Blue Merle Great Dane: Complete Guide

Blue Merle Great Dane
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Great Danes are the gentle giants of the dog world with many referring to them as the “Apollo of dogs.” They come in a variety of colors and coat patterns with some being recognized by dog clubs and others not.

In this comprehensive guide, we will look into the Blue Merle Great Dane, which is a variation of the recognized Merle Great Dane, and learn whether or not they are unique in some ways from the other colored Great Danes.

So, if you are planning to add this spotted Grey Great Dane to your family, you’ll want to read this guide first to learn more about the Great Dane Blue Merle colors, common health issues, temperament, grooming and exercise requirements, dietary needs, and ideal living conditions. If you’re still interested in getting one, we’ve included a list of reputable breeders you can reach out to. Read on to learn more!

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Table of Contents

Blue Merle Great Dane: Breed overview

Other NamesBlue Merle Dane 
PurposeCompanion dog
AKC RecognitionNo 
Weight110 – 175 pounds 
Height28 – 34 inches 
Coat ColorsGray, Black 
Child FriendlinessHigh
Canine FriendlinessModerate 
Training DifficultyLow – Moderate 
Grooming UpkeepLow 
Exercise NeedsLow – Moderate 
Lifespan7 – 10 years 
Puppy Costs $1,000 – $2,500

What is a Blue Merle Great Dane?

Blue Merle Great Danes
Blue Merle Dane

A Blue Merle Great Dane is a Great Dane with a light silver base coat with diluted black torn patches distributed throughout the body. They are also called dilute merle, which is a variation of the Merle Great Dane.

Are Blue Merle Great Danes rare? 

No, Blue Merle Great Danes are not rare since it is not statistically uncommon to produce such a variation from two Harlequin Great Danes. They are, however, considered a ‘mismark’ of the Merle Great Dane. 

Is Blue Merle a recognized color for AKC Great Danes?

No, Blue Merle is not a recognized color of the Great Dane by the American Kennel Club (AKC). As such, they are not allowed to compete in the club’s conformation shows.

Blue Merle Great Dane genetics

Great Dane colors Blue Merle
Blue Merle Great Dane puppy

Blue Merle Great Danes are typically produced by crossing two Harlequin Great Danes, which have a white base color with black patches.

The Harlequin Danes are carriers of the Merle gene which can either come out with normal or diluted pigmentation. The Merle gene ‘M’ is dominant gene, so one copy of the gene will produce a Merle pup.

The length of the Merle gene determines how the Merle patterns will present in the coat, which can be divided into other variations of the standard Merle Great Dane.

Blue Merle Great Danes have shorter Merle genes compared to the standard Merle Great Dane, while Harlequin Great Danes have longer Merle genes.

The third variation is the Cryptic Merle or the ‘phantom Merle,’ which has an even shorter Merle gene than the Blue Merle Dane. Cryptic Merle Danes appear to have a gray solid coat pattern, but with closer inspection would reveal a Merle pattern.

It should be pointed out that only the standard Merle and the Harlequin Great Dane form part of the recognized colors by the AKC.

Is the European Blue Merle Great Dane different from the American Blue Merle Great Dane?

The main difference between an American Blue Merle Great Dane and a Blue Merle European Great Dane is that the European version is larger and heavier that can reach a weight of 180 to 240 pounds. 

The European Great Dane has fuller bodies, longer necks, wider torsos, and broader chests compared to the slimmer American Great Dane.

The European Danes also exhibit looser skin around the lips and eyes giving them a wrinkly look, as opposed to the tighter-skinned American Danes.

Great Dane Blue Merle physical appearance

Although the Great Dane Blue Merle is not officially recognized, they are still purebred Great Danes sharing similar physical traits other than their color.

They are large domesticated dogs with well-balanced, smooth, and muscled bodies.

Male Great Danes have a more square-shaped appearance with almost equal length and height, while females can be longer.

They have a long, finely chiseled head with a square jaw. Eyes are almond-shaped with Blue Merle Great Dane blue eyes being possible because of the Merle gene, but some Blue Merle Great Danes can also exhibit brown eyes.

