The diversity of dog breeds all over the world created a variety of dog coat colors and patterns our beloved pets have today. With dogs being transported from one place to another and the genetic mutation, it resulted in numerous colors and patterns we most definitely enjoy looking at today.
A dog’s coat color and pattern not only adds appeal to your pet but also has been an essential trait in breeding dogs. While some have been experimental with the genetic mutation to produce a variety of coat colors and patterns, other breeders have a reason why dogs have a certain color. There were cases when some colors have been selected against because some people believed these certain colors brought health related problems.
Different Dog Coat Colors and Patterns
When genes are mixed and matched, it will result in a myriad of colors and pattern combinations. Additionally, the color of the dog is often related to what type of work he does. For instance, herding dogs are usually not white so they can be easily identified by ranchers among the flock and snow (which are white in color). Get to know the common dog coat colors and patterns as you scroll on.
Common Solid Colors:
According to Hound Dogs dRule, the following are the common solid colors we can see in dogs.
1. Brown | Dog Coat Color
The Brown color has variants including Mahogany, Mid-tone Brown, Gray-brown, and Blackish-brown. Some other variety of the brown color includes Liver Brown or Chocolate brown. Personally, I think Labrador Retrievers look best in Chocolate Brown color.
2. Red | Dog Coat Color
Similar to reddish woods like Cherry, the Red coat color also includes its variants of Chestnut, Tawny, Orange, Roan, Rust, Red-gold, Reddish-brown, Bronze, Cinnamon, Tan, and Ruby. One of the popular dog breeds with a Red dog coat is the Irish Setter.
3. Gold | Dog Coat Color
Colors ranging from rich Reddish-yellow, Yellow-gold, Apricot, Wheaten (pale Fawn or Yellow), Tawny, Straw, Yellow-red, Mustard, and Honey. The Gold coat color can mostly be seen on a Golden Retriever breed. I once had a Golden Retriever named Goldilocks because of her beautiful golden coat. She’s now in doggy heaven.
4. Yellow | Dog Coat Color
The Yellow coat color has variants including Yellowish-gold Tan, Blond, and Lemon. At most cases, the Yellow color (specifically the Lemon variant) is not visible at birth as puppies are born White. But as the pups grow old, usually during their first six months, the color becomes noticeable.
I currently have a Golden Retriever now named Lemon because of his Yellow fur. He’s such an adorable pooch and loves to swim and run all the time!
5. Cream | Dog Coat Color
Referring to a pale Yellowish or Tannish color, the Cream coat color is almost white. Aside from Frenchies, the Akita, one of the most expensive dog breeds, is one of the dog breeds having a cream coat.
6. Black | Dog Coat Color
The Black coat color is normally pure black but may grizzle as the dog ages and develop white hair. The Black coat is also prone to having a Brownish cast usually when exposed to the elements.
Did you know that there’s a phenomenon called “black dog syndrome?” Most of the time dogs in black coat are overlooked for adoption just because of their color. Because of this, the National Black Dog Day was founded by Colleen Paige to raise awareness about how awesome it is to get a black dog.
7. Blue | Dog Coat Color
The Blue coat color pertains to a Dark Metallic Grey and not the color you see in a rainbow! Depending on what type of dog breed, the Blue coat may come in a merle or speckled pattern.
One of the most popular dog breed with a blue coat is the Kerry Blue Terrier. Other dog breeds that come in Blue are Australian Silky Terriers, Australian Shepherds, Bearded Collies, Great Danes, and Neapolitan Mastiffs.
8. Gray | Dog Coat Color
Simply referring to any shade that has Gray coloration, the Gray coat color has variants of Pale to Dark Gray, Silver, Pepper, Grizzle, Slate, Blue-black Gray, Black and Silver, and Steel. Sometimes, the Gray coat color can be used alternatively for Blue.
9. White | Dog Coat Color
Not to be mistaken for albino dogs, the White coat color varies from Light Cream to Pure White. Dog breeds that have White coat have dark pigment circling the eye rims and nose, unlike the albinos.
There really is something majestic about dogs with Pure White coat. Click here for a list of small white dog breeds you’ll definitely love!
Common Coat Patterns:
A dog’s coat does not only vary in color but in pattern too! As per Hound Dogs dRule, these are the common coat patterns our furry friends can have:
1. Black and Tan, Liver and Tan, Blue and Tan | Dog Coat Pattern
Comprising of both colors but in distinct and separated areas wherein the darker color is visible in most parts of the body while the color Tan is found underneath and in highlights such as the muzzle or the eyebrows. An example of a dog breed with black and tan coat pattern is the Rottweiler.
2. Bicolor | Dog Coat Pattern
A Bicolor pattern is basically any color or pattern that is coupled with White spotting. This pattern is also referred to as Two-color, Irish Spotted, Flashy, Patched, or Tuxedo. The bicolor pattern can be seen on most herding dogs such as the Boxer.
The Tricolor pattern is made up of three clearly defined colors that are either black, liver, or blue which is found in the upper parts of the dog’s body while underneath is a White color and a Tan border in between and some highlights. Guava, one of my Shih Tzus, has a tricolor pattern.
4. Merle | Dog Coat Pattern
The Merle pattern pertains to having a marbled coat that has darker patches and spots of a certain coat color. With the Dachshund breed, the Merle is known as “Dapple.”
5. Tuxedo | Dog Coat Pattern
The Tuxedo pattern is composed of a solid coat color that is most often Black and a White patch found on the chest and chin of the dog and white spots on the feet. One of the most popular breeds with a Tuxedo pattern is the Boston Terrier. Because of their tuxedo-like coat, Boston Terriers have been nicknamed the “American Gentleman.”
6. Harlequin | Dog Coat Pattern
The Harlequin pattern is characterized by having “ripped” blots of black on white. The only dog breed you can see having this kind of pattern is the Great Dane.
7. Spotted | Dog Coat Pattern
The Spotted coat pattern gives the dog’s White or light-colored coat dark pigmented spots spread all over the body. Of course, the most popular dog breed with the Spotted coat is the Dalmatian. Other spotted dog breeds include: the Australian Cattle Dog, the Bluetick Coonhound, and the English Setter.
8. Brindle | Dog Coat Pattern
The Brindle pattern is having a mixture of Black with either Brown, Tan, or Gold. It normally comes in a “tiger stripe” design. The stripe width varies greatly and Brindle patterns on dogs can either be light or heavy. The Brindle pattern can also occur even with longhaired breeds, the visibility of the pattern varies widely, though.
9. Saddle | Dog Coat Pattern
The Saddle pattern is having a different color at the center of the back. It is usually darker than the dominant coat color of the dog. Dogs that have a Saddle pattern are usually born with Black and Tan coat color wherein the Black color recedes as the dog matures. The German Shepherd is an example of dog breed with a Saddle coat pattern.
10. Sable | Dog Coat Pattern
The Sable coat pattern comprises of Black-tipped hairs that have a background color of either Gold, Silver, Gray, or Tan. Depending on the amount of Black color against the lighter color will determine the darkness of the coat. The Sable pattern can either be Clear, Tipped or Shaded. The Kooikerhondje breed is an example of a Tipped Sable.
Want to give your dog’s coat a funky twist? Watch this video on how to dye your dog’s hair by Guy Tang:
The dog coat color and pattern makes the appearance of your pet all the more adorable. While some patterns are specific to a certain breed, others can be found in a variety of breeds. But whatever coat color or pattern your pet has, I’m sure he is awesome just the same!
What dog coat color and pattern appeals most to you? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
Planning on getting a Clumber Spaniel? Know more about the breed here.