Blue Harlequin Great Dane: Everything You Need To Know

The American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Great Dane Council of America (GDCA) recognize seven colors of the Great Dane as the breed’s standards. 

These Great Dane colors include Brindle, Black, Blue, Fawn, Merle, Mantle, and Harlequin. There are color variations from these colors based on breeding and gene interaction.

In this article, we will give you a detailed breakdown of the Blue Harlequin Great Dane by providing you with everything you need to know about this Great Dane with its unique coat color.

What Is A Blue Harlequin Great Dane?

A Blue Harlequin Great Dane is a Great Dane with a Harlequin coat pattern with a white base coat covered with torn gray patches or spots all over its body. The Blue Harlequin has a distinctive gray nose pigmentation and blue eyes.


What Does The Blue Harlequin Great Dane Look Like?

Except for the coat color, the Blue Harlequin Great Dane has the physical features of the standard Great Dane dog. 

Generally, a Blue Harlequin has an athletic, muscular build, with a large head and muzzle, natural floppy ears, narrow body, long limbs, and a medium-sized tail. 

 Their body is covered with a smooth short coat. 

The Blue Harlequin Great Dane grows to the average size of the Great Dane’s breed standard.

The average height of an adult Blue Harlequin Great Dane female is 28 to 32 inches while the average height of a male Blue Harlequin Great Dane is 32 to 34 inches.

On the other hand, the average weight of the Blue Harlequin Great Dane female is 100 to 130 pounds while the male weighs 120 to 200 pounds. 

The Blue Harlequin Great Dane has a white base coat color covered with torn gray patches or spots all over its body. 

The spots or patches are gray, which is the main difference between a standard Harlequin Great Dane’s markings which are black.

The “blue color” in the coat is simple a dilution of the black color and appears as a subtle gray or slate. It is not the typical “sky blue” color.

The Blue Harlequin Great Dane’s eyes are blue. 

Read more on our complete Harlequin Great Dane guide to learn more about the Harlequin’s stunning coat color pattern, health concerns and more.

blue harlequin great dane

Does the American Kennel Club recognize the Blue Harlequin Great Dane?

Unfortunately, the Blue Harlequin Great Dane is not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as an official color of the Great Dane. 

This simply means they cannot be a show dog in the American Kennel Club’s conformation dog shows because it does not meet the Harlequin Great Dane standard description. 

Although they are not qualified as show dogs, the Blue Harlequin is still registered by the AKC.

The Harlequin coat color pattern is recognized as a standard Great Dane color pattern by the American Kennel Club. It is described as a Great Dane with a white base coat covered with torn black patches or spots all over their body.” 

Any Great Dane with the Harlequin coat pattern and color outside this Harlequin standard description is referred to as a flawed or mismarked Great Dane. 

A miskmark is a coat color or markings outside the standard qualities of a dog breed. 

The seven official Great Dane coat colors recognized by the American Kennel Club are:

  • Black
  • Fawn
  • Harlequin
  • Merle
  • Brindle
  • Mantle
  • Blue

Other Great Danes with the Harlequin coat pattern with other coat colors include:

The Blue Harlequin Great Dane is not a show dog, however, if you are not planning to participate in dog shows, they are great dogs to have. They are sought after by many Great Dane owners.

The Genetics Of The Blue Harlequin Great Dane

The coat colors of all dog breeds are established on two primary coat color pigments, that is black pigment (eumelanin), and red pigment (pheomelanin).

Depending on the genes a puppy inherits from both its parents and the resultant gene interaction, these two colors are expressed or modified to give the puppy a coat color.

A Blue Harlequin Great Dane puppy is produced when a puppy also inherits a recessive gene, also known as the dilution gene (d gene), from its parents.

The dilution gene reduces the color concentration of black, brown, and yellow coat color hair pigment.

The Blue Harlequin Great Dane puppy inherits the Harlequin gene (Hh), two copies of the dilute gene alleles (dd) one from each parent, and one copy of the Merle gene (Mm).

With this combination, the dilution gene reduces the black pigment color (eumelanin) of the Harlequin black spots to blue, which is a subtle gray. This produces a Blue Harlequin puppy. 

The “Blue” color is simply a dilute black pigment.

Are Blue Harlequin Great Danes rare?

The Blue Harlequin Great Danes are not rare despite being a unique Great Dane coat color variation.

This is because mismarked Harlequin puppies can be found in puppy litters produced from the ethical breeding of Harlequin Great Danes. Professional breeders can also deliberately produce puppies.

Professional breeders can breed Blue Harlequin Great Danes through specific breeding by ensuring that both parents of a Harlequin puppy pass down the recessive dilution gene.

Puppies with only one copy of the dilution gene cannot develop the Blue Harlequin coat if they do not inherit another dilution gene from the other parent.

The dilute gene is a recessive gene meaning it will only be expressed if a puppy inherits two copies of the gene alleles (dd).

Based on this genetic combination, professional breeders can make it possible through selective breeding.

Blue Harlequin Great Dane Temperament

There is no link between the coat color variation differences in a dog to different personalities.

The Blue Harlequin Great Dane has the same personality traits as the Great Dane breed.

Great Danes are people-oriented, that is, they like being around people and do not do well when away from them. They are gentle, affectionate, sweet-natured, devoted, loyal, friendly, and protective dogs.

The Blue Harlequin Great Dane embodies these traits and is a great dog to have as a canine companion.

Personality is also influenced by an individual dog’s training, socialization, proper breeding, and overall care. 

Blue Harlequin Great Dane Health

The Blue Harlequin Great Dane is susceptible to certain health problems based on its coat color. 

