If you are looking for a unique dog breed, the Merle Great Dane is definitely worth considering. This dog has beautiful coloring and an interesting personality. But, what is a Merle Great Dane?
Have you ever seen a Great Dane that was a different color than the typical black and tan? If so, you may have seen a Merle Great Dane.
Read on to find more about this beautiful and unique dog.
What Is A Merle Great Dane?
What is a Merle Great Dane? Merle is a pattern that can occur in many dog breeds, including Great Danes. It’s characterized by irregular patches of color on the coat, which can range from light blue to dark brown. Merle Great Danes are often very striking dogs, and they’re definitely unique-looking!
One of my Dane puppies is a Merle, and I adore her so much for hr spotted skin. Although this type of Dane is affected by skin-related issues, I’d want to have her around till she is full-grown.
Merle Great Danes are stunning creatures. Their distinct coat pattern allows them to be identified. Merles typically have a lighter coat with darker grey spots or splotches scattered throughout.
The merle pattern is characterized by a pale to dark grey coat with darker splotches. Merle patterns include the following: merle, dilute merle, cryptic merle, and harlequin. However, the merle coat can cause serious health problems. These include deafness, eye defects, and an increased risk of skin problems.
Despite the distinctive coat pattern, Merles come in a variety of colors. They can have coats and markings that combine grey, blue, white, or black. It is the standard marking of a Merle Great Dane, despite being a grey color in the base coat or spots. Merle Great Danes and Harlequin Great Danes are sometimes confused.
A white base coat distinguishes Harlequins with black spots. On the other hand, Merles have a grey coat as a base coat. Merles are frequently born from Harlequin litters.
How Merle Great Danes Occur
The Merle coat pattern is a striking mottled effect that can occur in many dog breeds. In Great Danes, the Merle coat pattern is caused by a mutation in the melanocyte-stimulating hormone receptor gene. This same gene also controls pigment production in the eye, which is why Merle Great Danes often have blue or odd-colored eyes.
The Merle coat pattern is a dominant trait, which means that only one parent needs to carry the mutated gene for offspring to inherit it. However, when two Merle Great Danes are bred together, there is a 25% chance that their puppies will inherit two copies of the mutated gene. This can cause severe health problems, including blindness and deafness. For this reason, it is very important for breeders to test for the Merle coat pattern before breeding Great Danes.
If you are interested in owning a Merle Great Dane, be sure to do your research and find a reputable breeder who can provide health clearances for both parents.
When two Harlequin Great Danes are bred, litters will typically have one or two Merle puppies. The same thing can be expected when a Harlequin and a Mantle Great Dane are born. The latter, however, is the preferred breeding method.
The merle gene, which is responsible for the grey base coat, is required to have a Merle Great Dane. Puppies with two merle genes are more likely to be White Danes (more information about White Great Danes in our article here).
These breeds of dogs are more prone to health issues. This typically happens when two dogs with the merle-gene are bred, like two Harlequins. They attempted to eliminate the Merle coloring at one point, but it didn’t work out. Merle Great Danes are still available today. We are incredibly fortunate!
Are Merle Great Danes Uncommon?
Are Merle Great Danes Uncommon? Merle coloring in Great Danes is a relatively new occurrence, so in that sense they are uncommon. However, the merle gene is actually quite common in many dog breeds – it’s just that the merle color pattern isn’t often seen in Great Danes. So while Merle Great Danes may be somewhat of a rarity, the merle coloring itself is not particularly unusual.
If you’re thinking about getting a Merle Great Dane, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, because they are relatively rare, they can be quite expensive – sometimes costing twice as much as a non-merle Great Dane. I’d advise you to be a little cautious if you look for a Merle puppy. You shouldn’t have to pay through the nose for a Merle puppy. Some breeders will attempt to sell Merle Great Danes at a higher price, claiming that the coloring is rarer.
Merles with blue or even tan/brown coloring are slightly less common than those with the more traditional grey, white, and black markings.
Due to their unique coloring, they are often targeted by thieves and dognappers, so it’s important to take extra precautions to keep them safe.
