Prepared by Sharon Walls, in collaboration with Gertrude Hinsch and Montrue Stoner-Townsend. Posted with permission on this website. Copyright belongs to SCOA (Saluki Club Of America). You can download the original document here >>
Below is the same document, updated with higher quality photos. Hopefully I will be able to continue update it. If you have a high quality photo of a color, please send it.

It is important to understand that there is a major difference between the appearance of an animal (called its phenotype) and its genetic makeup (called its genotype). Most commonly encountered discussions of canine coat color are basically phenotypic, as in most cases we can only describe the colors that we see in the dog in front of us.

The colors

  • The color choices offered are a combination of those colors specifically cited in the AKC Saluki Breed Standard plus those colors currently seen in the AKC Saluki gene pool that are not listed in the AKC Standard.
  • Colors listed in the Standard: White, cream, fawn, golden, red, grizzle and tan, tricolor (white, black and tan) and black and tan.
  • Additional choices: Silver, chocolate, black, chocolate and tan, and black and silver.

The patterns "markings"

  • If the dog is solid, then no marking should be selected. Solid is understood to be the default pattern.
  • Pattern choices are: grizzle, irish-marked, parti-colored, and sable.
  • Combinations of patterns are offered as markings choices as you can choose only 1 marking and 1 color from the choices on the Saluki Archives website.


  • The dog is predominantly one color (or in the case of black/tan, black/silver, or chocolate/tan predominantly bi-colored) with no distinctive patterning.
  • The dog may sport small patches of white on the feet, tail tip, ‘Kiss of Allah’, small chest patch, etc. and still be considered a ‘solid’.

Irish marked

  • Full or partial white collar marking always present.
  • An otherwise solid colored dog with significant white patterning on the extremities - typical patterns including long ‘opera glove’ white socks, white tail tip, large white chest marking, white face blaze.
  • At the point where the white markings significantly break into the body of the dog, the dog would be considered parti-polored.


  • Varying number of colored patches or splotches on a white background.
  • The colored area might predominate over the white of the body, as in pie-bald parti-color or the dog may be predominantly white with few colored markings, as in extreme white particolor.

Irish marked vs parti colored

Irish-marked (L) Parti-colored (C) Irish-marked (R)

Irish marked vs parti colored


  • Formerly known as ‘Black Fringed’.
  • Pups are born a solid dark color at birth and lighten into their pattern. Body overlay may deepen upon maturity.
  • Typical pattern includes black (or in liver pigmented specimens, chocolate) ear fringes, dorsal stripe at some stages, sometimes a sooty mask on the muzzle, dark overlay over body color, widow’s peak face mask. The expression of sabling may be light shown in dark edging on the ears over an otherwise solid-looking body or may be extreme with a heavy dark overlay.
  • Some adult Sables appear similar to Grizzles. Sables typically have a solid hair shaft with a dark tip, as opposed to banded hairs.

Sable development

sable1 sable2
(L) At birth, in the whelping box (R) As a 2 year old

sable3 sable4
(L) At 8 weeks old (R) As a 7 year old


  • Also seen as ‘domino’ in afghans and a common pattern in malamutes and huskies. Black, grey/silver (or in liver pigmented specimens, chocolate) overlay over a lighter colored body base color. Typical base colors are red, fawn, golden, cream, and silver/white. Widow’s peak patterning on the face is typical.
  • Pups are born with the distinctive pattern at birth.
  • Overlay color of black, grey/silver, or chocolate may vary in intensity with weather/seasons/age.
  • Hair shafts are typically banded.

Grizzle development



grizzle2 grizzle3
(L) 7 weeks old (R) as an adult

Sables or Grizzles????

Widow’s peak face markings occur in both patterns.




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Black & Tan / Solid / Smooth


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Black Tan and White / Solid / Feathered


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Black & Tan / Solid / Feathered


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Black & Tan / Parti-colored / Feathered


Black & Tan / Parti-colored / Feathered


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Black & Tan / Irish marked / Smooth


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Black & Silver / Solid / Feathered


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Black & Silver / Solid / Smooth


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Black & Silver / Grizzle / Feathered


Black / Irish marked / Feathered


Red / Solid / Smooth


Red / Solid / Feathered


Red / Parti-colored / Feathered


Red / Sable / Smooth


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Red / Sable / Feathered


 DSC0229 redRed / Sable / Feathered


Red / Sable / Feathered


Red / Sable / Feathered


Red / Grizzle / Feathered


Gold / Solid / Smooth


Gold / Solid / Feathered


Gold / Parti-color / Feathered



Gold / Grizzle / Smooth



Gold / Grizzle / Feathered


Fawn / Solid / Smooth


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Fawn / Sable / Feathered


Fawn / Irish marked sable / Feathered


Fawn / Grizzle / Feathered


Fawn / Sable / Feathered


Chocolate & Tan / Solid / Feathered


Chocolate / Irish marked / Feathered


Chocolate / Parti-color / Feathered


Chocolate / Sable / Feathered


Cream / Solid / Smooth


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Cream / Solid / Feathered


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Cream / Solid / Feathered

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Cream / Grizzle / Feathered


Cream / Irish marked grizzle / Feathered


Silver / Grizzle / Feathered


Silver / Grizzle parti-colored / Feathered


Silver / Grizzle parti-colored / Feathered


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White / Parti-color / Feathered