So what does the standard say?
"Head and nose foxy in outline, skull slightly flat, large in proportion to muzzle which finishes finely and free from lippiness."
Read more on the Pomeranian Breed Standard.
A Pomeranian is delicately small, compact and cuddly in breed and appearance and displays a glamorous appearance and an intelligent expression that makes this little dog very appealing.
This dog comes in a variety of colours, but unfortunately only nine colours or color combinations are permissible and recognized by KUSA.
A Pomeranian can be described as
“the little dog who thinks he can," is compact, active, and capable of competing in agility and obedience or simply being a family friend.
There is talk about tree different types of faces, namely Foxy face, Baby-Doll face and the popular Teddy-Bear face. Some say that Baby-Doll and Teddy-Bear is two different facial types and some say it is one and the same thing. Whatever the case may be, one thing is for sure, only one of the facial types is described in all standards over the world and that is the Fox-like appearance.
The Pomeranians skull should be slightly rounded with a well-defined stop. The eyes are an important part of the Pom's expression and should be dark, medium sized, almond shape,
correctly placed and set well into the skull. Small ears are placed high on the skull and carried erect. The muzzle should be short, straight and end in a fine point without being snippy or lippy. When
viewed from the side the Pomeranians skull should have a wedge shape to it. The shape of their head and muzzle, along with their ever-alert expression, contributes all to the Pom's fox-like appearance.
The only difference in the skull of the teddy-bear appearance is the muzzle. The muzzle is a short U-shape that implies a wide base with a blunter edge on the muzzle and the face looks somewhat rounder. Because of the wider base, it has more tolerance for length in muzzle as this gives the face a ''pushed in'' look. In the teddy-bear appearance there is ''more" cheeks on the face and the head coat is heavier that makes the muzzle appear shorter and blunter. All this features contribute to the cute chowey Teddy-bear appearance.
Some say that the difference lies once again in the muzzle. That it is a V-shaped muzzle with a sharper edge and thus much shorter than the Fox-like appearance but with a pushed in look like the Teddy-bear appearance. It is also been said that the eyes appear to be set higher and wider apart than in the case with the Teddy-bear face. As said, there are many different opinions about the third facial appearance and weather it is different or one and the same thing. All the facts are unfortunately only based on opinions.
The Pomeranian in build and appearance should be a compact, short-backed dog, well knit in frame; being well ribbed up and rounded. The ratio of body length to height at the *withers being 1 to 1. These proportions are measured from the *prosternum to the point of buttocks, and from the highest point of the *withers to the ground. He should exhibit great intelligence in his expression, docility in his *disposition, and activity and buoyancy in his *deportment, and be sound in action.
The head with a short fine muzzle, medium sized almond shaped eyes, the tiniest of pricked ears and an intelligent sweet expression add to the breed's appeal. The Pomeranian Breed Standard makes mention of a "fox like expression". This mention of "fox like expression" has caused confusion, with some not realizing this is a reference to expression only.
The Pomeranian has a short coupled solid body , fine boned, short neck, neat and compact cat-like feet. The Pomeranian should move soundly with grace and style.
The weight of a Pomeranian for exhibition is 1-3kg. The ideal size for show specimens is from 1.8-2.5 kg. Dogs 1.8-2kg and Bitches 2-2.5kg. The Pomeranian breed standard deviates from most other breeds by requiring the female to be slightly larger than the male. Any dog over or under the limits is objectionable; however, overall quality should be favoured over size. The Pomeranian height is approx 20cm. The Pomeranian Dog only has one size standard. There is no miniature, toy standard or teacup Pomeranians. A reputable, registered breeder does not describe their puppies by these terms. Beware of any "breeder" advertising Pomeranians puppies by any of these terms. Learn more about this on the Miniature page.
