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Harlequin Great Danes

Harlequin Great Danes are difficult to breed, properly marked dogs are prized among many Great Dane lovers.

Two gorgeous harlequin Great Danes sitting on a bridge over a river.

Two Beautiful Harlequins

As you can see in these two nicely marked harlequin Great Danes, pure white with black "torn" patches is a perfect example of the harlequin color and pattern.

Patches should appear torn, irregular and cover the entire body; a pure white neck is preferred and most desirable.

Harlequin Danes are a treat on the eyes, amazing animals and their large size and unique markings almost makes one think of a Holstein Cow Calf.

Harlequin Great Danes Trivia:

Many people mistake a growing juvenile harlequin Dane as a Dalmatian.

Although both breeds are white with black markings, the Dalmatian has spots.

A Harlequin Dane's "torn patches" differ from the smooth rounded spots of the Dalmatian.

AKC standard for Harlequin Great Danes:

Base color shall be pure white with black torn patches irregularly and well distributed over the entire body; a pure white neck is preferred. The black patches should never be large enough to give the appearance of a blanket, nor so small as to give a stippled or dappled effect. Eligible, but less desirable, are a few small gray patches, or a white base with single black hairs showing through, which tend to give a salt and pepper or dirty effect.
Any variance in color or markings as described above shall be faulted to the extent of the deviation. Any Great Dane, which does not fall within the above color classifications, must be disqualified.

Producing well marked harlequin puppies is not easy!

Simply breeding two harlequins will not assure a litter of beautifully marked puppies. Many harlequin Great Danes carry genes of other colors in their lineage such as black, blue, merle and more. Merle pups, mismarked blacks, and white are always possibilities when breeding harls. It takes years of breeding experience, many litters and mismarks before a successful harlequin breeder finds the perfect breeding combination. On occasion, a mismarked harl pup will be used as breeding stock for future harl litters with success.

Additional harlequin characteristics.

A baby harls nose may be pinker than pink! As the dog matures, nose color will typically darken to black, or a darker pink with black spots. Harlequins with different colored eyes are not uncommon. One eye may be blue, one brown or dark, one eye may be one solid color while the other is two colors. With harlequin great Danes, you never truly know the outcome until the dog matures.

For additional information on merle Great Danes and merle coloring visit our Great Dane colors page by following your breadcrumb trail or clicking here.

Most all harlequins have some merle color! This can go without notice as the merle coloring typically lightens or darkens to blend in with the black or white. On occasion you may find a rare harlequin Great Dane with no merle color whatsoever.

As no two harlequin Danes are alike, we'd love to see yours. Please send you photos by visiting our Contact Page located in the top navigation menu. We may even publish your harl's photos on this page:)