Harlequin Great Dane
The Great Dane Harlequin is an original wild dog color because it cannot be created from any of the other coat colors and is dominant to all of them. Great Danes are the only domesticated dogs carrying these ancient gense. Should Harlequins disappear; then the color would be forever lost.
A Harlequin is assumed to be a white dog with black spotting, at least in the minds of many people. To one well versed in Harlequin genetics, however, it is more sensible to regard the Harlequin color as a white overcoat on which irregular cut outs or holdes have been super imposed on the background color as irregular spots or patches. The only currently accepted base color for a Harlequin is black, although definitely any of te otehr Dane colors could be present, and were until aobut a century ago. The reason for this is that the Harlequin white will often overlay or restrict any of the others, to the extent that it frequently is referred to as a "restrictor gene."
There are four basic colors in Harlequin litters, which, on the average occur in fairly equal proportions. The percentage of Harlequin is the same whether one breeds Harlequin to Harlequin; Harlequin to Merle; or Harlequin to Black. Certain whites bred to blacks may produce Harlequins; these whites are not always pure white, but may have some spots or patches of merle or black. With these whtes, there is an unfortunate chance of white puppies being entirely or partially deaf or blind. Thankful this weakness cannot and does not appear in the other colors which are components of the Harlequin.
Two of the principal difficulties in breeding Harlequins, we understand, are the facts that only a small minority of puppies inherit the correct combination of genes that produce the Harlequin markings; and the irreqularities that can occur in these markings brought about by the lack of control over the placement of the pattern created by the white restrictor gene on the basic color. This can cause the phenomena of blue eyes and pink noses, acknowledged by the Standard as "permissable but not desirable," calling these "simple specific expressions of haphazard pigment distribution." The nose bing hairless is colored by eiter black o rpink skin or both. The eyes may both be blue or brown or one may be blue and the other brown or one may be blue and the other brown or both colors may be present ina single eye. This is due to the fact taht basically the eyes are not genetic blue or the noses gentic pink, but rather they are, in Harlequins, spotted eyes and spotted noses.
To control pigment in these anatomical areas in an individual dog is no ore possible than to control the exact placement of a given marking or spot on the other areas of the dog. Every effort is made to encourage the presence of strong facial markings in hopes of getting more brown eyes and black noses, but even so, the element of unpredictability remains.
Fawn bred to fawn will produce only fawn; fawn bred to Brindle can produce fawn and Brindle; Brindle bred to Brindle can produce both fawn and Brindle if there is fawn in the background; Blacks with Blues in the background can produce both Blue and Black; breeders of Black Great Danes do not as a rule breed to blacks out of Harlequin breeding because of the White factor. Harlequin breeding follows no set genetic pattern. Harlequin bred to Harlequin can produce white, albino, merle, black, mismarked (white base coat with grey patces), or the much sought Harlequin.
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AKC Definition of the Harlequin Great Dane
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.
~Kittys Corner~I have a Female Great Dane and her name is Kitty. She will be 2 in July '10. Her mother is a Blue Dane and her dad is a Black Dane. This is a picture of her here and there are lots of pictures of her on this website. This space is called Kittys Corner because when ever I am at my computer working (which is most of the time) Kitty is laying or sitting beside me with her head on my lap. So I made her a corner so she can voice what is going on in her world. ~Enjoy~
The weather is so warm and sunny. I was getting tired of the cold and being stuck in the house. Now mom has been back taking me on our walks I missed our walks. Have you been doing anything fun lately? Will you send me your pictures so I can see them? Mom even said something about starting a contest. How fun! So start taking some pictures, or if you already have some, send them in so I can see them. Send in a Picture
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