The Pomeranian displays great glamour with his crowning glory coat. There should be two coats, an under and an outer coat; the first a soft, fluffy undercoat, and the other a long, perfectly straight and glistening coat covering the whole body, being very abundant around the neck, framing the head, extending over the forepart of the shoulders and chest where it should form a frill of profuse, standing-off, straight hair. The texture of the *guard hairs must be harsh to the touch. Head and leg coat is tightly packed and shorter in length than that of the body. Forelegs are well-feathered. Thighs and hind legs are heavily coated to the *hock forming a skirt. Tail is profusely covered with long, harsh spreading straight hair forming a plume. Females may not carry as thick or long a coat as a male. Puppy coat may be dense and shorter overall and may or may not show *guard hair. A cotton type coat is undesirable in an adult. Coat should be in good and healthy condition especially the skirt, tail, and undercarriage. Trimming for neatness and a clean outline is permissible.
Not all colours, or colour combinations, are permissible and recognized by KUSA. The colours that are recognized are: black, blue, chocolate, beaver, orange, cream, white, cream sable, orange sable, wolf sable and parti colours. Read more about the permissible colours on the KUSA Standard page or learn more about colour variations under the Colour page.
Head, Nose, Mouth, Eyes & Ears
The head should be wedge-shaped, somewhat foxy in outline, the skull being slightly flat, large in proportion to the muzzle. In its profile it has a little stop which must not be too pronounced, and the hair on the head and face must be smooth or short-coated.
The muzzle should be rather short, straight and free of lumpiness, neither coarse nor snippy and finish rather fine. Ratio of length of muzzle to skull is 1/3 to 2/3. The nose should be self-coloured in blues and browns. In all other colours should be black. The teeth should meet in a scissors grip, in which part of the inner surface of the upper teeth meets and engages part of the outer surface of the lower teeth. This type of bite gives a firmer grip than one in which the edges of the teeth meet directly, and is subject to less wear. The mouth is considered overshot when the lower teeth fail to engage the inner surfaces of the upper teeth. The mouth is undershot when the lower teeth protrude beyond the upper teeth. One tooth out of line does not mean an undershot or overshot mouth.
The eyes should be medium in size and almond shaped, rather than oblique in shape, not set too wide apart, or too close together, bright and dark in color. The eye rims of the blues and browns are self-coloured. In all other colours the eye rims must be black.
The ears should be small, not set too far apart or too low down, and carried perfectly erect, and should be covered with soft, short hair. Trimming unruly hairs on edges of ears are permissible. Proper ear set should be favoured over size.
The neck should be rather short and well set into the shoulders, but with sufficient length to allow the head to be carried proud and high and lion-like, covered with a profuse mane and frill of long, straight hair sweeping from the under jaw and covering the whole of the front part of the shoulders and chest as well as the top part of the shoulders.
The shoulders must be clean and well laid back. Shoulder blade and upper arm length are equal. The chest must be fairly deep. The forelegs must be well feathered and when viewed from the front are moderately spaced, straight and parallel to each other and of medium length, set well behind the fore chest. Shoulders and legs are moderately muscled. The elbows must be held close to the body and turn neither in nor out. Height from *withers to elbows approximately equals height from ground to elbow. The feet must be small and compact, tight and round in shape, appearing cat-like. Standing well up on the toes, the feet must be well-arched and turn neither in nor out. *Pasterns are straight and strong.
*Angulations balances that of the forequarters. The hind legs and thighs must be well feathered down to the *hocks, and must be fine in bone and free in action. When the legs are viewed from the rear, it must be straight and parallel to each other. The thighs must be moderately muscled. The length of the upper thigh and lower leg must be equal. When the *hocks are viewed from the side, the hocks must be *perpendicular to the ground and strong. Trimming around the edges of the toes and up the back of the legs to the first joint is permissible. Buttocks are well behind the set of the tail. *Stifles - strong, moderately bent and clearly defined.
The tail is a characteristic of the breed. The Pomeranian’s tail is set high and is carried straight over his back, not curled, but should lie flat. The tail is heavily plumed, reaching to the back of the head, covered with long, spreading hair. This plume of long glistening hair helps to give the illusion of a circle.
The Pomeranian’s movement has a good reach in the forequarters and strong drive with the hindquarters, displaying efficient, ground covering movement that should never be viewed as ineffective or busy. Head carriage should remain high and proud with the overall outline maintained. *Gait is smooth, free, balanced and brisk. When viewed from the front and rear while moving at a walk or slow trot the Pomeranian should double track, but as the speed increases the legs converge slightly towards a centre line. The forelegs and hind legs are carried straight forward, with neither elbow’s nor *stifles turned in or out. The top line should remain firm and level with the overall balance maintained.