Studies have proved that a dog’s coat color and health are related whereby some coat color variations are more prone to particular health problems. 

Dogs with dilute coat color, that is, Fawn and Blue colored dogs are prone to color dilution alopecia (CDA) which is a hereditary disease. 

Therefore the Blue Harlequin Great Dane is prone to color dilution alopecia (CDA). 

Color Dilution Alopecia causes:

  • Hair loss
  • Itchy bald patches
  • Flaky skin

The CDA does not have a cure however it is managed by preventing infections on the exposed skin. 

A Blue Harlequin Great Dane with CDA requires regular bathing by use of a prescribed shampoo to reduce itchiness as well as infection on the area of the skin that is inflamed.

Great Dane breeders usually make sure not to include parent Great Danes that have CDA in their breeding program to avoid the offspring from acquiring the disease. 

The Blue Harlequin Great Dane is also predisposed to common Great Dane health problems which include:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Wobblers syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis
  • Hypothyroidism

Read more: What do Great Danes usually die from?

The Blue Harlequin Great Dane is also very prone to bloat which is a life-threatening gastrointestinal condition that is common in large breed dogs. 

As a Great Dane owner, it is important to be aware of the signs of bloat to be able to know the proper response when it occurs to save your dog’s life. Preventive measures of bloat also exist to reduce the chances of occurrence.

Most Blue Harlequin Great Danes are generally healthy dogs and will not automatically develop the above illnesses.

The Blue Harlequin Great Dane also has a short life expectancy of 7 to 10 years, however, some may live longer than this. 

The important thing to do as a Great Dane owner is to promote their health and wellbeing by providing them with good care both in terms of diet, exercise, grooming, socialization, and training.

In addition to the Blue Harlequin learn more from our guides about other Blue Great Dane color patterns: 

Recommended Reading: 

Grooming and Care

The grooming of a Blue Harlequin Great Dane is not intense. It can be perceived to be so because it is a giant dog. 

The Blue Harlequin Great Dane coat is short and requires low maintenance. The coat requires weekly brushing for maintenance and removal of shed hair. 

The coat sheds a lot, especially during spring but upkeep is not strenuous. Maintenance only requires weekly brushing, 2-3 times a week.

A Blue Harlequin Great Dane requires a bath occasionally, ideally once a month. This depends on how frequently they get dirty based on their activity level. 

Weekly brushing of teeth is sufficient and nails should be trimmed once a month when required.  

Moderate exercise is recommended especially before they are 18 months. During this time their bones are delicate and still growing. Injury can cause serious lifelong bone and joint problems.

Great Danes also have moderate energy and do not require intense exercise or activities to be fit and healthy.

An adult dog will only need 30 to 60 minutes of exercise while a Blue Harlequin Great Dane puppy needs 90 minutes of exercise every day. 

Blue Harlequin Great Dane Price: How much does a Blue Harlequin Great Dane cost?

The average Blue Harlequin Great Dane price  is between $1500 and $3000.

Different factors will affect this price range based on availability, the breeder, location, and even gender. 

Expect a premium price because of deliberate and specific breeding to produce Blue Harlequin puppies if they are not immediately available. 

Always ensure to purchase Blue Harlequin Great Dane puppies from a reputable Blue Harlequin Great Dane breeder who will have reliable information on their genetic health and health histories.

Avoid Blue Harlequin Great Dane for sale from unscrupulous puppy mills that charge high prices for puppies.

Exploitative puppy mills may charge extra for this coat color variation. You should not pay more than the average price of a Great Dane. 

Always buy your Blue Harlequin Great Dane puppy from reputable breeders to get a reasonable price for your puppy. 

Where To Buy Or Adopt a Blue Harlequin Great Dane Puppies

Responsible Great Dane breeding requires an understanding of dog genetics as well as abiding by the code of ethics. 

When you are considering acquiring a Blue Harlequin Great Dane puppy, always purchase from a reputable breeder who will have the puppy’s health history. 

This prevents the production and buying of unhealthy puppies due to improper breeding practices.

The American Kennel Club marketplace has a list of reputable Great Dane breeders from where you can start your search for a Blue Harlequin Great Dane.

Adoption of a Blue Harlequin Great Dane is also possible from Great Dane rescue centers.

This includes Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League, Northwest Florida Great Dane Rescue, Great Dane Rescue, Great Dane Rescue Inc., and the Great Dane Friends.

Frequently Asked Question

Can you breed a Blue Great Dane with a Harlequin?

Yes, you can breed a Blue Great Dane with a Harlequin. This breeding produces Harlequin, Merle, and Solid Black puppies in a litter.

The puppies are non-dilutes if they only have one allele of the dilution gene therefore will not have a Blue (dilute black) color.

If puppies have two alleles of the dilution gene, one from each parent, the litter will have some puppies with dilute color.

Summary: Blue Harlequin Great Dane

The Great Dane dog breed has various coat color variations. The Blue Harlequin Great Dane is one of the Blue Great Dane colors, which has a diluted black coat hair pigment, that shows up as gray on a white base coat.  

As a potential Great Dane owner, being aware of these color variations and their characteristics is one of the steps during the selection process to have a preferred Great Dane color. 

Although there are popular Great Dane colors, no color is better than the other and the choice of color is simply personal based on your preference.

Coat color variation is not linked to personality traits but unfortunately, the health of a Great Dane is. Understanding the potential health risks linked to a certain coat color helps you know what to expect, the preventive measures to take, and how to care for your Great Dane.

Overall, when you provide your Great Dane with a good diet, exercise, and care they will thrive. 

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