Harlequin Great Danes – Complete guide

Are Great Dane hypoallergenic?

Harlequin Great Danes have a white color base with black torn patches which are well distributed. Harlequin is one of the seven approved colors for Great Dane by AKC. For dog to be AKC approved, black color should not be large that it looks like a blanket instead of distributed patch.

While Fawn Great Danes are most common, the most sought after color in Great Danes is Harlequin. The other approved colors apart from Harlequin and Fawn are Brindle, Blue, Black, Mantle and Merle.

Great Danes are one of the biggest breeds of the dog. They are often called as gentle giants. Though they may look intimidating and massive in size but are quite gentle by disposition and get along well with humans and other pets. Their sheer size and loud bark is mostly enough to drive away any intruders.

Harlequin Great Danes Appearance

Harlequin Great Danes are massive dogs having black patches on the white base. They may look like large dalmatians on a quick look. With their large size, they are head turners as soon as you step out of your home.

Great Danes have long muscular body with massive head and floppy ears. They can grow to a height of 28 to 34 inches tall and weigh approximately 100 to 200 pounds. Being a large dog, their average lifespan is around 8 years.

Harlequin Great Danes Temperament

Harlequin Great Danes like other colored ones are gentle giants. There is no evidence of difference in temperament due to different colors that they have.

They are quite gentle and gels will with children as well. They love to play and be in company with humans. Great Danes would welcome the strangers as well as long as they don’t see the need to protect the family when they could become fiercely.

Harlequin Great Danes playing



Great Danes grow very fast till first 8 months and continue to grow fast till 18 months. They will reach their full size by 3 years. For such fast growing dog breeds, nutrition is quite important.

Give food as suggested for big dog puppy and avoid any supplements like calcium. Check with your vet for the amount of food you should give as that would depend based on the sex and age of your pooch.

Dogtime suggests (not a substitute of Vet recommendation):

  • Three to six months: females, three to six cups; males, four to eight cups
  • Eight months to one year: females, five to eight cups; males, six to ten cups
  • Adolescents: females, eight cups; males, nine to 15 cups
  • Adults: females, six to eight cups; males eight to ten cups


Harlequin Great Danes requires around an hour of exercise or play time daily. They can live indoors but are not preferred types for an apartment living. They don’t need a yard but would be happy to play in if they get one.

Looking for apartment friendly dogs – https://www.yourdogsworld.com/b/best-dogs-for-apartment-living/


They have a short smooth coat which requires regular brushing as they tend to shed.


Great Danes are are gentle in nature. Still as they are large dogs, obedience training is required. This makes sure that they are in control when they become fully grown.


Great Danes are massive dogs and do not live long. Harlequin Great Danes as like other Great Danes are prone to many diseases but the major risk is of bloating which is common to large, deep chested dogs like them.

Bloating is formally known as gastric torsion. It is a situation when gas is formed which causes the stomach to rotate or twist on its axis. Dog is unable to vomit the extra air. He comes into a shock and immediate medical assistance is required. This can be a life threatening situation which may require surgery.

To avoid the same, you should

  1. Give small two to three meals instead of one large one.
  2. Encourage your dog to take rest for an hour after the meal.
  3. Put bowl on high surface so that adults don’t need to spread their legs for eating food.

Below are other diseases that Harlequin Great Danes are prone and you should observe

  • Congenital Deafness
  • Cardiac diseases
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Autoimmune Thyroiditis
  • Hip Dysplasia
Great Danes

Genetics of Harlequin Great Danes

Only two color matters in dogs – Black and Red.

Despite the huge variety in coat color, there are only two basic pigments that determine the color of canines: eumelanin (black) and phaeomelanin (red). All different variations in color are created by these two pigments, which are both forms of melanin.


Harlequin color in Great Danes form when the modifier Harlequin loci gene is associated with the Merle gene. Merle gene causes the patches and the Harlequin modifier gene causes the base color to be white with black patch work.

Breeding two Harlequin Great Danes

It is not advisable to breed two Harlequin Great Danes. There are high chances that some pups will have double Merle genes which can significantly increase the risks for unhealthy or dead puppies.

A double Merle gene is inherited when two Merle dogs are bred together. If two Merle dogs are bred together, 25% puppies in the litter may have a double Merle.

For double Merle gene to be inherited, it doesn’t matter what color Merle or what breed the dog parents were. Harlequin Great Danes also carry Merle gene with Harlequin modifier.

Double merle dogs will have predominantly white coat and a very high chance of them being deaf, blind, or both.

Hence breeding two Harlequin Great Danes is not recommended and is even irresponsible. For this reason, always look for a responsible breeder and check for parents genetics before you finalize on your Harlequin Great Dane.


  1. https://images.akc.org/pdf/breeds/standards/GreatDane.pdf
  2. https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/health/dog-bloat-causes-signs-and-symptoms/

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