A merle Dane pup does not necessarily have to be bred from two merle parents. As long as either parent has the merle genetic pattern, there is a chance that one of their pups would exhibit this coloration. My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially cats and dogs. I’ve got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property. Animal Genetics is an organization that specializes in genetic testing, and their team would be able to identify the type of merle gene your Great Dane has.Great Danes, regardless of their color pattern, would make excellent family dogs. Thus, merle Great Danes are also gentle, sweet, and brave and exhibit a desire to play with children.
It won’t take long for you to tell that it’s a merle and mantle pattern with its large patches of white fur, usually on the muzzle, chest, and legs, against a predominantly merle coat pattern.
However, the key to having a truly fulfilling relationship with one is to ensure that they are as healthy, safe, and comfortable as possible throughout their lives.
If your dog is not weaned or is under six weeks old, then they recommend that you choose the blood sample, a cotton swab, or the dewclaw collection method.With all that said, the merle gene, in particular, is known for increasing the likelihood of a Great Dane inheriting certain health conditions. These include eye problems, deafness, and skin diseases.
However, since double merles have a higher risk of developing health defects, the concern about a pup being the offspring of two merles is a subject of deep interest among Great Dane owners.
Still and all, it is not unusual for them to pass away at the age of seven. For, like most other large breeds, they are more prone to deadly diseases than smaller dogs.If you are planning to adopt a merle Dane and make it a part of your family, it is advisable that you enroll it in a number of obedience training classes at a young age. This would make it easier for your family to control it when it grows to its full adult size. Keep in mind that certain kennels specialize in breeding different Great Danes for specific purposes. Generally speaking, merle pups bred to become pets would cost approximately half the price of those bred for competitions. Of course, there is a wide range of dog accessories, food products, and supplements at varying price points. Therefore, you can always customize your budget in caring for your new merle.Other than that, it is also a great idea to get recommendations from your local vet. After all, there must be a wonderful merle Great Dane who is simply out there patiently waiting for you! Aside from the ones I listed above, you can also check out our list of the best Great Dane breeders in the United States. I wrote an in-depth review of each breeder, so go ahead and give it a read. However, after the recent development of the aforementioned gene testing system that can distinguish the homozygous merles (MM) from the relatively healthier heterozygous (Mm) merles, the AKC finally allowed them to join the shows and competitions.So, to answer your question: Yes, it may very well be worth it for you to get a merle Great Dane. They are a loyal, graceful, and vigilant breed whose companionship you will find incredibly meaningful and memorable.
In fact, the merle coat color gene in and of itself is not exclusive to the Great Dane, but other dog breeds as well, including the Australian Shepherd, Dachshund, and Chihuahua.
Double merle Great Danes carry the double merle gene, two copies of the dominant “M” allele, or the version of the gene that is responsible for the merle coat color.It goes without saying that the likelihood of getting a merle dog is significantly higher when two merles breed. On top of that, a copy of the double merle mutation can always be passed on to the pup.
Some owners would have their merle’s ears cropped, but it must be noted that ear cropping is illegal in most European countries as well as in Australia and Canada.
As a result, there are numerous variations of the merle pattern. Yet one can safely say that a Great Dane is a merle when it has a pale gray to dark gray merle base color with black mottled patches all over.All the information you need, as well as the instructions, can be found on your chosen facility’s website, including their forms and how to order their free sample collection kits.
Some would say that Great Danes with a silver coat are just as rare. This color may be likened to the blue or blue fawn Great Dane, but what makes it different is that this dog’s coat has a beautiful shiny hue.
Another great thing about the merle Dane is that they are not hard to housetrain. They are also quite intelligent and thus adapt well to almost any household.
The merle coat color pattern is one of the seven recognized Great Dane colors by the American Kennel Club. The rest are the black, fawn, mantle, blue, harlequin, and brindle patterns.If you are interested to know more about the merle color patterns approved by The American Kennel Club or AKC, you can also take a look at The Great Dane Club of America’s “The Illustrated Standard of the Great Dane.”A solid merle pattern is either light or dark gray with distinctive black blotches all over. Some solid merles have white on their toes and chest, which is normal and within the standard for shows and competitions.Eye color among merle Great Danes would vary. Although most of them would have blue eyes as pups, the hue would eventually turn brown as they grow older.
