Just because a Dane is an " off " color does not mean it's not just as beautiful or healthy as a breed standard color.  I personally have seen many "breed standard" Danes with poor conformation, eye and hip problems as well as bad temperament so  I have to   when I see show/breed standard people post that chocolates are more prone to health issues because they are new colors that can't be bred correctly.  Click here for proof that the chocolate and other off/designer colored Danes have been around since the 1600's!!

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.  Thank goodness Danes don't judge us by our color but instead, love us with their hearts and not their eyes; or many of us would be s.o.l.

I had a friend that raises and shows Danes tell me, "You know, as many people as there are breeding the other colors in Danes, it probably wouldn't be too hard to get them approved for show.  It just takes enough people petitioning and showing in exhibition only to get them approved.  They could even all be put in a grouping called, "any other color."  Since you can't get harlequins without the merles, the merles should be acceptable for show. 

If you read AKC's original charter information, it says they were established and have the shows for the purpose of "approving" breeding stock.  Many people really do believe that if it can't be shown, it shouldn't be bred.  I know that I am not the only person out here who believes that if a dog is genetically, physically and emotionally sound and has the proper conformation that it can be used for breeding - and any dog that meets that criteria, regardless of color, should be allowed to be shown. 

Frankly, now that DNA testing is possible, I think any show dog should also have to pass a DNA test showing it is negative for genetic disorders before it can Champion.  And then I think that any dog that passes all the above testing should be championed and it should only require one show, regardless of how many dogs it is "competing" against.  It shouldn't even be a competition.  It should be a full evaluation of each dog based on it's own merits."

I think she hit the nail right on the head!


 COLOR Chart with AKC Registration Codes

Note:  Page takes a moment to load due to all the pictures.


Harelquin Gene Discovered!

There are only 6 AKC Standard Breed Colors: Black, Blue, Fawn, Mantle, Brindle & Harlequin which basically means these are the only colors that qualify to show in Conformation classes/events.  However, Danes come in many colors and patternsALL of these shown on the chart I made below may compete in Rally, Agility and Obedience as well as become Therapy or Service dogs! It's a fact non breed standard Danes give as much LOVE & DEVOTION as any breed standard Dane; just check out our testimonials!


to visit the AKC web site.

DNA Testing Companies
Vet Gen (Can test for color as well as breed!)

International Genetics, Inc.

Healthgene Laboratory (Canada) DNA Testing for Coat Color & Diseases in Dogs

Genetic Counselling Services (Netherlands) Parentage testing and DNA testing for some diseases

JP Yousha has an interesting article on Coat Color in the Great Dane

Jill Evans as well had some interesting comments.


Many pictures on here are of my past and current Danes or those of friends and breeders whom I have permission to use. However, I've also been collecting pictures over the years and if I have a picture of yours please let me know so I can give you credit and a link to you (e-mail or web site) or if you prefer, I will remove it. However, you must be able to supply proof to me that it is your picture so I know you're not just pulling my chain.

If you have a picture of a puppy that I have an "icon" for and would like to submit it for my use, please e-mail me. Thank you!

AKC Breed Standard Colors are represented below in BLUE
while Other Colors are represented in RED.
Did you know the original description of the breed allowed for various colors, plus brindles and patched Danes in all possible combinations!

 (click here to read 5th paragraph that confirms this)


Porcelain is the term used for any harlequin color other than black which would make them "off/non-show" colors.

A color with White is a color with less than 10% white; if there's more than 10 percent then it'd be considered that color and white. (ie: black with white AKC codes are: S-007/S-114 and the black and white codes is: S-019.

*Brindlequin, *Fawnequin, *Bluequin, Lilac, Chocolate, Brantle, etc.,  I am not the first to use such color descriptions, they've been around for a long time, as shown on this list of Dog Coat Colors.  All of the "off" colors below  can be bred from breeding acceptable colors.  Click here for a very informative web site on Great Danes.

