All About Blue Merle Great Danes: History, Characteristics, and Care
The Blue Merle Great Dane is a beautiful and striking breed that is known for its unique coat color and pattern. These dogs are a combination of the Dominant Merle Gene and the recessive Blue Gene, which results in a blue and gray mottled coat. The Blue Merle Great Dane is a rare and unique breed, and they have a lot of character and personality.
What is the Blue Gene?
The Blue Gene, also known as the Dilution Gene, is a recessive gene that is responsible for diluting the pigmentation in the coat color of a Great Dane. When a dog has the Blue Gene, their coat will appear blue or gray, rather than the more traditional black or fawn. The Blue Gene is not common in Great Danes, and it requires both parents to pass a copy of the gene in order to produce Blue puppies.
What is the Merle Gene?
The Merle Gene is a dominant gene that creates a mottled or patched appearance in the coat of a Great Dane. The Merle pattern can be seen in a variety of different colors, including blue, black, and fawn. The Merle Gene is not the most common pattern in Great Danes, and it can be difficult to breed for due to the fact that Merles cannot safely breed with other Merles. This is because two copies of the Merle Gene can lead to significant health issues, such as deafness, blindness, and immune deficiency.
Difference between a Merle and a Harlequin
Merle and Harlequin are two distinct genetic traits that can be present in Great Danes. While these traits are often mentioned together, they are actually quite different from one another.
Merle is a dominant gene that creates a mottled or patched appearance in the coat of a Great Dane. The Merle pattern can be seen in a variety of different colors, including blue, black, and fawn. Merle is not the most common pattern in Great Danes, and it can be difficult to breed for due to the fact that dogs with the Merle gene cannot safely breed with other dogs that also carry the Merle gene. This is because two copies of the Merle gene can lead to significant health issues, such as deafness, blindness, and immune deficiency.
On the other hand, Harlequin is not visibly present without the presence of the Merle gene. The Harlequin gene is a dominant gene that leads to more established spots of darkened fur when combined with the Merle gene. Like the Merle gene, the Harlequin gene is not recommended for breeding due to the potential for health issues and the fact that two copies of the gene can be fatal.
Potential health issues for Blue Merle Great Danes
Both the Merle Gene and the Harlequin Gene can come with potential health issues, such as deafness, blindness, immune deficiency, and eye issues. It is particularly risky to breed two Merles or two Harlequins together, as this can lead to even more severe health issues.
Great Danes, in general, can also suffer from various health issues due to their large size, such as hip dysplasia, gastric dilation volvulus, and heart conditions. It is important to care for your Great Dane with a high-quality diet and regular vet checkups to help prevent or manage these conditions.
What is the price of a Blue Merle Great Dane?
The price of a Blue Merle Great Dane can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, including the location, the breeder, and the specific characteristics of the dog. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $800 to $2,500 for a Blue Merle Great Dane puppy.
It is important to note that the price of a Blue Merle Great Dane can be influenced by a number of factors, such as the location of the breeder and the specific characteristics of the dog. For example, a Blue Merle Great Dane with champion bloodlines or a unique coat pattern may