Blue Great Dane guide (Before you buy)

blue Great Dane

Blue is a Great Dane color variation defined by a steel-blue or dusty blue-grey coat, amber eyes, blue nose, and blue paw pads. It appears on Great Danes with two copies of the dilution gene that reduces the skin and coat color intensity.

Registries such as AKC and UKC recognize the Blue Great Dane.

There is no denying that Blue Danes are dogs but let’s uncover more.

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Blue Great Dane overview

HeightMales: 30-32 inches
Females: 28-30 inches
WeightMales: 140-175 lbs
Females: 110-140 lbs
Lifespan7-10 years
Breed TypeMastiff
PurposeWorking & Companion
TemperamentFriendly, Patient, Dependable, Moderately playful, Affectionate

Genetics and melanin pigments (eumelanin and pheomelanin) influence a dog’s color. Eumelanin is the pigment responsible for the black and brown color shades. Meanwhile, pheomelanin is for colors such as red, fawn, yellow, and so on. In this case, we are more interested in what happens to the eumelanin pigments.

A dilution gene “d” (d-allele) causes blue pigmentation. Essentially, the dilution gene is a mutated Melanophilin (MLPH) gene. Melanophilin plays a role in the proper synthesis and distribution of eumelanin pigments.

This mutant gene disrupts the normal distribution of these black pigments. Instead, they accumulate as clumps in the hair shaft and around the nuclei of the pigment-producing cells (melanocytes).

As a result, the skin and hair color appears muted as parts supposed to be black develop a grey-bluish hue.

However, two copies of the recessive d genes (d/d) are required for this to occur. Each parent contributes a copy of the gene.


The major kennel clubs, such as UKC and AKC, recognize the Blue Great Dane color. However, the steel Blue Great Dane is preferred, but washed-out shades are considered a fault.

Blue color variations

  • Steel Blue– This is a rich deep silver-grey shade with a shiny bluish shimmer.
  • Powder Blue– This is a paler washed-out greyish-blush that appears dusty. Great Danes with this blue shade are considered a fault.
  • Blue Merle– This is a dilute Blue Dane with random and irregular black patches creating a merle pattern. The gene for Merle (M) is dominant and is responsible for color dilution in this case. As such, the d/d genotype is not responsible for the bluish color in blue merles. Blue merle Great Danes do not carry two copies of the mutant d-alleles. With d/d, the whole coat dilutes while the merle patches remain black.
  • Blue Harlequin– This pattern results from a complex interaction of the dominant merle (M), harlequin (H), and recessive dilution (d/d) genes. The harlequin gene turns the areas between the merle patches from grey to white. These black merle patches are then washed out to pale grey by the dilution genes.
  • Blue Brindle– Occurs on a brindle pup with two dilution genes washing out black parts on the brindle stripes.
  • Blue Fawn-This is a Fawn Great Dane with blue-grey markings (blue masks) where they should have been black.
Blue Merle Great Dane

Size and appearance

Blue Great Danes stand at 28 to 32 inches and weigh as much as 200 pounds.

The mutant genes don’t affect any other physical attributes seen on all Great Dane variations apart from color.

Temperament and personality

Temperament and personality depend on how pups are raised, trained, socialized, and genetics but not color.

A blue Dane is as sweet, affectionate, and high-spirited as any other and is equally gentle with children.

They are great family dogs and are surprisingly patient with children and other pets. However, monitor interactions to prevent accidents.

Buying a Blue Great Dane puppy

A blue Great Dane puppy costs between $600 and $3000 depending on the breeder, location, and time of the year. There is also a price difference between show pups and pets.

Adoption is cheaper and will set you back around $150 in fees. Great Danes are often available for rescue due to;

  • Their space requirements
  • Difficulties in cleaning after and handling
  • High feeding expenses
  • Changing family circumstances

When buying, you must do so from a reputable breeder whose qualifications and customer reviews are top-notch. There is no shortage of unethical breeders looking to make a premium without considering the puppies’ welfare.

Start your search for a breeder by word of mouth, forums like this, and Great Dane events. Likewise, your vet or any dog handler can help direct you to a responsible breeder.

