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Coat Color Test for Salukis

Several colors are acceptable in Salukis in many countries, but certain colors or patterns are not permitted in others. 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 cannot be brindle or grizzle 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 Salukis that carry at least one EM allele. It is typical for such dogs to have black ear fringe also, though black ear fringe does not always indicate the presence of the EM allele. An EG allele is necessary for Salukis to show the pattern known as “grizzle”. The dominance hierarchy is EM > EG > E > e at this locus.

Salukis have two alleles at the A locus: a y which is dominant or a t which is recessive. Dogs with an atat genotype may be eumelanin-and-tan, grizzle, cream or black, depending on the alleles at the E and K loci. Some Salukis are called black-and-silver instead of black-and-tan because the tan phaeomelanin is very light.

Salukis may be red from two different genetic mechanisms. These are virtually indistinguishable when one looks at reddish dogs. One genotype which causes red is a y at the agouti locus. Because a y is dominant to at, one copy of a y is enough to cause the type of red that is called fawn. Fawn Salukis may or may not have black or brown hair on their ears fringes. The second genotype which causes a red to cream coat color in Salukis 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, pads and eye rims of such dogs can still be black.

All Salukis that are black or blue or chocolate (brown) (not with-tan) have at least one KB allele. This coloration is relatively rare and is therefore not part of the standard set of alleles that we recommend be tested. Their other allele may be K B, Kbr, or k y . DNA testing is not yet available to distinguish this second allele. All Salukis that are fawn, black-and-tan or grizzle are k y k y .

Salukis may be brown-and-tan or brown instead of black-and-tan or black. Dogs that have brown hair, nose leather, pads and eye rims are bb. Dogs that are ee red or cream and bb can be distinguished only by the color of their nose leather, pads, and eye rims. Testing for the three B alleles is also available.

Some Salukis also have particolor or piebald white markings. Although a SINE mutation is associated with this type of white spotting in some breeds, it is not in Saluki or other sight hounds. The gene and/or allele causing white feet and/or the Irish spotting pattern has not yet been discovered. Learn more…