The Great Dane is truly a sight to behold due to its overawing or threatening effect. With its elegant stance and smoothly-muscled body, the Great Dane has rightfully earned the title, “Apollo of dogs“.
Aside from being gentle giants, Great Danes are well-known for their stunning colors. And, one of their many sought-after colors is blue because it makes them look even more imposing.
So, if you are on the lookout for a Great Dane puppy to introduce to your household, you came to the right place.
In this article, we will go over everything there is to know about the Blue Great Dane, including all the shades it can come in, along with its color genetics, lifespan, temperament, health issues, and the cost of owning one.
Additionally, we will explore some other colors of this breed, so you can compare and decide which one is the best for you. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the world of Great Danes.
More about the breed
The Great Dane breed is German in origin, not Danish as you might have thought. These dogs are thought to have been around for more than 400 years, and descended from the mastiff-like dogs that were bred by German nobility to protect their estates and for hunting.
The Great Danes as we know them today were developed in the 1800s. During that time, the Germans banned the name “Great Dane” and called the breed “Deutsche Dogge“, which means German mastiff.
But, this breed continues to be known as the Great Dane in English-speaking countries.
What is a blue Great Dane? Are these pups really blue?
A blue Great Dane is not a separate breed from other Great Danes you might have seen, but they are distinguished from their relatives due to their blue coloration.
Blue Great Danes are huge working dogs that are spirited and rarely timid, and their coloration is the result of a recessive blue gene.
Blue Great Dane puppies are born with blue eyes, but some of them eventually lose this trait as they get older. So, if you bought a blue Great Dane puppy with this rare eye color, don’t get too excited just yet because it may turn brown as your pup matures.
One more thing you should know is that the blue tone of your Great Dane’s coat may vary, too. Don’t be confused if you see another one with a darker or lighter tone; it is completely normal. The next section covers this in detail, so keep on reading.
Blue Great Dane Colors
The standard blue shade is just one of several shades that the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes. Furthermore, blue Great Danes come in different shades. They are the following:
• Blue Fawn
• Blue Brindle
• Blue Harlequin
• Blue Merle
• Steel Blue
The eyes of a blue Great Dane pup could bear any of the following colors, in addition to blue:
• Light brown
• Dark brown
What is the rarest Great Dane color?
Pure white is the rarest Great Dane color you can come across, but the AKC does not accept it as an official breed color.
Merle to merle breeding results in an almost completely white coat, but a few different colored markings can also be seen.
What is the most expensive Great Dane color?
Of all the Great Dane coat colors, the harlequin is the most sought-after and most expensive due to its unique coloration.
Buying a harlequin Dane puppy can cost between $1,000 and $2,500. It can even go higher depending on the breeder and the dog’s pedigree.
Steel Blue Great Dane
The pure steel Great Dane is the only blue shade of Great Dane recognized by the AKC.
Pups with this coloration but with white markings on their toes and chest are not desirable, and you cannot register them as show dogs.
Blue Fawn Great Dane
Blue fawn Great Danes sport the usual fawn coloration, and some may also have some sort of blue mask on their faces.
This means that the area around the dog’s nose and eyes can feature a charcoal coloration that accentuates its overall look.
Blue brindle Great Dane
Blue brindle Great Danes have a regular brindle base of fawn, but with blue stripes instead of the regular black ones.
This is considered as a mismarked color since it comes from breeding two parents carrying the recessive blue gene.
Black Great Dane
Black Great Danes are often the choice for dog shows as the aura created by these dogs is immense. How perfectly they carry themselves is beyond words.
They shine and dazzle under the sunlight with grandeur all because of their coat color. The black color makes their muscular body noticeable from afar.
Even though black Great Danes with blotches are acceptable to some extent, having an all-black dog of this breed is always preferred.
There are cases when the black Dane carries blue or brown colored spots on its toe tips, and they are often white chested. Therefore, coming across a solid black Great Dane is mostly a tough endeavour.
Harlequin blue Great Dane
The Harlequin Great Dane is quite iconic with its white base coat and dark irregular patches over it. This color pattern probably reminds you of a Dalmatian with its black and white colors.
