Great Dane

The Great Dane (also known as the ‘German Mastiff’ or ‘Granddanois’, affectionately called the ‘Gentle Giant’ or just ‘Dane’) is among the world’s tallest breeds. Germany lays claim to this breed’s origin. Originally bred to chase wild boar, Great Danes became popular estate dogs due to their speed, strength, fearlessness, and graceful appearance, eventually rising to worldwide prominence. The world’s tallest dog is the 42-inch tall Great Dane named ‘Gibson’—unless fictional Great Danes are included, in which case comic strip character ‘Marmaduke’ and his hilarious size-related antics take the cake. The Jetsons' dog ‘Astro’ is also a Great Dane.

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Great Dane Coat colors

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There are six show-acceptable coat colors for Great Danes:

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Fawn: The color is yellow gold with a black mask. Black should appear on the eye rims and eyebrows, and may appear on the ears.
Brindle: The color is fawn and black in a chevron stripe pattern. Often also they are referred to as having a tiger-stripe pattern.
Blue: The color is a pure steel blue. White markings at the chest and toes are not desirable and considered faults.
Black: The color is a glossy black. White markings at the chest and toes are not desirable and considered faults.
Harlequin: The base color is pure white with black torn patches irregularly and well distributed over the entire body; a pure white neck is preferred. The black patches should never be large enough to give the appearance of a blanket, nor so small as to give a stippled or dappled effect. Eligible, but less desirable, are a few small grey patches (this grey is consistent with a Merle marking) or a white base with single black hairs showing through, which tend to give a salt and pepper or dirty effect. (Have the same link to deafness and blindness as Merle and white danes.)
Mantle (in some countries referred to as Bostons due to the similar coloration and pattern as a Boston Terrier): The color is black and white with a solid black blanket extending over the body; black skull with white muzzle; white blaze is optional; whole white collar preferred; a white chest; white on part or whole of forelegs and hind legs; white tipped black tail. A small white marking in the black blanket is acceptable, as is a break in the white collar.

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Other colors occur occasionally but are not acceptable for conformation showing, and they are not pursued by breeders who intend to breed show dogs. These colors include white, fawnequin, merle, merlequin, fawn mantle, and others. Some breeders may attempt to charge more for puppies of these "rare" colors. However, the breeding of white and merle Danes is particularly controversial, as these colors may be associated with genes that produce deafness. Although they cannot be shown, white or merle Danes can usually still be registered as pedigree dogs.

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Great Dane Dog Club Directory

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- Includes a code of ethics, breed and health information, a list of rescues and details of specialty shows.


- Events calendar, membership details, show and match results, honor roll and rescue information.


- Breed standard, rescue contacts, membership application, list of members, and tips for buying a puppy.


- Club history, news, pictures of rescued dogs in need of homes, list of questions to ask before buying a puppy, and information on their specialty show. Iowa.


- Club history, news, calendar of events, brags, newsletter, and how to become a member. Texas.


- News, club calendar, volunteer opportunities, and a photograph gallery. Texas.


- Club information, rescue contacts, archived newsletters, and history of the breed.


- Interested in promoting quality breeding, conducts licensed AKC shows, list breed standards and links to Great Dane rescues.


- Code of ethics, rescue contacts, meeting schedule, and show results.


- Provides club information, links to rescues, breed standards, membership application and member owned dogs.


- List club information, host meetings, breeders directory, provides health articles and host AKC sponsored events.


- Code of ethics, show results and photographs, health information and details on adopting rescued dogs. Atlanta, Georgia.


- Club history, calendar of events, membership requirements, and rescue information. Arizona.


- Membership details, a list of rescue dogs and an events calendar.


- Show schedule, news, articles on health care, and meeting dates and times.


- Club details, litterbox, lists of breeders, handlers and stud dogs, a photograph gallery, rescue dogs and details of specialty and sweepstake shows. Joliet, Illinois.


- Aims to foster interest and understanding of the breed. Show results and calendar, memorabilia and ethical guidelines for members.

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