A wonderful web site that explains breeding very well is Dog Coat Colour Genetics
* It is often argued that dogs of these colors should be marked as fawn, brindle or blue with white markings.  Some breeders are mis-registering the brindlequins and fawnequins by registering them as "white, brindle markings or white, fawn markings."   But to breeders trying to research genetics and do not have access to a photo of the dog, this would not properly identify the amount of white and the genetics causing it.  The best way to make sure the harlequin (merle) gene is identified so that breeders can be aware of the merle gene to avoid causing blind, or deaf dogs is to basically register the color as shown on my chart below.  After several phone conversations with AKC on the matter, AKC, agrees Brindlequin should be registered as Harlequin, Brindle Markings -- Fawnequin should be registered Harlequin, Fawn Markings -- Bluequin should be registered Harlequin, Blue Markings, etc.  All we can hope for is since these colors are obviously becoming more popular with the general public, is that some day most color designations will be recognized and assigned specific/unique color codes.



Note:  When registering an "off colored" puppy with any registry you MUST provide 3-4 pictures of said puppy with the registration application form! (front view, both side views and a top view.)   If you don't they will hold your paper work or register it whatever color "they" want to, therefore, you certificate will have the wrong color documented for your puppy! 

I've read and been told many show people purposely registered off colored puppies (chocolates as blacks, fawnequins as harlequins, etc.) so it would not be known that their "color pure" show dogs were producing off colors.... or even worse, they put them down at birth!!!  These off colored Danes make wonderful healthy pets so, why MURDER them?   At Kiss My Cocoa we do not discriminate any puppy for it's color; in my opinion those that do are members of a KKK of the canine world!

I sincerely hope my color chart will help new breeders and long time Designer breeders who just didn't know better how to correctly register their puppies so those of us wanting to breed the Designer colors will have accurate pedigrees to track the true colors of our Danes, just as it should be!

Looking at my charts below once can clearly see "harlequin" should be considered for what it is, a PATTERN, and NOT a color!

  BLACK Black w/White MANTLE
Accepted in 1996
Note:  1999 small patches of merle acceptable.

The color shall be a glossy BLACK. White markings at the chest and toes are not desirable. The base coat of white should be clean, not speckled/ticked.

Photo Courtesy of: Chocolate Danes R Us Ryan Good Butlerhill Acres Chocolate Danes R Us
AKC COLOR: S-007 S-007 S-431 S-112
AKC MARKINGS: n/a S-014 S-002 S-002
  BLUE Blue w/White Blue Mantle Bluequin

The color shall be a pure steel BLUE. white markings at the chest and toes are not desirable.

Photo Courtesy of: Kennedy's Danes Coronado Danes Brenda Williams, IL Chocolate Danes R Us
AKC COLOR: S-037 A-045 S-431 S-112
AKC MARKINGS: n/a n/a A-027 A-027


OFF COLORS: Blue w/Fawn Points Blue w/Fawn Points    

Blue with tan points is nothing new as this color has been documented and registered over the years.


Photo Courtesy of:

Anonymous Anonymous    


S-037 S-037    


A-008 A-008    


  FAWN Fawn w/White Fawn Mantle aka Fawntle Fawnequin

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.

Photo Courtesy of: Sabra's Danes Chocolate Danes R Us Megan, AZ. Chocolate Danes R Us
AKC COLOR: S-082 S-082 S-431 S-112
AKC MARKINGS: S-004 S-014 A-008 A-008
  BRINDLE Brindle w/White Brindle Mantle aka Brantle Brindlequin
(gold patches, black striping)
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.

Photo Courtesy of: Powerful Danes Lazy Dane Ranch Colossal Danes of Kaufman Chocolate Danes R Us
AKC COLOR: S-057 S-057 S-431 S-112
AKC MARKINGS: n/a S-014 A-007 A-007





Brantle Merle  

Photo Courtesy of:

    Chris & Terri Todd  









Note:  Photo Acknowledgment does NOT mean we recommend/endorse the breeder,
we are simply disclosing where we got permission/where the picture came from.

Copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016  Kay Roush
All text and images are copyright protected.

The purpose of this web site is to promote our Great Danes and to provide useful and entertaining information for all of it's visitors. Any transactions executed as a result of responding to an advertisement seen on this web site are strictly private treaty agreements between the seller and the buyer and  Kiss My Cocoa is in no way involved in or responsible for these transactions.

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Any use of pictures and/or articles and/or text without written permission is considered unauthorized plagiarism.

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