The Harlequin Great Dane is a gentle giant with an awesome pattern. This variety of our favorite large breed dog has a short white coat with black patches. They usually also have a white neck and black ears, and there can be some variation of grey patches or spots throughout the coat as well. Unfortunately, they can be susceptible to a number of health issues including congenital deafness and bloat, and due to their large size, they have a relatively short lifespan. But their health problems aren’t any worse than the next color or pattern of this breed.
- The genes behind the pattern
- Grooming and coat care
- How color relates to temperament
- Health problems linked with harlequin fur
Standing 28 to 32 inches tall and weighing between 110 and 175 pounds, the Great Dane is difficult to miss, and the Harlequin Great Dane has the added singularity of a stunning and unique coat. Known as the gentle giant of the dog world, this stunning, oversized dog is an easy favorite with his sweet spirit and family-friendly nature.
Harlequin Great Dane Genetics
Breeding a perfect Harlequin Great Dane can take generations and plenty of trial and error. In fact, many breeders have found that just because you breed two Harlequin coated Great Danes does not guarantee that their litter is going to lead to Harlequin Great Dane puppies.
The result of your dog’s color is ultimately determined by the colors, black and red. All dogs carry these foundation colors and these serve as the base for all other coat color variants.
The coat color a puppy inherits will depend on the genetics it receives from its parents, but there is also quite a bit of chance thrown in.
Even Harlequin Great Danes carry these two foundation colors in their genetics, which is why it is not always guaranteed that two Harlequin Great Danes will make a Harlequin puppy.
Harlequin Great Dane Grooming
Although Great Danes have short coats and are minimal shedders, they do shed seasonally, and their sheer size alone can mean they will produce quite a bit of loose hair.
For the most part, brushing your Great Dane once a week should suffice and help keep loose hair at bay and his beautiful coat looking healthy.
Luckily, Great Danes only need occasional baths unless they get particularly mucky.
And, like all dogs, your Harlequin Great Dane will need his ears checked and cleaned regularly to keep moisture, debris, and wax from building up and causing infection.
In addition, it’s worth keeping nails trimmed or ground down regularly to keep them from cracking or breaking, which can be extremely painful for the pooch and lead to infections.
Coat Color vs Temperament
Coat color really has nothing to do with the overall temperament of your dog. Unless they have been aggressively line bred to give a particular color or pattern. Which is not the case for the harlequin Great Dane.
These big dogs are as sweet as can be and spend most of their days lazing about and enjoying family life. Great Danes are patient with children and get along with just about everyone, although that doesn’t mean this is the breed for everybody.
One of the most endearing things about this breed is that they seem to have no concept of their actual size. In fact, all the ones I’ve met consider themselves a lap dog of sorts, much to my amusement.
And while sweet natured and friendly, Great Danes make wonderful protectors of the home. They will certainly alert their family to anything suspicious nearing their domain!
Harlequin Great Dane Health
Unfortunately, coat color and the health of certain dogs have been proven to go hand and hand. Coat color and congenital deafness can be related. Dogs with lighter colored coats are more susceptible to genetic hearing issues and deafness.
This massive dog can be susceptible to a number of other health issues due to his massive size too. Even with responsible breeding practices, potential owners should keep an eye out for health issues including
- Congenital Deafness
- Cardiac diseases
- Autoimmune Thyroiditis
- Hip Dysplasia
I have a 10 month old Lilac harlequin. Tank is sweet and always eager for affection. He loves being outside and playing with our multipoo Jax. Ge has no concept of how big he really is and is a total lap dog at 120 lbs. He loves all the attention he gets when we go out. He’s such a beautiful color, with the off white base coat and gray spots, people can’t help but notice him
Yvonne Truhon says
I just met two Harlequin Great Danes today; their owners were walking them in a local park, and I was enchanted! They were young, and therefore energetic, but perfectly friendly and eager to sniff my shoes (where they undoubtedly made the olfactory acquaintance of my cat Max) and let me pet them (after asking the owners’ permission). No crazy barking, either — nothing is more annoying to me.
Thanks for sharing more info about these beautiful dogs. The correlation between coat color and deafness is fascinating; some white cats (odd-eyed whites, who have one blue and one orange eye) are often deaf — in the ear on the side of their blue eye. This is definitely associated with the coat color, since Siamese (which have blue eyes) aren’t deaf.
