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Coat Color Test for Eurasier

Eurasiers are a breed developed in the 1960’s by careful breeding of the German Wolfspitz, Chow Chow, and Samoyed. Many color patterns exist within the breed, though the inheritance patterns are relatively straightforward and are the result of alleles at only two genes: A or ASIP and E or MC1R. DNA tests are available to identify all four A alleles and all three E alleles.

Most of the patterns seen in Eurasiers are caused by the alleles of the ASIP locus. Eurasiers are one of the only breeds that have all four ASIP alleles: ay > aw > at > a. The ay allele produces a fawn pattern that is mostly red with some black hairs or black-tipped red hairs. The wolf sable pattern, caused by the aw allele, has banded hairs alternating between black and red/cream along the hair shaft. The at allele produces a black-and-tan phenotype with black pigment over the body of the dog and red pigment on the legs, cheeks, eyebrows, chest, and beneath the tail. The final allele of ASIP, a, produces a solid black phenotype. This allele is normally only seen in herding-type breeds, but the inclusion of the Samoyed (which are all ee and aa) introduced the allele to the Eurasier as well.

Three alleles of the MC1R locus are present in Eurasiers: EM > E > e. The EM allele produces a black mask on the muzzle of the dog. This mask can be small and located just around the mouth and nose, or larger and extend up the face and onto the ears. While black dogs may carry the EM allele, only the fawn, wolf sable, and black-and-tan patterns will show the mask. The E allele of MC1R allows for both red and black pigment types to produce the various patterns seen in the breed, though no black mask will be present with this allele. The e allele, when homozygous, produces a solid red coat color with no black hairs. The ee genotype is epistatic to all the ASIP alleles, so a red dog may be carrying any combination of ASIP alleles.

In Eurasiers, the red pigment may be diluted to a cream or silver color. The gene causing of this dilution is not yet known. Learn more…