But, what makes Blue Harlequin Great Danes even more unique is that instead of black splotches, these pups have blue or gray ones.
They appear subtle and pleasant. The most noticeable trait of blue harlequin Great Danes is their blue eyes. These dogs don’t hold pure steel blue coats.
Harlequin Great Danes sport a blue coat with harlequin markings on their body, and that is kind of a problem.
Genetically, harlequin is a special kind of merle, but curiously enough, the Great Dane Club of America does not recognize it as a “real color”
Blue merle Great Dane
Blue merle Great Danes fashion a dark blue or brownish blue coat with a black-spotted slate. Despite being labeled as a mismarked color, this coat color is considered rare by some.
The merle gene in their genetic makeup is what gives these dogs their specific coloration and pattern. It is this same gene that gives the harlequin Great Dane its unique appearance.
Do kennel clubs recognize blue Great Danes?
Although they look more unique than most other Great Dane colors, blue puppies are indeed recognized by most kennel clubs. In fact, the American Kennel Club considers this shade as a standard color with a registration number of 037.
Other kennel clubs that recognize them include:
• Canadian Kennel Club (CKC)
• United Kennel Club (UKC)
• Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI)
• The Kennel Club (TKC)
Are blue Great Danes rare?
These dogs aren’t that rare. But, they are quite difficult to breed, along with the harlequin Great Danes, because there is no guarantee that they will be produced during breeding.
Breeders who want to purposefully breed them go to great lengths just to ensure that their breeding stock can produce these pups.
Color genetics: how do blue Great Danes get their color?
Coat color genetics is a rather complicated topic to understand, but we will try to explain it as best as we can.
Firstly, you should know that a dog’s color is created from two pigments: eumelanin and pheomelanin. Each of these two pigments has its own default color, which can be altered by various genes.
All black areas on a dog’s coat are caused by the eumelanin pigment, but some genes can turn this pigment into other colors such as liver, blue, or Isabella. That is exactly what our blue Great Dane has – a recessive blue gene that turns black into a blue coat.
Furthermore, the same eumelanin pigment is found in other parts of the dog, especially the eyes and the nose. This is why some blue Great Dane shades, such as the blue fawn Dane shown earlier, exhibit the blue coat only around their head.
The absence of this eumelanin pigment in the eyes causes the dog to have blue eyes, which can be seen in some Great Dane puppies.
The second pigment, pheomelanin, which is the red pigment, covers all other similar shades like deep red, orange, yellow, gold, and light cream. It should also be noted that this pigment doesn’t affect the nose and the eyes, unlike eumelanin.
What does all of this mean for the blue Great Dane exactly? Well, as we mentioned earlier, a blue Great Dane puppy is produced if both parents carry the recessive blue gene.
Also, it is important to note that some mismarked or unique pups are probably from the genes of their past generations. However, genes are very tricky, so breeding even with two blue Great Danes does not guarantee that their offspring will also be blue.
How big do blue Great Danes get when fully grown?
Did you know that the largest dog in the world was a Great Dane? Okay, you probably knew that one. But, did you know that it was Freddy, the Great Dane from Essex, the UK who took the title?
Freddy stood at seven feet on his hind legs, making him the biggest dog ever recorded. Sadly, this massive pup passed away in January 2021 at the age of eight.
You should keep in mind that there are no varying sizes among the different colors of Great Danes. This means that the height of your blue puppy will be similar to its other cousins.
A male blue Great Dane typically weighs between 140 and 175 pounds and stands at 30 to 32 inches. Meanwhile, a female blue Great Dane will be between 28 and 30 inches tall and weigh between 110 and 140 pounds.
Does a blue Great Dane puppy change color as it grows?
Yes. The color of your blue Great Dane puppy will slightly change as it gets older. Its colors can become richer, deeper, and darker, but it can also lighten up depending on its exposure to the sun.
Most dog owners are surprised when their pup’s color changes, so we suggest that you ask your breeder about possible changes to your pup’s coat.
One more thing you should keep in mind is that there may be some color changes that are brought on by the following:
• Sunlight exposure
• Skin disease
• Nutritional status
Blue Great Dane temperament: are they good family pets?
The blue Great Dane’s majestic appearance alone is more than enough for any intruder to think twice, so we would say yes to them being good family companions.