The Pomeranian is an extrovert, exhibiting great intelligence and a vivacious spirit, making him a great companion dog as well as a competitive show dog. He is alert in character and inquisitive by nature. The Pomeranian is cocky, commanding, and animated as he gaits.
Angulation: The Hind Angulation is the angle formed by the Femur and Tibia (and Fibula).
Deportment: The way that a dog behaves, stands, and moves especially in a formal situation.
Disposition: The usual attitude or mood of a person or animal.
Gait: The gait of a dog is its quality of movement.
Guard Hairs: Any of the long coarse hairs forming a layer that covers and protects the soft under fur of certain mammals.
Hock: Also known as the ankle, it is similar to the ankle in humans and consists of the bones that form the joint between the second thigh and the dog’s true heel or metatarsus.
Pasterns: The pastern is the area of the leg that is below the wrist (or carpus) on the front legs but above the foot. On the hind legs, the pastern is the area of leg below the heel (hock) but above the foot.
Perpendicular: At an angle of 90° to a given line, plane, or surface or to the ground.
Prosternum: It is that "pointy thing" at the front of your dog's chest. The prosternum is the tip of the bone to which the ribs attach.
Stifle: The joint next above the hock in the hind leg of a quadruped (as a horse or dog) corresponding to the human knee.
Withers: The withers are the ridge between the shoulder blades of a four-legged mammal. In many species it is the tallest point of the body, and in horses and dogs it is the standard place to measure the animal's height (in contrast, cattle are normally measured to the top of the hips).
Those who are not familiar with this breed often associate orange as the colour of the Pomeranian. However, it is not an understatement to say that this adorable toy breed comes in a rainbow of various coats.
It is truly remarkable how the Pomeranian originated from a pure white sled dog into one of the dogs with the most interesting possibilities in appearance.
There are solids, parti's (two colours), tri-coats and even more... as a speckled merle will hold 5 or even 6 different hues.
This is a solid colour and is recognised by KUSA. It is a dilute form of chocolate and is a sort of greyish beige, with shades ranging from a cream-beige to an orange-brown. In previous standards it was referred to as biscuit. Beaver is distinguished from Cream by self-coloured beige/brown pigment on the nose, lips, eye rims, and foot pads. In other words, with a dilute coat, the nose is diluted to a lighter shade of brown along with eye rims and pads of feet. A dog which has any black in its coat or points is not a Beaver. Beavers are not typically a desired colour for the show-ring due to the fact that they usually have hazel eyes. Most beavers are born chocolate and fade to this colour.
Black & Tan
This colour is considered a solid but with a tan pattern - it is not a Parti coloured Pom and is unfortunately not recognised by KUSA. Black & Tan poms are jet black poms with the 'Tan' pattern. To qualify as a black & tan, the “tan patches must cover 1/3 or more of the coat. The undercoat of the base colour should be a lighter shade of the base colour and the points (eye rims, nose, lips and pads) should be black.
In Black & Tan dogs, the “tan” can range from cream to a rich mahogany rust colour. A darker rust marking are preferred over lighter tan markings. Black & Tans often have white hair in the tail area.
Pattern: The pattern is sharply defined with Tan points appearing above each eye, on both sides of the muzzle, cheeks, inside of ears, throat, fore chest which has either one very large tan spot or two tan spots called “rosettes” on each side of the chest above the front legs; on all legs and feet, there may be a distinct “pencil mark” line in the base colour running lengthwise on the top of each toe on all four feet; the underside of the tail which is on top when the tail is carried over the back; and the pantaloons or skirt. The tan colour ranges from a light cream (sometimes referred to as “silver”) to dark mahogany rust. Occasionally there is a lack of the Tan pattern causing some of the markings to be lost or diminished. Dogs with any white or other than age greying on the muzzle, with tan markings in the areas other than those described here, or without tan markings in the required areas are more correctly referred to as a black with tan markings.