Widely popular on Instagram, the blue merle Great Dane has a gorgeous coat that is hard to ignore. This is not an elusive color pattern, so you’ll often see Great Danes sporting this coat.
A merle Great Dane has a grayish coat with mottled darker patches throughout. They exhibit the same features as other Great Dane colors, but they are frowned upon in the canine community because of their susceptibility to a number of canine diseases.If, after reaching out to any of these recommendations, you still haven’t found the merle you want, then you can try checking out our list of the best Great Dane rescues.
It is highly advisable to have your Dane undergo periodic eye, cardiac, thyroid, and hip evaluations. That way, you and your vet can devise preventive care or detect and address early symptoms to avoid more expensive and invasive treatments.
It must be exciting to finally go looking for your merle Great Dane. But if you’re not sure where to begin, this section will hopefully lead you to the right place.
Those new to the concept of choosing a Great Dane for their coat color and patterns might find it hard at first to distinguish a harlequin from a merle Great Dane. However, their differences in features are actually easy to recognize.The height of a male merle Great Dane is between 30 and 32 inches, whereas a female can stand up to 30 inches at the shoulder. Generally, male Great Danes are also observably more muscular than their female counterparts.On the other hand, a merle Great Dane would clearly have a gray coat with black blotches all over. And while there are varieties of merle patterns and markings as well, the distinct pattern is hard to miss.While this is technically possible, it is highly discouraged to breed two merle Danes. As discussed, it is because it dramatically increases the likelihood of their offspring becoming double merle and inheriting the health issues that come with this gene.Breeders can expect to see at least one merle Great Dane puppy when two harlequin parents breed. Likewise, mantle Great Danes and harlequins can potentially produce a merle.
What is a merle Great Dane?
Merle Great Danes are beautiful animals. They are identified by their unique coat pattern. Merles usually have a lighter coat with darker grey spots or splotches all over. Merle coats are common in more breeds than just Great Danes. Cached
This is not a rare case since merle is a dominant gene. That is to say, only one copy of an M allele is needed for the Dane to acquire some form of the merle pattern.
Like most of the other Great Danes, the merle’s coat is smooth, glossy, short, and thick. But what makes the merle striking is the uniqueness of each merle pattern due to the unstable nature of the merle gene (which will be discussed in detail later on).
Likewise, those interested in having their merle compete in shows should familiarize themselves with the standards of the Great Dane Club of America Breeder’s Code of Ethics before choosing their breeder.
A primarily white Great Dane is arguably the rarest color to be found. However, it is also the most likely to inherit genetic health problems. As such, breeders would often sell them at a lower cost than the rest of the litter.
When two dogs carry the incompletely dominant merle gene and are made to breed, 25 percent of their litter would, on average, become a merle Great Dane.
When you breed harlequin Great Danes, it is certainly possible for some puppies in a harlequin litter to come out merle, provided that they have inherited the merle gene.
If you want to know more about merle Great Danes, we have a lot of vital information to share here, including the most common merle Great Dane health facts, their typical temperament, and much more. So read on to find out!
For a Great Dane to exhibit the merle color pattern, either one of its parents should be carrying the merle gene, which is primarily responsible for the mottled patterns against a solid or piebald coat.
If you choose to have your merle Great Dane’s genetics tested, then you would be able to tell if they are double merle when results come back indicating “M/M,” it can affirm that your dog carries two copies of the dominant “M” allele or merle gene.
Are merle dogs healthy?
Yes – merle dogs can be just as healthy as dogs that have a solid color. They have the same life expectancy, they are just as strong and athletic and smart as their counterparts without the merle gene. In lines with responsible merle breedings, all offspring will be healthy and live a long life.
