1) Old history
Not as a breed called Broholmer, but as a type of a dog, this breed has been known as an excellent stag hunter since Middle Ages. Later, these dogs were mostly used as great property guards and as drover dogs in . We are not completely sure about the breeds ancestry, but its ancestors should be English Mastiffs and various local German dogs.
2) Noble dogs
We know Broholmer as a completely purebred dog since the end of 18th century. Before that, these dogs were sometimes reffered to as an Old Danish dog and they were reserved for Danish royalty and aristocrats and was used to guard castles and for hunting. As the hunting methods changed, the breeds popularity declined and the breed almost extinct. Luckily, a Danish nobleman, the Count Sehested of Broholm decided to revive the breed and he set a strict breeding rules, which helped to standardize the Broholmer. Btw, the breed got its name after this man, Sehested of Broholm.
3) World War II
Later, after the two World Wars, the Broholmer almost went extinct once again. But again, group of enthusiats decided to save and preserve the breed, and luckily, they were succesful. This group was known as The Society for Reconstruction of the Broholmer breed and even though the Broholmer is still pretty rare dog breed these days, they are not on the verge of extinction anymore. If you would like to see a Broholmer on your own eyes, your best bet would be to go to their native Denmark or some other neighboring countries like Germany. The Broholmer was first imported to the USA in 2009.
On the first sight, the Broholmer is a mastiff type of a dog with powerful and muscular appearance. They have large head and deep chest. The average height is between 70-75 cm, which is 28-30 inches and weight is typically between 40-70 kgs. The females are naturally smaller and lighter than males.
These dogs were used for centuries as guards and protectors, so its only logical that they are alert and reserved with strangers, although this can be vastly influenced by early socialization. But these dogs can be easily trained to be good guards, but do not worry, they should never be agressive without a reason, quite the opposite. These dogs are not the biggest barkers, but when they do bark, you will definitely hear it, their barking is very loud and impressive.
Of course, the Broholmer is not only a guard or a hunter, today, most of them are living the spoiled life of family companions. And guess what? They are great companions. The FCI breed standard describe their temperament as calm, good tempered and friendly. They are also pretty gentle, so they can be good partners for kids, but you should never leave any dog breed with a very young child unsupervised. They can also live with other dogs in the family, especially if they are raised together from the puppyhood. Overall, this is a good family companion.
The Broholmer has a short coat that is close to the body. They do have a thick undercoat which sheds quite a lot seasonally. The most common colors are yellow with black mask and golden red. Black Broholmers are also accepted by all breed standards, but they are quite rare. This breed can have white markings on the chest, feet and tail.
On one hand, this is an intelligent dog that is willing to please its owners, which makes the Broholmer pretty easily trainable. They definitely get new commands fairly quickly. On the other hand, because of its large size, big strength and naturally protective temperament, they definitely need experienced trainer who knows how to properly train them and especially socialize them from the puppyhood. This is not a good choice for unexperienced or novice dog owners.
The Broholmer is not totally hyperactive dog, but it is definitely not a coach potatoe as well. I would say that their exercise needs are average. Considering their history as hunters and guards, they definitely like outdoors, so they love long walks and hikes, some of them will enjoy a good swim or playing fetch. If they do not get their daily exercise, they might start to have behavioral problems, so you should definitely exercise them on daily basis.
Just like with all the large dog breeds, the lifespan of Broholmer is not the longest, but it should be between 9-13 years, which is definitely not terrible. The Broholmer is prone to hip and elbow dysplasia and arthritis. Minor health concerns include entropion, cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy.