This mutation affects both eumelanin and phaeomelanin pigments, so black, brown, and yellow dogs are all affected by the dilution. A dilute black dog is generally known as "blue," though other names do vary for different breeds, such as charcoal or grey.
Because the mutation responsible for the dilution phenotype is recessive, a dog can be a carrier of the dilution gene and still appear to have a normal coat colour. Such dogs that are carriers of this gene are sometimes referred to as "Silver-Factored", in the case of a black dog carrying the dilution gene. These dogs can pass on either the full-colored or dilute allele to any offspring. This means that two dogs that appear full-coloured can have a dilute puppy. This makes DNA testing for the D-Locus an important breeding tool, whether breeding for a dilute coat, or to avoid it.
|Chocolate||Dilute||Basic Color Description|
Dogs can be DNA tested at ANY age
|D/D||non-dilute||The dog carries two copies of the dominant "D" allele. The dog will express a normal, non-dilute coat colour, and will always pass on a copy of the "D" allele to all offspring.|
|D/d||non-dilute carrier||Both the dominant and recessive alleles detected. The dog will have a normal, non-dilute coat, and is a carrier of the dilute coat colour. The dog can pass either allele on to any offspring.|
|d/d||dilute||The dog has two copies of the recessive "d" allele, and will have a dilute coloured coat. He will always pass on a copy of the dilute allele on to any offspring.|