Here are a few tips for keeping your Merle Great Dane safe:
- Make sure your dog is always wearing ID tags in case they get lost.
- Keep them on a leash or in a fenced-in area when they’re outside so they can’t wander off.
- Be aware of your surroundings when walking them and keep an eye out for suspicious people or activity.
- If you’re traveling with your Merle Great Dane, make sure you have all the necessary paperwork with you to avoid any problems at customs.
Merle Great Dane Varieties
Merle Great Danes, as previously stated, come in a variety of colors. The grey base coat with random black spots and splotches appears standard coloring. White patches on their chest and feet are possible. Other Merles are described further below.
Merlequins may appear to be Harlequin Great Danes at first glance. They will most likely have a white base coat with merle or grey spots and splotches. Depending on the color variation, these can be mistaken for Harlequins.
Brindle Merles have a more distinct pattern because they cross between the traditional Brindle and Merle patterns. Multicolored stripes distinguish the Brindle pattern.
The stripes are typically a mix of black, brown, gray, and red. The coat of a Brindle Merle is more muddled. Depending on the dog, you can see stripes and spots of various colors depending on the dog.
Blue Merles have a base coat that is light grey. On the other hand, the base coat is sometimes described as silver—their irregular blue spots and splotches. Blue Merles may have blue noses as well.
Fawn Merles are typically tan or brown with merle or grey spots all over. These are not the same as Fawn Harlequins, a white base coat with tan spots.
Chocolate Merles have a tan/brown coat, similar to Fawn Merles. They do, however, have irregular chocolate or red spots all over them.
White Great Danes are born when a dog inherits two merle genes, one from each parent. Typically, they are all white with few markings. Their nose, ears, and the area around their eyes may have red or pink undertones. This is the most distinctive Great Dane color.
Health Concerns for Merle Great Danes
Great Danes are already at a higher risk of health problems due to their size. Merle Great Danes are no different. Heart disease, cancer, issues of foot and pad, Wobbler’s Syndrome, hip dysplasia, and hypothyroidism are common health issues in Great Danes. These are all common health issues in larger breeds.
Merle Great Danes face unique challenges when two dogs carrying the merle gene mate and produce a litter. Blindness and deafness are two of the most common health problems in Merle Great Danes. These two conditions are primarily seen in white Great Danes.
If you’re thinking about adding a Merle Great Dane to your family, there are some health concerns you should be aware of. While these dogs are somewhat healthy overall, they are prone to certain genetic health conditions.
One health condition that Merle Great Danes are at higher risk for is deafness. This is due to the merle gene, which can cause hearing loss. If you’re considering a Merle Great Dane, be sure to ask the breeder about the dog’s hearing status. Another health concern for these dogs is vision problems. The merle gene can also cause blindness or vision impairment. Again, it’s important to ask the breeder about the dog’s eyesight before making a decision.
Breeding Problems with Merle Great Danes
Merle breeding The Great Dane Club of America’s Breeder’s Code of Ethics states that breeding Great Danes is unethical and should not be done on purpose.
While Merles are lovely dogs, breeding them can result in stillborn or sick puppies, as well as blindness and deafness. These puppies are also more likely to develop health problems later in life.
These health issues are most common in White Great Danes, resulting from two Merles breeding. Blindness and deafness are common occurrences. They may also have a condition that causes their eyes to be physically smaller than they should be.
However, not all white Great Danes are born deaf or blind. White Danes should be tested to see any problems when they are old enough. This should not cause concern if you are deaf and blind. With some patience and training, you should be able to have a well-behaved puppy with a high quality of life.
If you choose to breed your white Dane, you should know that blindness and deafness are rarely passed on. However, it is strongly advised against doing so. Aggressive behavior, skin disorders, and brain abnormalities are all possibilities. However, more research is needed to conclude that these are the products of the double merle-gene.
It is recommended that you have your Merle Great Dane neutered or spayed; however, if you want to breed your Great Dane and are concerned about the merle gene. Because not all commercial tests specifically look for the merle-gene, do your homework before purchasing.