Harlequin Great Dane Guide: Everything You Need To Know

The Great Dane is a beloved giant breed dog that has different stunning coat colors and patterns. The Harlequin Great Dane is a popular coat color of the breed.

So, what makes a Harlequin Great Dane? What do they look like?

Read on to learn more about what makes a Harlequin Great Dane, its appearance, temperament, health concerns, price, and where to find them.

What Is A Harlequin Great Dane?

A Harlequin Great Dane is a coat color pattern of the Great Dane. The coat has a white base covered with irregular black torn patches that are evenly distributed all over the body. The Harlequin Great Dane is one of the seven standard Great Dane colors.

harlequin great dane

What are the Great Dane Colors?

Seven Great Dane coat colors are recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as the breed’s standard colors. These are:

  • Black

  • Merle

  • Fawn

  • Harlequin

  • Brindle

  • Blue

  • Mantle

The Great Dane’s colors are all unique giving the Great Dane a fascinating appearance that is loved by many.

We have a complete guide on the Great Dane colors that you can read to learn more on about each coat’s color and appearance. 

What Does a Harlequin Great Dane Look Like?

The Harlequin Great Dane resembles any other Great Dane except for its coat color. They have the physical attributes of the breed.

They have a muscular athletic build with a large head and muzzle, natural floppy ears, narrow bodies, long limbs, and a medium-sized tail. 

The body is covered by a short and smooth coat. The coat is a white base covered with irregular black torn patches that are evenly distributed all over the body. 

The black patches are not completely round and have jagged or torn edges. 

The black marks should also not be very large covering the whole coat as one. This distinguishes the Harlequin Great Dane and the Mantle Great Dane.

The American Kennel Club standards for the Harlequin Great Dane include different variations and markings of the coat. These are:

  • Pure white neck
  • Merle markings
  • Black markings on the legs and chest
  • Partial or whole white neck

These are the standards for the Harlequin coat color pattern. An interesting Harlequin Great Dane fact is that just like snowflakes, no two Harlequin Great Dane coats are identical. 

These unique marking makes the coat color very fascinating and very much sought after by Great Dane enthusiasts and owners.

It is also easy to confuse a Harlequin Great Dane for a Dalmatian. They look similar by having a white coat with black spots, however, they are different apart from being different dog breeds.

Our guide on Harlequin Great Dane Vs Dalmatian shows this difference and how to identify and tell apart these two dogs.

Harlequin Great Dane size

The Harlequin Great Dane size differs between the male and female dogs. The female Harlequin Great Danes are generally slightly smaller than the male Harlequin Great Danes.

A full-grown male Harlequin Great Dane stands at 32 to 34 inches high at the shoulder with a weight of 120 – 200 pounds while the female Harlequin Great Dane is 28 to 32 inches tall and weighs 100 to 130 pounds.

European Harlequin Great Danes also exist and are different from American Harlequin Great Danes. 

There are physical differences and slight personality differences that distinguish these two Harlequin Great Danes. 

Harlequin Great Dane eye color

The Harlequin Great Dane has blue eyes. Blue eyes are a result of genetics which causes a lack of pigment in the eyes. 

The Harlequin Great Dane’s blue eyes are a striking feature of the Great Dane and unlike other Great Dane coat colors with different eye colors, the Harlequin’s eyes stay blue from when they are puppies and throughout their lives.

Harlequin Great Dane ears

The Harlequin Great Dane’s ears are floppy medium-sized ears with a moderate thickness that fold forward close to the cheek. 

These are the natural ear shape that the breed is born with however you may also have seen Harlequin Great Dane pointy ears, which are cropped ears.

Harlequin Great Dane cropped ears are due to ear cropping. Harlequin Great Dane ear cropping is a surgical procedure that is done on the puppies to have their ears stand upright.

What Makes A Harlequin Great Dane? : Harlequin Great Dane Genetics

The coat color of Great Danes depends on the coat color genes that a puppy receives from both of its parents. 

A Harlequin Great Dane puppy is produced when a puppy receives the Merle gene, from one of its parents and the Harlequin gene also from one of its parents.

The Merle gene (Mm) has a dominant Merle allele represented as “ M” with a non-merle allele represented by “m”, while the Harlequin gene is represented as H/h, which is a Harlequin allele (H) and a non-harlequin allele (h).

With this combination, a Harlequin Great Dane’s genotype is (HhMm) which simply means that a Harlequin Great Dane is produced when a puppy receives the Harlequin allele (H) and the Merle allele (M) from its parents. 

In addition to contributing to the coat color and pattern characteristics, the merle gene also influences the eye and nose color of a Harlequin Great Dane. 

The eye color of Harlequin Great Danes is blue due to a lack of pigment. The Harlequin Great Dane’s pink nose is also due to a lack of pigment on the nose. 

Some Harlequin Great Danes have black-colored noses while others have partial pink and black noses.

Production of Harlequin Great Dane puppies is not easy to come up with well-marked Harlequins.

Breeding of two Harlequin Great Danes can produce Harlequin puppies, however, this breeding is also risky because it can lead production of double merle Great Danes, also known as White Great Danes.

Double merle Great Danes have two copies of the merle gene which causes White Great Danes to have more health problems.

