Malamute Coat Color Genetics
by Nichole Royer

Malamute Colors
What color is my Malamute?

There has been a great deal of confusion over the years regarding coat color in Malamutes.

The Alaskan Malamute standard says "Malamutes are of various colors. Face markings are a distinguishing feature. These consist of a cap over the head, the face either all white or marked with a bar and/or mask". It then goes on to specify that "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. 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. "

The standard does a good job of covering Malamute color in a general way, however there is little indication of what specific colors occur in the breed. While this is highly desirable in a standard describing a working dog where coat color should be of little consequence, it leaves a lot of confusion about what colors exist in the breed. Much of this confusion is due to coat colors being defined simply by the appearance of a particular dog at a moment in time, and by outdated understanding of how colors occur. Our goal is to clarify coat color in Malamutes based on current knowledge of coat color
genetics in dogs.

Click on the picture to be taken to a more in-depth page about each color.
Tan Point Mahogany
Red Agouti Sable
Red Agouti
Because my hope is to show not only the colors, but the wide variation in the expression of all the colors of Malamutes, this section of my website will never be complete. I will always be searching for more pictures to add, particularly examples of colors I am missing.

Do you have photos of your dogs that you would like to share? I would love to include them on this site. Simply email them to me at
Please put the color of your dog as the subject of your email, and include your first and last name so I can credit you on the Home Page for this site. Please understand I do not update this site daily so it may take a few weeks for your dog's picture to appear.
This page was last updated: January 20, 2014
© 2007 All text and photos are copyright to Nichole Royer, and/or the photographer.
Unauthorized copying of any part constitutes a breach of copyright law.
Non Sable
Non Sable
Non Sable
Lilac Agouti
Lilac and White
Non Sable
            Agouti                        Tan Point               Agouti Domino        Tan Point Domino
Lilac Agouti Sable
Tan Point Lilac
Patterns do not apply to white dogs
A HUGE thank you to Suz Richardson for her extensive technical assistance and first hand knowledge. Without her help I would never have been able to complete many parts of my website. All the wonderful coat color sketches on this page were created by Suz Richardson and used here with her permission. Again, THANK YOU!
Light Blue
Light Blue Sable
Dark Blue
Seal Sable

Black and White
Dark Blue Sable

Blue and White
Tan Point Blue
Tan Point

Gray Agouti
Liver White
Dilute White
Lilac White
Blue Agouti
Blue Agouti Sable
Dark Lilac
Dark Red
Light Lilac
Light Lilac Sable
Light Red Sable
Dark Lilac Sable
Dark Red Sable
Light Red
Mahogany Red
Artwork copyrighted to Susan Richardson, all rights reserved