Colours   And   Colour   History

I will give a brief description of these colours.
This is not a genetics chart or a lesson.


The coat of this colour of dog  is solid black with hopefully no white or silver hairs mixed in, although most blacks will end up with some light coloured hairs as they age. Some blacks can also have some white markings.

Example of a Black Coat


'Salt/Pepper' is the most common of all colours in this breed here in the USA. 'Salt/Pepper' is banded hairs in shades of gray to black with lighter silver markings. Usually the hair tips are black but not always. This colour ranges from a very dark nearly black dog to what is commonly called 'Silver'. The undercoat can be any shade and is inherited separately. If the dog has a dark undercoat when it's clipped it remains dark. If it has a light undercoat after clipping, the dog appears light. Clipping destroys the outer guard coat, so on most pet dogs you will only see the undercoat and not the actual dog's colour. Below are examples of 'Salt/Pepper' ranging from nearly black to the palest silver white after clipping.




'Black/Silver' is the same as a black doberman, solid black with silver to nearly white markings. The 'Black/Silver' with white markings is NOT a phantom. That is a term some breeders use to extract more money from the buyers pockets. Many times the "Black and Silver" with white markings will fade quicker and become even lighter till it looks like a pale silver color. When looking at a litter of 'Salt/Pepper' and 'Black/Silver' pups check behind the ears and around the hocks for light hair or a brownish color. These are 'Salt/Pepper', not  'Black/Silver', no matter how dark they appear!!!

Example of a Black and Silver Coat







'White' is a recessive. 'White' is always born 'White' and never "turns" 'White'. 'White' is not pure 'White'. You can almost always find a yellow or cream hair or even a yellow stripe down the center of the back or yellow ears. There is NO pure 'White' like seen on a 'Parti' colour. 'White' is an absence of colour in the hair shafts but it's also a "masking" colour. Every 'White' is carrying the gene to make it produce exactly like the colour it's "masking". For instance, a white masking for 'Salt/Pepper' will sport the banded hair shafts in the guard coat. The absence of banded hairs tells you the dog is not a 'Salt/Pepper' and can be any other colour. The only way to tell is to breed the dog. White masking to 'Black/Silver' bred to a 'Black/Silver' will produce 100% 'Black/Silver', unless the 'Black/Silver' is also carrying for 'White'. In other words, whatever the 'White' is masking for, it will produce in the same manner as that colour.

Example of a White Coat - 1     Example of a White Coat - 2

Another note about 'White'. It is not a Dapple Gene nor a Harliquin or Dalmation Spotting Gene. 'White' in Miniature is the same as that in the poodle.


All 'Livers' must have a 'Liver' nose, paw pads, lips and eye rims. NO exceptions! Eyes are usually a greenish Hazel. I have seen some that stay almost Blue. They should be Hazel. 'Liver' is a recessive to 'Black'. MS come in 'Liver', not 'Chocolate' because the CKC & AKC has made this decision, therefore I will call it 'Liver'.


There are 3 'Liver' colours and 2 different patterns:




Example of a Liver Coat - 1

1 - 'Liver' - Recessive to 'Black'. This is a solid 'Liver' and can have white markings on the chest and toes just like 'Black'.  

  'Liver Pepper'


Example of a Liver Pepper Coat - 1     Example of a Liver Pepper Coat - 2


2 - 'Liver Pepper' - Recessive to 'Salt/Pepper'. The coloring is the same, banded hairs being shades of dark to light liver instead of black to gray as a on 'Salt/Pepper'.

                                              'Liver & Tan'
    Eyes Tested Normal
"Eyes Tested Normal"


3 - 'Liver/Tan' - Recessive to 'Black/Silver'. Solid 'Liver' body with tan to silver markings exactly like a 'Black/Silver'.



The coat of this colour of dog appears white as they grow, but the puppy is actually born with a very light tan coat  or even platinum silver coat that fades to white.



'Parti' is a pattern and can be any colour on 'White'. All three AKC accepted colours come in 'Parti' as well as all three 'Liver' colours. The pattern can be spots on a 'White' background or a coloured jacket on a 'White' background. head can be any combination.

Example of Liver Pepper Parti Coat - 1     Example of Liver Pepper Parti Coat - 2


Small self coloured spots found on 'Parti's' or 'Parti' carriers. Ticking is dominate over non ticking.

Parti Ticking - 1     Parti Ticking - 2


Note:  For those who have what they call a turned 'White'. These are 'Salt/Peppers' expressing an extreme fading gene. They were born 'Salt/Pepper' and will be a genetic 'Salt/Pepper' their entire lives. A genetic 'White' bred to a ike White will produce 100% 'White' every time. This turned 'White' colour will breed like a 'Salt/Pepper'.

For those of you who have one of those RARE "PHANTOM" coloured minis. There is NO such colour. The gene is a 'Black/Silver'. 'Black/Silver' are 'Black' marked with a dark 'Silver' to nearly pure 'White'. Just like 'Salt/Pepper' the marking vary in shade intensity. This does not make it a new gene.

And finally for those of you who have the SILVER dogs. There's also NO such thing as a genetic 'Silver'. The 'Salt/Pepper' looses it's guard coat after repeated clippings and all you see left is the undercoat which is a Silver colour. If this dog's coat was stripped a time or two it would grow the 'Salt/Pepper' once again. Most pet owners will call their light coloured 'Salt/Pepper's Silvers.
How To Register A "Non-Allowed Colour"

On the bottom of the registration application write in the appropriate colour. Don't make up something new. Don't use silver, phantom etc. Take 2 colour photos of the pup. One must be of the side and one of the front. Make one photo standing and one sitting. Mail the application plus the photos and address the envelope Att: Special Services.

Colour Codes are as follows:

Parti Pattern

 Thank You Pat Hunt for providing me all this wonderful information on Colour and Genetics