Malamute Coat Color Genetics
by Nichole Royer

Brown Locus (Red)
The recessive allele at this locus changes black (eumelanin) pigment to chocolate brown wherever it appears on the dog. It slightly lightens red/yellow (phaeomelanin) pigment.
Red can be found in any of the patterns seen in malamutes.
b - Brown (we call them Red)
The black band in these dogs is changed to chocolate brown. Pigment on nose, eye rims, lips, and pads is also changed to a chocolate brown. Eye color is usually lightened. We call these Reds, though in other breeds the color is better known as Liver. A brown Agouti is an Agouti Red. A Domino Agouti (Gray) red is called Light Red. Tan Point Red is called Mahogany Red. Domino Tan Point (Seal) Red is referred to as Dark Red.
The Brown locus changes black pigment to brown. The difference is clear in the two littermates. Note not just their coat color, but also their noses.
B - Black
The black band in the coat as well as nose and skin pigment is unaffected and remains black.
The eumelanin pigment on both these dogs is the normal black color, as is the pigment on their noses, lips, and eye rims. The Seal dog on the right has a snow nose. This is very different in appearance from the pigment seen on red malamtues.
Dark Red (Seal Red)
Tan Point Domino + Brown
As with all colors in malamtues, genetically identical dogs can vary considerably in expression of their color. These dogs are both Dark Red.
Agouti Red 
Light Red  (Gray Red)
Agouti Domino + Brown

This page was last updated: January 20, 2014
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True Mahogany Red (Tan Point Red).

It is very important to note that the dogs shown above are Dark Red, NOT  Mahogony Red.

Mahogony Red is Tan Point non-domino (true Black and White) plus brown. Thus they begin life almost solid red and as adults have no light undercoat and always have extreme masking. 

Without extreme masking the dog is genetically a dark red NOT Mahogany Red.