This is a solid colour and is recognised by KUSA. It is generally pictured as "coal black" or “jet black”, completely devoid of any white, red or brown hairs. In sunlight a bluish hue is preferred over a rusty hue (called foxy black in Germany). The guard hairs are consistently the same colour all over the dog's body although some reddening, or "sun burning" of the coat may appear in those dogs which spend time outdoors. The undercoat may be lighter in colour particularly prior to shedding. The points (eye rims, nose, lips and pads) are solid deep black. A true solid black will not have a secondary colour. As they age the muzzle area usually develops white hairs giving a frosted appearance. Some black poms have white tips to their toes – this result from incomplete development (migration of melanocytes) before birth.
This is a solid colour that is recognised by KUSA. This colour is actually light to dark grey and often has a bluish cast. The undercoat is also grey. Blue puppies are born the colour of silver or appear black before developing a silvery grey undercoat and a darker slate blue top coat. Some Blues may be so dark that they appear Black until they are seen next to a true Black Pomeranian. Lighter blues are more preferable than a darker blue. The points (eye rims, nose, lips and pads) are blue. The easiest way to spot a blue is by looking at the nose. The fur will be a watered down, diluted, dull black colour (sometimes described as “metallic”). The skin points (nose, eye rims, paws and lips) will have a distinct blue tint (sometimes only noticeable in the bright sunlight)... Blue eyes are more common in blue Pomeranians and merles.... If the coat contains any other colour, the dog is more properly referred to as a parti-colour or bi-colour and not a solid.
Blue & Tan
This colour is considered a solid with a tan pattern - it is not a Parti coloured Pom and is not recognised by KUSA. These poms are blue poms with the 'Tan' Pattern. They should have blue points; the darkness of the points should be in keeping with the darkness of the base coat colour.
Blue is a colour which is actually light to dark grey and often has a bluish cast. The undercoat is also grey. Blue puppies are born the color of silver or appear black before developing a silvery grey undercoat and a darker slate blue top coat. Some Blues may be so dark that they appear Black
until they are seen next to a true Black Pomeranian. The points (eye rims, nose, lips and pads) are blue. The easiest way to spot a blue is by looking at the nose. The fur will be a watered down, diluted, dull black colour (sometimes described as “metallic”). The skin points (nose, eye rims, paws and lips) will have a distinct blue tint (sometimes only noticeable in the bright sunlight)... Blue eyes are more common in blue Pomeranians and merles.... If the coat contains any other colour, the dog is more properly referred to as a Blue & Tan parti-colour.
Pattern: The pattern is sharply defined with Tan points appearing above each eye, on both sides of the muzzle, cheeks, inside of ears, throat, fore chest which has either one very large tan spot or two tan spots called “rosettes” on each side of the chest above the front legs; on all legs and feet, there may be a distinct “pencil mark” line in the base colour running lengthwise on the top of each toe on all four feet; the underside of the tail which is on top when the tail is carried over the back; and the pantaloons or skirt. The tan colour ranges from a light cream (sometimes referred to as “silver”) to dark mahogany rust. Occasionally there is a lack of the Tan pattern causing some of the markings to be lost or diminished. Dogs with any white or other than age greying on the muzzle, with tan markings in the areas other than those described here, or without tan markings in the required areas are more correctly referred to as a blue with tan markings.
The Brindle pattern consists of stripe overlays on a base colour and is not recognised by KUSA. The base colour is a lighter colour of gold, red, orange, tan, cream or champagne, brindled with strong black or brown cross stripes, more or less regular, tiger striped. It may appear in conjunction with another coat pattern such as Parti or Black & Tan (the stripes will show in the tan areas). The undercoat and points (eye rims, nose, lips and pads) should be correct for the base colour. The stripes may be broad or thin and may extend the entire width of the body or only part of the width. Because adult Pomeranian coats become longer than their puppy coats, the stripes may appear broken in the adult coat. Some Brindles often have a dark mask on the face and at birth, may have black ears, paws and tail as well as a dark dorsal stripe.
