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The Blue Dilute Gene ~

The dilution gene affects eumelanin (black and liver), although phaeomelanin (red) may be lightened slightly as well. When a dog has two copies of the d gene it impairs its ability to make full-colored pigment, so the pigment it does produce is paler than on a normal dog. A black dog with the dilution gene becomes blue and a liver dog becomes isabella. A blue or isabella can have any coat pattern, but whatever they have, any black or liver in the coat will be turned to blue or isabella. It is genetically impossible for a blue dog to have any black in its coat, or for an isabella to have liver.

The main giveaway that a dog is a dilute is its nose colour. The coat may be entirely sable or recessive red, but if the dog has a blue nose, it is genetically blue.

Amber eyes usually occur when the eumelanin in the coat is diluted or modified by the recessive genes in the B or Dseries. In other words, all liver dogs (bb) have amber eyes, and so do blue and isabella dogs (dd). Occasionally dogs with black pigment also have amber eyes, but in general they’re found just on livers and dilutes.

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