When dealing with a breeder, ask to meet the parents and see their medical records (OFA, CERF certificates). Puppies from healthy parents are less susceptible to inherited health complications. Never buy your pup online, which can be hugely problematic. However, you can use the internet to get in touch with potential breeders.

Steel Blue Great Dane puppy

Care guide

Getting a Blue Great Dane is exciting, but prepare for the commitments and expenses involved in owning this dog.

Remember, this is the “Apollo of Dogs.”

1. Grooming;

Grooming not only keeps the dog hygienic but is also a great bonding experience.

Brush the coat at least twice a week to;

  • Minimize shedding
  • Distribute the coat oils
  • Remove dead hair and debris

Only bathe him once a month or when necessary, but their enormous size will prove challenging.

Apart from the coat, the ears, eyes, nails, teeth, and anal glands will need proper care and cleaning.

2. Diet and nutrition;

To keep your Blue Great Dane happy and healthy, ensure he gets a high-quality and balanced diet.

Pay attention to the dog’s diet as he develops for proper bone growth and count the number of calories. As a general rule of thumb, every dog needs about 30 calories for every pound of their weight.

On average, Great Danes weigh around 90 pounds and need about 2700 calories or 6 cups of kibble. Split the diet into 2 or 3 daily portions.

Cups of Kibble6 cups

Each diet needs about 30% healthy proteins, 20% fats, and healthy carbs. Essential mineral salts, vitamins, and fatty acids should supplement the diet. Additionally, ensure clean water is always available for the dog.


3. Exercise requirements;

Limit the exercises to low-intensity activities such as short walks of about 20 minutes, fetch, and other games as the pup grow up to about 18 months.

After maturity, increase the exercise session to about 45 minutes/day to prevent obesity. It also prevents boredom which can breed mischief and destructiveness in the dog.

Exercise should also include mental stimulation with mind games such as puzzles and musical toys.

You shouldn’t over-exercise this dog, especially in the development stage.

4. Training;

Great Danes are intelligent and eager to please and should not be too difficult to train. Failure to train these dogs makes them hard to handle.

The best way to approach training is through positive reinforcement and reward-based training. Investigate what motivates your dog and use it as a reward for training. It could be a tasty treat or a stuffed toy. In addition, establish yourself as a leader to make it easier to manage this doggo.

Also, socialize this dog by introducing him to a lot of people, different smells, different places, and other animals.

Health concerns

The main concern with Blue Great Danes is hair loss caused by a condition known as Color Dilution Alopecia. This condition only occurs in a few Great Danes with the Dilution gene.

A Blue Great Dane with CDA exhibits hair loss due to the accumulation of the eumelanin pigments at the hair shaft, causing it to break off as it goes through the skin. Color Dilution Alopecia can also make the dog vulnerable to chronic skin infections.


Is a Blue Great Dane rare?

Blue Great Danes are not as rare as some might have you believe. However, shades such as Blue Merle and Blue Harlequin are less common and rare.

Do Blue Great Danes have blue eyes?

Blue Great Dane puppies are born with blue eyes that change to amber- a shade of yellow- as they age. This eye color change begins at about 12 months of age. However, Blue Harlequin Great Danes may retain blue eyes throughout their lifetime.

How long do Blue Great Danes live?

Blue Great Danes have a lifespan of 7 to 10 years.

Do Blue Great Danes shed?

The coat will also be short and smooth but sheds moderately throughout the year.

Can you breed 2 Blue Great Danes?

Yes, 2 Great Danes can breed to produce an entire litter of around eight blue puppies.

On the flip side, 2 Blue Merle Great Danes should not mate as some puppies may inherit double Merle genes (MM) associated with issues such as blindness and deafness.

To Wrap Up

Prepare for this dog’s commitment before making a purchase decision. Be vigilant of individuals looking to make a quick buck or advertise their pups as rare. Don’t make any hasty decisions.

So, would you get a Blue Great Dane? Share your feedback and thoughts in the comment section below.

There you go, WOOF!!!


As a dog lover, George understands how they behave and how to best take care of them. He is also well versed with various dog breeds and loves writing about them.

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