This is a solid colour that is recognised by KUSA. A true chocolate coloured Pom will have a dark brown coat that is a deep, dark, thick brunette colour. And more importantly, the points (eye rims, lips, nose and paw pads) must be dark brown. However, any hue as light as what may appear to be a cream is considered a chocolate as long as skin pigmentation is dark brown (beaver has a lighter nose). If the hue is lighter and the pigmentation is black, the pom is a cream and not a chocolate or a beaver. Some chocolate coats will have a red tint that brings a mahogany hue; this can be caused by two factors: the coat
itself may carry the red gene or due to the exposure to sunlight, over a period of time, the coat can lighten in this way, developing what is often referred to as a “sun burn” effect (although skin does not need to be affected). In this case, a colour enhancing canine shampoo can tone down the reddish highlights and bring back the deeper brunette, should one desire to do so. Coats can hold what some refer to as “black chocolate”(this deep dark chocolate is highly preferable), this often refers to Poms with a brown so dark, it almost appears to be black, however since this is not an official colouring, the dog will be registered as a chocolate, as long as the pigmentation is any shade of brown. Technically, black cannot exist in a chocolate Pom, since chocolate and black cannot exist simultaneously. A dog which has any black in its coat or points is not a Chocolate.
Chocolate & Tan
This is a solid colour with a tan pattern and is not recognised by KUSA. It includes all shades from darkest chocolate to light chocolate with the “Tan” pattern. They should have brown points (eye rims, lips, nose and paw pads), the darkness of the points should be in keeping with the darkness of the base coat colour. If the coat contains any other colour, the dog is more properly referred to as a chocolate & tan parti-colour.
Pattern: The pattern is sharply defined with Tan points appearing above each eye, on both sides of the muzzle, cheeks, inside of ears, throat, fore chest which has either one very large tan spot or two tan spots called “rosettes” on each side of the chest above the front legs; on all legs and feet, there may be a distinct “pencil mark” line in the base colour running lengthwise on the top of each toe on all four feet; the underside of the tail which is on top when the tail is carried over the back; and the pantaloons or skirt. The tan colour ranges from a light cream to dark mahogany rust. Occasionally there is a lack of the Tan pattern causing some of the markings to be lost or diminished. Dogs with any white or other than age greying on the muzzle, with tan markings in the areas other than those described here, or without tan markings in the required areas are more correctly referred to as a chocolate with tan markings.
This is a solid colour that is recognised by KUSA. Cream is a very pale orange, liver or yellow colour. A cream is an even self colour throughout with no white breechings. Due to the harsher texture of the guard hairs, the top coat may appear slightly deeper in colour than the undercoat. Creams MUST have BLACK points (eye rims, nose, lips and pads). With a cream Pomeranian, colour can actually range quite a bit. This can be very light – one “step” darker than a white – and it goes through shade gradients all the way to what one would consider to be brown. To distinguish a dark cream from a chocolate is in the skin pigmentation. A dark cream Pom will have black pigmentation and a chocolate will have dark brown Pigmentation. Beware – creams are often born white and will have a darkening of hairs as they mature.
This is an exotic solid colour that is not recognised by KUSA. The Lavender Pomeranian is a greyish colour with a pinkish, chocolate hue to the coat or a greyish purple. Truly amazing! It is believed that lavender is a diluted blue, which is a diluted black. They should have self coloured (purple) points (eye rims, lips, nose and paw pads), the darkness of the points should be in keeping with the darkness of the base coat colour. If the coat contains any other colour, the dog is more properly referred to as a parti-colour and not a solid.
Newcomers to the world of Pomeranians should be aware that Merle Pomeranians are a very recent appearance in the Pomeranian world. Many experienced Pomeranian Breeders have expressed concerns regarding the sudden appearance of Merles within the Pomeranian Breed. It has been rationalized that this particular colour is not historically and genetically supported by the Pomeranian breed history. It has been alleged that some 30 years ago, somebody cheated resulting in this colour. After the Ninth generation, we have the merle Pomeranians as we see them today.
