The Great Dane universe is colorful and vibrant. Known for their short and shiny coats, Great Danes come in many different colors and their coats are adorned with a variety of patterns and designs. Approved and described by the American Kennel Club, here are the different colors of the Great Dane.
Recognized Great Dane Colors
There are just a handful of dog breeds that come in a spectrum of colors and patterns, and Great Danes are one such breed. The AKC has recognized seven colors of the Great Dane.
#1. The Glossy Black
Typically, a black Great Dane has a glossy and silky black coat. When the AKC says black, they mean pure black. If the coat shows any white spots or markings, you might want to check for color defects.
Black is one of the seven recognized colors of the Great Dane. If you’re looking to win dog shows with your pet buddy, black is the color to go with.
#2. The Striking Blue
Blue Danes look a lot like Weimaraners. They flaunt a greyish-blue coat that shines brightly in the sunlight. This striking “steel-blue” shade of Great Dane accentuates its muscular body and makes it look stylish and elegant as ever.
Typically, a healthy blue coat must show no signs of white on the chest or the paws. Blue Danes come in different shades of blue but a solid greyish-blue is most popular.
#3. The Classic Fawn
Of all the different colors of the Great Dane, fawn happens to be the most dominant coat of color.
The AKC emphasizes that healthy fawn-colored Danes must never have black or white spots. In most cases, fawn Danes have a solid fawn color across their bodies, with the exception of a dark or black mask around their snouts and ears.
Fun Fact: Scooby-Doo is a fawn-colored Great Dane.
#4. The Beautiful Brindle
Brindle Great Danes are known for their colorful stripes. Spread across the tall and slender bodies of a Great Dane, the brindle color pattern comes in diverse shades and hues, such as fawn, black, grey, and red.
With a base coat of fawn underneath, the brindle color pattern gives Great Danes a mesmerizing and exquisite appearance. Most often, the fawn base coat is light. In some cases, it can get a bit darker like a darker brown or reddish coat.
Brindle Great Danes have a “mix n match” kind of coat with stripes and different colors, but white markings or spots are often questionable and aren’t usually preferred on a Brindle Great Dane.
In some rare cases, you might even come across a Blue Brindle Great Dane. This blue tinge is brought about by a recessive blue gene. Despite its uniqueness, the AKC doesn’t recognize a Blue Brindle coloration on Great Danes.
#5. The Dainty Harlequin
Adorning the perfect monochrome combination of colors, the Harlequin Great Dane has a pure white coat with random and asymmetric splashes of black marks across its slim and muscular body.
With a healthy Harlequin Dane, the base white coat is solid white across the neck of the Great Dane. And while the rest of the body may display irregular and inconsistent splotches of black marks, the neck area remains spotless.
The innate nature of a Harlequin coat is flaky and fragile, and such Great Danes are prone to certain health problems that tag along with the genes. To avoid complications, breeders usually mate Harlequins with Mantles.
#6. The Mighty Mantle
Mantle Great Danes are the exact opposite of Harlequins with a black base coat. While Harlequin coats are dainty, petite, and more lady-like, Mantle coats seem to show off a more macho and masculine look.
With Mantle-colored Great Danes, you can expect some amount of white coloration across the face, neck, chest, tail, legs, and paws. This spread of white is considered normal.
#7. The Refreshing Merle
Made official only in 2018, Merle coats are a fairly new addition to AKC’s list of recognized colors for Great Danes. This coat coloration is a combination of two or more colors.
Harlequins have a white base, Mantles have a black base coat, and Brindles have a fawn base color. Merle Great Danes have a darker base and it’s normally gray in color. Merle Danes have coats that are often characterized by black and white markings, and these markings invariably merge into one another, lending a dark grey tinge to their coats.
Besides the standard colors, the coats of Great Danes show off an odd spectrum of pigments and hues that aren’t recognized and included by the AKC. You may call this the non-recognized colors of the Great Dane.
#8. The White Dane
White Great Danes are extremely prone to genetic defects, and usually, their white pigmentation is the result of certain genetic abnormalities and faulty breeding. White Danes are a by-product of Merle-to-Merle mating. White is the rarest of all the different colors of The Great Dane.
#9. The Fawnequin Dane
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Fawnequin Danes are an unusual and rare mix of Harlequins and fawn-colored Danes. They usually have a white-colored base coat with splashes of fawn-colored spots, markings, masks, and stripes. The irregularities of the markings can make their coats resemble that of Merle Danes or Brindle Danes.
Sometimes, the different colors of the Great Dane can be a measure of its genetic make-up, lineage, and its susceptibility to illnesses, diseases, and other health issues.
According to the AKC, if a Great Dane possesses any of the seven official colors along with unusual white markings on the chest or the toes, there might be some reasons for concern. Generally, white color markings and random white spots on a Great Dane are a sign of some underlying issue.
Color Defects indicate that the wrong colors of Great Danes have been bred together. This can be avoided by carrying out mindful mating and breeding.
Considerations When Selecting a Color
When it comes to selecting a Great Dane color, it’s always white that strikes a chord. White Dane puppies, due to genetic defects, are sometimes born with deafness and blindness. This isn’t always the case but it is possible.
This doesn’t mean that White Danes are hard to care for. With the right kind of attention and love, pet parents can help White Danes have a normal and happy life. Instead of selecting a color, select the Great Dane whose temperament fits yours.
What Is the Rarest Great Dane Color?
White is the rarest Great Dane Color. When Dane puppies possess two Merle Genes, they are usually completely white in color.
What Is the Most Common Great Dane Color?
Fawn is the most common Great Dane color. Thanks to a recessive gene, most Great Dane puppies across the globe flaunt the many shades of fawn.
A Few Parting Words
Playful, elegant, and docile, Great Danes are a German breed of dogs that can easily live anywhere, are great to have around children, and make the best companions.
As a pet parent, learning about the different colors of the Great Dane can help you make an informed decision when adopting Great Danes. Do your research, and remember that there’s more to a dog than just its coat or color.