Great Dane Blue Merle has a bluish-black nose leather with some exhibiting black spotting.

Ears are medium-sized and naturally floppy. Some would prefer to have Blue Merle Great Dane cropped ears with the ears standing erect, but the length should be in proportion to the size of the head.

Great Dane colors Blue Merle + variations

Great Dane Blue Merle has a light gray to slate base coat with diluted black to grayish mottling or splotches scattered throughout their coat.

A few variations of these patterns can be achieved as discussed below.

Merlequin Blue Merle Great Dane

Merlequin Blue Merle Great Dane has a white base coat with light gray mottling.

Blue fawn Merle Great Dane

Blue fawn Merle Great Dane presents with a light brown base coat and light gray mottling markings. 

Blue Merle harlequin Great Dane

Harlequin Blue Merle Great Dane is similar to the Merlequin Blue Merle which has a white base coat with light gray mottling.

Blue Merle mantle Great Dane

Blue Merle mantle Great Dane has a light gray base coat with dark gray Merle markings, but their chest, muzzle, and a portion of their legs are covered in white fur. The tip of their tail can also present with white points.

Blue Merle tan point Great Dane

Blue Merle tan point Great Dane has a light gray base coat with dark spots scattered throughout the body and tan points in the eyebrows, muzzle, legs, or tail.

Blue Merle brindle Great Dane

Blue brindle Merle Great Dane has a light gray coat with striping and some splotches of dark gray. They have a dark gray mask and also dark gray markings around the eyes, eyebrows, and tail. 

Blue Merle Great Dane size, height, and weight 

Great Danes are one of the larger domesticated dogs around, but just how big does a Blue Merle Great Dane get?

A full grown Blue Merle Great Dane will reach their ideal height by 18 months of age and will continue to fill out their chest by age two. 

Both the female Blue Merle Great Dane and male Blue Merle Great Dane usually have a large growth spurt between 4 to 6 months of age.

Blue Merle Great Dane female is typically lighter than a Blue Merle male Great Dane with the Blue Merle female Great Dane being an inch or two shorter than the male.

Male30 – 34 inches 140 – 175 pounds 
Female28 – 32 inches 110 – 140 pounds 

Blue Merle Great Dane temperament and personality

The Great Dane is often called the “Apollo of dogs” because of its calm and gentle nature despite its great size. They love the company of their family and tend to have separation anxiety if left alone for too long.

Great Danes, in general, also make excellent guard dogs because of their loyal nature. They are very alert and will not hesitate to protect their family from danger.

Do Blue Merle Great Danes make great family pets? 

Yes, Blue Merle Great Danes do make a great addition to a family accustomed to owning dogs, especially large ones.

First-time dog owners might find it hard to take care of this breed because of their size, plus the added health issues concerning Blue Merle Great Danes.

They are, however, great with kids because of their sweet and patient nature. But, they should never be left alone with smaller kids since small kids or toddlers can easily be knocked over during rough playing. 

Great Danes can also get along well with other pets they grew up with, but may show some aggressiveness towards others that they are not familiar.

Blue Merle Great Dane training

Blue Merle Great Danes are for the most part obedient and eager to please their owners, so they are easy to train. All you need is consistency and patience since they tend to be stubborn

Also, since they are large dogs and can be unwieldy if left to their own devices, they need to be socialized early and trained for obedience. They need to be exposed to different people and situations for them to be well-adjusted Great Danes.

READ ALSO: How to Crate Train A Puppy in 6 Steps

Blue Merle Great Dane exercise requirement

Blue Merle Great Dane needs at least two (2) hours of daily exercise to keep them physically fit.

Splitting their exercise routine into two sessions of brisk walking or hiking is ideal.

However, puppies up to two (2) years old should not be taken in vigorous runs to avoid damaging their developing joints.

Instead, if you have a large or spacious backyard, it is a good idea to let your Blue Merle Great Dane puppies roam freely in your yard during the day. Simply walking, playing, jumping, or light running around your backyard can help keep your puppies physically fit and healthy.

If you do allow your pups to play in your backyard or patio, make sure your yard is fully fenced-in to keep them safe and sound.

