Harlequin Litter Color Narrative with Photos
by Arlene Scarbrough of Scarbrough Fair Great Danes
harlequins can result in a broad array of recognizable color patterns that are
combinations of black, white and gray. Many
novices, as well as pet owners, are unaware of some of these color patterns.
As a result, the color of many danes gets accidentally misrepresented.
Also, many pet buyers who like the patched effect inquire only about
harlequins, the most expensive of all color patterns in danes, when they might
be equally satisfied with one of the alternative patched patterns.
developed this page to assist both novice breeders and pet buyers in correctly
identifying normal color patterns occurring in harlequin litters.
We will present several photos of most of the color patterns to show how
widely these patterns vary. Some
harlequins are beautifully marked while others are far from aesthetic.
This is true of each of the color patterns.
Beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder.
First, we will
deal with pure color bred great danes. Since
we breed for harlequins, mantles (formerly boston blacks), and merles, this
narrative will not address the results of breeding fawns, brindles, blues, or
blacks out of black breeding. The
great dane colors addressed in this narrative are colors normally seen in
litters bred for harlequins, and they are all combinations of black, white and
gray. We will briefly show a couple
of photos resulting from direct mixed color breeding or doubling on a dog that
has mixed color many generations back in the pedigree.
for harlequins, a litter can potentially contain any of the following colors:
show marked harlequins, pet marked harlequins (including under marked
harlequins), show marked mantles (formerly called boston blacks), pet marked
mantles, show marked blacks, pet marked blacks, merles, boston merles, merlequins, piebalds with black markings, piebalds with merle and black
markings, whites, and albinos. The
only color not illustrated herein is the albino.
We are using our own dogs to illustrate color, and we have never produced
a true albino. The only two
colors that we don’t consider appropriate for general pet homes are the whites
and the albinos. Due to both their
color and other considerations, they generally are either put down or placed in
description of the show marked harlequin
color is quoted from the AKC standard: “Base
color shall be pure white with black torn patches irregularly and well
distributed over the entire body; a pure white neck is preferred.
The black patches should never be large enough to give the appearance of
a blanket, nor so small as to give a stippled or dappled effect.
Eligible, but less desirable, are a few small gray patches, or a white
base with single black hairs showing through, which tend to give a salt and
pepper or dirty effect. Any
variance in color or markings described above shall be faulted to the extent of
the deviation.” I have seen
numerous pet marked harlequin champions over the years, but generally speaking,
the more the dog deviates from the color standard, the better it has to be in
other respects to finish.
Read the article written by "Maxim's Dogue Brasil" on Piebalds.
Pet marked harlequins have a white base color with torn black patches.
They may have excessive “ticking” (black hairs in the white base
color) to the point that they almost look gray.
They may have many large gray patches.
Their black patches may be so large that they are, in fact, blankets.
They may have a beautiful harlequin head with a solid white or nearly
solid white body.
Click here to continue the color pages.
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