Brindle Great Dane

This is a complete guide on brindle Great Danes.

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 topics that we are going to be covering:

So without much being said, let’s get started.

What Is A Brindle Great Dane?

A brindle Great Dane is one whose base color should be yellow gold and always brindled with strong black stripes in a chevron pattern. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC) standards, a black mask is much more preferred on brindle Great Danes. Black should appear on the eye rims and eyebrows but it may also appear on the ears and tail tips.

what is a brindle great dane

White markings at the chest and toes, black-fronted, dirty colored brindles are not desirable and any variance in the color or markings specified shall be faulted to the extent of the deviation.

The AKC standards are so clear and strict that any brindle Great Dane that does not fall within these color specifications is disqualified. In the next sections I am going to be explaining more about the genetics of the coat color and how breeders get to achieve it.

Standard And Non-Standard Brindle Great Danes

When it comes to standard brindle Great Danes, the more intensive the base color and the more distinct and even the brindling, the more preferred will be the color. Too much or too little brindling on the Great Dane are equally undesirable.

standard brindle great dane

Standard brindle Great Danes should closely resemble the coat of a tiger but you can still find some with very little or too much brindling. Brindle is oftentimes described as tiger stripped despite the fact the the brindle pattern is actually more subtle than that of a tiger.

On the other hand, a non-standard brindle Great Dane is one with a white marking on the chest and sometimes toes. These types do not meet the AKC standards since they really deviate from the specifications of no white markings on either the chest or toes.

non standard brindle great dane

Brindle Great Dane Variations

There are so many color variations and mismarks that can be produced when breeding brindle Great Danes. This section is a quick summary of the color variations and mismarks.

Here are the main color variations and mismarks:

Pure Brindle

These meet all the AKC standards with their yellow gold coat color that is always brindled with strong black stripes in a chevron pattern.

brindle great dane

Brindle Merle

Brindle merle Great Danes are a combination of the traditional brindle and merle patterns. You can easily notice the multi-colored stripes from the brindle Great Dane gene and the spots from the merle gene are easily noticed.

brindle merle great dane

Brindle Mantle

Brindle mantle Great Danes have a yellow and gold blanket that is always brindles with strong black stripes in a chevron pattern. The yellow and gold blanket extends over a pure white base coat.

brindle mantle great dane puppy

Brindle Great Dane Genetics

Coat color is one of the main interests of professional breeders but there are certain colors that are not easily found in other breeds. A few dog breeds have a brindle coat color of pheomelanin pigment over most of their body. This is what makes the brindle color in Great Danes very appealing to breeders and dog owners.

A detailed article on the genetics of the brindle color in dogs explains that:

Brindle is one of the alleles on the K locus. There are three K locus alleles – KB (dominant black), kbr (brindle) and ky (non-solid black – allows A locus to be expressed). KB is the top dominant and ky is the bottom recessive. kbr sits between the two. It is entirely dominated by KB (so just one KB allele will stop brindle from being expressed), but is dominant over ky, so a brindle dog can have the genotype kbrkbr or kbrky.

A dog with one or two kbr alleles will express whichever alleles it has on the A locus, but any and all phaeomelanin (red) in the coat will be brindled. This means that the extent of the brindling on the coat depends on the A locus. The following list shows how the different A locus genes affect the appearance of brindle.

Brindle is caused by a complex gene process and is technically a form of mosaicism, where some cells express one allele (KB) and some express the other (ky). Mosaicism can be basically explained as when an animal has 2 or more genetically different sets of cells in their body.

The genetics of the brindle color in Great Danes might seem complex but it can be very easy to breed them from fawns and brindles since they belong to the fawn/brindle color family.

Breeding Brindle Great Danes

As mentioned earlier, brindle Great Danes belong to the fawn/brindle color family so they should only be bred to and from brindle or fawn Great Danes.

Some recent MC1R studies in dogs with melanistic mask or brindle patterns have revealed that there is no correlation between MC1R variation and the brindled phenotype and transmission of brindle in Great Danes is consistent with autosomal dominant inheritance.

Autosomal dominant inheritance is basically a way a genetic trait or condition can be passed down from parent to child. 

So this goes to show that the brindle pattern can only be inherited by a Great Dane puppy if either of the parents had a dominant or recessive brindle gene thus the recommendation of only breeding brindles to and from fawns and other brindle Great Danes.

Brindle Great Dane Health Issues

Brindle Great Danes don’t really have health problems as a consequence of their coat color or genetic makeup. However, they can experience some of the common health issues that any other Great Danes are susceptible to.