It is important to note that some towns or counties have zoning laws that prohibit the installation of physical fences. If you’re in this situation and would still like your canine friends to play outside and catch some sun and fresh air during the day, we’ve got great news for you.

If your town doesn’t allow you to install physical fences as part of their zoning law, you can simply install a wireless dog fence, which will also keep your K9 friends safe.

Many dog owners who live on mountainous, hilly, or flat grassy terrains actually prefer the invisible doggy fence over the physical fences because it is flexible, adaptable to all types of terrains, and cost-effective.

Before you install the wireless doggy fence, it’s a good idea to install an electronic dog door, especially if you allow your furry friends to head outside to the backyard on their own during the day.

What’s great about the electronic doggy door is that it is programmable and you can customize access and curfew hours. This means that your four-legged friends can enjoy the outdoors during the day while staying safe indoors at night.

So whether you work from home or at the office, your fur babies can now head outside to the backyard whenever they want without waiting for you to open the door for them. You’ll no longer experience any interruption while working or handling the task at hand since your pups don’t need you to open and close the door behind them.

Blue Merle Great Dane living conditions

Because of their large size, Blue Merle Great Danes are not suitable for small apartment living. They can easily knock over things with a wag or sweep of their tail.

Ideally, they need a place with a fenced-in yard where they can move about freely. They also need to be leashed with a rope dog leash when taken for walks since they tend to follow a scent they find interesting.

Rope dog leash is the best type of leash for Great Danes because you’ll have full optimal control over them while still giving them enough room to explore during their walks or hikes.

Blue Merle Great Dane grooming and cleaning

Although they are short-haired with only a topcoat, Blue Merle Great Danes are still large dogs, so loose hair can be a problem if not managed properly.

For this reason, it’s best that Great Dane owners brush their dogs twice a week (ideally daily) with a medium slicker brush, bristle brush, or a hound glove to control the shedding. Fortunately, their smooth and single coat is easy to groom and maintained.

It is still worth noting that Great Danes do shed more fur during the spring season. During this heavy shedding season, you can expect more hair on your furniture, upholstery, carpet, and floor.

If you’re annoyed by this for any reason, don’t fret! A great way to control the amount of fur and dander around your home is to invest in a powerful, durable, and quiet vacuum cleaner.

With my two long-haired dogs, my family and I rely on the Miele vacuum cleaner because it can seamlessly vacuum between different types of surfaces with the help of its multiple suction power settings.

Best of all, it is quiet. I’ve had this vacuum cleaner for more than 5 years now and not once has it scared away my precious pups while I’m vacuuming my home.

When it comes to bathing, a gentle dog shampoo that is pH-balanced, free from synthetic dyes, and contains organic ingredients is highly recommended.

You’ll want to only bathe your Blue Merle Great Dane once or twice a month and not daily. That’s because bathing him every day can actually strip the natural oil off his sensitive skin and this can cause dry, itchy, red, and irritated skin.

In between bathing sessions, if your pups do get a bit dirty after a stroll in the park, you can simply wipe down your dog’s coat with gentle doggie wipes to remove any dirt, debris, or allergens.

Dental hygiene is also important. It’s best to brush your Great Dane’s teeth daily, however, we understand that this can be unreasonable since many owners have a busy schedule. If this is the case, brushing your pup’s teeth 3 to 4 times a week should suffice as well.

When brushing your dog’s teeth, be sure to use an enzymatic dog toothpaste that contains a non-foaming agent and with palatable flavors. The enzymatic formula in the doggy toothpaste helps to break down plaque, control tartar formation, and keep your pup’s teeth strong and gums healthy.

The non-foaming agent ensures that the toothpaste is safe to swallow and without the need to rinse. When it comes to palatable flavors, there are a variety of options you can choose from including poultry, beef, and vanilla mint flavor.

Additionally, don’t forget to check your Great Dane’s ears once a week or regularly. Doing so helps to prevent ear infections or parasitic infections.

Lastly, don’t forget to trim your Blue Merle Great Dane’s nails before they grow too long. If you start to hear the clickety-click noise of their nails when they walk on your floor, it’s time for a nail trim.

