This is a complete guide on the blue Great Dane.
I am going to be breaking down everything that you need to know about the Great Dane color and also show you how it is achieved.
Here are some of the topics we are going to cover:
So without much being said, let’s get started.
What Is A Blue Great Dane?
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC) standards, A blue Great Dane is one with a pure steel blue coat. White markings at the neck and toes are not preferred for the coat color and any variance in the coat color or markings of the blue Great Dane as described shall be faulted to the extent of the deviation.
Blue is actually among the six official Great Dane colors approved by the American Kennel Club. Some sources have reported that the merle color has been recognized by the AKC so there are now seven official colors for Great Dane dogs.
All blue Great Dane puppies are born with the recessive blue gene in their genetic makeup. The recessive blue gene typically transforms the black Great Dane into the dilute blue color.
The next sections are going to cover more about the genetics of blue Great Danes and how breeders get to produce the coat color.
Standard Vs Non-Standard Blue Great Danes
The typical standard blue Great Dane is one with a pure steel blue coat without any white markings at the chest or toes. However some blue Danes with a few or small white markings at the chest or toes can still be recognized as standards of the coat color.
When it comes to the non-standard blue Great Dane, the steel blue coat will have a big white marking that forms a blanket at the chest. White markings at the toes are also common.
Blue Great Dane Variations
When breeding blue Great Danes there is a chance of producing variations or mismarks of the coat color. This section covers some of the common variations and mismarks of the blue coat color in Great Danes.
This is the common steel blue Great Dane without any markings on the chest or toes. This is actually the one that meets the AKC specifications for the blue coat color in Great Danes.
Blue merle Great Danes are the most common type of the merle variation in the dog breed. They are easily identified with their blue grey base coat color with black irregularly shaped patches spread all over their body.
The major difference between a blue merle and a harlequin Great Dane is that they have a blue base color instead of white. The neck is also a key difference since harlequins are much more preferred with an all white neck.
Blue mantle Great Danes are those with a blue and white coat color. A solid blue blanket extends over the Great Dane’s body just like in a pure mantle coat.
Are Blue Great Danes Rare?
Blue Great Danes are rare and really difficult to find from many breeders. This coat color is sought after by many Great Dane fanatics since it is rare and difficult to find. Breeders cannot just breed two blue Great Danes in order to get a litter full of blue puppies.
The blue coat color is a dilute that is mostly produced as a result of black to black breeding provided that both parents carry the recessive blue gene.
Blue Great Dane Genetics
The genetics of blue Great Danes are pretty simple. The blue coat color in dogs typically means a d/d dilution of black pigment, a grey coloration that is grey from birth, but has a wide range of breed-specific meanings. So it is fair to say that blue Great Danes are produced as a result of d/d dilution of the black pigment. The result is a greyish coat color that is commonly referred to as blue.
A study on the dilution of coat color in dogs state that:
Dilution dog coat color is controlled by genes of D locus. D locus contains a dilution gene, which is recessive, so the d gene is dilution and the D gene is non-dilution. This means that in order for the dog to be dilute it must be homozygous (dd genotype), and if it is heterozygous (Dd genotype) it will have normal, not diluted pigmentation.
The D locus dilution gene affects both eumelanin and phaeomelanin. Dilution dog coat color is characterized by a specific pigmentation phenotype. The specific pigmentation phenotype in dogs with coat color dilution is caused by defective transport of melanosomes which leads to an accumulation of melanosomes around the melanocytes’ nuclei as well as large clumps of pigment in the hair shafts. When homozygous with a dilution gene, a black dog becomes blue…..The gene affects also nose and eye colors. In blue dogs the nose will be blue pigmented.
Breeding Blue Great Danes
As mentioned earlier, blue is a dilute coat color so it should only be bred to Blue, Black-bred Black or Blue-bred Black. Blue Great Danes should not be bred to the fawn/brindle or harlequin color family.
Breeding blue Great Danes genetically requires that both parents carry the recessive blue gene so a black to black mating will typically produce either blue puppies if the blue gene is carried by both parents. Black puppies will be produced from a black to black breeding if only one parent carry the recessive blue gene.
Do Blue Great Danes Have More Health Problems?
Yes, blue Great Danes are much more susceptible to health problems as a result of their genetic makeup. Some of the common health problems experienced by blue Great Danes are hypothyroidism, Von Willebrand’s disease, tumors and bloat.
Here is a quick list of some common health problems that blue Great Danes can experience:
- Gastric Torsion
- Hip Dysplasia
- Tricuspid Valve Disease
- Addison’s Disease
- Wobbler Syndrome
- Cruciate Ligament Tear
However, you should remember that good care practices like providing a nutritionally balanced diet and regular veterinarian checkups can actually help to keep your blue Great Dane healthy and free from these diseases.
Do Blue Great Danes Have Skin Problems?
According to the Canine Inherited Disorders Database (CIDD), Great Danes are prone to the following inherited skin diseases: acral lick dermatitis, demodicosis, hypothyroidism, histiocytoma and zinc-responsive dermatosis. This is true for many Great Danes regardless of the coat color.
How Long Do Blue Great Danes Live For?
Great Danes generally live for 8 to 10 years depending on many factors that can influence their lifespan. Blue Great Danes can live longer if they are under good care but it is common for them to have a shorter lifespan due to the fact that they are more susceptible to health problems as compared to other coat colors.
