More Detail on Merle Great Danes
Merle Great Danes are produced in many harlequin Great Dane litters. You may find merles for sale or in classified ads being sold as rare colored Danes. Truly, each merle is unique in color but don't be fooled into paying extra for a merle.
White on the muzzle, chest, toes, and tip of tail is common on merles as well as harlequin bred blacks. Merles coloration is a product of harlequin breeding and very common in most harlequin litters, even when following ethical harlequin breeding practices. Future breeding of merle Great Danes however could lead to predisposition of certain health problems!
The nice thing about merle Great Danes is you will have a unique colored dog and generally, no two are alike. Some of the merle color patterns and markings are incredible. Although merle colored Great Danes are not accepted for showing, you can still fully register your dog as a purebred with the (AKC) American Kennel Club:)
Breeding of any color Dane that has been color crossed can produced a variety of merle colors.
TIP: Important! None of these colors are "rare" and YOU should not pay extra for a merle. Some unscrupulous breeders intentionally produce merles to "cash in" on the uneducated Dane buyer! For more color info don't miss our Great Dane Colors main page.
Are fawn, light cream to tan, with black speckles and spotting.
Similar to fawn merles, are tan, with reddish or chocolate spotting.
Have stripes that fade in and out of the background color. Stripes may appear to be broken and turn into spots.
Are white, with a mantle pattern. Rather than black, the coloring is silver, light to dark grey, with blotching or spots, and speckles.
Are slate, dark blue, or brownish blue with black spots. Nose and skin pigmentation looks bluish black. See our Great Dane Colors main page for a link to our "Blue Merle Great Dane" page.
(Silver or platinum merles)
Are light silver/gray, with black spots and speckles. The nose is usually black, occasionally it is pink.
Can be many color combinations, the most prominent trait is three distinct coat colors.
This very unique colored Dane is often referred to as tri-colored.
If you don't see a color or pattern on this page that fits your Great Dane, you must have an awesome looking dog:)
Avoid Breeding Merle Great Danes
Even if your Merle is perfect in every way, great conformation, character and all else that a Dane can be. Breeding merles is currently deemed an unethical practice by the Great Dane Club of America's breeder's code of ethics. Not to mention that breeding merles may produce dead puppies, sick puppies, and Danes that are predisposed to future health problems. This is possible if the "merle" gene is present in both parents, resulting in double "merle" dogs that can be stillborn, deaf, blind and genetically flawed.
Thankfully, there will soon be a test available to detect the merle gene, take a look at our Great Dane Colors main page for a link to the merle testing press release from the Great Dane club of America. Yes, things may change in the future as more information and testing is done on the affects of the merle gene and Great Danes.
For now.. Enjoy your beautiful Merle Great Dane and please consider neutered or spay. Following ethical breeding practices with color code coupled with thourough health screening of breeding stock will help our breed remain healthy and strong for generations to come.