Great Danes are beautiful dogs, no matter their coloring. They are large, magnificent creatures that stand tall and regal. Then, when you get to know them, you realize they are just loveable and goofy pups with massive bodies that love to play! So, don’t let their size fool you into thinking they are intimidating.
Instead, look at their many coat colors and decide which one you love best. Then, find a reputable breeder or specialized rescue near you to find your new pup. Whether you intend to train them for competition shows or only obedience training to get along with the family and neighbors, you’re sure to love these gentle giants. The GDCA, or Great Dane Club of America, will be an excellent resource as you learn more about them.
The 10 Beautiful Great Dane Colors
Great Danes are already beautiful with a regal stance and calm temperament, but with an all-black coat, they seem just a bit nobler. Black Great Danes are the rarest of the breed. Some Black Danes have a small patch of white on the front of their chest, which is allowed by AKC standards, but those that are entirely black are the hardest to find.
Because of their rarity, they are the most prized, not only among dog enthusiasts training them for shows but also by families who seek a gentle protector and playmate.
Mantle Great Danes are also called “black and white” Danes. The coloring could be any pattern of the two colors as long as it isn’t spotted, which be considered Harlequin. However, the AKC standard is a bit stricter regarding where the white and black should appear on the dog’s coat.
For example, the skull should be black, and the muzzle should be white. There is an ideal mantle coat as well as acceptable variations. This is one of the most straightforward patterns with the least variation allowed.
The stunning steel blue coat of the Blue Great Dane is instantly recognizable. Not only will you notice this dog’s size, but its color is just as magnificent. Many Blues will have a lighter eye color than other standard coat colors. For AKC championship qualification, a Blue Great Dane must be solid-colored with no white on its chest. This is a common feature, which is fine for Danes enjoying life outside of competitions.
The brindle pattern is typical in many dog breeds, but especially some of the larger ones, like Boxers and Greyhounds. It is lovely in Great Danes because there is so much of this unique coloring to see! The most prominent colors are black and brown, but many dogs also show gray.
Their coats can be anywhere from bright with well-defined stripes to more muted coloring that looks blended. These stunning Brindle Great Danes show up often in competition but are just as comfortable sharing your couch.
Fawns are, by far, the most common Great Danes. However, just because they are common doesn’t mean they are any less beautiful. You may recognize a popular and timeless cartoon character with this classic brown coloring, the much-loved Scooby Doo, although Fawn Great Danes rarely have any other colors, like spots, along their body.
While Scooby Doo may not have been able to compete in dog shows, he and many other Fawn Great Danes don’t have to work hard to win our hearts.
Harlequin Great Danes are primarily white with patches of another color. These patches can be black or grey or have a merle pattern. Some dogs have a combination of these colors and patterns in their spots, and the spots are rarely symmetrical. Every Harlequin Dane looks just as unique as their personality.
To see patches of merle, the dog must have at least one merle parent. The ideal pattern shows primarily white on the neck, shoulders, and front legs, with more coloring toward the back and hind legs. However, there are other acceptable variations as well. This is another rare Great Dane color because it is challenging to breed.
We’ve mentioned the merle pattern several times, so what exactly is it? Merle Great Danes have a primarily grey coat with spots of black. Other than fawns, these are typical Danes and no less gorgeous. Unfortunately, merles are susceptible to more health problems than some other Danes, and you should research both the breed and the breeder before adopting your new Dane. Many Merle Great Danes are the result of trying to breed for Harlequin Danes, but a pup with both merle genes will most likely be white.
If Merle Great Danes are susceptible to health problems and White Great Danes require two merle genes, it’s safe to say that they are the most prone to health issues. They are beautiful, with their size and striking all-white coats, but because of their breeding and continued health problems, they are not officially recognized by the AKC and most likely won’t be.
Danes with coat colors that aren’t recognized are called “off-color.” While they can’t compete in shows, many pet owners welcome them into their homes. White Danes are often unexpected when breeding for other coat colors.
The AKC does not officially recognize Brown Great Danes, and many breeders will stop their breeding program when they notice a litter with at least one chocolate pup if they exclusively breed show dogs. However, they are beautiful dogs, and many enjoy their regal appearance as family pets.
Chocolate Danes show up in shelters and rescues often when a puppy is adopted and returned when the owners cannot adequately care for it. If you’re looking for a Dane that is just as sweet as its name, find a chocolate one! You may find a Chocolate Brindle or Chocolate Merle as well.
10. Mantle Merle
While the GDCA recognizes the Mantle Merle Great Dane, the AKC has yet to offer a breed standard for this coat color. These Danes may have a solid merle appearance or a bit of white on their chest or toes.
They could also have the ideal mantle pattern, but instead of solid black, you’d see the beautiful merle pattern. The merle could have patches of black throughout. Because of this look’s growing popularity and acceptance by the GDCA, the AKC may soon include it as part of the breed standard.
Have you fallen in love with the Great Dane yet? The hardest decision now is picking your new Dane’s color. Research this fantastic breed and visit a few of them so you can get to know their unique personality and see these colors in person. You might just meet your new fur-ever friend when you do.
Featured Image Credit: Jesus Souto, Shutterstock