This is obviously due to their genetic makeup but very little is currently known regarding the specific causes.
However, as mentioned earlier good care practices can actually help to increase the lifespan of your blue Great Dane. It is important to provide a balanced diet, regularly visit the veterinarian for checkups, get the dog to exercise more and perform other care related tasks for your dog.
Blue Great Dane Temperament
Great Danes are very well known for their intelligence, low energy and guard-like behavior. They have been nicknamed the gentle giants due to their friendly personality and this is a common trait for any Great Dane regardless of their coat color.
There is little to no evidence to suggest a clear relationship between coat color and temperament so you should generally expect your blue Dane to have the same personality as any other dog across the breed.
However, you should remember that factors like training and environment can greatly affect a dog’s behavior and completely deviate them from the common temperament for their breed. You should get a good trainer for your blue Great Dane and also provide a conducive environment to nurture their best qualities.
Here are some of the common temperament and personality traits of Great Danes:
Blue Great Dane Ear Cropping
Ear cropping can be basically explained as cutting off the floppy part dog ears and it is usually performed on anesthetized dogs between 6 and 12 weeks old. The procedure is mostly done for cosmetic reasons so many countries have banned this practice.
However it is still legal and unregulated in countries like the United States Of America. The Great Dane is one breed that commonly gets their ears cropped for cosmetic reasons.
The image below shows a blue Great Dane with cropped ears:
Do Blue Great Dane Eyes Stay Blue?
All Great Danes are born with blue eyes as puppies but they begin to change to a morph brown color as the dog matures into adulthood. There are chances that a blue Great Dane puppy can keep their blue eyes throughout their entire life but you should generally expect them to a morph brown color.
Blue Great Dane Puppies: Cost And Price
Coat color greatly influence the price and cost of puppies. Blue Great Dane puppies are typically expensive because they are difficult to find and sought after by many Great Dane enthusiasts.
The average price of a blue Great Dane puppy is between $600 to $3,000 depending on the reputation of the breeder, location, pedigree and many other factors.
Here are some of the factors that greatly contribute to the total price of a blue Great Dane puppy:
- Location- This is one of the major factors that influence the price of a dog. If the breed is exotic to the area is will be more expensive that indigenous breeds.
- Breeder- The reputation of the breeder will also influence the price of your Great Dane. A dog bought from an expert and reputable breeder will cost more than others.
- Pedigree- Pure bred dogs are generally more expensive and ancestral history of the dog will also influence the price. The rule of thumb is to get a Great Dane with an ancestral history that is free from disease and bad temperament.
- Standard- The standard of your blue Great Dane will also influence the cost. A blue Great Dane that meets all the specifications stated by the American Kennel Club will be more expensive that any with some degree of deviation.
Blue Great Dane Care
Good care can actually help your Great Dane to live a much longer life. This section covers some of the basic tips for taking good care for a blue Great Dane puppy or adult dog.
A good diet is a very crucial part of Great Dane care. Providing a nutritionally balanced diet for your dog can actually help them stay healthy and develop a stronger immune system to fight life threatening diseases. A typical Great Dane diet should have large quantities of proteins, moderate fats and low calories.
Diet is actually one of the factors that influence Great Dane growth so it is greatly encouraged for owners to consistently provide nutritionally balanced meals for their dogs.
One of the best dog food for Great Danes is the Wellness Large Breed Dry Dog Food that is specially formulated to provide whole-body nutritional support for your large breed dog.
Vaccinations and regular veterinarian checkups are one way that you can contribute to the health of your Great Dane. The vaccinations will help your dog to develop antibodies that are strong enough to fight various diseases whilst regular vet checkups will help to diagnose diseases before they become worse or irreversible.
Grooming and frequently cleaning your dog can help to protect them from disease causing parasites and pathogens. It is important to regularly groom your blue Great Dane by cleaning their coat, cutting their nails and cleaning their ears.
Here are some tips for effectively grooming a brindle Great Dane:
- Bathe the with dog shampoo at least 5 times a year. Great Danes do not really need frequent bathing because it can deprive their coat with the necessary natural oils.
- You can use dry shampoo to clean your Great Dane in-between bath routines. This is very essential for dogs that go outdoors and easily get dirty.
- Regularly brush your Great Dane with a short hair brush to remove loose hair, dirt and parasites.
- The ears should be kept clean and any excess hair inside the ear should be carefully removed.
- The nails of your Great Dane should also be regularly trimmed. A good rule of thumb is that if you can hear your dog’s nails clicking on the floor when they are walking you should cut the nails.
Should You Get A Blue Great Dane Puppy?
The shiny steel blue color of blue Great Dane puppies is very appealing and attractive to the eye. This is one of the main reasons why blue Danes are sought after by many fanatics of the breed.
If you are attracted to blue Great Danes then there is no reason why you should not get one for yourself. Great Danes are have a great personality that makes them very easy to live with.
The dogs are often described as gentle giants due to their friendly and less aggressive temperament that makes them very good with kids. Great Danes are good dogs that would make a perfect addition to your family.
However, it is important to note that blue Great Danes are generally more susceptible to health problems than other coat colors so you should take very good care of the dogs if you want them to live longer.