Blue Great Danes – Facts, Photos, and Care

12 mins read

If you’re looking for a unique and eye-catching dog, the Blue Great Dane may be perfect for you!

Blue Great Danes

These dogs are gentle giants that love to be around people.

They are also very smart and fun to train. If you’re thinking about adding a Blue Great Dane to your family, here are some things you should know!

Blue Great Danes


Blue Great Danes are large dogs that have a stunning steel blue coat.

According to the GDCA breed standard, Blue Great Danes “shall be a pure steel blue.

White markings at the chest and toes are not desirable. The desired alert, intelligent expression is projected through the correctly placed, almond-shaped, dark eyes. In Blue Great Danes, a somewhat lighter eye is permissible.

In other words, blue Great Dane dogs should have a lively and intelligent expression and a completely solid steel blue coat with no white markings.

That doesn’t mean that a blue Great Dane with white markings or extremely dark brown eyes is ‘bad’, it just means that they don’t meet the written standard. Genetic variances will happen.

Each dog’s coat is unique to them!

Blue Great Danes


The undertones of their blue coat color (which are the result of a dilution gene) appear blue to the human eye. Some people will call the blue Great Dane ‘grey’!

Blue Danes are absolutely gorgeous!

Dane breeders often describe the coat color as a deep steel blue, others will say it’s more of a steely silver blue.

We have seen the blue Great Dane coat color appearing in a range of tones from charcoal to grey; it really depends on the dog’s individual genetics.

A deep steely blue is a preferred tone for Blue Great Danes.

Other coat colors in the Great Dane Breed standard include:

  1. Black (Black Great Danes)
  2. Mantle (Mantle Great Danes)
  3. Harlequin (Harlequin Great Danes)
  4. Merle
  7. Blue (Blue Great Danes)

Off standard colors include Double Merle Great Danes, which are White Great Danes with predisposed health conditions.

Read more about the colors of Great Danes here.

Blue Great Danes


A blue Dane puppy will grow to become a Gentle Giant, weighing in at between 110-180lbs when fully grown! We’ve put together a Great Dane puppy growth chart for you so that you can see what to expect from 8 weeks to a year or more.

Great Dane puppy training

If you just got a blue Great Dane puppy, we highly recommend learning about positive-balanced training and modern socialization methods, which can help you create a calm, friendly and confident companion for years to come.


Blue Great Dane puppies, like all Dane pups, require special nutrition to reduce the chances of knuckling, Panosteitis, HOD, and hip dysplasia. We’ve linked our favorites below (all are linked for your convenience, and we’ve included a link to our popular Great Dane feeding chart!

A blue Great Dane puppy


Blue Great Danes are one of the most popular color variations of the breed, but many people don’t know how their unique coloring comes about.

Blue Great Danes are what’s known as “dilute,” which means that they have a mutation in the gene that controls pigment production. The steel blue color is the result of a dilution gene.

This means that the blue coat is actually a watered-down version of the black coat!

This mutation results in a reduction of melanin, the pigment that gives dogs their color.

In blue Great Danes, this dilution results in a beautiful bluish-grey coat. Blue Great Danes are truly unique creatures, and their coat color is just one of the things that make them so special.


Like all Great Danes, Blue Danes and blue Dane puppies should be confident, friendly, and courageous!

(Don’t believe us? Check out the written standard here).


Well-bred Great Danes from ethical breeders are truly ‘gentle giants’. They make amazing family pets for people who don’t mind the size (and the drool)!

Blue Great Danes, like all Danes, should get along well with other dogs.

Great Danes used to be used to hunt wild boar!

Their enormous size and confident personalities made them well suited for this job. Through years of selective breeding, the Great Dane Breed has come to be known as extremely gentle. Most Great Danes these days are perfectly content to be with their families and on a cozy bed.

Great Danes are the biggest lap dog you can own. They love to sit on people and receive affection. A Great Dane is a large dog that requires special consideration for their orthopedic and internal health. Be prepared to do some research before purchasing one.

This doesn’t mean that they are lazy, though. Great Danes love to run, play and explore. They require daily enrichment and exercise to stay in great shape.

We believe that people who are breeding blue Great Danes should be highly focused on health, structure and the development of the classic, robust, loving Great Dane personality.

If you are interested in purchasing a Great Dane puppy from an ethical and reputable breeder, we highly recommend searching the breeder registry at

Blue Great Danes


Solid Blue is the only dilute coat color accepted by the GDCA for Great Danes.

The American Kennel Club does not make the rules on which colors are accepted for Great Danes; this is determined by the breed’s parent club (in the case of Danes in the U.S., it’s the GDCA).

There are many ‘off-standard’ versions of coat colors showing up in Great Danes, including ‘lilac harlequin’, ‘blue harlequin’, and ‘lilac merle’. These colors often come from the dilute and recessive genes of the blue Great Dane.


Blue Harlequin Great Danes are extremely popular, however that unique and rare coat color is not accepted in GDCA, FCI, or Canadian written standards for the breed.

They can, however, be registered by the AKC.

The written standard for all dog breeds defines the function, form, and look of each individual breed. The colors in each breed (including blue) are often chosen for a reason.