Merle is not recognised by KUSA. This coat pattern is caused by a dominant gene. So a merle dog must have at least one merle parent. Merle is a colour combination in dogs’ coats. It is a solid base colour (usually red, chocolate or black) with lighter blue/gray or reddish patches, which gives a mottled or uneven speckled effect. Merle can also alter other colours and patterns besides the usual red or black. These combinations such as Brindle Merle or Liver Merle are not typically accepted in breed standards.
Although most dogs that can have merle coats also typically have white markings (such as around the neck, under the belly, and so on), and often tan points (typically between the white and the darker parts of the coat), these are separate colours from the merle; some dogs do appear completely merled with no white or tan markings.
In addition to altering base coat colour, merle also modifies eye colour and colouring on the nose and paw pads. The merle gene modifies the dark pigment in the eyes, occasionally changing dark eyes to blue, or part of the eye to be coloured blue. Since merle causes random modifications, both dark-eyed, blue -eyed, and odd-coloured eyes are possible. Colour on paw pads and nose may be mottled pink and black.
This is a solid colour that is recognised by KUSA. A proper orange coloured coat is a bright, clear orange and varies from a light (tan) orange to a deep rich orange. The entire coat of fur will be one colour. The coat should be “self-coloured” and as bright as possible with no white shadings. Orange Poms must have black points (eye rims, nose, lips, and pads) according to the Standard. A solid orange should be free of black striping or black tipping. Once the orange deepens enough, it would be classified as a red.
This is a solid colour that is not recognised by KUSA and has to be registered as an orange. A true red is not dark orange, but the deepest rusty reddish-orange possible for fur. The red should be a very rich and intense colour and the coat will be one blend of this colour. Red poms must have black points (eye rims, nose, lips and pads). A solid red should be free of black striping or black tipping.
This is a solid colour that is recognised by KUSA. A true white will be pure, snow white and there will not be any shading to the coat; otherwise this places the dog into the cream category. The colour will be solid without another hue mixed in. A secondary colour will move the Pomeranian to a parti colour. The guard hairs are consistently the same colour all over the dog's body. The undercoat is also white. The points (eye rims, nose, lips and pads) MUST be black. Almost all whites are born snow-white with pink points. As the puppy ages, the points will darken but the coat will remain white.
Any Pomeranian that has white as a second solid colour is deemed to be parti-coloured. Parti’s are a coat pattern and not a colour and is recognised by KUSA as long as the other colour is in the KUSA standard. Parti's can consist of any other colour mentioned and white as a second colour. Bi-Parti's consists of a base colour and white, for example: Black Parti; Blue Merle Parti or Orange Sable Parti. If the "Tan pattern" is present it is referred to as a Tri-Parti, for example: Chocolate Tri Parti, Blue Merle Tri Parti etc. Although a parti-coloured Pomeranian is highly regarded and just as valuable as solid Pomeranians in other countries, solid colours are given preference in South-Africa at competitions.
However, we should note that some dog organizations will give higher points to a parti-pom if:
The Pom has a base coat of white with only 1 certain secondary colour.
The patches are symmetrical. For example, a white Pomeranian with a black patch on each leg.
There is a strike of white running up the Pomeranian's head.
The patch matches the points. The points of the Pomeranian are the lips, eye rims, nose and pads of the paws. Any patches that fall in the blue category should have corresponding blue points on the Pom. A Pom with chocolate patches should have brown points and a Pomeranian with just about every other coloured fur patches would have black points.
Parti Poms are very popular... as each dog will be unique and the patterns can be quite remarkable. There are 3 basic types of Parti Pomeranians:
Irish Parti: This dog will have a white collar, chest, legs and most often blaze. Approximately 90% colour to 10% white ratio. It is the most dominant of parti colours, but can carry (hidden) the other parti patterns.
Piebald Parti: This type of Pomeranian will have approximately 60/40% to 50/50% colour to white ratio. Medium dominance, but can carry (hidden) extreme piebald parti patterns.
Spotted (Extreme Piebald) Parti: This dog will have approximately 80/90% of white fur and will have spots of another colour on its back. Least dominant, most rare and hardest to get.
