Veterinary Laboratory Toronto
Call Us! 1-877-371-1551

Request Information

Fill out the form below and one of our executives will get in touch with you.


Canine Coat and Nose Color Testing

C128-Canine Coat and Nose Color Test
German Shepherd


There are 3 a alleles at the agouti locus in German Shepherd Dogs and these account for virtually all of the coat color variation in this breed. Sable in GSD is used to denote hairs that are banded with black tips and base and reddish or cream in between.  This is a different use of sable than in many other breeds who use sable to mean a predominance of reddish hairs with occasional solid black hairs interspersed.  Sable in GSD is caused by the aW or the wild type allele. Some GSD are also black-and-tan or saddle-tan.  This coat color is caused by either an atat or ata genotype. Finally some GSD are solid black.  Such dogs have the genotype aa. DNA testing is now available to distinguish all of these alleles. Although most GSD have a melanistic mask, a few do not.  Both the EM and E alleles are present in German Shepherd Dogs and therefore the E genotype will also be reported.  While uncommon, the e allele has been observed in GSDs reported as white.  Testing for the e allele is also available.


The alleles at the agouti locus were identified by a collaborative research project between the labs of Dr. Greg Barsh at Stanford University and the Dr. Sheila Schmutz at the University of Saskatchewan.  Many dog owners helped by contributing either individual samples or samples from complete litters.

Please select the color of your dog to determine possible genotypes:
Genotype Main Color Nose Color Hidden Color
EmEmaa solid black na hidden mask
EmEaa solid black na hidden mask, lack of mask
Emeaa solid black na hidden mask white
EEaa solid black na none
Eeaa solid black na white
EmEmaWaW sable with mask na none
EmEaWaW sable with mask na lack of mask
EmeaWaW sable with mask na white
EmEmaWa sable with mask na solid black
EmEaWa sable with mask na solid black, lack of mask
EmeaWa sable with mask na solid black, white
EmEmaWat sable with mask na black-and-tan
EmEaWat sable with mask na black-and-tan, lack of mask
EEatat black-and-tan na none
Eeatat black-and-tan na white
EEata black-and-tan na solid black
Eeata black-and-tan na solid black, white
eeaWaW white na sable
eeaWa white na solid black, sable
eeaa white na solid black
eeatat white na black-and-tan
eeaWat white na sable, black-and-tan
eeata white na black-and-tan, solid black
EEaWaW sable na none
EEaWat sable na black-and-tan
EEaWa sable na solid black
EMEMatat black-and-tan with mask na none
EMEatat black-and-tan with mask na lack of mask
EMEMata black-and-tan with mask na solid black
EMEata black-and-tan with mask na lack of mask, solid black
Any single tested allele - $55.00*
Each additional allele - $20.00*
* subject to HST for Canadian residents only.

Note: Mask gene (Em) is considered as an individual test, separate from other alleles in E locus.

To help you to calculate the proper amount, please review the following example:
Testing for 3 alleles - E, B, and D - should be calculated as $55 + $20 + $20 = $95.00.
The price will be automaticaly calculated during the process of ordering a sample collection kit.
The following sample(s) can be submitted for the testing:
1. Blood sample in a lavender top tube.
2. Cheek swabs. Sample collection kit online: Order a Sample Collection Kit
Test results are usually available in 10 Business Days from the moment the samples arrive at the laboratory. Test results can be reported by e-mail, fax, or by phone.
HealthGene will provide a certificate for each test result.