Yes, the merle can now be registered to the American Kennel Club or AKC. Before 2019, they were not qualified due to their reputation of having a higher risk of developing eye defects, skin cancer, or hearing problems.Should you have a deaf and/or blind, this should not be cause for concern. With patience and a bit of training, you should have a well-behaved pup with a good quality of life.
Why is merle so expensive?
Why are merle dogs so expensive? In a nutshell, merle dogs are expensive because puppy buyers are willing to pay a lot of money for them. The pattern is very sought-after, and the more demand there is, the higher breeders can set their prices. In addition, merle breedings can be quite rare in some breeds.
Just saying Merle GD used to be destroyed at birth. We ALL including humans have genetic flaws. I for one SO glad they are a recognized AKC color. Breeders pretended they didn’t exist. I bought a fawn yrs ago from a great breeder. Her house dogs were Merle’s (she bred blacks and harls as well) She found homes for all her Merle’s. I so LOVE the breed
As previously mentioned, Merle Great Danes do come in different color varieties. The grey base coat with irregular black spots and splotches seem to be the standard coloring.
I had a gorgeous blonde merle Great Dane many yrs ago. Never seen another one w her coloring. Mom was fawn and dad was what they called a blonde fawn although he looked regular to me. My Mandy’s base coat was beige w pale grey spots a little white on her chest. Her eyes were beautiful, almost the same color. Loved her floppy ears. She was small 110 lbs fully grown but I like smaller Danes they’re not so inbred and dopey. She was a real feminine lady who loved her couch and my bed. She lived to 11. She got Lymes disease but seemed to be ok after treatment. I had her for 11 yrs she was my sweet baby. I’d love another one. Don’t care for most breeders or AKC. She was a special girl.Ultimately, if you have a Merle Great Dane, it is recommended to have them neutered or spayed. However, if you are interested in breeding and you are worried about your Great Dane having the merle-gene, there are now dog DNA tests available for purchase.
And thankfully, the blindness and deafness are rarely passed on, should you choose to breed your White Great Dane. However, this is still strongly recommended against doing so.
Typical health issues for any Great Dane include heart disease, cancer, foot and pad issues, Wobbler’s Syndrome, hip dysplasia, and hypothyroidism. These are all typical health concerns in larger breeds.The specific issues for Merle Great Danes come when two dogs carrying the merle-gene are bred and produce a litter. Blindness and deafness are two common health issues seen in Merle Great Danes.
These health issues are typically seen in White Great Danes, the product of two Merles breeding. Deafness and blindness are common occurrences. They may also suffer from a condition where their eyes are physically smaller than they should be.
Merle Great Danes are beautiful animals. They are identified by their unique coat pattern. Merles usually have a lighter coat with darker grey spots or splotches all over.Other issues may include aggressive behavior, skin disorders, and brain abnormalities. However, more research is needed to definitively conclude these are products of the double merle-gene.
What are the risks of merle?
Dogs that have two copies of the merle gene variant, inherited from both of their parents, have an increased risk of problems with their eyes and ears, causing blindness and/or deafness.
Some breeders will try to sell Merle Great Danes at a more expensive price, claiming they are a rarer coloring. However, because you can typically find at least one in a litter, you should not necessarily be paying more for a Merle pup.While breeding two Harlequin Great Danes, litters will typically have one or two Merle puppies. The same can be expected when breeding a Harlequin and a Mantle Great Dane. However, the latter is the preferred breeding method.
I was the inspiration for Great Dane Care and I hope that you and your Great Dane enjoy this site! This site has a LOT of information, so make sure to use the search feature at the top to help find the answers to your questions 😉
Even with the distinctive coat pattern, there are also a variety of Merle coloring options. They can have a combination of grey, blue, white or black coats and markings.These types of dogs are more likely to experience health problems. This typically happens when two dogs with the merle-gene are breed, like two Harlequins.
Merle Great Danes are often produced while breeding Harlequin Great Danes. They only genetic difference between the two is the gene that creates the grey coloring in Merles.
