B2B NewsPet industry newsPeculiar Pet Facts: Dog Coat Patterns Are No Accident

Peculiar Pet Facts: Dog Coat Patterns Are No Accident


- Advertisment -spot_img

Welcome to our Peculiar Pet Facts series, where we investigate the oddities of our pets and explore the science behind them.

Have you ever wondered why puppy siblings can look so different from each other? Or why some puppies look nothing like their parents? Well, it’s in their DNA! Different genes and genetic combinations control the color of your dog’s hair and their coat pattern.

The vast number of colors and patterns of dogs’ coats have made it hard for scientists to discover which genes are behind them, but a recent study has shed some light on the mysteries behind dog coat patterns.

All Coat Colors Come From Two Pigments

If you go to a dog park, there will likely be a rainbow of colors running around. With the variety of colors that dogs’ coats come in, you might think there are multiple pigments that cause these hair colors. But the colors are formed from just two pigments — eumelanin (black or brown) and phaeomelanin (red, yellow or tan).

Dr. Krista Williams and Dr. Lynn Buzhardt explain in an article from VCA Animal Hospitals that both of these pigments are forms of melanin, which is produced in the hair as it grows, with darker colors having more melanin. Sometimes the melanin is produced at different rates, which is why a single hair can look lighter or darker at different places along the shaft.

Phaeomelanin is only produced in hair, but eumelanin can influence hair, eye and nose color (e.g., a pink nose vs. a black nose). If your dog has white hair, it’s because neither of the pigments was produced in their hair. An albino dog is rare and occurs when eumelanin isn’t produced anywhere.

Genes Control Coat Color and Patterns

The amount of eumelanin or phaeomelanin produced in a dog’s hair — and where those colors are produced (the coat pattern) — is controlled by a variety of genes. Below is a summary of the loci (location of genes) that control coat color and patterns in dogs as described in the VCA Animal Hospitals article.

  • A (agouti) locus — controls different coat patterns
  • E (extension) locus — creates a black facial mask and yellow or red coats
  • K (dominant black) locus — controls dominant black, brindle and fawn colors
  • B (brown) locus — linked to brown, chocolate and liver colors
  • D (dilute) locus — lightens coats from black or brown to gray or blue or very pale brown
  • M (merle) locus — this is a mutation that causes merle coats, which are irregularly shaped patches of diluted eumelanin pigment and solid color
  • H (harlequin) locus — associated with white dogs that have black patches and often interacts with the merle locus
  • S (spotting) locus — associated with patterns like piebald, particolored and extreme white

Research Describes Dog Coat Patterns

The agouti locus controls the different patterns seen in dogs’ coats and was the focus of a recent study conducted to better understand the genetics behind dog coat patterns. The research, published in Nature Evolution and Ecology and summarized in a UC Davis news article, reported that five dog coat color patterns are controlled by the agouti signaling protein (ASIP) gene at two locations — dominant yellow, shaded yellow, agouti, black saddle and black back.

The UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory explains that there is also a recessive black phenotype controlled in a different region of the ASIP gene. Genetic tests for ASIP are available so breeders can determine the gene combinations present in the sire and dam and help predict the coat colors and patterns of their puppies.

Dog phenotype names & common names. | Diamond Pet Foods

The Evolution of Coat Color Patterns

The coat color pattern research also found that a particular gene combination for one of the coat color patterns, dominant yellow, is almost identical in yellow dogs and Arctic white wolves. They suggested that this DNA configuration originated more than 2 million years ago from an extinct relative of dogs and modern-day wolves that diverged from gray wolves. They also found the black back pattern in a 9,500-year-old dog DNA sample.

The researchers hypothesized that the large varieties of coat color seen today in dogs and wolves is probably due to natural selection for a lighter coat during the Pleistocene Age, aka the Ice Age, which would have been helpful in an Arctic environment.


Genetics plays a large part in what a dog looks like, and that includes their coat color and pattern. What type of coat pattern does your dog have?


It’s so peculiar that dog coat patterns are no accident. | Diamond Pet Foods

RELATED POST: The Science Behind Those Baby Blues


Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest news


“由衷期待双方以此次推介会为契机,持续深化经济、科技、教育、文化、体育等各领域沟通交流,努力打造更多标志性合作成果。”12日-14日,2024“港澳·绍兴周”在香港启幕,绍兴市委书记温暖率市代表团赴香 Source link


30岁裸辞去蓝带学厨艺,毕业后仅仅用了2年的时间就一举成为百万粉丝的美食博主。这一次我们邀请到了美食博主徐人宇Vincent,以及蓝带国际大中华区董事总经理、澳大利亚蓝带学员商凌燕女士、蓝带巴黎学员侯 Source link


伴随着奥运会资格系列赛·上海的临近,城市体育节撒网预热期的推广活动日益火热。4月以来,不同主题的运动项目进入商圈、学校,让更多人体验到这些城市运动项目的乐趣。近日,“极限宝贝bmx初体验骑进校园”系列活动亮相上海市黄浦区 Source link


伴随着奥运会资格系列赛·上海的临近,城市体育节撒网预热期的推广活动日益火热。4月以来,不同主题的运动项目进入商圈、学校,让更多人体验到这些城市运动项目的乐趣。4月30日上午,“极限宝贝bmx初体验骑进校园”系列活动亮相上 Source link
- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_img


上海海洋大学的历史可上溯至1912年成立的江苏省立水产学校。2006年,位于杨浦区军工路的上海海洋大学前身——上海水产大学,积极响应上海市教委号召,成功组织了“阳光体育大联赛”。宣传、动员过程中,学校 Source link

「贵州日报·教育」聚势赋能 提质扩容——贵州财经大..

2023年11月21日贵州日报16版(点击图片,阅读全文)全省高等教育高质量发展大会对当前和今后一个时期全省高等教育工作作出部署,描绘了新时代贵州高等教育发展的新蓝图,干货满满、令人鼓舞、催人奋进。风 Source link

Must read

Lady Gaga and Cardi B Meet at the Grammys

What was expected of her was the same thing...

Jennifer Aniston’s Ex Justin Theroux Wishes Her Happy Birthday on Instagram

What was expected of her was the same thing...
- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_img

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you