Show people would like the general
public to think Chocolate Danes are the "current fad"
with those of us breeding for them or that they have
major health issues. However, the truth is they have been
around since the mid-60's and I am yet to find any
written documentation they have any kind of health issue more
so than any "standard" color.
can honestly and proudly say I've had no health issues of any
kind with any of my chocolates.
was...an English champion, Ch. Orus of Lockerbie. His color
was brindle-harlequin...but there's no mention as to what
color the stripes were! Ch. Orus was used for breeding,
and so was his brindle sister, Pandora, who is behind some top
English dogs." If you research the Great Dane you will
the original description of the breed
(5th paragraph) allowed for various
colors, plus brindles and patched Danes in all possible
recently a Champion-sired "chocolate" striped Great Dane,
shown in California (in the early 1970s).
Her sire was CH Bartholomew von Overcup.
Below are pictures of Butterscotch, with a chocolate nose, shown in
1971 in which her picture is in Dane International,
July/Aug. 1971 issue. It was Isabel Karkau and Jane Chopson
who acquired her and showed her. She was eventually disqualified
by then-president of the GDCA Rose Sabett for not having the black nose required for a
"standard" brindle. After she
disqualified her it is said Sally Haas protested that her own
blue in the open blue class did not have a black nose. After
this incident the Standard was changed to describe
disqualified colors. However, I'd like to mention that a chocolate
brindle is suppose to have a chocolate nose so, Butterscotch was marked
correctly for the color she was.
At least her owner was
able back then to show for a short time what was a truly
beautiful dog. Before this time most chocolates never
saw the light of day, instead put down by going for a swim in
a pail of water or getting a bonk to the head and pretended
they didn't exist. It is said Butterscotch had a 10-generation
correctly marked fawn-to-brindle pedigree including correctly
marked parents, but since this color is a combination of
recessives, both her parents had to be carriers.
Her record: 4 Fun Matches, One
Best Puppy, Three Firsts, Two Sanctioned Matches, One Best
Adult, One Best of Breed, 5 AKC point shows...One first, One
second, One third, One fourth... and then the One no
Jane wrote an article to answer all the
critics of her showing Butterscotch, one part that was very
"It should also be remembered that
the appearance of this color is the fault of no one. It
has probably been carried in the breed from it's inception.
Fault does lie in hysterical reaction and in concealing the
presence of this gene from buyers and breeders."
Which brings me to the point that I'm often asked how I have the colors I
do because it would be genetically impossible to come up with some of the colors I
have (or anyone else) based on the information on their
it's an unspoken tradition that breed standard/show breeders
register their "off" colored puppies (those they
allow to live) under the wrong color because they don't want others
knowing their breed standard dogs are producing off colors.
Chocolates were/are registered
incorrectly as blacks,
dilute chocolate as blue, chocolate fawns and blue fawns as
fawns, chocolate brindles as brindles, fawnequins, brindlequins and porcelains as harlequins,
etc. However, thanks to AKC & CKC recognizing
these off colors and assigning specific codes to most of them
and to breeders like
me who are correctly registering a puppy by it's true color,
those of us breeding for designer Danes will start having
accurate (color) pedigrees and one day have color pure lines
of chocolate Danes! Check out the detailed
chart I started in the early 2000's before I ever
started breeding Danes because I was so drawn to the breed and is
still a work in progress.
It is a known fact, even with the show
people, a dog is pure colour bred if it is "clean" of other
colours in the pedigree for 5 generations and that is exactly
what the goal of our breeding program is. Let's not
forget that the mantle and harlequin were not always
"accepted" breed standard colors. Mantles were added in
the late 90's because of their importance in a harlequin
breeding program. They are a great breeding partner to
harlequins as they won't produce any double merle puppies and
they have the same pattern as desired in a show marked
The ironic thing is many show
people have admitted the designer colors are beautiful, they
just would never breed for them. I've seen this
statement time and again posted on the internet,
and some of them actually own one or want to own one.
However, they need to remember the conformation of an off
colored Dane only gets better if people like me choose to work on it
so that hopefully one day it too (chocolate) will be a
From looking at the pictures above, I'd
say designer Danes do have good conformation and size so, I guess they
can not compete in AKC conformation classes simply because of their color!
Well, at least other registries have pulled their heads out of
the sand and allow these beautiful colors to compete and
recognize these Danes for the beautiful creatures they truly