On 1 May 2018 GDCA (Great Dane Club of America) released the official result of their ballot on changes to the Great Dane Standard in America. There were four changes voted on, of which three passed. To be passed, the suggested change needed at least 66% “yes” vote.
The one of interest for this post is:
4. Color Standard Changes/Merle Addition – PASSED (69%)
Color: A pale gray to dark gray merle base color with black torn patches within.
Patterns/Markings: May be Solid Merle (white on chest and toes is permissible) or Merle with a Mantle Pattern; solid merle blanket extending over the body; merle skull with a white muzzle; white blaze is optional; whole or partial white neck; a white chest; white on whole or part of the forelegs and hind legs; white tipped merle tail. A small white break in the blanket is acceptable. (Black pigment may be seen on the skin in white areas.)
DQ: Merlequin, a white dog with ONLY patches of merle.
For merle to be seen in show rings in America, these passed changes have to be approved and implemented by the AKC (American Kennel Club). This can take time. For the addition of Mantle, it took about six months before approval by AKC and a year before the first mantle champion was made up in America.
This only is the first step towards having Merle as the official 7th accepted colour in Great Danes in America. Will the rest of the world follow suit? Only time will tell.
Images from http://www.doggenetics.co.uk