If you are looking for a Great Dane puppy, or are just interested in the breed, you may be curious about what the word ‘Euro’ means!

Many breeders will claim that the puppies they are selling are a specific percentage of Euro, or will say that the puppies have ‘Euro’ parents. 

There are actually a lot of misunderstandings about ‘Euro’ vs. ‘American’ Danes, and we’re going to clear that up today! Read on to learn about what Euro means in Great Danes. 


Common features of the ‘Euro’ type Great Dane include:

  • Shorter, bulkier and stockier structure
  • Heavier weight
  • Larger, more dome-shaped head
  • Bigger jowls and ears
  • Wide-set eyes that are often droopy and may have red haw showing

Being Euro does NOT necessarily mean that a Great Dane is European!

Many common traits of the ‘Euro’ Great Dane are considered significant faults by the actual European standard for Great Danes. Especially the red droopy eyes, dome-shaped heads and oversized jowls.  

Many ethical European Great Dane breeders are actually pretty frustrated that so many people think all European Danes are droopy and heavy. 

A Euro Great Dane


Every purebred dog has a written standard.

The U.S. follows the standard written by the Great Dane Club of America, while Europe uses the standard written by the FCI.

According to these standards, a Great Dane from Europe should look very much the same as a Great Dane from the U.S., as both standards are nearly identical on paper (don’t believe us? Click the links above to read them!). 

Below are two well-bred European Great Danes. Well-bred dogs have good structure, health and type (they look like the breed standard). 


Just as ‘Euro’ might imply that a dog is heavier and drooper, many use the word ‘American’ to imply that a dog is lighter and more ‘greyhound’ like. Neither the ‘Euro’ nor the ‘American’ type dog meets the gold standard or goals for the breed as a whole. 

To compare, here is a well-bred Great Dane from the U.S., bred with the standard in mind. He is neither too refined, nor is he droopy and heavy. He is still a large, well-built dog. Bruce and the European bred dogs above are nearly the same. 


In many ways, the deliberate pursuit of some exaggerated ‘Euro’ traits is unethical.

Great Danes are already huge dogs and should not be intentionally bred for larger and stockier frames, droopier eyes and larger jowls,, especially if structural health, eye health, heart health and longevity is casually ignored as a result.

If you are looking for a Great Dane breeder, Euro or not, verify the following: 

  • Both parents have received and passed full health testing, including hip xrays, heart echocardiogram, thyroid panel and eye exam. 
  • Both parents have excellent structure, including neat eyes, tight feet, straight backs (no ‘roach’ or sway), well-developed chests and well-angled limbs. 
  • Both parents have excellent temperaments, free of aggression, fear and anxiety.
  • The breeder will support you for the life of the dog.


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