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Brindle Great Dane: Origin, Facts & History (With Pictures)

Brooke Billingsley

By Brooke Billingsley


Great Danes are popular dogs because of their gentle nature. Many people take a liking to their large size and mighty appearance. One type of Great Dane that is certain to turn heads is the brindle Great Dane. These tiger-striped dogs have an exotic and unique appearance, and no two brindles have the same coat. Here’s everything you should know about brindle Great Danes.

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The Earliest Records of Brindle Great Danes in History

The Great Dane breed has been around in some form potentially for thousands of years, with some artifacts indicating that dogs similar to Great Danes may have been established as far back as 3000 BC.

Due to the age of the breed, it’s impossible to know when the brindle coat was introduced. The Great Dane breed itself dates back at least 400 years. Interestingly, the Great Dane is a German breed, not a Danish breed as the name implies.

When it comes to modern Great Danes, other giant breeds, like the Irish Wolfhound, Irish Greyhound, and English Mastiff may have been involved in their development. Notably, all of these breeds have brindle coats in their breed standard. Great Danes were bred to be large and fierce for the purpose of hunting boar, which are extremely dangerous and vicious game. But modern Great Danes have been bred with a better temperament in mind, making them gentler and more affectionate companions.

brindle great dane standing on grass
Image by: Whiteaster, Shutterstock

How Brindle Great Danes Gained Popularity

Great Danes have always been a popular breed in one way or another. Older Great Danes were prized for their ability to protect people and their land, with others being sought after for their prowess in hunting boar and their ability to stand up to these dangerous animals.

As the world has modernized, Great Danes have been bred to be gentler dogs intended for companionship. Since it’s hard to say when brindle Great Danes first appeared, it’s hard to know when they may have first started to become popular.

Formal Recognition of Brindle Great Danes

Brindle is a coat color that has been considered part of the Great Dane breed standard since the inception of the breed’s standard. The first breed standard for the Great Dane was written in the 1800s, with some breed standards dating back to 1891.

However, the breed itself was accepted by the AKC in 1887 and may have belonged to other kennel clubs prior to that, so it’s likely that a written standard predates the 1891 breed standard. All breed standards of the Great Dane have included brindle as an acceptable coat.

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Top 3 Unique Facts About Brindle Great Danes

brindle female american great dane dog
Image Credit: Tara Lynn and Co, Shutterstock

1. Brindle coats are caused by a genetic mutation

This mutation causes variations in the coloration of the hair shaft. For this reason, brindle coats can fall across a color spectrum from light to dark. With almost all brindle Great Danes, the base coat color is a yellow or gold color with dark cross stripes, creating the brindle striping.

2. In general, brindle Great Danes are not any more or less healthy than their other colored counterparts

However, they may be more likely to develop skin problems and allergies, so it’s important to be prepared for this possibility when bringing one home.

3. Brindle is an accepted coat color per the Great Dane breed standard

The brindle coat color is not considered an off-standard or undesirable coat color.

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Do Brindle Great Danes Make Good Pets?

Brindle Great Danes have the same type of temperament as other Great Danes. They are often considered to be good dogs for families. These dogs are playful and loving, especially when properly socialized. Unsocialized Great Danes pose a great risk of damaging bites, so socialization is essential to this breed.

Great Danes are often considered to be good family dogs, but a few rules do have to apply. The first is understanding that they are extremely large dogs that can cause injuries to children entirely by accident. The second is the importance of children respecting the dog and its boundaries. Children should be taught respect and proper handling of all dogs, but it’s extremely important with a giant breed.

Due to their size, Great Danes may live shorter lives than smaller breeds. They are also prone to some health conditions, like skin conditions, allergies, hip and elbow dysplasia, bloat, and wobbler’s syndrome. Due to the potential for these conditions, it’s important to only purchase your brindle Great Dane from a breeder who has performed all required health testing on their dogs prior to breeding.

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Brindle Great Danes are beautiful dogs that will certainly catch people’s eyes when you go for a walk. This coat color is in line with the Great Dane breed standard, so you shouldn’t be concerned about these dogs being off-standard due to their coat.

Always purchase your puppies from reliable, responsible breeders who have performed all health testing needed to ensure the health of their breeding dogs and offspring. A health guarantee from your breeder is also strongly recommended, just in case a health condition arises in your young dog.

Featured Image Credit: Harlis (Rytis Mikelskas, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 3.0 Unported)

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