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Mantle Great Dane: Characteristics and Care Tips

mantle Great Dane

The Mantle Great Dane is a striking breed of dog known for its imposing size and distinctive black-and-white coloring. This breed is a variation of the Great Dane, one of the world’s largest dog breeds.

 Mantle Great Danes are highly sought after as pets due to their gentle nature and affectionate personalities. These canine ponies need special attention to their sensitive joints with supplements, both natural and commercial, as per your vet’s advice. 

This mantle pattern is highly prized among Great Dane enthusiasts and is considered a breed hallmark. We have turned to Great Dane expert sources to give you the ultimate Mantle Great Dane guide and breed profile. 

Mantle Great Danes are known for their calm and patient temperament, making them an excellent choice for families with children. Still, they are a challenge to newbie owners not used to such a massive dog. 

Breed lovers may need to “Dane proof” their home since these dogs will probably reach all your counters and knock stuff over. This hard-to-miss dog is definitely irresistible, but be sure you’re ready for all the food and vet bills that come with the size. 

Generally, Great Danes are known as the “Apollo” of all dogs. The mantle variation only adds to a Dane’s regal appearance. However, while back and white is the most popular mantle color, you can also find fawn, blue, merle, and even brindle mantles.


Showing at Three counties championship show, the dogs always enjoy themselves #greatdane #showdogs #dogsshow #mantlegreatdane #tamzdane

♬ Walking On a Dream – Empire of the Sun

Overall, a Mantle Great Dane is a beautiful and majestic dog breed with a striking black and white coat. They have a gentle and friendly personality, making them great family pets. With their regal appearance and athletic build, they are sure to turn heads wherever they go.

What is a Merle Mantle Great Dane?

Merle Mantle Great Dane is a rare color combination of the Great Dane breed. These dogs have white on the face, chest, and neck, and the “blanket” is a merle pattern. The Merle gene (M) is responsible for this color pattern, which causes a mottled or spotted effect on the coat. 

The merle pattern results from a dominant gene that affects pigment distribution in the coat. It causes a random dilution of the base color, resulting in a mottled or spotted effect. The Merle gene can also affect eye color, resulting in blue or partially blue eyes.

What is a Blue Mantle Great Dane?

A Blue Mantle Great Dane is a specific color variation of the Great Dane breed, characterized by its striking blue and white coat. In this variation, the dog primarily has a solid blue body, while the “mantle” refers to a white “blanket” covering the neck and shoulders, often extending up the face and over the head. The blue coat should be a solid, deep steel-blue color without any patches or other colors mixed in.

In dogs, the blue coat color is essentially a diluted form of black. This dilution is controlled by a specific gene known as the dilution gene, symbolized as “D.” A dog with two copies of the dilute allele (dd) will have its black pigment lightened to a blue-gray hue. In contrast, a dog with one or two copies of the dominant “D” allele will display the black pigment as is, without dilution. 

Therefore, a blue dog is genetically a dog that would be black but has inherited two copies of the dilution gene, turning its coat and sometimes even its nose and eyes to a muted blue-gray color.

Mantle vs. Harlequin Great Dane

The Mantle Great Dane is a black and white coat pattern resembling a black blanket over the body and a white chest, legs, and muzzle. This black pattern can vary in size and shape and have a symmetrical or asymmetrical pattern. 

On the other hand, the Harlequin Great Dane has a white coat pattern with black patches randomly distributed over the body. The black patches can vary in size and shape and can be solid or broken. You can read our article on Harlequin Great Danes for more on these canines.

Additionally, Both coat patterns are prone to certain health issues, such as hip dysplasia and bloat. However, Harlequin Great Danes are more susceptible to deafness and skin problems than Mantle Great Danes.

The Mantle Great Dane History & Origins

The Mantle Great Dane is believed to have originated in Germany, where the Great Dane breed was first developed. The breed was originally used as a protection dog, but it quickly became popular as a companion pet due to its gentle and affectionate nature.

Mantle Great Dane Genetics

The Mantle Great Dane is a specific coloration of the Great Dane breed. A black coat with white markings on the chest, neck, and feet characterizes the Mantle coloring. This particular coloring results from a specific set of genes passed down from the dog’s parents.