While they are beautiful dogs, breeding Merles can result in stillborn or sick puppies, blindness, and deafness. These puppies will also have a higher risk of having health issues later in life.Historically speaking, breeders at one point tried to eliminate the Merle coloring. They tried to do this by being selective in their breeding choices. However, this was not successful, as we still have Merle Great Danes today. Lucky us! Merle is one of eight naturally occurring genes responsible for the color of a dog’s coat. Aside from a random mutation, the merle gene is passed to a puppy from its parents. Why are merles approved for the AKC and Great Dane Club when there are clearly issues? I think it sends a wrong message. There will be so many non-informed breeders and owners that may perpetuate the problems, thus, weakening the breed all together. Maybe I’m missing something.
I have a Blue Merle. She is beautiful and has a great temperament. Listens well and can be left unfenced without leaving our property. Our daughters and a few friends want a puppy of hers. What color would be recommended to breed her with?
Mantle Merles typically have a white base coat, similar to Mantle Great Danes. Mantle Great Danes have black spots. The Mantle Merles, on the other hand, will have silver or grey spots all over.Merlequins may initially look like Harlequin Great Danes. They will likely have a white base coat, with irregular merle or grey spots and splotches. These are sometimes mistaken as Harlequins, depending on the color variation.
How much does a merle Dane cost?
A blue or merle Great Dane on the other hand can cost about $1500 as they are not as rare. More common colors like white and black may cost an average of $1000.
Having a Merle Great Dane is dependent on having the merle gene, which is responsible for the grey base coat. When a pup has two merle genes, they will likely be White Danes (more information about White Great Danes in our article here).
As an Amazon Associate and Chewy affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases. I also participate in other affiliate programs and are compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.
The Great Dane Puppy Handbook takes all of the need-to-know Great Dane info and packages it together into a single, concise resource. Save yourself time, money, and frustration by avoiding the most common mistakes made by Great Dane owners!
You’re not allowed to show them. I think this will help with avoiding breeding since they can’t be champion dogs. I’ll be getting a merle Great Dane at the end of February, but he will be neutered eventually.
As with many dogs, Great Danes come in a variety of different colors! Fawn, Brindle, Black, Harlequin, Mantle, Blue, and Merle are the seven standard colors recognized by the Great Dane Club of America. These colors are considered show-acceptable. However, you can still register your Merle Great Dane as pure-breed with the American Kennel Club.
We have a blue merle dane/aussie mix. He is just beautiful and looks just like the main picture on the website. He does have some Aussie features with really pretty light brown eyes and smaller ears (like a Aussie). We got him free from a co-worker and couldn’t be happier. Everyone comments on how beautiful his coloring is. He is very smart and listens very well and just a sweet natured boy. We love our fur-baby!As a larger breed, Great Danes are already at a higher risk for having health-related issues. Merle Great Danes are no exception. Thankfully, Merle Great Danes can be perfectly helpful.Pro Tip: If you’re looking for a resource that guides you through everything from A-Z about raising a Great Dane then you should absolutely take a look at the Great Dane Puppy Handbook. It’s everything that a busy owner needs to feel calm and confident about raising their dog.
Blue Merles have a light grey base coat. However, the base coat can sometimes be described as silver as well. Their irregular spots and splotches are blue. Blue Merles may also have blue noses.
The stripes are usually a combination of black, brown, gray, and red. A Brindle Merle has a more muddled coat. You can see stripes and spots of all colors, depending on the specific dog.Fawn Merles tend to have tan or brown coloring with merle or grey spots all over. These are not to be confused with Fawn Harlequins, which have a white base coat with tan spots. However, some Merles may be rarer depending on their coloring. Merles with blue or even tan/brown coloring are slightly less common than those with the standard grey, white and black markings. Brindle Merles have a more distinct pattern, as it is a combination of the traditional Brindle and Merle pattern. The Brindle pattern is marked by multi-colored stripes.
