Broholmer Journey

I (Gaby Dufresne-Cyr) have been a Broholmer lover since I first laid eyes on the breed. It wasn't a physical meeting nor a discussion with an owner or breeder. The encounter was from a breed book a friend from Europe and I were looking at. I remember skipping through the pages and falling on that magnificent looking dog only to read it's breed characteristics and say to myself, this is it. From now on, this is the dog of my dreams. That first contact was 19 years ago. 

The Broholmer is Denmark's national dog breed. It almost went extinct until an article in the newspaper asked: Where is the Broholmer? From there on, a reconstruction organization was founded, and the rest is history. I have wanted to import a Broholmer for the longs time, but I've been unsuccessful because of red tape, a lot of it to be accurate. But, as the story goes, a man with a vision stepped up and soon I will import the first true Broholmer from Hungary.

I'm saving you all the discussions and meetings I've had throughout the years trying to convince breeders to sell me a dog. Time has passed, rules are a little more flexible, and more countries now own Broholmers which facilitates the process. The Broholmer puppies were born May 26, 2018, in Hungary, and two females will be arriving in Montreal between August 25th-28th. Here is a summary of the journey of the first Canadian Broholmer. 

- March 1: Creation and government registration of the Broholmer Canadian Club (BCC).
- May 10: The breeder contacts me to announce Broholmers Abigail and Milo have conceived.
- May 26: The breeder declares ten Broholmer puppies were born.
- May 27: I reserve two female Broholmers.
- May 31: I receive the first pictures of Abigail, and her puppies and registration documents are sent.
- May 31: I name the dogs Hariette and Harmony.
- June 3: Booking and transfer papers are being pulled together, more pictures come in, and I'm ecstatic.
- June  4: Puppy passports are created.
- June 12: Deposits are transferred, and yet again more pictures are shared. I'm overjoyed and super excited.
- June 17: I created the Broholmer Canadian Club as a legal organization.
- June 24: Socialisation is underway, and the puppies are exploring novel stimuli.
- June 27: More pictures are sent our way, and I have made my first visual selection. Temperament will determine the outcome.
- June 28: Created and updated the Facebook Broholmer Canadian Club page.
- July 6: Dog passports are done and the puppies have received their microchips.
- August 7: The puppies are growing and are now in mandatory quarantine.
- August 11: preparations for shipment have begun on both sides of the Atlantic.
- August 15: Crates is set, transition food ordered, and the announcement made to friends and family.
- August 18: Crate training continues while d-day gets closer and closer. At three months, Hariette is now 35.2lbs (16kg).
- August 21: The girls are scheduled to land in Montreal on August 29th, 2018 at 16:50 local time. We will live broadcast this event, so stay tuned.
- August 23: The puppy's ownership has been changed to me; therefore, Hariette is now a Canadian citizen and the first Broholmer to be included into the Broholmer Canadian Club.
- August 29: Hariette finally landed at 16:50 EST at YUL and arrived at her new Canadian home safe and sound later the same evening. I will let her recuperate and we will start our journey as ambassadors together. 

There is still much work to be done before the dogs arrive, but I will keep you posted on the developments. The puppies are all healthy and big. They have started to move around and eat solid food. The next stage of development is socialization. On our side of the Atlantic, we are preparing the puppies' arrival. We have finished constructing a maze, acquired transition food, bought a bed with a crate, and will puppy proof the new space over the next few weeks. We have also made arrangements with a friend to sleep over if we need to pick them up in Toronto, Ontario.

If you are interested in the Broholmer and wish to support us, I have started the Broholmer Canadian Club (BCC) for fanciers and breeders alike. The BCC is still in the early stages of its development, thus, please be patient as we work together to provide you with the best and most accurate information on the Broholmer in Canada and overseas. Meanwhile, if you wish to visit our breeder on facebook you can click here or visit the Broholmer website. You can also stop by the Dogue Shop for a chat about the breed. 