Their height, which can surpass that of a human, is already intimidating enough, but you will also find that these pups are gentle and full of love. In fact, these large dogs sometimes forget that they are giants, so they frequently cosplay as couch potatoes or lap dogs.
It is believed that Great Dane dogs were originally bred to hunt wild boar. But, the required fierceness to pursue such game was eventually bred out of them.
Today, Great Danes are known as gentle giants for their affection and kindness with humans, children, and even other pets and animals.
Photo from: @greatdane._lovers
One more great characteristic of blue Great Danes is that they are only aggressive and protective when necessary.
This means that given the proper training, a Great Dane will only fight back to protect you, your loved ones, and your home.
Any canine will make a great family pet, especially when you are ready to welcome it into your home. But, accommodating a dog as big and as stunning as a blue Great Dane requires a little more effort on your side.
That said, if given enough attention, love, training, and care, you will quickly find that letting this pup into your life is one of the best decisions you will ever make.
Blue Great Dane ears cropped: yay or nay?
Ear cropping is basically cutting off the floppy part of a dog’s ears, and it is usually done on anesthetized dogs between six and twelve weeks old. This procedure is mostly done for aesthetic purposes, so many countries around the world have banned this practice.
However, it is still unregulated and legal in countries like the United States of America. The Great Dane is one of the breeds that commonly gets its ears cropped for cosmetic reasons.
How long do blue Great Danes live?
If all good traits could fit into a dog breed, we would bet they would fit in the blue Great Dane with ease (both literally and figuratively). But, like all good things in life, they are bound to come to an end, and it is always the best ones that end too soon.
Blue Great Danes have a relatively short lifespan compared to other breeds, and have a life expectancy of up to only six to seven years on average.
They are so short-lived because their giant bodies come with bone and joint diseases resulting in their slow deterioration.
A healthy diet, preventative care, exercise, and responsible breeding are just some of the ways to improve your blue Great Danes’ lifespan.
Blue Great Dane health issues
You can expect a blue Great Dane to have the same health concerns as any other color of this breed because there aren’t any reported concerns specifically associated with their blue gene.
Here are some of the major common health problems a blue Great Dane can have:
• Gastric torsion: This condition, also known as canine bloat, is the most common killer for blue Great Danes. Humans can suffer from the same ailment when they eat too much food at once, but luckily, human bodies can recover faster than canines. Your pup’s stomach expands due to gas buildup when food passes through, and this can restrict blood circulation to the heart. This can cause severe damage to the dog’s digestive system, and if left untreated, it can lead to death.
• Hip dysplasia: This is a common and chronic condition in larger dog breeds where the head of the femur bone doesn’t fit snugly into the hip socket. When adopting or buying a blue Great Dane, you should ask for the health history of your dog’s parents from your breeder.
• Cardiomyopathy: This ailment is most likely genetic, and it causes your pup’s heart to enlarge. Symptoms of this condition in canines include weight loss, weakness, difficulty breathing, lethargy, and decreased appetite. Fortunately, for all Great Dane owners, treatment is available for dogs suffering from this health problem.
• Tricuspid Valve Disease: This is another heart disease that this breed is prone to developing. It is a congenital condition where the pup’s heart valve does not function properly. This can lead to a possible failure of the dog’s left side of the heart. Luckily, treatment is available for this health issue, and if the pup is not responding as it is supposed to, surgery is always an option.
• Osteosarcoma: Osteosarcoma is the most common bone tumor in dogs, and long bones are most commonly targeted. This tumor is excruciatingly painful, and a distinct swelling of the limb will be obvious. Sadly, amputation of the affected limb is most likely the only thing that will save the dog’s life. But, most pups do well even after being amputated, and keeping them alive is the most important thing.
• Hypothyroidism: In canines, this condition is usually caused by one of two diseases: idiopathic thyroid gland atrophy, or lymphocytic thyroiditis. In idiopathic thyroid gland atrophy, normal thyroid tissue is replaced by fat tissue. In lymphocytic thyroiditis, which is the most common cause of the condition, the immune system simply decides that the thyroid is deformed or foreign and attacks it. Both diseases are very poorly understood.