Hello my first question is I have a mantel male, And I just purchased a female merle, I do not know if she carries the blue gene or not, and I was also told that she could be a blue merle … would it be safe to breed her with my mantel male??? … Thank you
Merle coats are common in more breeds than just Great Danes. It can also be seen in Australian Shepherds, Shetland Sheepdogs, Welsh Corgis, American Bullys, and many more!
Merle, also known as dapple in some breeds, is a distinctive pattern of colours used to describe the coat of some dogs. Merle dogs can come in a range of colours, but the pattern is usually a splash of darker shades, marbled against a lighter background. This type of coat is inherited, and the gene that causes this pattern can also affect the colour of a dog’s eyes and some parts of their skin, usually their nose or paw pads. Some merle dogs, specifically those that have two merle parents, have an increased risk of certain health issues. This type of coat is caused by a variation of a particular gene. Each dog has two copies of every gene; one that they inherit from their mother and one they inherit from their father. The merle gene variant is dominant, which means that a dog only needs one copy, inherited from either of their parents, to have a merle coat. For now.. Enjoy your beautiful Merle Great Dane and please consider neutered or spay. Following ethical breeding practices with color code coupled with thourough health screening of breeding stock will help our breed remain healthy and strong for generations to come.Are slate, dark blue, or brownish blue with black spots. Nose and skin pigmentation looks bluish black. See our Great Dane Colors main page for a link to our “Blue Merle Great Dane” page. Thankfully, there will soon be a test available to detect the merle gene, take a look at our Great Dane Colors main page for a link to the merle testing press release from the Great Dane club of America. Yes, things may change in the future as more information and testing is done on the affects of the merle gene and Great Danes. White on the muzzle, chest, toes, and tip of tail is common on merles as well as harlequin bred blacks. Merles coloration is a product of harlequin breeding and very common in most harlequin litters, even when following ethical harlequin breeding practices. Future breeding of merle Great Danes however could lead to predisposition of certain health problems!Even if your Merle is perfect in every way, great conformation, character and all else that a Dane can be. Breeding merles is currently deemed an unethical practice by the Great Dane Club of America’s breeder’s code of ethics. Not to mention that breeding merles may produce dead puppies, sick puppies, and Danes that are predisposed to future health problems. This is possible if the “merle” gene is present in both parents, resulting in double “merle” dogs that can be stillborn, deaf, blind and genetically flawed.
What is a ghost merle?
Dogs with cryptic merle (also called phantom or ghost merle) typically display little to no merle pattern and some may be misclassified as non-merles. The cryptic merle alleles occur in the lower end of the range (typically from 200-255, however, this range and designation varies by study).
Merle Great Danes are produced in many harlequin Great Dane litters. You may find merles for sale or in classified ads being sold as rare colored Danes. Truly, each merle is unique in color but don’t be fooled into paying extra for a merle. The nice thing about merle Great Danes is you will have a unique colored dog and generally, no two are alike. Some of the merle color patterns and markings are incredible. Although merle colored Great Danes are not accepted for showing, you can still fully register your dog as a purebred with the (AKC) American Kennel Club:) As long as a dog only has one copy of the merle gene, this is not bad or unhealthy at all. The problems only arise when a dog has two copies of the merle gene and is a double merle – then he will experience an array of health issues.
A dog with a single copy of a merle gene is not less healthy than his solid-colored relatives. Double merle dogs however are very different – they are highly impacted by their two copies of the merle gene.
A difficulty in breeding merles is that certain colorings might hide the merle pattern, leading to accidental merle-to-merle breedings. E.g. in Border Collies the rare color ee red/gold hides the merle pattern. Dogs appear to not be merle, but genetically they can be. If such a dog is crossed with another merle dog, this could be an unwanted merle-to-merle breeding, with the unfavorable results of double merle puppies.
Others are able to live fairly normal lives, reaching the full size of their breed, being able to go for walks, learn tricks or even participate in dog sports.