Some people refer to the Mantle coloring as Boston. Little’s genetic analysis credits the black-and-white mantle coloring to the K (black gene) and Irish spotting (sisi). However, some mantle Great Danes don’t have the Irish gene above but the piebald sp gene instead. 

Merle Mantle involves K/M/sisi (with the Merle gene as the addition). The fawn mantle has the genetic sequence involving the fawn gene (kk), becoming (kk/sisi). The Mantle coloring is a recessive trait, which means that both parents must carry the gene for the coloring for their puppies to inherit it.

Mantle Great Dane Physical Characteristics

The Mantle Great Dane’s build is both powerful and elegant. They have a well-muscled body with a deep, broad chest, giving them a robust appearance. Despite their size, they should be balanced and not overly heavy.

They have a large, square head and well-proportioned muzzle. Their natural ears are long and droopy, but many people crop them, though not necessary. Their large, expressive eyes give them a warm and friendly expression, and their nose can be light or dark depending on the coat.

Mantle Great Danes have a distinctive appearance, with black coats and white markings. The white markings on their chest, neck, and feet are called “mantle markings,” which is where the breed gets its name.

How Big Do Mantle Great Danes Get?

Mantle Great Danes are giants walking among dogs. They stand at 28 to 34 inches (71 to 86 cm) at the shoulder and can weigh between 140 to 175 pounds (64 to 79 kg) or more, with males generally being larger than females.

Does the AKC recognize mantle in the breed standard?

Yes, the AKC recognizes the Mantle Great Dane as a valid coloration within the breed standard. However, it is important to note that the Mantle coloring is not as common as other colors, such as fawn or brindle.

Behavior and Temperament

General Behavior

Mantle Great Danes are known for their calm and gentle demeanor. They are typically well-behaved, loving, loyal, intelligent, moderately playful, and friendly. These dogs are gentle giants because their friendly and affectionate natures shine through their imposing size.

Mantle Great Danes are a large breed, requiring plenty of exercise to keep them healthy and happy. They enjoy going for long walks and playing in open spaces. Providing them with enough space to move around and play is important. 

These dogs can be protective of their owners, which can sometimes lead to aggressive behavior towards strangers. Training them to be calm and well-behaved in social situations and always supervising them around unfamiliar people or animals is important.

Interaction with Humans and Other Animals

Mantle Great Danes are generally friendly and sociable with humans and other animals. They are known to be good with children and other pets. However, don’t leave them alone with kids to prevent accidents. It is important to socialize them properly from a young age to ensure they are comfortable around other animals.

Mantle Great Dane Health and Lifespan

Common Health Issues

Like all dogs, mantle Great Danes are prone to certain health issues that experts have studied comprehensively. Some of the most common health problems that affect Great Danes include:

  • Hip dysplasia: The hip and joint don’t connect correctly.
  • Bloat (gastric torsion): Bloat causes the stomach to twist on itself. Studies show that a whopping 37% to 42% of all Great Danes might experience this condition at one point.
  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM): Great Danes have big hearts, figuratively and some literally. This condition where the heart is enlarged may lead to heart failure.
  • Cancer: Mantle Great Danes are highly susceptible to osteosarcoma (bone cancer) due to their rapidly growing bones.
  • Wobbler syndrome: A neurological condition that affects a dog’s spine at the neck region. About 4.2% of Great Danes have wobbler syndrome, only exceeded by Dobermans at 5.5%.
  • Hypothyroidism.
  • Eye issues such as entropion (inward eyelid turning), conjunctivitis, glaucoma, cherry eye, and cataracts.
  • Moderate issues like obesity, dental issues, allergies, skin and ear infections.

How long do mantle Great Danes live?

The lifespan of a mantle Great Dane is typically shorter than that of smaller dog breeds. On average, mantle Great Danes live for 6 to 8 years. However, with proper care and attention to their health, some mantle Great Danes have been known to live up to 10 years or more.

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Care and Maintenance

Dietary Needs

Mantle Great Danes require a well-balanced diet that meets their nutritional requirements. Puppies should be fed small, frequent meals throughout the day, while adult dogs should be fed 3 to 4 times a day to avoid bloat. 

