Mantle Great Dane: The Black Blanket Dog

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Last Updated on June 21, 2023

The Great Dane has seven different colors and patterns. In this post, we’ll be discussing the Mantle coat color. Mantle Great Danes are described as having two distinct colors (generally black and white) with no patches throughout the their bodies.


Mantle Great Dane Standing
mkzdillon /

The Mantle color or pattern is a beautiful Great Dane color. It is called as such because it resembles a black robe that is left open with white coat around the neck and chest area. And it is sometimes referred to as a “black blanket” because of the predominantly black coat throughout the Great Danes’ bodies.

Furthermore, due to the coat’s appearance, Mantle Great Danes were previously called Boston Great Danes until the late 1990s. This is because of their closely similar coat patterns with Boston Terriers.

AKC Standards for the Mantle Great Dane

Like any other Great Dane coat color, the American Kennel Club (AKC) has standards for Mantle Great Danes. And these are the following:

  1. Black and white with a black blanket extending over the body.
  2. Black skull with white muzzle; white blaze is optional; whole or partial white neck; a white chest; white on whole or part of the forelegs and hind legs; white tipped black tail.
  3. A small white break in the blanket is acceptable.
  4. Black pigment may be seen on the skin in white areas.

Let’s discuss and expound these points a bit more.

The first point explains that this Great Dane color should have two dominant colors, which are black and white, all over their bodies.

The second point talks about the black and white markings that the Mantles have around their bodies. First, they should have a black skull and a white muzzle or mouth. Second, having a white blaze, or a white stripe in between their eyes is optional. Third, their necks should be wholly or partially white. Fourth, their necks should be white. Fifth, their legs can be partially or wholly white. And finally, their tails should be black, with a white tip.

Third point talks about a “break” in the black blanket of the dog. Sometimes, the Mantle’s black coat around it’s body has a noticeable white stripe of coat. In AKC’s standards, this is acceptable.

And the last point is pretty self explanatory. Where the Mantle Great Dane’s white coat is, you’ll see some subtle black pigment on the skin.

Mismarked Mantle Great Dane

Black and white colors are not the only coat colors for a Mantle Great Dane. Though it’s true that the AKC has set these standards, the Mantle Great Dane also also comes in other coat colors! And these variations are referred to as mismarks.

In dog shows, mismarked Mantle Great Danes are disqualified because they do not carry the correct colors or patterns set by the AKC. However, even though they cannot be show dogs, they still make great pets and life companions.

The following are considered mismarked Mantle Great Danes.

1. Blue Mantle Great Dane

Blue Mantle Great Dane is a mismarked Mantle Great Dane. The predominant “robe” color of these mismarks is not black, but blue. Furthermore, the eye color of the Blue Mantle Great Dane puppy might be grey and changes to light amber or yellow once the dog matures.

The dogs are not recognized show dogs in the U.S.A. but the coat color is acceptable for European Great Danes.

2. Merle Mantle Great Dane 

The Merle Mantle Great Dane’s coat color has an interesting coat pattern. Generally, they have a predominant grey coat that has black spots on top of it and white coat on its chest and neck.

3. Fawn Mantle Great Dane

The Fawn Mantle Great Dane is also referred to as a “fawntle”. Instead of a black blanket, they have a solid fawn blanket throughout their body, a white muzzle and black areas on the eye rims and white markings on their neck and chest.

4. Harlequin Mantle Great Dane

Mantle Great Danes are frequently bred with Harlequin Great Danes. Breeders use this cross to produce Mantles or Harlequins as it has advantages. Furthermore, the process ensures no white Great Dane puppies in the litter, which is a common defect in Harlequin x Harlequin litters. 

However, sometimes, the cross between a Mantle and a Harlequin can bring forward a mismark called a Harlequin Mantle Great Dane.


Close Up Of A Mantle Great Dane Puppy Sitting On The Grass
Tiffany Love /

When it comes to breeding to produce Mantle Great Dane puppies, breeding with Harlequins is preferred. And it has a greater chance of producing a litter of Mantle puppies than Harlequins. Interestingly, breeding a Mantle with another Mantle doesn’t produce any Harlequins.

Though, breeding two Harlequins together can also produce Mantles puppies, the litter will include at least one White Great Dane puppy. This is also why Harlequins are bred with Mantles to not only produce Mantles but to lower the risk of producing White Great Danes which are prone to more health issues like vision and hearing problems.


Generally, Great Danes have a short lifespan. And the Mantle is no exception to this. On average, they can live between 6 to 10 years only. But with proper exercise and a healthy lifestyle, they might live longer.

Furthermore, coat colors are known to affect the overall health of a Great Dane. But luckily, for Mantles, there are no known diseases that are related to its coat color.

However, it’s still important to be aware and understand the common health issues Great Danes are susceptible to. This way, you can be prepared to deal with them and ensure a healthy lifestyle for your dog.

Temperament and Characteristics

Mantle Great Danes are calm, friendly, obedient and usually relaxed dogs. They are also playful and get along well with children, strangers and other pets/dogs, making them ideal family companions.

However, even though they’re very friendly and social towards strangers, they still make excellent guard dogs. If they sense that you or their home need protecting, they will not hesitate to do so.

Additionally, Mantles only require medium level activities for their exercises. Usually, low impact activities such as walking will do.


Outdoor Portrait Of A Girl With Her Mantle Great Dane On A Leash
Somporn Pratoommanee /

Socializing is a pivotal step in training a Mantle Great Dane puppy. Since they are very social dogs, exposing them to different people and environments will help them build good characteristics. Furthermore, they are natural people pleasers. So with firm and consistent training, they’ll be able to grow up as well-mannered dogs.

The training and lifestyle you provide and help develop for your Mantle Great Dane puppy will be the foundation of its overall temperament and characteristics.

Dealing with an Aggressive Mantle Great Dane

Mantle Great Danes rarely get aggressive due to their calm and friendly temperament. However, it can still happen. And sometimes, it is a result of the Great Dane not being socialized properly when it was young.

That’s why, as mentioned above, socialization and training should be done at an early age. This ensures that your dog grows up with good behavior and characteristics.


Mantle Great Dane Enjoying The Beach
mkzdillon /

A Mantle Great Dane would make a great addition to a family. Aside from their beautiful and distinct coat that makes them stand out, they have the most ideal characteristics for a family companion. And whether they fit in the coat standards or not, it doesn’t change the fact that they are social, loving, protective and loyal.

4 thoughts on “Mantle Great Dane: The Black Blanket Dog”

  1. Pingback: Piebald Danes Explained What are Piebald Danes?
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  3. I have a male manhole, black and white great Dane named Winchester. He is about 70 if years old and the love of our lives. He is one of the best dogs if not the best dog I have ever owned and I’ve had a dog all my life And I am 83 years old now so I’ve had a few docs. This dog is like a human. He senses things that sometimes amazes me like he kind of knows when I’m sad any sense of some of my movements particularly those that mean he gets to go for a ride or something. He is by far the best dog I’ve ever had And I’ve had very very good dogs. I love my Wynchester more than anything.

  4. I have a 15 week old mantle little far very skidish..but warms up..very playful and food oriented for training..I can’t wait to spend whatever time I have with her..wish I could post a photo as well


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