Tests Offered (click color name below for more information):
MC1R - Mask - Grizzle (E locus)| Agouti | Brown (Chocolate/Liver) | Dilute (Blue) | Dominant Black(K locus)| Harlequin |Piebald, Parti or Random White Spotting |Coat Length, Curl, Furnishings and Improper Coat
Mammals have two pigments that are the basis of hair color: eumelanin (black) and pheomelanin (red or yellow). The gene involved in the production of these pigments in many species including dogs is Melanocortin 1 Receptor (MC1R) which is also called Extension. Other genes modify these pigments to produce the variety of colors and patterns found in the domestic dog. The Brown gene, Tyrosinase-Related Protein 1 (TYRP1), is a modifier that dilutes black pigment to brown but does not affect red pigment. Other genes involved in dog coat color include Agouti (ASIP) which organizes the distribution of black and red pigments, Beta-defensin (CBD-103) which is unique to dogs and responsible for dominant black (K locus), and Dilute (MLPH) which dilutes black and red pigments. Other genes that add white patterns and dilute colors are also present in dogs but are specific to certain breeds. Below are expanded descriptions of the genetic tests offered by the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory for dog coat color.