Here’s to the Harlequin!
Diana Lear says
We inherited a Halequin Great Dane from a neighbor who was injured and could not care for him. He was 10 months old when we got him and have had him for 6 weeks. He is the most loving pup. He is extremely eager to please, but due to the circumstances we got him from he was not trained or socialized so we are in the training phase. He also had parvo when we got him so he’s been through a lot. He also has terrible separation anxiety. Especially with my husband. We are using crate training to help him with this and it appears to help quite a bit. He is a beautiful, loving and challenging addition to our family. We have an 11 year old lab/pit mix, a 6 year old Jack Russell mix and 2 cats. None of which are interested in playing with our 90 lb puppy so it’s up to my husband to be his playmate as I’ve had major back surgery the 1st of the year. He is a happy go lucky big baby and we love him dearly. He has a silliness to him, but learns very quickly. If anyone has recommendations for how to help him with his separation anxiety I’d appreciate any input.
I just inherited Duke, first Dane. He is a great match for chase, a black mouth cure rescue. They play tug of war and Duke is already tackling him at 8 or so weeks old..massive paws, I see why they call them gentle giants. He is deaf but quick to learn hand commands, such a loving creature.
We have a harlequin male pup 9 months. He is our 5th great dane. His name is EINSTEIN.
Such a lover. Sweet Boy. Has anyone ever had a problem with their Harlequin Great Dane having sensitive pads on their paws. Our guy is always breaking them open and bleeding.
Matthew Lizak says
I have a 3 month harlequin dane puppy. She is my second dane. My first was a merle dane that passed away from an auto immune disease at 3 years old. They are awesome loving dogs. Once you get a dane you realize how deep the bond is between a pet and human. I live for them.
I have a harlequin Dane. Her name is Freya( meaning Viking goddess of love and war). She turns heads wherever we go, and has to be with me where ever I go including the shower. I could never love a dog more. She is now 2 years old and we just got another one who is 6 months old and is brindled. Her owner didnt want him anymore as he had white patches on his chest and wasnt up to the perfect AKC standard, so she sold him to me. He is much more affectionate Ghana my Harlequin. But my harlequin is much more bonded and protective of me.
We had a Harlequin Great Dane named Rhiannon. She lived to be 13 1/2 years old. Not only was she a loving companion but her love of kittens knew no bounds. She adopted several kittens over her life time. We had two Danes at the time. The other was a black named Bullwinkle D’ Moose. Both dogs were rescues. The two we have now are also rescues (Hamlet and Ophelia). There is nothing like a Dane. I tried to post a picture but…
I have a harle quin dane we call him Lexus he over 6 years now the most lovable thing about him is that every time you are around he will try to seek your attention by doing something or other till you go near him and pat his back he is a attention seeker and you cant leave him without giving him his due share of cuddling and patting we really love him for his ever pleasing behavior
I love my pooch. Gentle and attentive. Very lean though but handsome. Best breed on earth.
My first Dane was a Harlequin. She was always with me. Friendly but deadly to whom she thought was a threat to me or my girls! Never harmed anybody but was always ready to if need be. Never loved a dog as much as her. She was 10 years old when liver cancer took her from me. Swore I’d never get another because the pain was too much to bear. My girls, teenagers by that time, talked me into it. This one is a Brindle. She is now 10 years 7 months old. Health issues have me on alert. Pretty sure she won’t be my last Dane. Best breed ever.
Sheila and Peter says
We got our Macie last September. She is 7 years old and quite the lover. (She’s also #8 that we have rescued.) But, she’s getting old and it makes me sad that this fantastic breed doesn’t live longer. AND, she is the first Harlequin Dane I’ve had. I can’t believe she still has hair on her body with all the white hair she sheds. 🙂
I have adopted a deaf harlequin. He is 2yrs old and fortunately came from a good home. It will take a while to get the extra bond needed for a deaf dog because of his age. He is my second dane and if you have space and finances they are a joyful addition to the family
I have a Harlequin Great Dane. She came to me at age 3 because no one wanted her. She loves and is very loyal to me but not really anyone else. She is a fabulous dog for me and very beautiful but a dog like her is not for everyone, three families had her before me. I would never have another one but I do love her more than most dogs I have had.