Please read on for a brief history of the Broholmer breed. More information can be found on Denmark's page, on the Federation Cynologique International's(FCI for short) website page, or on the Broholmer's German breed club. 

Photo © Broholmer Hungary Pheonix Bird, 2018

Broholmer History

"The Old Danish Dog's history can be traced back to Frederik II and Christian IV. The King fell in love with King Jacob I's English Mastiff during his visit and the breed was immediately imported to Denmark in the middle of the 16th century.

The breed was crossed with other large breeds during this period. However, in the 19th century, the Old Danish Dog was about to die out. Master of the Royal Hunt Niels Frederik Berhard Sehested of The Broholm Estate on Fyn managed to re-establish and re-breed the Broholmer. He gave the Broholmer away to people who wished to own this breed - but with the clause that the dog was to participate in the future breed.

During this period the Broholmer became a common dog. During the 20th century, the Broholmer became a rare sight due to this period's diseases and poverty. A large number of the Broholmers died because of distemper, epidemics and inbreeding problems. Thus, the Broholmer almost became extinct and the last Broholmer disappeared in 1956.

In 1974 a breeding committee was founded in cooperation with Dansk Kennel Klub, and its only purpose was to reestablish and breed the Broholmer as we know him today.

Soucre taken from The Broholmer
Photo © Gunnar Schmidt

Modern Broholmer

The work and the history of the reconstruction of the Broholmer have their own story. On a late night back in the year of 1973 a group of dog lovers from DKK was gathering talking about dog-breeds and the almost forgotten breeds. One of them remembered the Broholmer from his childhood but what had happened to this breed, did it still exist? None of them had seen the dog for years, but some of them had heard that there were very few samples left in Denmark, despite the rumours that the breed had died out. These thoughts and memories of the dog of from their childhood became the foundation for “the Reconstruction of the Broholmer”. The breeding was supervised by DKK.

First, the group had to find a specimen of the breed and a huge search was initiated in all Denmark newspapers. A lot of people reported that they knew of owners or owned a Broholmer-look-alike dog, but the problem was that DKK had stopped the pedigree registration of the Broholmer back in 1910. This made finding a “real” living Broholmer almost impossible because there was no registered Broholmers.

The group knew that there were many Broholmer-look-alike-dogs but now they had to find good breeding material. The many contacts with dog owners resulted in two possible candidates: an old yellow male, called Bjørn and the old black Manne, also a male. Both males had, of course, managed to pass on their genes naturally and thus the black Manne had had a beautiful yellow grandson called C. Bastian, who had the correct Broholmer look.

So now the group had two breeding males, but no females and a new search in the newspapers did not result in any “clean breeding material”. Therefore they had to use mongrels, who resembled the Broholmer in temper, colour and size. The first usable female was Muffe. The mating of C. Bastian and Muffe resulted in 4 puppies who were approved for further breedings. The first x-registrated (x = re-establishment of the breed) litter was now born and the breeding-material consisted of 5 males and 1 female. Unfortunately, the owner of the mongrel female had retired from the experiment.

Thus they started a breeding with these 5 dogs, but with 2 pedigree lines . After a short while they had to face the fact, they needed “new blood”. They received a female from Holland - ½ Spanish Mastiff and ½ English Mastiff. The puppies, who were born during the reconstruction work were given to people, who aggreed to help the recontruction by placing the dogs at the group’s disposal.

Unfortunately not all dog owners were willing to keep their pormise. There were still more yellow dogs than black dogs; therefore, a big loss was suffered when they lost Manne in 1980 when he died of old age. The work of the reconstruction continued and a milestone was reached, when in 1982, the Broholmer was acknowledged by the FCI (The International Association of Kennel Clubs ) under the reconstruction by DKK. In 1988 the Broholmer was internationally acknowledged as an “old Danish breed” and the Broholmer Society was now able to lead the breeding itself and future Broholmer litters could be pedigreed in a normal way.

Source is taken from The Broholmer
Photo © Gunnar Schmidt