Harlequin Great Dane Colors Explained (With Pictures)

The Great Dane is loved for their affectionate personality, giant size, and different amazing coat colors. 

The American Kennel Club recognizes seven coat color patterns of the Great Dane as standard colors of the breed. These colors are Harlequin, Black, Brindle, Fawn, Blue, Mantle, and Merle.

The Harlequin Great Dane is one of these coat color patterns which may appear in different color combinations due to the genes a puppy may inherit.

Here are the Harlequin Great Dane colors, and how to identify them.

Harlequin Great Dane

American Harlequin Great Dane

This is the only officially recognized Harlequin coat color pattern. It is a coat with a white base covered with torn black patches or spots distributed all over the body.

It is the most sought-after Great Dane coat color and the most expensive.

Other variations of this standard Harlequin coat color are referred to as mismarks meaning they are coat colors outside this standard color.

Blue Harlequin Great Dane

blue harlequin great dane

A Blue Harlequin Great Dane is a Harlequin coat pattern with a white base that is covered with torn gray patches or spots throughout the body.

The Blue Harlequin Great Dane resembles a Harlequin Great Dane but the difference is that instead of the black torn spots found on a standard Harlequin, the spots are gray.

If you want to learn more about this Great Dane color, that is, more on their temperament, health concerns, and price, read our Blue Harlequin Great Dane complete guide. 

Fawn Harlequin (Fawnequin) Great Dane

The Fawn Harlequin Great Dane or the Fawnequin is described as a Great Dane with a white base coat with fawn-colored patches all over the body. 

It is a Harlequin pattern but the black patches are fawn. Fawn is a light yellowish tan color.

Brindle Harlequin (Brindlequin) Great Dane

brindle harlequin great dane

The Brindle Harlequin Great Dane refers to a Great Dane with a Harlequin coat color pattern in combination with the Brindle coat color pattern. 

The Brindle coat color pattern is a tiger-striped pattern that has shades of orange to red as the base color with black stripes.  

A Brindle Hrequin Great Dane or Brindlequin has patches of Brindle coat color pattern on a white base coat.

Merle Harlequin (Merlequin) Great Dane

merlequin great dane

A Merle Harlequin Great Dane looks like a Harlequin Great Dane except for the color of the patches on the white base coat.

A Merlequin or Merle Harlequin Great Dane has a completely white coat base coat with Merle patches on it. 

Merle patches have a soft to dark gray base with torn black patches.

Read more: Merlequin Great Dane: Everything you need to know

Why choose A Harlequin Great Dane Color? Does coat color matter?

The color of a Great Dane only matters if you intend to have your dog participate in the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) conformation dog shows. 

The standard Harlequin Great Dane coat color pattern is the only accepted Harlequin coat color pattern that can compete. 

Other Harlequin variations are regarded as mismarked colors and do not qualify.

Although Blue Harlequin, Fawnequin, Brindlequin, and Chocolate Harlequin cannot compete in dog shows, it does not mean that they are not good dogs to have.

They have different Harlequin color patterns but have the same personality and qualities as a Great Dane.

Therefore if your intention is not to compete, but you still want a Great Dane, these other Harlequin Great Dane colors are still good options.

Color also matters when considering the health of a Great Dane because some colors are more prone to more health problems. 

A Merlequin is a double merle Great Dane which is susceptible to many health problems compared to the other Harlequin Great Dane colors. 

Read more on our complete Merlequin guide to learn more about this coat color pattern.

Where To Buy Or Adopt Harlequin Great Dane Colors

Harlequin Great Dane colors can be rare to find but they can be available at Great Dane rescue centers or from responsible Great Dane breeders.   

It is not common for purebred Great Dane breeders to produce Harlequin Great Danes that are outside of the breed’s standards but some might have the Harlequin varieties in a litter.

If you are interested in buying a Harlequin Great Dane puppy, buy one from a reputable Great Dane breeder. 

Puppies from responsible breeders go through the required health checks, which means you will receive a healthy puppy. 

The American Kennel Club’s marketplace is a good place to start your search. It is a reliable resource for Great Dane breeders.

Rescue centers also have older Great Danes that need rehoming. They are also a resource for adopting a Harlequin Great Dane color.

Some Great Dane rescue groups around the United States include:

Summary: Harlequin Great Dane Colors

Great Danes have different fascinating coat colors including the Harlequin coat color pattern. The Harlequin Great Dane is a very popular Great Dane color that is loved by many, by having a white base with black spots on the body.

In addition to this, the Harlequin pattern also shows up in different variations in colors or patterns. This makes this coat pattern interesting and admired by many.

Despite these differences, the Great Danes share the same qualities as the Great Dane dog breed and regardless of which one you choose, they are all affectionate and loving dogs.


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