Taking care of your Blue Great Dane
Proper care can help your blue Great Dane live a much longer life. In this section, we will go over the basic tips for diet and grooming your adult Great Dane dog.
Proper nutrition is a crucial part of Great Dane care. Providing nutritionally-balanced dog food for your pup can actually help it stay healthy and develop a stronger immune system in order to fight off life-threatening diseases.
A typical blue Great Dane diet should have large quantities of protein, low calories, and moderate fats.
Diet is one of the main factors that influence a blue Great Dane’s growth, so it is greatly encouraged for owners to consistently provide nutritional and balanced meals for their four-legged friends.
Grooming and frequently cleaning and bathing your pup can help protect it from disease-causing parasites and pathogens. It is vital to regularly groom your blue Great Dane by cleaning its coat, cleaning its ears, and cutting its nails.
Here are some tips that will help you do this:
• Bathe your pooch with dog shampoo at least five times a year. Just make sure to not overdo it because it can deprive your dog’s coat of the necessary natural oils.
• You can use dry shampoo to clean your blue Great Dane in-between bath sessions. This is especially important for dogs that go outdoors and tend to get dirty.
• Regularly brush your blue Great Dane with a short hairbrush to remove dirt, parasites, and loose hair.
• Keep your pup’s ears clean, and carefully remove any excess hair you might find inside.
• You should also regularly trim the nails of your cute blue pup. A general rule of thumb is that if you can hear your pup’s nails clicking on the floor while they walk, you should trim their nails.
Blue Great Dane prices and costs
For a blue Great Dane puppy, you can expect to pay between $600 and $3,000 depending on the breeder and the pooch’s pedigree. Additionally, these pups are only more expensive than other colors if they come in the blue harlequin shade.
A blue-coated canine of show quality will be more expensive than those intended to be household pets.
We recommend that you ask the breeder for the canine’s documents in order to cross-check them if they are in good health. Keep in mind that a higher price tag doesn’t automatically mean that the dog is going to be good or healthy.
There is always the option of adopting a blue Great Dane puppy, and we will offer a list of where you can find these pups later on in this article.
After adopting or buying a puppy, there are other things you have to purchase. Bear in mind that these giant dogs take up a big chunk of space, so the things they need will also be bigger and come with a higher price tag.
• Food: These large dogs require a lot of sustenance to keep going. Adult dogs of this breed can eat from six to ten cups of high-quality kibble daily. We recommend you put aside at least $60 to $80 a month just for the food.
• Bed and crate: Blue Great Danes deserve a good night’s rest, so investing in a high-quality bed will go a long way.
Additionally, the bed you need to buy for them should be heavy-duty, but comfortable at the same time as you need to consider the orthopedic risks and the weight they put on the bed. On average, a good quality bed costs around $400.
• Veterinary checkups and necessary vaccinations: To help protect your doggie and strengthen its immune system, checkups and vaccinations are a must. Vaccinations will cost you an average of $100 while veterinary care can cost between $30 and $300 depending on the service your pooch needs.
• Spaying or neutering: If you don’t have the intention of breeding your dog, it should undergo this procedure. This costs between $35 and $200 on average.
• Licensing: Set aside around $10 to $20 for your pup’s license as it will come in handy if he or she gets lost or if you want it to participate in dog shows.
• Pet insurance: Getting pet insurance for your canine companion will help you provide better healthcare for it. This costs between $10 and $100 per month depending on the coverage of the insurance.
• Other startup supplies: These supplies include your puppy’s leash, toys, collar, and food bowls. We would recommend setting aside around $50 to $300 because Great Dane toys and supplies are bigger and could be more expensive.
Where to find blue Great Dane puppies for sale
If you wish to buy your new best friend, you can shop for a blue Great Dane puppy at some of the following places:
• Great Dane Puppies Home – This place offers a 30-day health guarantee for your blue Great Dane puppy. They also bring the pup right to your doorstep the same day you purchase it.
• AKC Marketplace – This is the place you should check out to make sure your puppy is registered and healthy. You can choose which breeders to contact from their directory, and most of them even have blue Great Danes from champion bloodlines.
