FAQ - Coat Genetics - color, markings, length & texture
I do not spend money on DNA tests for cosmetic characteristics like coat color or coat length. Coat length is a cosmetic characteristic in the Lower 48, if not in the frozen North. Another reason I don't spend the money, is because you can look at the puppies and usually TELL if they are Normal (LL) or Long-coat (ll) or Normal & a Long-coat carrier (Ll). You can TELL what color they are. It's fun genetics, because if you're wrong, it's no big deal... but you can learn a lot by playing the coat color and coat length guessing game...
This is a fun exercise and shouldn't be taken too seriously. None of these traits carry genetic health problems with them, so it is fun without risk to speculate. Genetic information is taken from Nicole Royer's magnificent Malamute Genetic Coat Colors website. Mistakes are my own.
Part1: Coat & Pigment Color
The AMCA-approved AKC colors for Alaskan Malamutes:
These color choices are irrational and unscientific. Take the black-pigmented black-tipped guard coats -- Silver, Gray, Seal, Black, Sable, Agouti. First, the difference between Silver and Gray is just one is lighter than the other, it could say light gray and dark gray, they are both gray. Second, these color ranges also occur in red-pigmented, red tipped guard coats. Our choices there are..... Red.
Sables can and do occur in every color palette -- so to be more accurate Gray Sable, Seal Sable, Red Sable, Agouti Sable, etc.
Blue is a dilute Gray. But ALL colors have dilutes, so at least give us a Red Dilute - Creme.
It's ridiculous to lump all sables together, all agoutis together, and all reds together when we have separated the "black-pigmented black-tipped guard coats" into individual colors. But there you are.
Therefore a dog like Maestro who is registered as a Sable & White. Which Sable, that doesn't tell us, gray sable, red sable, seal sable, agouti sable...
I hope it's obvious the problems with these limited choices. If still in doubt, check out a Rainbow of Malamute Colors. For this litter, I will list the AKC color, the common name breeders use, and the genetic name from Nichole's website.
Part2: Coat Markings
The Malamute "pattern" is dark on top and light on bottom (picture a dolphin). This pattern is separate from the White Spotting Gene. A Gray with no evidence of the white spotting gene still has an open face, white legs, white belly, & white under his tail. When the white spotting gene takes action, you see EXTRA white -- stars, snippets, blazes, withers spots, half collars and collars, high white on the legs, broken bands of color on the chest, white traveling up the side of the body, and large white tail tips.
The AMCA/AKC allows 2 markings to be registered:
Sorry, but that's not really helpful, is it, when you consider the multitude of markings Malamutes come in.
Part3: Coat Length
We have a lot of choices here as well. The 2 lengths are Normal and Long. But each has modifiers to make them shorter, medium, or longer. So Normal length coats can also be Normal short, Normal medium, and Normal long -- not a long-coat, just a LOT of coat. Long-coats can be Long & short (I hate the language here, but there it is), Long & medium, and Long and Long -- we call the later yaks. We haven't developed gene tests for modifyers, only Normal (LL), Long-coat (ll), and Normal with a Long-coat carrier (Ll).
And of course it doesn't MATTER if a dog is a LC carrier unless you are breeding her... <G>
~ Back to Top ~
Wayeh * 423-365-6039
* Spring City, (East) Tennessee
Temperament, health, structure, working
ability, and then type --