Urajiro Markings 900x600 1

Urajiro is a type of countershading caused by a very light pigment intensity on a dog’s underside, forechest and muzzle. Urajiro markings cause light beige, cream or off-white areas on a dog’s underside while the pigment on the upper body keeps its original color. What is Urajiro? Urajiro is a term originally found in Japanese … Read more


Merle Dog Coat Color 900x600 1

Merle causes irregular patches of diluted pigment in all eumelanin-pigmented areas. Merle creates random patterns but different allelic combinations can result in some distinct phenotypes. What is Merle? Merle impairs the ability of pigment organelles to function properly. This causes a random mixture of areas with lighter diluted patches and areas with normal pigment production. … Read more


Harlequin Great Dane 900x600 1

The Harlequin-Locus in Great Danes acts as a merle modifier. Harlequin turns the semi-random patches with reduced eumelanin found in merle patterns to white. This creates a white base color with dark irregular patches that match the dog’s regular pattern. Harlequin is not the same as harlequin merle (Mh)! What is Harlequin in Great Danes? … Read more


Countershading 900x600 1

If your dog has a lighter coat on his underside compared to his upper side he likely has some form of countershading. This is a pattern found in many animal species including dogs. What is Countershading? Animals with countershading have a much paler underside compared to the upper half of their body. This type of … Read more

Ticking, Spots and Roan

Ticking Roan Flecking Dog Coat Color 900x600 1

Ticking and roan cause spots or hairs with normal color to grow inside areas that were white at birth. A dog can only develop ticking or roan if it has some form of white spotting. What are Ticking and Roan? Ticking, roan and even Dalmatian spots create similar patterns but the mechanisms behind these phenotypes … Read more

Panda Spotting in GSD

Panda GSD 900x600 1

Panda German Shepherds have a white spotting pattern caused by a mutation in the KIT gene. Panda is expressed as mostlly symmetrical white markings on the head and body. What is Panda Spotting? German Shepherd Dogs traditionally don’t have white markings. Panda is considered a non-standard coloration and a fault for showing. Panda markings are … Read more


Whitehead Dogs Spotting 900x600 1

Whitehead describes a phenotype that creates white areas on the face and body. Unlike piebald spotting, whitehead causes white markings to appear from the head rearwards. What is Whitehead? Whitehead causes white markings on the face, often with white over both eyes. But extended forms of whitehead can also cover part of the pigment pattern on the … Read more

S-Locus (White Spotting, Piebald)

Piebald White Spotting 900x600 1

White markings are caused by a lack of pigment in certain areas. Minimal to extensive white spotting patterns are often created by variation at the S-Locus. Phenotypes with white spotting range from minimal white markings to piebald patterns or extreme white. What is White Spotting? White markings in a dog’s coat are caused by a … Read more

Phaeomelanin Intensity

Phaeomelanin Intensity 900x600 1

Different amounts of red pigment create phaeomelanin intensity variation from white to yellow up to red. Intensity is a complex trait controlled by a number of different genes. What is Phaeomelanin Intensity? Phaeomelanin is a red pigment and one of two pigment types in our dog’s coat. The other one is eumelanin which is responsible … Read more


Progressive Greying Dogs 900x600 1

Progressive greying causes a dog’s eumelanin pigment color to fade over time. Black fades to grey or silver grey while brown fades to a beige, sandy reddish-cream shade. What is Progressive Greying? In some dog breeds, puppies are born with regular black or brown eumelanin pigment but over time the coat color fades to a … Read more