You then wait to see whether or not your situation is accepted and move on from there.
We should mention it’s highly possible that the Broholmer will pop up under this secondary name: the Danish Mastiff. If this option sounds like too much waiting, you can try sites like Adoptapet.com.
These sites will show you the nearest adoptable Broholmer and give the information you need to make your interest known. Another option you have is going to your local shelter or humane society and take a gander at their selection.
But when you do find one, it’s imperative you ask some questions about his background. These questions should cover topics such as medical history, temperament, previous situation, etc. All the information you gather from the answers should help make the transition much more manageable.
Conclusion: Is the Broholmer the Right Dog For You?
If you’re looking for a large, loyal dog, the Broholmer temperament might be an ideal fit for you. His enduring personality will bring a sense of happiness into your household. In the right situation, he can be the perfect family companion.
But if you aren’t confident in your training skills, his hardheadedness could be an issue. It’s also best for first-time owners to avoid getting this breed given his size and overall needs.
Calvin is the co-founder and one of the main contributors to dogtemperament.com. He has been an avid dog lover all his life. He enjoys researching and sharing great ideas on how you can avoid common pitfalls of dog ownership and build the most loving and enjoyable relationship with your dog.