Merle Great Danes are standard Great Danes as opined by the A.K.C. Despite your Merle Great Dane would not be a recognized Great Dane coat color for dog shows. A.K.C. views Merle Great Dane puppy as a purebred color of the Great Dane breed along with six other Great Dane coat colors.
Merle Great Dane dogs are intrinsically unique. Each Merle Great Dane puppy would bear different coat color pattern. This often leads to falsely considering a Merle Great Dane as rare Great Dane puppy. Merle Great Dane dogs are more prone to a number of health risks than other Great Dane coat colors.
There are seven genes besides ‘Merle’ which furnish various attributes to a Great Dane. ‘Merle’ is fundamentally a gene responsible for the coat color of a Great Dane dog. Excluding the chances of mutation the Merle coat color of a Great Dane puppy is due to this inherited gene.
Merle Great Danes are lacking in fitness due to the ‘Merle’ gene.
Additionally, Merle coat color is observed in other canine breeds. For instance;
- Australian shepherds
- Cardigan Welsh Corgis
Generally, Merle gene is only confined to domestic canine breeds. Furnishing only domestic dogs with a Merle coat color.
Merle Great Dane appearance;
Merle Great Dane dogs are huge and mesmerizing owing to their peculiar appearance. Usually, a Merle Great Dane puppy holds a white muzzle. Tip of tail, chest, and toes also appear black or white for Merle Great Dane dogs.
A darker coat color which is usually grey with grey splotches is regarded as a recognized coat color pattern for a Merle Great Dane dog.
Shades of grey, blue, and a combination of white or black base coat color separated with black patches is also recurrent.
How to differentiate Merle Great Dane from Harlequin Great Dane?
Merle Great Dane puppies are seldom mixed with Harlequin Great Danes. Principal contrasting point between Merle Great Dane dog and Harlequin Great Dane is the base coat color difference.
- Merle Great Dane puppies possess grey coat color whilst Harlequin Great Dane’ coat color is white. Shade of grey could be lighter or intense.
- The spots on the body of Harlequin Great Dane are black in color as compared to typical grey colored splotches on a Merle Great Dane dog.
- The abundance of dabbles and pattern on coat also differ for Merle and Harlequin Great Danes.
The Merle Great Dane pattern might appear similar to a Harlequin Great Dane.
Variety within Merle Great Danes;
As aforementioned, Merle Great Dane puppies occur in a variety of coat color and patterns. The difference is so contrasting that finding another Merle Great Dane dog bearing similar coat pattern as yours would not be possible.
There are varied kinds of Merle Great Danes depending upon the color of spots on the coat the canine is wearing.
Merle Great Dane colors
Breeding of any colored Great Dane that was color crossed previously can produce a variety of Merle Great Dane colors.
Brindle Merle Great Danes
Brindle Merle Great Danes inherit the coat color and pattern from both Brindle and Merle parents. This suggests the increased likelihood of a distinctive color pattern.
Typically, the Brindle Merle Great Dane holds a scrambled coat. The stripes when separated changes into spots of different colors, on the coat of a Brindle Merle Great Dane are quite visible. These stripes fade in and out of a Brindle Merle Great Dane base coat color.
These colored stripes are varied in colors, come from Brindle coat Great Danes. Their coats are covered with a fusion of black, brown, grey, and red colored stripes.
Fawn Merle Great Danes
Fawn Merle Great Danes coat color lies in the range of light cream to tan or brown color. The Fawn Merle Great Danes have Merle spots all over their bodies. These spots might appear in blotches of black color.
Chocolate Merle Great Danes
Chocolate Merle Great Danes are alike fawn Merle Great Danes. The base coat color of Chocolate Merle Great Danes is tan or brown as well. Though, these Great Dane dogs wear chocolate or red colored asymmetrical patches all over.
Blue Merle Great Danes
Generally, Blue Merle Great Dane dogs hold light grey, slate, dark blue, or brownish blue coat color. With blue or black color spotting on the coat all over.
Sometimes nose of a Blue Merle Great Dane could also bear blue color. Additionally, a tinge of blue or black color can be felt all over the Blue Merle Great Dane’s skin.
Silver Merle Great Danes
Silver Merle Great Danes appear with a silver, grey, or black coat color with blak spotting. The nose of a Silver Merle Great Dane is typically black in color but rarely it could be of pink color as well.
Mantle Merle Great Danes
Mantle Merle Great Dane puppies have white coat just like a Mantle Great Dane, with Merle spots on it.This suggests the presence of grey or silver colored spots on the coat of a Mantle Merle Great Dane.
There is a band of white color on the neck and chest of a Mantle Merle Great Dane.
Merlequin Great Danes
Harlequin Great Danes and Merlequin Great Danes are often found tough to be distinguished. Merlequin Great Danes spots and coat color seem somewhat similar to those of a Harlequin Great Dane.
Though the coat could be different owing to individual Merlequin Great Dane’ color and pattern disparity.
Merlequin Great Danes mainly hold a white coat color with grey or Merle spots on it. Frequently, these dapples on a Merlequin Great Dane coat are uneven.
