Whippets are one of the rare breeds of dogs that cannot be disqualified because of the color of its coat. Whippets not only come in a wide variety of colors but it beautiful combinations of colors in what is called Parti-color. In this article, we'll take a color look at the coat colors of the Whippet and the genetics that determine the coat colors of a Whippet litter.
The basic colors that a Whippet can inherit are black, dun (sometimes called chocolate or liver), blue, brindle or fawn. It is possible to also have white Whippets, but most experts don't include white in the list of basic colors as it is considered to be the absence of color. White Whippets are relatively rare and it is more likely to have a combination of white with patches of other colors, called Parti-color, which we'll discuss later in the article.
Statistically speaking, dun colored Whippets are the most rare, estimated to appear only once in every 1500 to 2000 births. Often confused with fawn colors, dun can range from light blue fawn to rich dark chocolate fawn. Duns are usually easily recognizable because they often have pink to brown colored nose leather. Duns also give another clue to their true color when they are bred, as duns will often produce black pups when crossed with fawn Whippets, while a fawn to fawn or brindle crossing will never produce black pups.
Brindle is not really a color in and of itself, but rather a combination of colors that often appear in what is called a tiger stripe. Sometimes the striping is so faint that the color is assumed to be solid until it is closely inspected. Brindle colors usually appear in shades of black, blue, red, dun, fawn, dark and light.
Blue is a dilute of the black color and can range from a misty light grey blue to a very dark, very nearly black color. Many blues will have nose leather that is closer to blue than black. Fawn colors can range from dark, through red shades to a light fawn color.
Parti-color is the combination of any of the above colors with white and is usually called White and color. As mentioned before, purely white Whippets are relatively rare and even the smallest mark of color on an otherwise white Whippet would be considered Parti-color.
There are three genes that determine the color of a Whippet. The first gene determines the actual color, the second determines whether the color will be recessive or dominant, and the third determines whether the coat will be solid colored or parti-colored. It has also been determined that some combinations will always produce pups of some colors and never others. For example, black to black Whippets can produce any color combination, while dun to dun Whippets cannot produce pups that are black, blue, brindle or fawn.