For the best nail trimming experience, we highly recommend using a dog nail grinder which features whisper-quiet motors and a precise diamond drum bit grinder. You can now say goodbye to accidental quick clipping and say hello to a relax and sleepy dog while you’re trimming his nails.

Below is a table of your Great Dane’s grooming needs and frequency.

Grooming NeedsGrooming Frequency 
Hair BrushingTwice weekly.
BathingOnce to twice a month.
Nail TrimmingAs needed.
Teeth BrushingThree to four times a week.
Ear InspectionOnce a week.

Is Blue Merle Great Dane hypoallergenic?

No, Blue Merle Great Danes are not hypoallergenic since they shed throughout the year and shed heavily during the spring. But, since they are short-haired, controlling the amount of hair spreading around the house can be managed by regular brushing and with regular vacuuming around the home.

Blue Merle Great Dane food and diet

An adult Great Dane would need at least 2,500 to 3,000 calories or the equivalent of 6 to 10 cups of food daily.

It is recommended that their meals be split into 2 to 3 meals to avoid bloating and exercise should be avoided after eating.

A diet consisting of no more than 24% protein and 12% to 14% fats is optimal for their daily needs. 

RELATED: What Can Dogs Drink Besides Water?

Blue Merle Great Dane health problems

One of the pressing concerns of potential owners of Blue Merle Great Dane is “Do Blue Merle Great Danes have more health problems?”

Unfortunately, yes, they do and this is because the Merle gene is linked with several health issues. This is why doing an at-home DNA test goes a long way in identifying these illnesses so you can watch out for the signs and also prepare for it financially.

For now, here are eight (8) of the health problems that can affect a Blue Merle Great Dane:

1. Blindness

They are more likely to suffer from blindness either in one or both eyes as a result of lack of pigmentation. 

2. Eye Disorders 

Aside from blindness, there is also a high chance of getting plagued with microphthalmia or having abnormally small eyes. Plus, they are prone to iris coloboma which is described as having a hole in the affected eye. 

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3. Deafness 

Dogs that have Merle coats have a higher risk of deafness due to the presence of the Silv gene. 

4. Hip Dysplasia 

Commonly seen among large dogs, hip dysplasia occurs when the socket and the ball in the hip joint do not grow uniformly. 

5. Gastric Dilation Volvulus 

Also known as bloating, this occurs when the dog eat or drink too much and then suddenly engage in physical activities. This is more common among deep-chested dogs including Blue Merle Great Danes. 

6. Heart Defects 

Great Danes tend to suffer from heart problems like Patent Ductus Arteriosus PDA which is a fatal congenital heart defect.

7. Cancer 

Canine osteosarcoma and dog lymphoma are two (2) types of cancer that can plague a Blue Merle Great Dane. 

8. Endocrine Disorders 

Based on a Michigan State University Thyroid Database, Great Danes are ranked #25 to be prone to developing endocrine/thyroid problems at around age 3 to 4 years. This issue affects the metabolism of the affected dogs. 

Blue Merle Great Dane lifespan

The average life expectancy of a Blue Merle Great Dane is 7 to 10 years

Blue Merle Great Dane breeders

If you are a novice to the world of Great Danes, it may surprise you to learn that breeding Blue Merle Great Danes is frowned upon by the Great Dane Club of America’s Breeder’s Code of Ethics because it can result in health problems like deafness and blindness.

It doesn’t mean though that a Blue Merle Great Dane puppy is a product of irresponsible breeding.

Ethical Blue Merle Great Dane breeder will tell you that it is statistically possible to have a litter that contains a Blue Merle Great Dane puppy from a line of Harlequin Great Dane. 

This is why it’s important to go to a trusted and reputable breeder and not just any breeders on the market.

Blue Merle Great Dane puppy

Due to the sheer size of Great Dane puppies Blue Merle, they are sometimes called as ‘king of dogs.’

If you’ve made up your mind to get a Great Dane Blue Merle puppy, here are the characteristics of Merle Blue Great Dane puppies to look for:

  • Look at the head of the Blue Merle Great Dane puppies. It should be well-proportioned to the body.
  • The muzzle of the Blue Merle Blue Great Dane puppies should be long with a pinkish nose. They should also have wide nostrils.
  • Look at the feet of the Blue Merle Great Dane puppies, these should be straight and do not turn in or out with good-arched toes and curved pinkish nails. 
  • Observe if the puppies have no mobility problems. 