Tri Colored Merle Great Danes
Merle Great Danes are sometimes labeled as tri colored Great Danes. Tri Colored Merle Great Dane coat is an amalgamation of three striking coat colors. This coat is a combination of white, black, and brown colors.
Merle Great Dane color strength
Merle Great Dane dog shades are also varied. The frequent Merle Great Dane color strengths are following;
The regular Merle Great Dane grey color.
Dilute Merle or Blue Merle
This Merle color has subdued base coat color and pattern color.
Cryptic Merle’ color strength is more fine.
The Harlequin color strength lies between Merle and Harlequin. As it is a mixture of Merle and Harlequin colors.
Merle gene of a Merle Great Dane;
Merle gene in Merle Great Danes and other breeds of dogs mentioned prior, possess an interesting trait. The Merle gene is quite flexible. The gene is adaptable to the extent that it can be clipped, duplicated, and attached anywhere on the genetic strand.
This mere change of location can alter the whole appearance of your Merle Great Dane puppy. This is how variedly different Merle Great Danes are born.
Did you know?
Merle gene is not merely determinant of coat color in dogs. It is also responsible for deciding eye color of a canine. Blue eyes of a Merle Great Dane are due to the presence of Merle gene in the dogs.
This is why Merle Great Dane sometimes have eyes of different colors. Sometimes there are two or even more colors in one eye of a Merle Great Dane.
Are Merle Great Danes rare?
Merle Great Danes are not rare albeit each Merle Great Dane dog bears a unique color pattern. Despite the difference in appearance arising from diverse coat patterns and color variations, the Merle Great Danes are never to be reasoned as ‘rare’ dogs.
There are some devious breeders selling Merle Great Danes as ‘rare’ dogs. Which Merle Great Danes are certainly not. You ought to be cautious in selecting a trustworthy breeder while buying a Merle Great Dane.
Merle Great Dane prevalence;
Merle Great Dane puppies are born to Harlequin parents. The prior differ from later in their genetic makeup. Merle gene in Merle Great Dane produces grey tinge on the coat. Whilst absence of the gene produces Harlequin Great Danes.
Merle Great Dane puppies prevail through another Great Dane breeding ritual. This Great Dane breeding process is usually favored upon other. In this, Harlequin and Mantle Great Danes are bred jointly which gives rise to Merle Great Dane puppies.
Breeding of two Harlequin Great Danes together would likely to produce Merle Great Dane puppies. The number of Merle Great Dane puppies in the litter could be either singular or two.
Besides, Merle Great Dane puppies, breeding two Harlequin Great Danes might also produce White Great Dane puppies.
White Great Danes;
White Great Danes appear when a Great Dane puppy inherits two Merle genes. Presence of a Merle gene doublet renders white color to the Great Dane coat.
In addition to white coat color, this Merle gene doublet makes White Great Dane dogs prone to a plethora of ailments. Encompassing errs in ears, eyes, and genetic built of a White Great Dane.
Ear and eye flaws could make White Great Danes deaf and blind. A faulty genetic make up induces a sick white Great Dane puppy. At times adult White Great Danes also suffer from perilous ailments.
White Great Dane dogs are also produced by Merle-Merle, and Merle-Harlequin breeding.
Merle Great Dane temperament
The Merle Great Dane dog inherits its temperament from Great Dane parents. The Great Dane dogs are extremely loving hence the dogs are also called ‘gentle giants’. This name exhibits temperament of the dog impeccably.
Given the captivating temperament of the Great Dane, Merle Great Dane temperament is affectionate. The Merle Great Dane dogs are benign, tender hearted, amenable, and friendly no less.
The Merle Great Dane puppies are minimal to average active canines. Merle Great Dane puppies have docile disposition furnishing the dogs with a wonderful temperament.
Merle Great Dane temperament indicates that the canines are obedient and appeasing. The Merle Great Dane puppies are possessive just like Great Dane dogs about its owners. Separation anxiety is an integral part of a Merle Great Dane’ temperament.
Merle Great Dane training
Merle Great Dane puppies are somewhat easy to train. Training a Merle Great Dane becomes comparatively simpler owing to a Merle Great Dane’ appeasing temperament.
The Merle Great Dane dogs would readily follow your commands and instructions. During the training sessions you would find a Merle Great Dane, an incredible yielding canine.
By following the Merle Great Dane training regularly and persistently you would be able to furnish yourself with a sui generis dutiful canine.
Possessiveness of a Great Dane could be a potential quandary for you. Provided the inherited possessiveness, it becomes consequential to socialize a Merle Great Dane puppy.
Other than dealing with possessive sentiment of a Merle Great Dane you have another matter to deal with. Merle Great Dane dogs could be aggressive or shy depending on the surroundings. The utmost rational solution to such behavioral vexations, is to socialize your Merle Great Dane.
Merle Great Dane health concerns;
Merle Great Dane dogs are huge just like their Great Dane parents. As a large breed canine a Merle Great Dane is susceptible to a number of ailments. Starting from a perilous health situation of Bloat to Hip and Joint Dysplasia.
The Merle Great Dane dogs are also prone to Cardiomyopathy, Hypothyroidism, and Wobbler’s Syndrome. All these health concerns are a baggage for a Merle Great Dane being a large breed dog.
