Spots Before Your Eyes
Harlequin Great Dane or Dalmatian?

"Hi! My name is Eagle.
Whatever folks may say I'm not a Dalmatian.

I'm very different from a dallie.

Sure, I'm black & white
and have floppy ears,
but that's where the line is drawn.

Join me while I show folks how to tell
a Harlequin Great Dane from a Dalmatian."

"Not all Great Danes have pointed, standing ears.
We are all born with floppy ears.
Alot of people don't know that.

When a Great Dane is a young puppy
the breeder or new family sometimes decides to change their ears by having them cropped.

Cropping is a kind of surgery.
Under anesthesia around 1/2 the ear is cut off and stitched into a desired shape.

After that there is aftercare of the ears in hopes that the ears will stand like my dad, Roku's, shown right.

Oh that's Baron on the far right with the floppy ears."

"These are pictures of my mom, Star, as a puppy.

Here her cropped ears are being trained to stand (pictured right).
That's tape around her ears."

"Cropping is a topic with much controversy.
There are many places in the world
where its not even allowed."

"But enough of ears...let's get back on track."

"On to the comparison....."

  • average height: 19 - 23 inches
  • average weight: 45 - 70lbs

    "This means most Dalmatians
    only reach knee level on an adult person."

  • average height: 28 - 36 inches
  • average weight: 90 - 170lbs

    "A small Great Dane is at least
    5 inches taller than a Dalmatian!"

  • (Male on top, female on bottom)

    Expression is alert and intelligent.

    Set moderately well apart,
    medium sized,somewhat rounded &
    set well into the skull.

    Thin and fine in texture.
    Moderate size,proportionately wide at the base
    gradually tapering to a rounded tip.
    Set high and carried close to the head.

    Head & Muzzle
    Flat top of skull with a slight vertical furrow
    approximately as wide as it is long.
    Cheeks blend smoothly into a muzzle.

    Top of muzzle is level & parallel to the top of the skull.
    Equal in length to the top of the skull.

    Completely pigmented on the leather.
    Either black or brown.

    (Male on left, female on right)
    Great Dane
    Lively intelligent expression.

    Medium size, deep set.
    Eyelids are almond-shaped and relatively tight
    with well developed brows.

    Moderate thickness.
    High set, medium in size & folded
    forward close to the cheek.
    Top line of the folded ear should be level with the skull.
    If cropped ear ears are carried uniformly erect.

    Head & Muzzle
    Rectangular, long & finely chiseled
    especially below the eyes.
    Skull & the muzzle planes straight
    & parallel to one another.
    Skull under and to the inner point of the eye slopes
    without any bony protuberance in a smooth line to a full square jaw with a deep muzzle.

    Males are more masculine in appearance.
    Females are more delicate.
    Cheek muscles should not be prominent.
    Head should be angular from all sides with flat planes.

    Completely pigmented on the leather.
    Black or black spotted pink nose.
    "When I was born my nose was all pink.
    As I get older it'll keep getting more black."

    "Great Danes come in MANY color variations.
    But its the HARLEQUIN Great Dane who is often mistaken for the Dalmatian
    merely because its a matter of black & white."

    Dalmatian - Base color is pure white.
    In black-spotted dogs the spots are dense black,
    in liver-spotted dogs the spots are liver brown.

    Spots are round and well-defined, the more distinct the better.
    They vary from the size of a dime to the size of a half-dollar.
    They are pleasingly and evenly distributed.
    The less the spots intermingle the better.
    Spots are usually smaller on the head, legs and tail than on the body.

    Harlequin Great Dane -
    Base color is white with
    black torn patches irregularly and
    well distributed over the entire body;
    a pure white neck is preferred.

    The black patches should not be large enough to look like a blanket or so small to give a stippled or dappled effect.

    Less desirable are a few small gray patches,
    or a white base with single black hairs
    showing through, giving a salt and pepper or dirty effect.

    "That's it.
    Now if you come across someone who mistakes
    your Great Dane for a Dalmatian
    just point them here.

    Thanks for stopping by."

    Page created & Sixstar Danes
    Changes last made Sept 27th, 2003