Sable and Grizzle and Domino, Oh My

In the dog world, one color or marking can be known by different names in different breeds. We always defer to breed experts here, and as far as we know, what’s known as sable in a Borzoi is known as domino in the Afghan Hound (so named after a noted show dog of the 1950s, Tanjores Domino), but called grizzle in the Saluki,  domino and grizzle both caused by the same gene interaction. Grizzle, while used in a few other breeds, may not refer to the same appearance, or phenotype in those breeds, though it should be noted that a certain pale grizzle-type pattern seen in Finnish Lapphunds and in Lapponian Herders may be the same domino.

Grizzle appears at birth and is present for the life of the dog. It can vary in color in a Saluki from brown to gray to black, and is most evident with a widow’s peak on the dog’s head. A dark overlay may cover the top of the dog’s body and outside legs. These dogs don’t carry the recessive “a allele,” and need to be the “atat” to express grizzle/domino.

Saluki, Borzoi, Finnish Lapphund, and Afghan Hound owners, share below in the comments section, if you would, your own pictures to help us learn the terms mentioned above as they pertain to your breed.

Saluki by Lisa Kostrzynski


4 thoughts on “Sable and Grizzle and Domino, Oh My”

  1. The article above is great but contains a typo. The second sentence in the second paragraph contains the word ‘very’ which should be its homonym, ‘vary’. Changes the meaning a bit.

    • Editor, you’re hired! How many times did we look at that and NOT see it. Thanks!

  2. Another error, I think, in the first sentence. “In the dog word….” Is it supposed to be “In the dog WORLD…”?

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