Picking a color for your Great Dane can be one of the first big decisions! While Great Danes come in a variety of colors and patterns, only seven breed colors are officially recognized by theAmerican Kennel Club (AKC).

If you are interested in entering your Dane into dog shows then this should be taken into consideration as entrants are limited to the officially recognized breed colors.

However, if dog shows are not of importance to you, the color should not be considered the primary factor in the selection of a new Great Dane to join your family.

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AKC Standard

Merle was recently added to the color standard in May 2018! The Merle coat is similar to the Harlequin coat. It is spotted, with the only difference being in the basic coat color of gray rather than white.

White and black spotting is also common. The shade of the gray color varies, as can the number of spots. The pattern of the coat can also be variable, with mixtures of Harlequin or the Mantle.

Additional Notes

As hinted at above, there are many variations of the merle coat. Common examples are merle harlequin (or merlequin), fawn merle, blue merle, and brindle merle.

The “Unofficial” Great Dane Colors

In addition to the seven officially recognized Great Dane coat colors, there are several unofficial colors. This is not a 100% comprehensive list as there are many other colors and combinations of colors that can be found in Great Danes. Some of the most common ones with their descriptions can be found below.

As mentioned in the introduction, Danes of these colors can still make fantastic, loving additions to your family. The only restriction per say is the inability to compete in dog shows as they do not fall into the official breed standard.


As the name suggests, the Fawnequin is a fawn-colored Harlequin. The basic coat color is white, with torn fawn patches covering it. There can be variations in the color and spots. Patterns may also include Brindle and Merle.


This is the least common of the Great Dane colors, and as previously mentioned also the most susceptible to genetic defects.

White Danes are common in Merle to Merle mating and are almost completely white. However, some markings may appear on the coat.

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As you can see there is indeed a wide variety of colors and patterns that can be found in Great Danes!

While you may start out having a preference for one color, the sweethearts of these wonderful creatures will be sure to win you over with time, regardless of the color or pattern of their coat.

O hope that you found this information helpful. Before you go, make sure to take a look at ourfavorite products for Great Danes!

Tip! If you’re looking for a resource that guides you through everything from A-Z about raising a Great Dane then you should absolutely take a look at the Great Dane Puppy Handbook. It’s everything that a busy owner needs to feel calm and confident about raising their dog.

I hope that you found this article informative, and please feel free to leave comments below with any outstanding questions that you may have!