Mismarked puppies, which are puppies that do not have the standard Harlequin coat color, can also be found in a puppy litter. These puppies have the Harlequin Great Dane color pattern in combination with other coat colors.

Harlequin Great Dane Colors

The Harlequin Great Dane colors are coat colors of the Great Dane that have the Harlequin pattern however, the black patches of the standard Harlequin coat have other coat colors.  

The patches can be blue, fawn, brindle, or merle on a white base coat. 

These Harlequin Great Dane colors include:

  • Blue Harlequin Great Dane is a Great Dane with a Harlequin coat pattern having a white base that is covered with torn gray patches throughout its body.

  • Fawn Harlequin Great Dane (Fawnequin) has a white base coat with fawn-colored patches all over the body. 

  • Brindle Harlequin Great Dane (Brindlequin) has a Harlequin coat color pattern with a white base coat, however, the patches have a Brindle coat color pattern. 

  • Merle Harlequin (Merlequin) looks like a Harlequin Great Dane with merle spots. They have a Harlequin coat color pattern with a white base coat, with irregular torn merle patches. 

Harlequin Great Dane Temperament

Despite their huge intimidating size, Harlequin Great Danes are generally friendly, gentle, affectionate, confident, and loyal dogs. 

They are intelligent dogs that are eager to please their owners, therefore, are easy to train.

Harlequin Great Danes are excellent companion dogs and make good family dogs that also get along with other pets.

They love to be around people and do not do well when they are away from them for long periods. They tend to be very susceptible to separation anxiety because of this however they can be trained to overcome it.

The upbringing, training, and socialization also shape the personality of a Harlequin Great Dane. These factors are important in having a dog that has the desired behaviors.

Harlequin Great Dane Health

Studies have shown that the coat color of dogs has an impact on their health which makes some dogs more susceptible to certain health problems.

The Harlequin Great Dane is prone to congenital deafness due to the merle gene which also contributes to their coat color. 

They are also susceptible to the common Great Dane dog breed health problems as a large breed dog. These health problems include: 

  • Hip dysplasia is a hereditary condition that is common in Great Danes.The condition results in the loosening of the hip joint which leads to difficulty walking and pain.

  • Dilated cardiomyopathy is a heart condition that leads to an irregular heart rate which ultimately leads to heart failure.

  • Wobblers syndrome is a neurological disease that affects the spinal cord region of the neck. This leads to neck pain and difficulty in walking with a wobbly gait.

  • Bloat is the number one killer of Great Danes. The condition occurs when the stomach fills up with air or fluids. This causes the twisting up of the stomach that cuts blood supply, leading to shock and quick death if immediate health care is not provided.

  • Cancer of the bone occurs in Great Danes. Lymphoma also occurs in Great Danes and is more common in the breed than in other dog breeds. This cancer affects the lymphocytes which are a type of white blood cell.  

Although the Harlequin Great Dane is susceptible to these health issues they are generally healthy dogs. Harlequin Great Dane breeders strive to breed healthy puppies.

The health conditions are still possibilities even in healthy dogs therefore owners should be aware of this. This knowledge guides the care of a Great Dane which also helps in the prevention of some of the conditions.

Harlequin Great Dane Lifespan

The Harlequin Great Dane’s life span is 7 to 10 years. Large breed dogs such as the Great Dane have a short lifespan.

Harlequin Great Dane Price

The Harlequin Great Dane price is in the range of $2000 to $3000+. They are the most expensive Great Dane coat color because of their rarity due to the difficulty in producing a well-marked Harlequin puppy and also because of their popularity.  

Harlequin Great Dane puppies tend to be more expensive than full-grown Harlequin Great Danes. 

Puppies or adult dogs from a breeder are also expensive compared to the ones in shelters or rescue groups, with a price ranging from $150 to $400. Therefore you may opt to adopt a Harlequin Great Dane. 

Finding Harlequin Great Dane puppies for sale

When your heart is set on purchasing a Harlequin Great Dane puppy, you can find Harlequin Great Dane puppies for sale from Harlequin Great Dane breeders.

Reputable Great Dane breeders practice ethical breeding which results in the production of healthy puppies.

Responsible breeders also share the health history of their puppies with health certificates to verify that their puppies have gone through the necessary health checks.

Therefore always buy a Harlequin Great Dane from a reputable Great Dane breeder. 

A great place to start your search for a Harlequin Great Dane breeder is the American Kennel Club’s marketplace which is a directory of reputable and certified breeders.

Finding Harlequin Great Danes for Adoption: Harlequin Great Dane rescues

The adoption of a Harlequin Great Dane is also another way of getting a Great Dane. Great Dane rescue centers have Great Danes that require forever homes.

Some of the best Great Dane rescues include:

Summary: Harlequin Great Dane

The Harlequin Great Dane is a stunning and eye-catching Great Dane color. Their coat color is rare and very popular than the other recognized Great Dane coat colors.

They have the personality of the Great Dane dog breed as gentle, friendly, and loving dogs. 

This Great Dane is susceptible to certain health problems, however, they are generally healthy dogs and with proper care, exercise and diet, they can live healthy lives.


Related Posts