Dogs are everywhere. They come in almost every color coat you could possibly imagine. They also combine various colors to create a vast array of possible hues. There are solids and patterns and markings. A dog may be black with white markings, white with black markings or a melange of different colors. Dogs have markings on their ears and patterns woven in their fur coats.
Wading through the terminology can often be confusing for the uninitiated. Even the experts have been known to become confused. This glossary will attempt to help guide you through this morass. The first part of this article will looks at colors.
In looking at colors, it is best to keep in mind the idea of a solid, first. Many breeds have one solid colour. Others are mainly solid but have markings. A Komondor is usually a one-tone black in color. An Irish Water spaniel is liver brown. While the Black Labrador
Retriever may have a white dot on his or her chest, the color is usually solid. A poodle is usually one uniform color, but a Smooth or Rough collie may come in sable and white, tricolor, blue merle and white with sable, tricolor or blue merle markings.
Solid: As the term implies, solid is 1 color. A dog is entirely black or white.
ASCOB: This is an abbreviation used by breeders and judges. It is Any Solid Color Other Than Black. Perversely, this term applies only to American Cocker Spaniels.
Apricot: This runs from orange to a faded yellow.
Blue: This is a solid color. It refers to the blue-grey coloring of varying shades. There can, however, be different types of blue based upon the breed.
Café au lait: This solid color is known as pale or milky brown when it is at home.
Chocolate: Think of the variety of chocolate candy. It ranges from milk to dark chocolate brown.
Cream: This ranges from a pale yellow to a broken white or ivory.
Deadgrass: This is another breed-specific term. It refers to a dull, straw color. It is applied only to the Chesapeake Bay Retriever.
Fallow: Ranges between a pale cream to a light sandy soil or fawn color.
Fawn: Think Bambi, but be aware of the 2 different types.
Gold: Shades of dyed blondes in the yellows comprising this color. Usually the colors range from a reddish yellow to a pale yellow. In between, there is straw, mustard, sandy and honey yellow.
Grizzle: Grizzle refers to both a color and patterns. The color is a blueish grey in appearance.
Isabella: This is a fawn, mouse or light red color.
Lemon: This is a very pale or light yellow color. It is not present at birth.
Liver: This, as the name indicates, a brownish color.
Lion Color: Think Leo the lion - tawny.
Red: Red is not the brilliant red of a sunset, but it is the cherry or mahogany red of certain wood.
Silver: Think of the metal or at least of aluminum.
Wheaten: Another pale yellow type. It can also be fawnish in color.
Yellow: This is the true blond.
Dog breeds show diversity in many ways. Their coats are one expression of how they differ and yet are the same. In the show ring and among breeders, there are certain terms for the colors of a canine.