N E B K C
How to identify & inscribe coat colors
As it is not always easy to identify colors, we have established a color chart and a picture gallery. We will briefly present on this page the different colors and how to identify them to register them correctly on the pedigree, without going into detail in the genetics which is very complex and sometimes breed specific.
Please consult the standard for your breed as some of the same colors are named differently for each breed.
A dog will be inscribed for example as black & white when black is more present on the coat, and white & black when it's a mostly white dog patched with black, or as black piebald depending the amount of coloring (see below piebald).
We inscribe always first the color for example: Blue merle tricolor or & tan. Merle is a dominant gene and is inscribed before tricolor or & tan. These are recessive genes, as well as brindle. Some registries inscribe Tricolor before merle: Blue tricolor merle.
BLACK (DNA BBDD) BB/bb: chocolate carrier, BBdd: blue carrier, BbDd: Chocolate & Blue carrier
Solid black is black without any nuance, it is a pure black that can get grizzled as the dog ages, especially on the muzzle. A mostly black coat absorbs all wavelengths of light and converts them into heat, so the dog gets warm. Avoid mostly black dogs if you live in a hot climate. Black and dark dogs acclimatize well to cold climates.
It is rarely seen, but an all black Doberman can occur. This is known as a melanistic Doberman. These are black Dobermans without the usual rust markings, they are present but hardly visible.These black Dobermans are not part of the standard for the breed.
BLACK SEAL BBDD (faulty K allele?)
What does seal look like? The black appears black until bright sunlight hits the coat, and then it has a reddish cast to it making it look almost brown. That said (and as far as we know), a black seal dog will always have a black nose, regardless of how brownish its coat appears. As coat color “seal” seems to be a mystery. It makes some black dogs appear brown, and some dogs look liver colored To our knowledge, little genetic research has been conducted into it. Consequently, our knowledge of how it’s caused or which locus is responsible for it is less than what is known about other patterns and colors. Genetics theories include suspicions that seal is either an allele on the A locus, an allele on the K locus (recessive to K, potentially something like a faulty K allele that works in a similar way to brindle), or a modifier on an unknown locus that causes the A locus to partly show through on Kk dogs.
White can come in different shades. Dogs with pure white coats can rarely be deaf due to the lack of pigment inside the ear. White coats reflects all wavelengths of light, so the light is not converted into heat and the temperature of the dog does not increase noticeably. White and clear dogs acclimatize well to hot climates.
CHOCOLATE Dilute black (DNA bb/bb)
The chocolate coat come in many different shades. Chocolate-fawn, clear chocolate, dark chocolate, red chocolate. Animal Genetics currently offers a test for the B-Locus to determine how many copies of the recessive "b" allele a dog carries. In French Bulldogs, the chocolate gene (bb) is not testable.
BLUE Dilute black (DNA dd/dd)
It is a cool-toned, metallic grey. It typically means a d/d dilution of black pigment, a grey coloration that is grey from birth, but has a wide range of breed-specific meanings and can come in different shades from dark to clear. The dilution gene occurs on the D locus. It is recessive, so d is dilute and D is non-dilute, and in order for a dog to be dilute it must have the genotype dd. A dog that is Dd or DD will have normal (non-dilute) black pigment. The dilution gene affects eumelanin (black and liver)although phaeomelanin (red) may be lightened as well. When a dog has two copies of the d allele, a black dog will become blue (aka slate) and a liver (chocolate) dog becomes isabella (aka lilac). A blue or isabella can have any coat pattern, but whatever they have, any black or liver in the coat will be turned to blue or isabella. It is genetically impossible for a blue dog to have any black in its coat, or for an isabella to have liver. The main giveaway that a dog is a dilute is generally its nose colour. The coat may be entirely sable or recessive red for example, but if the dog has a blue nose, it is genetically blue-pigmented. The gene causing dilution in dogs is known as MLPH (Melanophilin).
If this gene is defective, the rare skin condition Color Dilution Alopecia may delevop. More information on our HEALTH page, sub-menu CDA.
BLUE SEAL Dilute black (DNA dd/dd), faulty K allele?)
What does blue seal look like? The blue appears blue until bright sunlight hits the coat, and then it has a reddish or brownish cast to it making it look almost brownish. The gene causing dilution in dogs is known as MLPH (Melanophilin). If this gene is defective, the rare skin condition Color Dilution Alopecia may delevop. More information on our HEALTH page, sub-menu CDA.
LILAC "ISABELLA" (DNA bb/dd) Genetic combination of chocolate x blue gene
A liver dilute is a light grey/brown and is generally known as an isabella or lilac. This is the colour of the Weimaraner, they are exclusively bred in lilac and rarely in blue. The gene causing dilution in dogs is known as MLPH (Melanophilin). In French Bulldogs, lilac is inscribed as Isabella. To produce lilac coats, both parents must carry the black dilute chocolate gene bb (that can not be tested at the time in French Bulldogs) and the black dilute blue gene dd. Lilacs come in many different shades, from clear to dark or very intense as purple lilac. If the dilute gene MLPH is defective, the rare skin condition Color Dilution Alopecia may delevop. More information on our HEALTH page, sub-menu CDA.
Typically refers to a yellow, fawn, light brown, the dog can also have a dark mask. Red-fawn (refered as Apricot for pugs) Lilac-fawn, chocolate-fawn, blue-fawn are other varieties.
Cream refers to a pale yellowish or tannish colour which can be almost white.