Great Dane Club of America Great Dane Illustrated Standard page five
The Great Dane Illustrated Standard part five
Coat, color, markings and patterns

AKC Standard

Coat - the coat shall be short, thick and clean with a smooth glossy appearance.


The coat lies flat. Trimming of stray hairs is acceptable.

AKC Standard


Brindle - The base color shall be yellow gold and always brindled with strong black cross stripes in a chevron pattern. A black mask is preferred. Black should appear on the eye rims and eyebrows, and may appear on the ears and tail tip. 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 are equally undesirable. White markings at the chest and toes, black-fronted, dirty colored brindles are not desirable.

Fawn - The color shall be yellow gold with a black mask. Black should appear on the eye rims and eyebrows, and may appear on the ears and tail tip. The deep yellow gold must always be given the preference. White markings at the chest and toes, black-fronted dirty colored fawns are not desirable.

Blue - The color shall be a pure steel blue. White markings at the chest and toes are not desirable.

Black - The color shall be a glossy black. White markings at the chest and toes are not desirable.

Harlequin - Base color shall be pure white with black torn patches irregularly and well distributed over the entire body; a pure white neck is preferred. Merle patches are normal. No patch should be so large that it appears to be a blanket. Eligible, but less desirable, are black hairs showing through the white base coat which give a salt and pepper or dirty appearance.


Faults of color, with the exception of serious deviations, should not be considered as important as faults of structure and type. THE OVERALL QUALITY OF THE DOG IS OF PRIMARY IMPORTANCE. Natural graying of the mask due to age should NOT be penalized; in the Dane, some graying at the front of the muzzle may occur at a relatively early age.

Brindle - The black stripes should be clearly defied and evenly distributed, meeting or nearly meeting at the topline. The acceptable amount of brindling will vary, but very sparse (mostly fawn, with a few isolated areas of striping), or very heavy (to the extent that black appears to be the base coat with fawn striping) are deviations from the Standard and should be penalized according to the extent of the deviation.

Fawn - The rich golden fawn color is correct. Faults include pale, washed out biscuit, sooty and grayish yellow. The black mask will vary in area; preferably it will cover most of the forepart of the muzzle and may extend up past the eyes. Occasionally, a dark shading will appear about halfway up the tail, which is unimportant.

Blue - the steel blue referred to is a deep, rich color. Pale, washed out grayish-blue or brownish tinged blue should be faulted.

Black - To borrow from the English standard, black is black. There should be no tinge of fawn, rust or other color discernible.

Harlequin - A wide range exists as to the amount of markings which may be present; however, dogs with very few patches and dogs so heavily marked that little white area is left are both outside the desired range. When all the markings have rounded, well defined edges (spots) as opposed to the required torn edges, the dog does not fall into the harlequin classification. Harlequins may correctly have black patches on the chest and legs. Although a white neck is preferred, black patches on the neck should not be penalized.


Harlequin Great Dane

Harlequin Great Dane
Harlequin Great Dane Harlequin Great Dane


Harlequin Great Dane

Mantle - The color shall be black and white with a solid black blanket extending over the body; black skull with white muzzle; white blaze is optional; whole white collar preferred; a white chest; white on part or whole of forelegs and hind legs; white tipped black tail. A small white marking in the black blanket is acceptable, as is a break in the white collar.


Ideal Mantle Great Dane
Ideally Marked Mantle

Figures 2-5 below are in the acceptable range of variation as defined in the Standard for the Mantle Great Dane

Mantle Great Dane 2 Mantle Great Dane 3
Mantle Great Dane 4 Mantle Great Dane 5
continue to page 6 (Gait, Temerament, discqualifications and the Scale of Points)
return to page 4 (forequarters and hindquarters)
return to page 3 (ears, nose and teeth, neck, topline and body)
return to page 2 (Size, proportion, substance and Head)
return to page 1 (introduction)