How to Train a Broholmer

Calm, good-natured, yet watchful and confident, the Broholmer hails from Denmark and makes a great family companion. A large, mastiff-type dog, the Broholmer is rectangular and strongly built with a wide, massive head. Around the year 1800, a Danish dog book described him as a very ordinary breed, especially around Copenhagen. His nickname was “the butcher’s dog,” as he was often seen lying at the doorsteps of butcher shops. He was a protector of the home and a herder and guard dog of cattle at the farm and in the city’s markets. Today, his size is the only thing that keeps intruders at bay. The Broholmer has a heart of gold, loves to snuggle, and always wants to be near you, though his preference is to sit on you. He is an excellent dog with children and other dogs, though because he seems to underestimate his size, supervision is recommended. This breed is also remarkably agile for his size and can do agility, fetch balls, and jump and catch frisbees. Anything you do, camping, hiking, picnicking, walks in the park, he will be more than happy to go along with you.  


As a type, this breed has been known since the Middle Ages, when it was used for stag-hunting. Later, it was used mainly as a guard dog for large farms and manors. At the end of the 18th century, these dogs were pure-bred and increased in number thanks to the Count Sehested of Broholm, from whom the breed has inherited its name. After World War II, the breed became almost extinct, but around 1975, a group of committed people, later organized as The Society for Reconstruction of the Broholmer Breed, supported by the Danish Kennel Club, began the work of reviving the breed.

In 1998, the Broholmer breed was officially acknowledged by the international breed registry, FCI. Up until 2009, the Broholmer had only been found in Denmark and a few other European countries. Then in June of that year, the very first Danish Masitff named Honor was imported into the United States by Joe and Kathy Kimmeth of the Broholmer Club of the USA. Since then, interest in the breed has surged.

Quick Facts

Temperament: friendly / loving / watchful

Height:27.5 to 29.5 inches

Weight: 90-150 pounds 

Life Expectancy: 8-10 years

Foundation Stock Service 


Most Broholmers are healthy dogs. Working with a responsible breeder, those wishing to own a Broholmer can gain the education they need to know about specific health concerns within the breed. Good breeders utilize health screening and genetic testing of their breeding stock to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.


Beyond regular weekly grooming, the occasional bath will keep your Broholmer clean and looking his best. Grooming can be a wonderful bonding experience for you and your dog. Keep strong, fast-growing nails trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting and cracking. Ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris, which can result in infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.


Options for exercise include play time in the backyard, preferably fenced, or taken for walks several times a day. Exercise can also come in the form of indoor activities, like hide-and-seek, chasing a ball rolled along the floor, or teaching them new tricks. Certain outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, retrieving balls or flying discs can provide a good outlet for expending energy. Training for dog sports like agility, obedience and rally can also be a great way to give your dog exercise.


A well-developed pup will excel with proper socialization and a training program that utilizes positive reinforcement. 


The Broholmer should do well on high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an essential aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.