|dc.description.abstract||Large breeds like the Great Dane are known to be predisposed to diseases like Hip dysplasia, Gastric dilational volvulus, and Dilated cardiomyopathy, which are associated with high veterinary costs, sudden death and low average age. There is no doubt that these are remarks of importance in the breeding of the Great Dane. Less common diseases are often overshadowed by these common ones, and therefore easier forgotten.
Colour dilution alopecia, congenital sensorineural deafness and lethal white homozygous harleqins are all related to different colour genes such as dilution of black, piebald, merle and harlequin. Breeders have selected for specific colours and spotting according to the standards since the breed standard first were written. Since then genes involved in pigmentation has been revealed, and it is now possible to DNA testing what kind of colour genes dogs are carrying
There are few acceptable colours in the Great Dane, and most of the dog population carries one or more of these genes that have been associated with diseases, making them highly relevant in the breeding of this breed, and expecially in case of harlequin breeding in which all of the above mentions colours are involved.||en