• Haus of Blues – These breeders will explain to you how breeding these blue giants works while also offering kits to prevent bloat. All you have to do to begin your application for their dogs is fill out a form on their website.
• Farmhouse Great Danes – This place produces puppies from their AKC-registered breeding stock that has hips that are graded excellent. Farmhouse Great Danes is located in Chehalis, Washington, and you can easily set an appointment with them through their site.
• Coleridge Blue Great Dane – This multi-breeder collective produces title-winning pups in the breed and obedience ring. They have been breeding blue Great Danes for over fifty years, so you can rest assured that their dogs are bred by experts.
If you want to save money, and a dog’s life, you can always choose to adopt. Just make sure that the organization you are talking with is a reputable one. We also advise you to contact your local shelter as they might be able to help you on your quest to find a blue Great Dane.
Here are some rescue organizations you can check out:
• Great Dane Rescue – This non-profit organization was established in 1993, and it aims to place abandoned and neglected Great Danes in loving homes. Most of the doggies in their care are voluntarily surrendered to them.
• Great Dane Rescue of Minnesota & Wisconsin – This all-volunteer rescue group has rescued 162 Great Danes so far.
They are also very transparent when it comes to adoption fees, so you know that they are putting it to good use.
• Great Dane Rescue Alliance – This organization has a flexible adopting area along the East Coast. You can get a blue Great Dane from them for just $350.
Blue heeler Great Dane mix
The Blue Heeler Great Dane mix is a very friendly-natured dog that is loyal, gentle, and sweet. These pups are extremely intelligent and stunningly beautiful.
This mixed breed makes an excellent energetic companion that loves long walks, hikes, and any other exercise you throw at it. Just keep in mind that they have a tendency to give chase when they see small animals.
This is why it is very important to have them trained and socialized from an early age, so they can learn how to interact with other animals and people.
Also, you should know that both parent breeds have common health problems, which include:
2. Dilated cardiomyopathy.
4. Joint dysplasia.
5. Wobbler syndrome.
Weimaraner vs Great Dane
The Weimaraner and the Great Dane are two large-sized dogs with a lot of similarities. Both are bred in Germany, and both are shorthaired canines with few health problems.
Both of these breeds are not prone to obesity, and have a life expectancy of nine to fourteen years.
However, there are some differences that separate Great Danes and Weimaraners. Let’s go over the most notable ones:
• While Weimaraners are a large breed, Great Danes are considered truly giant.
• Weims are a bit easier to get than Danes since Great Danes can be a bit rare to find.
• Weimaraners do not drool while Great Danes can cover you and your furniture in saliva.
• A Weimaraner’s exercise needs are quite heavy while Danes only need regular exercise.
• When it comes to grooming needs, Great Danes are easier to handle and don’t require as much grooming and brushing.
• Weimaraners enjoy cold weather and love playing in snow while Great Danes need warmth to be happy and healthy. This is why you often see Danes in cute sweaters.
Both breeds are fairly high in energy, and do not need frequent bathing. And, with both of these dogs, you can expect the veterinary visits to be rare.
Can you breed a blue Great Dane with a harlequin?
There are different answers as to whether or not it is okay for a blue Great Dane to be bred with a harlequin one.
If you wish to have a show dog, then breeding these two colors will not give you a favorable outcome since the blue harlequin Great Dane is not up to the breed standard.
But, more importantly, breeding them could cause significant health issues to their offspring as they could carry the merle gene, which is associated with numerous health problems.
Should you get a blue Great Dane?
The shiny steel blue color of a blue Great Dane is very attractive to a dog lover’s eye. This is just one of the reasons why these blue pups are sought after by many fanatics of the breed.
If you are attracted to blue Danes, then there is really no reason why you shouldn’t find one for yourself. These pups have a great personality, which makes them very easy to live with.
As we mentioned, these dogs are often described as gentle giants due to their less aggressive temperament and friendly nature. They are great with kids, and make an excellent addition to any family.
However, make sure you get a blue Great Dane puppy exclusively from a reputable breeder. Responsible and expert Dane breeders will breed for fit puppies only.
This will not only ensure the good fitness of your blue Great Dane Puppy, but it will also increase the chances that your new friend will not suffer from many of the commonly found health issues.