Many dog owners have heard before that merle dogs are unhealthy and have vision and hearing issues. Is that true? Does it depend on which kind of merle pattern the dog has? The quick answer is that a well-bred merle dog with one copy of the merle gene will be as healthy as a solid-colored dog. If a dog is a so-called “double merle” however, he is likely to suffer from vision, hearing and skin problems.
Why are merle dogs more expensive?
Merle dog breeds are more expensive for a number of reasons. For one, genetic testing is needed in every merle breeding to prevent a double-merle litter. Secondly, breeders may charge pet owners a premium for such an in-demand coat color.
Many extremely healthy, athletic and smart dogs are merle, such as many dogs in dog agility. Some merle dogs have even won the Agility World Championship – definitely a sign that the gene are not unhealthy or bad!Double merles can have varying levels of these conditions. Some dogs are stillborn or pass away soon after birth. Some fail to thrive and never reach the quality of life of their littermates.
Merle dogs of all kinds are beautiful, unique and fascinating. But are they healthy dogs as well? Are any inherent conditions associated with the merle coloring?
Some breeders want to produce more merle dogs as they are more desirable and can be sold for a higher price. They pair two merles together. This pairing produces 1/4 solid dogs, 1/2 merle dogs and 1/4 double merle dogs.
Yes – merle dogs can be just as healthy as dogs that have a solid color. They have the same life expectancy, they are just as strong and athletic and smart as their counterparts without the merle gene.
Due to not hearing and seeing well, these dogs tend to have problems in social settings. They often cannot communicate appropriately with other dogs, cannot be off-leash because they don’t have a good recall and struggle with fear and anxiety.
Can two merle Great Danes breed?
A double merle is created when two merle dogs are bred together. It doesn’t matter what color merle or what breed they are. If two merle dogs are bred together, each puppy in the litter has a 25% chance of being born a double merle. A double merle inherits the merle gene twice.
In some breeds, merle can be present even if it is not visible (such as in the ee red color in Border Collies). In this case, dogs should have genetic testing done to determine whether only one of them has the merle gene. Some puppies are stillborn and do not survive the first weeks of life. Others are able to reach adulthood, but suffer from vision and hearing issues and have a strong tendency to develop skin cancer. The extreme lack of pigmentation that is seen in these dogs is not healthy – and double merle breeding need to be avoided by all means. Unfortunately, some breeders strive to breed merle dogs for financial reasons. They often do not do health-testing on the parents or even breed dogs with known issues in their lines (such as epilepsy). This is especially prevalent in “high demand merle dog breeds”, such as merle Pitbulls or Fluffy Frenchies.
Their limited vision and hearing causes them to often be startled and surprised. Owners have to take a very careful approach to training these dogs to show them that the world is a friendly and predictable place.
Double merles are easily recognized by their very light complexion. They have a lot of white, and lack pigmentation on their nose and around their eyes. Here is an examples of a double merle dog:PetKeen.com does not intend to provide veterinary advice. While we provide information resources and canine education, the content here is not a substitute for veterinary guidance.
Are merle Great Danes rare?
Breeding of any color Dane that has been color crossed can produced a variety of merle colors. TIP: Important! None of these colors are “rare” and YOU should not pay extra for a merle.
History shows the beginnings of the Great Dane were in the 14th century. However, you will find ancient Egyptian carvings that look eerily similar to this dog breed. Historical records show this breed was created in Great Britain and Germany to help control wild boar populations.
The Great Dane is easily one of the most recognizable dogs around. While most people know this breed from their size alone, they are also quite calm, affectionate, and intelligent.
Unfortunately, merle Great Danes, like all members of the breed, do suffer from medical issues that can affect their life span. As with most large dogs, it is best to take them to the veterinarian often and provide them with the best care possible. You’ll find that they make a wonderful companion for the years they spend as part of your family.It’s best not to breed two merle-colored Great Danes in hopes of producing puppies due to them being born with health issues. To produce a merle Great Dane, one parent having the coloration is enough. However, interestingly enough, merle Great Danes have been born to parents without the merle coloration. One of the best ways to produce a merle Great Dane pup is to breed two harlequin Great Danes.