When a parti is bred with a solid, you will get Parti Factors - In other words, half solid genes and half parti genes. In this case the pup will most likely be a solid with mismarked white patches, for example: on the chest or on the paws or in the facial area. This is not ideal as Parti Factors and solids with white patches are highly undesirable, but as pets they are too cute with their little white socks. This can be done to widen the gene pool as full parti's can be bred from parti factors. Solids, on the other hand are very difficult to breed after a parti gene is present in the dogs generation.
In Pomeranians, sable coats are distinguished by darker tipping on a lighter solid coloured coat or on the secondary colour of a Parti coat. The amount of tipping may be heavy or light. The under coat can be Blue, Cream, Orange or red. Tipping will then be black or charcoal. If the tipping is a darker shade of brown, the under coat will be Cream or Chocolate. If the tipping is cut of, generally it will return as deeply.
There are three different types of sables:
Clear sables: The solid color or the secondary color on a parti coat, will only have a few black or brown hairs. They can be almost impossible to distinguish from recessive solid or parti dogs unless they have a black mask, which never appears on recessive dogs (because they're unable to produce any black hairs). If there is any black in the coat at all, the dog must be a sable rather than a recessive solid.
Tipped sables: These are solids or parti's with black tipped hairs, usually on the back, head, ears and tail. It seems that most tipped sables also have black masks, so it's possible there is a link between the two genes (although not all masked sables have tipping).
Shaded sables: This is a sable coat that is shaded throughout with tree or more colors. This shading must be as uniform as possible with no patches of self color. Shaded sable's have a distinctive pattern similar to the pattern seen on dogs with creeping tan. The shading can be very light (just some scattered dark hairs forming a rough pattern), or very dark and distinct. A distinctive feature is the "widow's peak" on the forehead, where the brown or black forms a point. Shaded sable encompasses various colors provided they are shaded throughout with three or more different colors. Sometimes the word sable is used to describe shaded sables – however there are sables that are not shaded as in the case of clear sables (with almost no dark hairs) or lightly tipped sables with dark tips restricted to muzzle area, back and tail tip.
Areas with the most concentration of dark hairs are usually the ears, tail and along the spine. Some sable dogs lighten dramatically as they mature, leaving just subtle shadings and highlights of colour. A true sable will always retain some dark tipping (even if just a few hairs) on the ears and/or tail or have some individual dark hairs long the spine. Sometimes this colour will not show in a picture. You will only notice the sable colour when in person with the dog. Sables should always have black points (nose, eye rims, lips and paw pads), unless it is a Blue or chocolate, then the points will be self colouring.
Blue sable: is a coat of blue with guard hairs having dark blue tips. The skin pigmentation will be blue. Blue shaded sable consists of three or more colours throughout the coat and must be as uniform as possible with no patches of self colour.
Chocolate Sable: is a coat of chocolate with guard hairs having dark brown tips. The skin pigmentation will be brown. Chocolate shaded sable consists of three or more colours throughout the coat and must be as uniform as possible with no patches of self colour.
Cream Sable: is a coat of cream with guard hairs having black tips. The cream will be a very pale orange, liver or a yellow colour. The skin pigmentation will be black. Cream shaded sable consists of three or more colours throughout the coat and must be as uniform as possible with no patches of self colour.
Orange Sable: is a coat of orange with guard hairs having black tips. The skin pigmentation will be black. Orange shaded sable consists of three or more colours throughout the coat and must be as uniform as possible with no patches of self colour.
Red Sable: is a coat of red with guard hairs having black tips. The skin pigmentation will be black. Red shaded sable consists of three or more colours throughout the coat and must be as uniform as possible with no patches of self colour.
This colour is so extraordinary that it is recognised as a colour on its own and not just mentioned as a sable with a cream, orange or red hue. This colouring is extremely rare and so desired. So don't get scammed into paying a lot of money for a so called Wolf Sable, just to find out later that it is not. A True Wolf Sable will have an undercoat of light grey/silver with a deeper shade of darker steel grey guard hairs having black tips. The Wolf sables will have a black mask most of the time. There must not be a cream or an orange cast to the base colour. The skin pigmentation will be black. Wolf shaded sable consists of three or more colours throughout the coat and must be as uniform as possible with no patches of self colour.