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Coat Color Test for Afghan Hound

Most colors are acceptable in Afghan Hounds in most countries, but nevertheless people have preferences. Because there is such a wide variety of colors in this breed DNA tests are available for most, but not all the genes involved yet. Four E alleles have been shown to exist in Afghans and Salukis. Dogs which are ee can not be brindle or domino or blue or black, even though they may carry the alleles for these colors and patterns at other genes. A black mask only occurs in Afghans that carry at least one EM allele. It is typical for such dogs to have black ear fringe also. Although a mask is not visible on black or blue Afghans, but only on fawn, cream and brindle Afghans, it can be carried by dogs of all these colors. An EG allele is necessary for Afghans to show the pattern known as “domino”. The dominance hierarchy is EM > EG > E > e at this locus.

Afghans have two alleles at the A locus: ay which is dominant or at which is recessive. Dogs with an atat genotype may be black-and-tan, domino, cream or black, depending on the alleles at the E and K loci. Afghans may be red from two different genetic mechanisms. These are virtually indistinguishable when one looks at red dogs. One genotype which causes red is ayat the agouti locus. Because ay is dominant to at, one copy of ay is enough to cause the type of red that is called fawn. Fawn Afghans may or may not have black or brown hair on their ears fringes or along their back. The second genotype which causes a red to cream coat color in Afghans is ee. All of the patterns that include black cannot be produced in dogs that are ee because the mutation in the MC1R gene prevents any eumelanin pigment in hair. However, the nose and pads and eye rims of such dogs can still be black.

All Afghans that are solid black or blue have at least one KB allele. Their other allele may be KB, Kbr, or ky. DNA testing is not yet available to distinguish this second allele. All Afghans that are fawn or black-and-tan or domino, or those that are cream with a mask, are kyky. Learn more…