Blue Merle Great Dane price 

No idea how much are Blue Merle Great Danes?

Blue Merle Great Dane puppies price begins at $1,000 and can go as high as $2,500.

Regarding the various initial Blue Merle Great Dane cost, here is a table containing approximate expenses you may incur during the first year:

Kinds of Expenses Approximate Cost 
Food & water bowls$15 – $25
X-large chew proof dog bed$6 – $100
X-large dog crate$150 – $200
Harness & leash $25 – $50
Indestructible dog toys$20 – $25
Wellness exams$120 – $150
Vaccinations & deworming $100 – $150

Places to find Blue Merle Great Dane puppies for sale 

Still, having a hard time locating Blue Merle Great Dane puppies for sale near me? Although not rare, this color is uncommon but we managed to locate ethical breeders who may have Blue Merle Great Dane puppy for sale. 

Blue Merle Great Dane Puppies for Sale in Texas 

The owner of Blue Mania Danes ( focuses on breeding Blue Great Danes and currently have a female and a male Blue Merle Great Dane puppies for sale. 

Blue Merle Great Dane Puppies for Sale in Michigan 

Great Lake Danes ( is a reputable breeder in Michigan. All of their puppies have been neutered/spayed and tested negative for hip defect. Additionally, they are committed to connecting their healthy puppies with caring forever homes.

Blue Merle Great Dane Puppies for Sale in Missouri 

If you’re in Missouri, check out the webpage of Mallard Lake Great Danes ( The breeder is accessible and is available 24/7. 

Blue Merle Great Dane Puppies for Sale in Ohio 

Darby Plains Danes ( sells Merle Great Dane puppies for between $1,400 and $1,500. 

Finding a healthy Blue Merle Great Dane for sale 

In most cases, adult dogs are sold at a lower price but it does not mean that they are not in good shape.

Rather, the demand for puppies is higher and that’s why they are pricier than adults. Here are two (2) places to find adult Blue Merle Great Dane for sale:

Blue Merle Great Dane for Sale MN (Minnesota)

The owner of Colorwork Great Danes ( is one of the top breeders of Great Danes in Minnesota. You can connect with them and inquire if they have any available adult Great Dane for rehoming. 

Blue Merle Great Danes for Sale in Colorado 

Rose Danes ( is a breeder has been producing show-quality Merle, Harlequin, and Mantle Great Danes for the past 26 years. 

Blue Merle Great Dane: Pros and Cons 

In a nutshell, here is a pros and cons table that goes over the good and the not-so-good sides of a Blue Merle Great Dane. 

Pros Cons 
Gentle Giant.High probability of having eye, ear, and skin issues. 
Affectionate.Not suitable in an apartment-setting.
The coat is low-maintenance.Shorter lifespan.
Great watchdog.Tends to drool heavily.
Good with kids but adult supervision is necessary.Heavy chewing behavior can lead to destructive behaviors.
Can be good with other pets. Higher cost of food expenses.

Is the Blue Merle Great Dane right for me?

Do you live in a big house with a big backyard? Do you drive a truck or an SUV? Are you able to spend more on doggy food and possible unexpected veterinary expenses? Do you find it exciting to have a large canine exercise buddy?

If you say yes to all the above questions, then yes, a Blue Merle Great Dane is the right dog for you and your family.

Related Questions

Is a Blue Merle Great Dane rare?

Though a Blue Merle Great Dane is not as common, it doesn’t mean that Blue Merle Great Dane is rare. So, if a breeder says that a Blue Merle Great Dane is expensive because of its rarity, take it with a grain of salt and just walk away.

How much is a Blue Merle Great Dane?

The average price of a Blue Merle Great Dane is between $1,000 and $2,500.

Can Great Danes be Merle?

Yes, a lot of Great Danes are carriers of the Merle gene and it is estimated that about 15% to 20% of Great Danes have Merle coats.

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