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FAQ - Wayeh Colors & Markings

Nicole Royer's excellent & definitive Malamute Coat Color Genetics website
See Also Coat Genetics - color, markings, length & texture

AMCA Alaskan Malamute Standard - Color
"The usual colors range from light gray through intermediate shadings to black, sable, and shadings of sable to red. Color combinations are acceptable in undercoats, points, and trimmings. The only solid color allowable is all white. White is always the predominant color on underbody, parts of legs, feet, and part of face markings." SNIP

The AKC/AMCA approved colors are just about nonsense when you look at the genetics of coat color in Malamutes.  A gray sable dog and a seal sable dog are both sable & white, but a red sable dog is a red & white.  The black pigmented dogs have a natural progression of Agouti/Gray/Seal/Black.  The red pigmented dogs have the same natural progression -- but are all lumped into one category: Red & white.

Checklist to determine coat colors of Wayeh puppies -- we don't produce any other colors besides these:

1) Check nose pigment:
- Red nose pigment = Red & White
- Black nose pigment = another color besides red

2) Check for clearly defined dark and light on face at birth:
- New-born puppy is almost solid gray/black, sooty black, or muddy faced = Agouti & white or (true) Black & White.
- New-born puppy has clearly defined colors on face = another color besides agouti or black

3) Check guard hair banding:
- Only the very tips of each guard hair is black, dog appears gray = Silver & white 
- About half of each guard hair is black, appears black-tipped = Gray & white
- Almost all of each guard hair is black, undercoat is white or gray = Seal & White

But it doesn't stop there...

4) Check for buff, beige, orange or red (not white) undercoat:
- White undercoat = Silver & white, Gray & White, Seal & White, or Black & White
- Buff, beige, orange or Red undercoat = Silver Sable & White, Gray Sable & White, or Seal Sable & White 

AKC color: Agouti & white 
genetically: Gray Agouti
Puppy is born almost solid black, muddy or sooty facial color, without the typical clearly-defined lights and darks, salt & pepper goggles on the sooty face, color lightens as the dog ages, almost indistinguishable from gray & whites as adults, black pigment
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"Tug" 1w
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"Clay" 6w
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"Clay" 4y
AKC color: Silver & White
genetically: Gray & White
Puppy is born with crisp facial markings, clear whites, clear color, and coat appears light gray, has black pigment
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"Tori" 2w
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"Tori" 6w
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"Tori" 2y
AKC & genetically: Gray & White
Puppy is born with crisp facial markings, black guard hair tips with white undercoat, black pigment
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"Sunny" 4w
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"Sunny" 4m
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"Sunny" 3y
AKC & genetically: Sable & White
(I call it Gray Sable & White to distinguish it from Seal Sable & White)
Puppy is born with crisp facial markings, black guard hair tips with buff, orange, or red undercoat, black pigment
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"Maestro" 1w
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"Maestro" 4m
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"Maestro" 2y
AKC & genetically: Seal & White
Pup is born with crisp facial markings, large eye spots, and a defined mask (not muddy or sooty), and appears solid black at birth, but may lighten as the adult undercoat comes in.  Never has the extreme mask of a black & white or agouti & white puppy, black pigment
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"Singer" 3w
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"Tom T." 12w
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"Singer" 3y
AKC Sable & White or Seal & White
genetically: Seal Sable & White
Pup is born with crisp facial markings, large eye spots, and a defined mask (not muddy or sooty), and appears solid black with a red haze to the coat at birth, as the adult sable undercoat comes in, puppy can be burnished copper in the sunlight, as opposed to blue-black or salt & pepper black.  Extra sabling on face, ears, legs, & underside of tail is common.  Black pigment.
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"Honey" 4w
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"Honey" 8m
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"Honey" 2y
AKC color: Red & White
Genetically may be Light Red & White, Dark Red & White, Mahogany & White, Red Agouti & White, Light Red Sable & White, Dark Red Sable & White, Mahogany Sable & White, Red Agouti Sable & White.  The reds have the same color progression as the agoutis/grays/seals/blacks, but you have to add in the sables as well.  But have red or liver pigment.
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Birth
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"Dawson" 7w
 

Malamute Coat Markings @ Wayeh

Genetically, dogs have a SPOTTING gene, so Mals are either Solid colored (full mask, bands on chest, color down all 4 legs, and black tail tip) or Irish spotted (blazes, split bars, snippets, withers spots, nape spots, half collars, collars, high white on legs, white tail tips, and mismarks).  Malamutes are naturally mantled -- white on faces, lower legs, and bellies, with color on top -- except solid whites of course.  The white spotting gene breaks up the "solid" markings.

AMCA Alaskan Malamute Standard - Color
SNIP "White is always the predominant color on underbody, parts of legs, feet, and part of face markings.  A white blaze on the forehead and/or collar or a spot on the nape is attractive and acceptable. The Malamute is mantled, and broken colors extending over the body or uneven splashing are undesirable."

Solid Markings Malamutes

Full masks, color bands on chest, color down all legs, black tail tips

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Irish Spotting Markings

Responsible for split bars, blazes, snippets, nape spots, withers spots, collars, white tail tips, white chests, broken bands on the chest, and high white on the legs.

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Broken bands on chest, white tail tip
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Broken bands on chest
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snippet, collar, high white on front legs, white chest, white tail tip
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White chest, white tail tip, split bar on face
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Snippet, white chest, white tail tip
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broken bands on chest, high white on legs, white tail tip
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Split half bar, blaze
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almost collar left leg, white tail tip
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Blaze
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Snippet
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no bar
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white chest, high white on the legs

Beautiful Mismarks

"The Malamute is mantled, and broken colors extending over the body or uneven splashing are undesirable."

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Contact Wayeh    *    423-365-6039    *    Spring City, (East) Tennessee
Wayeh Alaskan Malamutes last updated 06/02/2012

Member Oak Ridge Kennel Club since 1996, member TN Working Dog Association since 2008

Temperament, health, structure, working ability, and then type --
because a good Malamute has to be a good dog first.