While some colors could be added in the future, breeders have to first prove that those new colors occur naturally in the breed, that the color will strengthen the gene pool, and that the puppies are consistently healthy and robust examples of the written standard.

The recessive Blue gene that causes the deep steel blue color is desirable to breeders that are focused heavily on creating ‘unique’ and ‘designer’ off-standard colors in Great Danes.

These Dane breeders have been known to mix dogs of all colors (including fawn, mantle, merle, and harlequin) with Blue Great Danes to achieve new and interesting colored markings.

The merle gene + blue

The merle gene (seen most often in the merle or harlequin Great Dane) paired with blue Dane will often create unusual coat patterns such as that seen on a blue Harlequin Great Dane or ‘blue merle’ Great Dane’.

This practice is considered somewhat unethical in the world of breeding Great Danes. It happens similarly in other dog breeds, however, and unique colors remain popular.

Dog owners should ask a lot of questions before choosing a breeder for their Great Dane puppy and verify the pedigrees and health testing results (heart, hips, eyes, thyroid) of the dogs being bred.

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Blue Great Danes
A blue Harlequin Great Dane Puppy – notice the blue and grey spots instead of black torn patches.


When you are looking to purchase a Great Dane puppy, health and structure should be considered before color.

These are large dogs and if they are bred only with designer colors or profits in mind, their structure and temperaments may suffer as a result.

With any Great Dane puppy you find from any breeder, verify the pedigree AND the health testing results of both parents. Good breeders will have heart, hip, eye and thyroid panels to share with you.

Solid blue Great Dane puppies will be a great place to start if you want a striking and beautiful coat color.

We recommend searching the breeder database at

Blue Great Danes

BONUS POST: Is my Great Dane too Skinny!?


The blue Great Dane may seem rare, but they really are not.

A blue Great Dane may easily be confused with a Weimaraner, especially as a puppy! Because of this, and because many people don’t know the difference between a blue Great Dane and a silver or grey one (hint, they are the same), they may be viewed as rare.

It can be difficult to find an ethical and reputable Blue Great Dane breeder, as many breeders that fully test and frequent dog shows have focused primarily on the popular Harlequin/Black/Mantle or Fawn/Brindle lines instead of blue.

It’s not impossible, however, to find a blue Great Dane puppy from an excellent breeder. We recommend searching the Great Dane breeder registry at (U.S.) or Canada.


Ask 10 people this question and you will receive 10 different answers!

Many people believe that the dilute gene that causes the charcoal blue coat color is responsible for sensitivities related to the skin (including dandruff, itchiness, and allergies).

If you have a blue Great Dane that is experiencing health problems, chat with your vet.

Health problems are not necessarily related as much to coat color as they are to genetics, the food you choose, and the environment you create for your dog. The Blue Great Dane lifespan should be no shorter or different than that of any other healthy Great Dane!

Blue Great Dane Health Problems

The average Great Dane is susceptible to a list of genetic health problems, including allergies, heart problems, and hip dysplasia, (which can happen to a Great Dane with any coat color).

These health problems are passed along in the pedigree and depending on the breeder you choose, could be a real problem for your Great Dane.

Always keep an eye on your Great Danes’ body condition and don’t make assumptions that their health problems are purely related to markings. It’s just not always the case.

The blue gene that they carry should not cause any additional health problems, however, color dilution alopecia (CDA) is a problem in other breeds that come in the lilac or blue coat color. It has also been seen in Great Danes!

Blue Great Danes


Color Dilution Alopecia (CDA) causes hair loss, hair thinning, bald patches, and itchy skin. The exact cause is not well understood, however, it is easily managed.

It is important to note that CDA does NOT affect all blue Great Danes.

Blue Great Danes may be susceptible to this disease, however, so check in with your veterinarian if you see any sign of it.

Signs include itching, dry patches, hair thinning and hair loss.

A blue Great Dane puppy may begin to show signs of CDA at around 6 months of age, but it can happen at any time in their lives.

This is one reason why intentionally mixing the blue gene into otherwise strong color genetics to create diluted designer colors is often seen as problematic.

If a blue Dane that is prone to this disease is introduced into an otherwise strong and robust color family, it may create a long line of undesirable recessive traits that are difficult for breeders to address.

We’ve linked to a VCA article below with more information on CDA in Blue Great Danes:


Blue Great Danes can live an average of 7-10 years. For more information on the lifespan of Great Danes in general, check out our blog post below!

Bloat, hip dysplasia, wobblers, and heart problems are some of the major reasons why some Great Danes don’t live as long. All of those disorders have ties back to genetics!

Always be diligent when choosing your breeder, for this reason. A well-bred blue Great Dane puppy should be hefty, vibrant, curious, and have excellent eyes, hips, feet, and structure.

Search the Breeder Directory below! Good breeders tend to have terrible websites; don’t be alarmed. They are spending more time on their dogs than they are on their marketing:

Blue Great Danes


We believe that Blue Great Danes make excellent family companions! Their steel blue coat is eye-catching, too.

In general, the blue Great Dane is a gentle giant. With proper training, they are calm and friendly.