Additionally, Merle Great Danes are at an increased risk of suffering from many diseases.
Typically, when two Great Dane dogs holding Merle gene each, are bred together, the resultant Merle Great Dane puppy is comparatively vulnerable.
If your Merle Great Dane puppy is from a Merle-Merle family, the health problems aggravates.
The following are Merle Great Dane health concerns:
Hearing impaired Great Dane dogs
Merle Great Dane dogs are often hearing impaired.
According to researchers Merle gene and deafness are associated. Only the presence of Merle gene increments the occurrence of hearing impaired dogs. Whilst there might be a chance that your Merle Great Dane is deaf from one ear.
Eyeless Merle Great Dane dogs
The chances of eyeless Merle Great Dane increments due to Merle gene. The severity of eye problem varies in Merle Great Danes and Double Merle Great Danes.
Flawed eyes dogs
Merle Great Dane dogs possess faulting eyes, beside being vision less canines. Other eye flaws in a Merle Great Dane encompass;
- Optic nerve weakness
- Smaller eyes
- Misplaced pupils and lens
- Abnormal eye development including iris and retina
Skin cancer in Merle Great Dane
The Merle Great Dane dogs are also reported to suffer from skin cancer. It is more frequent in Merle Great Danes when the Great Dane holds an additional white in their genetic makeup.
The risks of diseases are relatively higher in case of a Double Merle Great Dane than a Merle Great Dane.
Merle Great Dane breeding
Merle Great Dane breeding is strictly prohibited even though your Merle Great Dane is physically fit. According to Great Dane Club of America’s Breeder’s Code of Ethics, Merle Great Dane breeding is regarded an unethical operation.
On account of increased possibility of health ailments deliberate Merle Great Dane breeding is avoided.
Can you breed a Merle Great Dane?
You can not and must not breed a Merle Great Dane. Breeding Merle Great Danes give birth to physically and mentally impaired Merle Great Dane puppies.
Merle Great Dane breeding is likely to give rise to deaf, blind, or sick puppies. Such puppies are made vulnerable to suffer from a myriad of other ailments as well when grown. These health issues are recurrent in White Great Danes.
Why can you not breed Merle to Merle?
Merle to Merle breeding is not favored due to the increased probability of health risks associated with the Great Dane puppies born. Merle to Merle breeding might produce Double Merle Great Dane puppies.
The Double Merle Great Danes could be dead or stillborn puppies. Besides, Double Merle Great Dane dogs bears flawed genetic makeup. This suggests a bleak health state of a puppy born from Merle to Merle breeding.
Additionally the puppies born from Merle to Merle breeding might suffer from deafness or they could be eyeless puppies. Other susceptible diseases in litters of Merle to Merle breeding include, flawed eyes and skin problems.
Some behavioral problems along with skin disorders are also linked with Merle to Merle breeding. The puppies born are more aggressive. It might be due to the incomplete mental development of a Double Merle Great Dane puppy.
Double Merle Great Danes;
When a Merle Great Dane puppy carries two Merle genes, it becomes a double Merle Great Dane. It mainly happens when both parents carry a Merle gene each. The double Merle Great Dane dogs are prone to many diseases. This makes double Merle Great Danes non favored in terms of fitness. Hence, the breeding of Double Merle Great Danes is not supported.
Is Marlequin a Double Merle?
Yes, Marlequin is a Double Merle Great Dane. But it differs from other Double Merle Great Danes, in its genetic structure. A strand of gene of a Marlequin is different from White Great Danes.
A Marlequin carries double Merle sans Harle gene whilst a White Great Dane bears a Double Merle plus Harle strand in its genetic material.
Being a Double Merle without Harle makes Great Dane less prone to diseases associated with White Great Danes. Therefore, a Merlequin Great Dane is not that much vulnerable as a white Great Dane.
The Merle gene;
The Merle gene fashions a feeble and unfit Merle Great Dane. Due to this liability a Merle gene carries in Merle Great Danes, there were attempts to abolish the Merle gene altogether. The Merle gene fashions an unhealthy Merle Great Dane.
The breeders endeavors to remove Merle coat color by using the method of selective breeding. However, their attempts were mainly resulted in failure and the Merle gene continued to persist in Merle Great Danes along with many other dog breeds.
Instead of discarding Merle gene, now researchers are working to provide breeders with Merle gene test.
Genetic testing for Merle Great Danes
To locate the presence of Merle gene in your Great Dane, genetic testing is an incredible option. Great Dane DNA testing would rightly indicate the Merle gene which is responsible for producing unhealthy Great Dane puppies. This might enlighten Merle Great Dane breeding in future.
If you own a Merle Great Dane after a perusal of the article the first thing to consider spaying of your Merle Great Dane. the dog must be neutered or spayed to avoid any problems. Breeders hold great responsibility to keep the Great Dane breed and Merle Great Danes in particular, healthy and fit. They must bear in mind, adhering to moral breeding norms in terms of color code is crucial to enhance the adaptability of a Merle Great Dane.
In addition to, in depth health tests are indispensable for producing physically and mentally apt Great Dane puppies.