7 Official Great Dane Colors That Are Accepted for The Show Ring

7 Official Great Dane Colors That Are Accepted for The Show Ring

A Great Dane is not the kind of dog you bring home if you want a calm, laid-back pet. Whether people are fascinated by their appearance, are scared, or just want to pet a Great Dane, the breed is always going to draw attention. Their coat color is one that never fails to add up to the extent of a Great Dane’s splendor.

The breed has standard colors when it comes to their coat, but some Great Dane owners have decided to go beyond the options and create their own unique look. The breed’s colors have made them the most popular dog in the world. They have a beautiful, glossy coat that can be accompanied by any color of their choice.

Learn everything you ever wanted to know about Great Dane colors in this article.

The color of the Great Dane is either a solid color or is determined by a pattern of markings on their smooth coat. The pattern includes one or more white markings on any part of the body except for the tail tip and feet. According to the AKC standards, there are 7 official Great Dane colors which are black, blue, merle, harlequin, fawn, brindle, and mantle. We will look at the 7 colors in detail below:

The 7 Official Great Dane Colors

1. Black

Great Dane Colors

Black-colored Great Danes have a solid black color coat with o white markings at all. A spotted Great Dane with markings on the chest and paws would be considered disregarded and should not be present in the show ring.

2. Blue

Blue Great Dane

Blue Great Danes have a deep dark slate gray coat color or pure steel blue with their noses and eyes being black. Like a spotted black Great Dane, if you have a blue Dane who has a white marking or a different color, it is disregarded for the show.

3. Fawn

Fawn Colored

Fawn-colored Great Danes are one of the most elegant and majestic dog breeds. Fawn is typically the color that’s associated with this breed, which makes sense when you think about it. The coat should be of a light golden color, covering the whole head to tail. But the face must be covered in a black mask, covering eye rims, eyebrows, ears, and tail tip. Great Danes with white markings on the toes and chests aren’t considered standard.

4. Brindle

Brindle Great Dane

Great Danes with brindle coats have a yellow base color with black cross stripes. They have a rich mixture of browns and blacks in their coat that almost looks like tiger stripes. Like Fawn Great Danes, Brindle Great Danes also typically have a black mask that covers the eyes and muzzle.

The intensity and brindled appearance of the base color affects the likeliness of the breed. This means the more intense and brindled colored the dog is, the more it is desired. Brindles with white markings on chests or toes are disregarded for the showing.

5. Harlequin

Harlequin Great Dane

A Great Dane with a Harlequin coat is predominantly white with patches of black and merle colors. Their neck is covered either in whole or partial white color while the body is coated with small black patches. Black hairs with a white base coat are eligible sometimes but are less desirable than their all-white counterparts.

6. Mantle

Mantle Great Dane

Mantle-colored Great Danes have a predominant black coat. More than just being black, they also have white color in their face, underbelly, chest, muzzle, and part of the hind legs and forelegs. In addition to these features, the dog also has a white-tipped tail! Mantle-coated Great Danes can have a patch of white, as well as light and dark black on their coat, who are also equally eligible for show.

7. Merle

Merle Great Dane

Merle Great Danes are sometimes called tri-colored Great Danes. Unlike a harlequin Great Dane with a white base coat color, merle coated Great Danes have a pale gray to dark merle base coat color but with darker markings and patches. There may be black pigment seen on white skin areas. These dogs may either have a solid merle coat with white chest and toes or merle with a mantle pattern coat (merle skull and white muzzle, full or partial white neck, full or partial hind legs and forelegs).

Other than AKC accepted show colors, there are also other non-standard color varieties that you may find in a Great Dane:

  • White
  • Mantle anything but black
  • Merlequin color with only patches of merle
  • Blue-based brindles
  • Blue-masked fawn


Great Danes are beautiful creatures that come in varieties of colors. They make great family pets even if they can be a little intimidating at first glance! Great Danes have a regal bearing and despite their size, they are incredibly gentle and friendly with people of all ages.

Thank you for reading the article.

To explore more, here are other Great Dane-related articles that you might be interested in.

Do you have a Great Dane? What color are they? We would love to hear from you. Please share with our community by leaving a comment below!

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