Great Danes are often seen as a type of guard dog; they like keeping a watchful eye on the property but should welcome strangers and never show aggression.

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A Great Dane puppy will require a fair amount of work when it comes to training, socialization, nutrition, and exercise, so make sure that you are well-researched before adding a blue Great Dane to your family.

An untrained Great Dane is a giant (literally) liability, so make sure you know what you are getting into before you bring your blue Dane puppy home!

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Have a Great Dane Puppy?

Check out our positive socialization guide.

Friendly – Confident – Resilient

Just like a dog’s coat color, a dog’s temperament is largely determined by its genetics; anytime you are looking to bring such a large breed dog into your home, educated ownership and choosing the right breeder will truly matter.

A blue Great Dane puppy from a diligent breeder will be confident, friendly, resilient, and happy to hang out around kids and other pets.


The best blue great Dane puppy breeders are focused first on health and temperament. Blue Great Dane puppies from a reputable and ethical breeder will be healthy, vibrant, and full of life!

Blue puppies can happen anytime two parents who carry the recessive blue gene are bred. This can mean that pure steel blue puppies may come, most commonly, from the following pairings:

Blue + Blue

Blue + Black

Blue + Harlequin

The blue offspring from any of these pairings will be born with floppy ears and a pale bluish color that will change slightly as the puppy matures.

Our favorite Blue Dane Breeders

We recommend:

There are many Blue Great Danes sitting in rescues, waiting for the right home! Don’t be afraid to bring a rescue dog into your family.

Adopt OR shop, responsibly!


Looking for a Great Dane puppy? Make sure you read our blog post on the Great Dane breeder scam before you start contacting breeders!

Blue Great Danes


There are several shades of blue seen in blue ‘grey’ Great Danes. Some blue puppies end up with more of a charcoal blue color, while others will be more of a steel blue.

All of them carry the recessive blue gene!

Blue eyes can happen for blue Dane puppies bred from a Harlequin + Blue pairing, though it is considered rare.

Some Great Danes are born with blue eyes, but their eyes change color as they mature. Others will keep their blue eyes, it always comes back to genetics!

Other beautiful dogs that carry the blue dilution gene include the Italian Greyhound, Neopolitan Mastiff, Irish Wolfhound, Cane Corso, American Staffordshire Terrier, and famously the Weimereiner.

Of course, we are partial to a blue Great Dane puppy!

Blue Great Dane Colors

Blue Great Dane puppies come in a range of tones including:

  1. Grey
  2. Charcoal
  3. Steel Blue
  4. Silver Blue

They may or may not have blue eyes, or they may have blue eyes at birth that quickly change. Blue-eyed blue Danes tend to come from Harlequin genetics.

Blue Great Danes


A blue Great Dane + harlequin Great Dane pairing can result in the ‘blue harlequin Great Dane’ which is a white dog with torn blue patches instead of torn black ones.

This dog will look similar to a harlequin Great Dane, but that blue dilution factor will have reduced the pigment in each spot to grey.

The blue harlequin Great Dane is not considered to have an ‘acceptable’ color in the written breed standard.

Many breeders will tell you that it is unethical to deliberately introduce the dilute gene into an already complicated genetic situation. Others will do it because the pursuit of diluted and interesting colors (including shades of ‘lilac’) is popular.

Some breeders may happen upon a Blue Harlequin in a litter because a recessive merle gene is running around in their pedigree.

We do not encourage the practice of purposefully seeking out off-standard colors, however, many of these colors do occur in the breed! For more information on off-standard colors, read here.

We believe that you should love the Great Dane in front of you!



Keeping color families pure helps Great Dane breeders keep tabs on their pedigrees and not make mistakes or be surprised when recessive genes show up.

Color families also help maintain the breed standard, so that a Great Dane always looks like a Great Dane.

A merle+merle pairing can cause the white coat or merlequin double-merle puppies that are often deaf or blind. (Note: a blue Harlequin Great Dane, on the other hand, likely won’t have those problems).

Color families in Danes typically mean that a breeder will ‘stay’ in a lane when it comes to the colors they breed.

The color families in Great Danes are outlined roughly, as follows:

Harlequin – Merle – Black – Mantle

Mantle – Black

Black + Blue

Blue + Blue

Fawn – Brindle – Black

Blue Great Danes


Blue Great Danes require the same care as Great Danes in other colors. The blue coat doesn’t need anything special, however, regular brushing can help reduce itching, shedding, and dirty couches!

For brushing, we recommend the SleekEZ. Unlike the Furminator, it will actually help strip the coat of loose hairs (rather than cut them out).

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See the 5″ Original Sleek EZ Great Dane Brush on Amazon

For a shiny blue coat, we recommend fish oil, raw eggs, a great diet (science-backed kibble OR raw) and an occasional bath with a natural shampoo.

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Danes are actually a high-energy dog breed and need lots of physical and mental enrichment. Many anxious and destructive Great Danes are actually bored.


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Hello Danes

Dane lover and believer in ethical breeding, training and rescue practices. Positive + Balanced trainer, owner of rescue dogs and dogs from breeders. Love the dog in front of you.

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