Training is another important aspect of owning a merle Great Dane. Due to their large size, having your Dane well-trained can make life easier for you. When going on walks or out playing, they may get a little rough due to their size. With the right training, your merle Great Dane will understand boundaries and will be easier to control. Luckily, this dog breed is relatively calm and shouldn’t cause many issues other than dragging you around if they aren’t taught better.The merle Great Dane is a beautiful dog to behold. As part of the seven color variations of Great Danes, they have a long history and are best known for their size and power. If you have space in your home and a soft spot in your heart for gentle giants, then this dog breed is for you. A merle Great Dane will make a great addition to any family, even if they take up most of the space on the couch when it comes time to cuddle.
Why is merle more expensive?
Why are merle dogs so expensive? In a nutshell, merle dogs are expensive because puppy buyers are willing to pay a lot of money for them. The pattern is very sought-after, and the more demand there is, the higher breeders can set their prices. In addition, merle breedings can be quite rare in some breeds.
The merle Great Dane is one of the seven Great Dane colorations. During the early years of the breed’s existence, this variation was spotted. Nowadays, the merle Great Dane is a common variation. However, history does show us that the Great Dane, and all its color variations, were brought here to the United States in the 1800s.The Deutsche Doggen Club was originally formed in 1880. This was done to show the German people’s love and respect for this dog breed. They even chose the Dane as the national dog of the country. The American Kennel Club officially recognized the Great Dane in 1887. However, the Merle Great Dane didn’t become recognized until 2019. The color variations now considered purebred Great Danes are merle, black, fawn, blue, brindle, mantle, and harlequin. While the Great Dane was instantly popular in the 1600s due to their abilities to take down wild boar, the Merle coloration was also a beloved choice. The German noblemen, however, had a particular love for these powerful dogs. This is when the shift from powerful hunting dog to beloved pet began to take place. They were considered great companions and guardians for people in the areas. Germans, with their love of the breed, started the first clubs to recognize the Great Dane, even though the name given by them was actually, Deutsche Dogge. In the early beginnings of the Great Dane breed, veterinarians and breeders thought the merle coloration was a link to health issues. It took some time before it was discovered that double-merle breeding was the issue. Now, the color variation is accepted and bred. The merle Great Dane is a color variation of the original breed that features a light gray coat with darker gray splotches of color. While this color isn’t considered rare, it is unique and beautiful. Let’s learn more about merle Great Danes and how these gentle giants became part of our lives. If you’re interested in a merle Great Dane, you have color options to choose from. You’ll find solid merle, chocolate merle, blue merle, brindle merle, and even mantle merle. Keep in mind, it is difficult to tell which coloration you may have when your Great Dane is a puppy as their coats often change as they grow into adults.Considering what they were bred for, it’s understandable that the original Great Danes, including the merles, were a vicious dog breed. This was needed to hunt the boar and avoid death out in the fields. Now, you’ll find that Great Danes of all colorations are seen as loving pets and confidants, not fighters or hunters. Unfortunately, due to their coloration, the merle Great Dane is overly sensitive to the sun’s UV rays. This means they are more susceptible to skin cancer when outdoors for prolonged periods. For this reason, it is recommended that merle Great Danes live indoors. To create a dog breed that was strong and fast enough to deal with the issue, breeders combined the speed of the Greyhound and the power of the English Mastiff. Many believe breeders may have also incorporated the Irish Wolfhound into the mix. Whether the Irish Wolfhound was part of the mix or not, the resulting dog breed fit the purpose intended. The Great Dane was powerful, fast, and tough enough to take on the wild boars in the area without falling victim to them.The merle Great Dane, or any color variation for that matter, makes a loving companion and wonderful pet. These dogs are good with kids, are quite intelligent, and pick up on most things like housebreaking easily. What you do need to remember with a Great Dane is the size. These dogs make great companions but aren’t suitable for life in small places like apartments. You’ll need a home large enough to accommodate your merle Great Dane along with a good yard for them to play in.