 Ensure you strictly feed only puppy food to your Mantle Great Dane puppy. This is because research shows that feeding a giant breed puppy adult food causes them to grow too quickly and develop joint and bone issues later.


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Exercise Requirements

Mantle Great Danes are a large breed and require regular exercise for about  one  hour daily to maintain their physical and mental health. Exercise should be low impact to avoid strain on their hearts and joints. Good exercise for Great Danes are walks and swimming. Owners should avoid over-exercising their Mantle Great Danes, especially when they are puppies, as it can cause joint problems.

In addition to physical exercise, Mantle Great Danes also require mental stimulation. Owners should provide them with toys and puzzles to keep their minds active. Training and socialization are also important for Mantle Great Danes to prevent behavioral problems.

Training a Mantle Great Dane

Training Tips

Mantle Great Danes are intelligent and eager to please, making them relatively easy to train. However, they can also be stubborn and strong-willed, so it’s important to start training early and be consistent with your approach.

Here are some tips for training your Mantle Great Dane:

  • Start with basic obedience commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” Use positive reinforcement techniques like treats and praise to encourage good behavior.
  • Socialize your Mantle Great Dane early and often. Expose them to different people, animals, and environments to help them become well-adjusted and confident.
  • Use a firm but gentle hand when training your Mantle Great Dane. Avoid using physical punishment or harsh training methods, as this can damage the bond between you and your dog.
  • Be patient and persistent. Even if Mantle Great Danes take time to learn some commands, they will eventually catch on with enough repetition and practice.

Common Challenges

While Mantle Great Danes are generally easy to train, there are some challenges you may encounter along the way. Here are a few common issues and how to address them:

  • Separation anxiety: Mantle Great Danes are prone to separation anxiety, which can lead to destructive behavior when left alone. To prevent this, gradually acclimate your dog to being alone by leaving them for short periods and gradually increasing the time.
  • Leash pulling: Mantle Great Danes are strong dogs and may pull on the leash when walking. Use a front-clip harness or head collar to give you more control and discourage pulling. Reward your dog for walking calmly on the leash.
  • Jumping up: Mantle Great Danes can be prone to jumping up on people, which can be intimidating due to their size. Teach your dog to “sit” or “down” instead of jumping up, and reward them for good behavior.

Overall, training a Mantle Great Dane requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. You can help your dog become a well-behaved and obedient companion with the right approach.


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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a mantle Great Dane puppy cost?

The cost of a mantle Great Dane puppy for sale can vary depending on several factors, such as the breeder, location, and pedigree. On average, a mantle Great Dane puppy for sale can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000. However, it’s important to note that the price can go up significantly for puppies with exceptional bloodlines or show potential.

How big does a mantle Great Dane get?

Mantle Great Danes are known for their impressive size. On average, a male mantle Great Dane can grow up to 32 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 120 to 200 pounds. Females are slightly smaller, typically reaching a height of 30 inches and weighing between 100 to 130 pounds.

What is the rarest Great Dane?

The rarest Great Danes are those that result from recessive genes. These include Blue Great Dane, Harlequin, and White.

What is a mismarked mantle Great Dane?

A mismarked mantle Great Dane is a Great Dane that does not have the correct markings for the mantle coloration. Mantle Great Danes are characterized by a black coat with white markings on the chest, neck, and feet. A mismarked mantle Great Dane may have too much white or black in areas where it is not supposed to be, which can disqualify them from being shown in competitions.

Where can I find mantle Great Dane puppies for sale?

Mantle Great Dane puppies can be found through reputable breeders and rescue organizations. It’s important to do your research and find a breeder who is knowledgeable about the breed and follows ethical breeding practices. You can also check with local Great Dane clubs or online directories to find breeders in your area. Adopting a mantle Great Dane from a rescue organization is also a great option for those looking to give a dog a second chance at a loving home.

Final Thoughts

The Mantle Great Dane is a majestic and impressive breed that is sure to turn heads wherever it goes. Its striking black and white coat and gentle nature make it an excellent family pet and loyal companion. While they may be large, these dogs are known for their calm and patient demeanor. 


Tamsin De La Harpe


Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions.

Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

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