Generally considered to be the gentle giant of the dog world, Great Danes have long been a favorite breed for those looking for an extra-large dog without the hassle and aggression that can come with some other giant breeds.
Playful, loyal, and extremely gentle with children, provided that you have both the room and budget to look after them, Great Danes can make for excellent family pets and companion dogs.
In this article, we take a close look at a popular yet rare variety of the breed, the blue Great Dane. If you are after more information about the breed in general, you can find it in our comprehensive Great Dane breed guide.
What is a blue Great Dane?
Great Danes can come in several colors, including fawn, brindle, black, harlequin, mantle, merle, and of course, blue.
Of all these colors, harlequin and blue are the two least common and the most difficult to predict and subsequently breed. Yet, it is the blue Great Dane that most captures the attention of many fanciers of the breed.
Despite suggestions to the contrary, blue Great Danes are the same dog as any other colored Great Danes. Their rare blue coat is simply being the result of breeding two dogs that carry a recessive blue gene in their DNA. Without going too far into the technicalities of dog genetics, dogs, like humans, get half of their DNA make-up from each of their parents. So, for a blue Great Dane to be conceived and subsequently born, both of their parents need to have a recessive blue gene that they can pass on to their offspring, and only those offspring that get two recessive genes will be blue. Thus, even with two parents that carry the recessive blue gene, it is highly likely that most of their offspring will be another more common color, and there is only a 25% chance of them producing any blue offspring.
However, genetics can be a little tricky, and things can get even more unpredictable, as a dog’s color isn’t entirely determined by one single gene. Thus, even breeding from two blue Great Danes doesn’t always guarantee that the resulting puppies will be blue.
Are there different shades of blue Great Danes?
Yes, blue Great Danes come in several different shades, including charcoal-blue, steel blue, slate, and a pale-bluish color. In some cases, blue Great Danes can be born with blue eyes, but this isn’t always the case.
However, of all the shades, it is the steel-blue Great Dane that is the most sought-after, as it is the only blue-colored Great Dane that meets the accepted breed standard.
Does their color affect a blue Great Dane’s temperament?
No, color has no bearing whatsoever on the temperament of a Great Dane.
The temperament of any Great Dane will vary based on the way that the dog is raised, whether they are socialized properly, how their owners treat them, and even whether they get enough human attention and exercise.
Of course, some aspects of their temperament will also be passed on from their parents. However, the genetics associated with determining a dog’s temperament are not linked with the genes that determine their color.
What about health?
The color of a dog’s coat is known to impact a dog’s chance of suffering from congenital deafness, and dogs with white or light-colored coats are more susceptible to genetic hearing issues and deafness than those with darker coats. This is because the gene that predicts coat color is linked to the gene that can lead to congenital deafness in dogs.
However, blue Great Danes are no more likely to suffer from congenital deafness, or any other hereditary disease, than any other colored Great Dane.
Does a blue Great Dane need any extra care?
No. Blue Great Danes require the same love and attention that you would need to give to any Great Dane.
They need the same complete and well-balanced diet that all Great Danes must have, and they need to get the same amount of daily exercise as other Great Danes. There is also no difference in the amount of grooming that a blue Great Dane needs.
Are blue Great Danes more expensive?
This is a difficult question to answer, as it depends on the dog. Any Great Dane that meets all the breed standards and is likely to be a good show dog will be more expensive than a dog with minor faults. Thus, when it comes to blue Great Danes, it is only those that have a complete steel-blue coat that may cost more and even then, only if the dog meets all the other breed standards as well. In fact, for most people, owning a show-quality dog is of little real value, and there is no point paying extra for a dog that you don’t intend to show or breed.
As a rough guide, Great Dane puppies typically sell for between $1,000 and $3,000, and you will usually be able to buy a blue Great Dane for somewhere within this range of prices.
Is there anything else I should know about the blue Great Dane?
No, but they are strikingly beautiful dogs, and it is easy to see why the blue Great Dane is so popular.
- Related Read: How Much Should You Feed a Great Dane?
Featured Image Credit: verky01, Shutterstock