Here is a quick summary on some of the common health problems of Great Danes:

  • Gastric Torsion– This is the main killer of Great Dane dogs and it is also known as canine bloat. This is can be described as a condition where the belly is swollen after over eating. As food passes through a dog’s stomach, gas builds up and the stomach expands. If the stomach stretches beyond its limits, blood circulation to the heart is prevented as well as to the stomach. Lack of blood circulation to the stomach results in stomach tissue dying.
  • Hip Dysplasia-Hip dysplasia is very common in large dog breeds like Great Danes. The best description for hip dysplasia is that it is a chronic condition in which the head of the femur bone doesn’t fit into the hip socket correctly.
  • Cardiomyopathy– This is another life threatening disease that causes the heart of the Great Dane to enlarge as a result of many genetic factors.
  • Tricuspid Valve Disease– This is another condition of the heart that causes the heart valves not to function properly. Tricuspid valve disease can result in the left side of the Great Dane not functioning properly.
  • Cancer– Great Danes are also susceptible to cancer with the most common ones being bone and skin cancer.
  • Addison’s Disease– This is a common Great Dane disease that is a result of a decrease in corticosteroid secretion from the adrenal gland.
  • Wobbler Syndrome– Yet another health problem common in large dog breeds like the Great Dane. Wobbler syndrome affects the cervical spine at the neck.
  • Cruciate Ligament Tear– Cruciate Ligaments help to stabilize the knee joint so a tear in these ligaments can make it very difficult for your Great Dane to walk properly and they will also be experiencing a lot of pain.

Brindle Great Dane Temperament

Great Danes are generally known for their intelligence, low energy and guard-like behavior. They are basically considered to be the gentle giants and the same is true 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 brindled Dane to have the same personality as any other dog across the breed.

However, it is important to note that dog behavior may vary from dog to dog depending on their environment and how they are raised. Good training and better living conditions can help nurture the best qualities in your brindle Great Dane despite their coat color.

Here are some of the common temperament and personality traits of Great Danes:

  • Friendly.
  • Reserved.
  • Loving.
  • Devoted.
  • Confident.
  • Gentle.

You should generally expect your brindle Great Dane to have these qualities provided that you offer a conducive environment to nurture such a personality.

How Long Do Brindle Great Danes Live For?

The average lifespan of a healthy Great Dane dog is between 8 and 10 years so you should also expect your brindled four-legged friend to live within this range. Brindle Great Danes do not really have any unique health problems as a result of their coat color or genetics so they should live for much long if you are taking good care of them.

Good Great Dane care has much to do with the diet, grooming, vaccinations and training so it is important for dog owners not to neglect any area in order for their fury friends to live much longer.

How Much Do Brindle Great Danes Cost?

Nobody can deny that coat color is one of the major contributors to the average price of puppies of any dog breed. The same is true for Great Dane puppies. Some coat colors are very expensive as a result of their genetic complexity and how difficult it might be to produce a dog of that color.

Brindle Great Danes are not really difficult for breeders to produce so they are generally less expensive. Breeders can easily produce the brindle color from fawns and or brindles.

The average price of a brindle 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 fawn 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 brindle Great Dane will also influence the cost. A brindle Great Dane that meets all the specifications stated by the American Kennel Club will be more expensive that any with some degree of deviation.

Brindle Great Dane Care

As mentioned earlier, taking good care of your brindle Great Dane can actually help them to live much longer. This section covers some of the crucial tips for taking care of a Great Dane dog.


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.

A good diet can actually help improve Great Dane growth and increase the lifespan of your dog.

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 brindle 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 Brindle Great Dane Puppy?

brindle great dane puppy

Great Danes are generally known as the gentle giants because of their friendly and less aggressive personality. The breed is very popular for its intelligence, low energy and guard-like behavior which makes them great family dogs that are very good with kids.

This is true for any Great Dane despite their coat color so if you are a fan of the brindle coat color there is really nothing to stop you from adding a brindle Great Dane puppy to your family.

Brindle Great Dane puppies are very easy to take care of and they do not require much maintenance like other dogs. The coat color does not easily get dirty and Great Danes generally do not require much bathing. You can easily get away with bathing your brindle Great Dane puppy for less than 5 times a year since frequent bathing is known to deprive the coat of essential natural oils.

If the brindle coat color is your favorite then there is no reason why you should not get a brindle Great Dane puppy for yourself.

Recent Posts

HTML Document

We are a Chewy affiliate and receive referral payments for purchases made through our links at no extra cost to you.

This site does not constitute pet medical advice, please consult a licensed veterinarian in your area for pet medical advice.