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Dog Coat Colour (S Locus) Parti, Piebald, or Random White Spotting


There is no single basis for white spotted patterns that occur in animals like cats, dogs and horses. In horses random white spotting, or deletion of colour, has been determined to be caused by more than half a dozen known genetic factors.  In more than 25 different dog breeds, a mutation found in a gene called Microphthalmia Associated Transcription Factor-(MITF) is associated with a piebald spotting.


In many breeds piebald behaves as a dosage-dependent trait. This means that dogs with a single copy (Sn) of the MITF variant will express a limited white spotting pattern, while dogs that have 2 copies (SS) of the variant will exhibit more white with very little color. In some breeds dogs that are (SS) are completely white while dogs that are (Sn) have what is referred to as mantle.


As with horses and other animals, dog breeds with white spotting patterns can be affected by additional mutations in MITF and or other genes that affect coat color deletion and distribution.


S Locus Testing:

Animal Genetics offers a test for the S-Locus allele to determine if a dog is Parti, Piebald, or Random White. Spotting Dogs can be DNA tested at ANY age.

Testing Is Relevant for the Following Breeds:

Breed Breed Colour  
Basset Hound Parti  
Beagle Parti  
Border Collie Piebald  
Boxer White or Flash  
Bulldog - English Piebald  
Bulldog - French Piebald  
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel White  
Chihuahua Piebald  
Chinese Shar-Pei Flowered  
Cocker Spaniel - America Parti  
Cocker Spaniel - English Parti  
German Shepard Piebald  
Dachshund Longhaired Piebald  
Dachshund Smooth Piebald  
Dachshund Wirehaired Piebald  
French Brittany Spaniel Parti  
German Shorthaired Pointer and White  
German Longhaired Pointer and White  
German Wirehaired Pointer and White  
Goldendoodle Parti  
Havana Silk Parti  
Havanese Parti  
Labradoodle Parti  
Newfoundland Landseer  
Pointer and White  
Poodle Parti  
Portuguese water dog Parti  
Shar Pei Flowered  
Saint Bernard Piebald  
Whippet Spotted  
Yorkshire Terrier Parti  

Sample Type:

Animal Genetics accepts buccal swab, blood, and dewclaw samples for testing. Sample collection kits are available and can be ordered at Canine Test Now.


Animal Genetics offers DNA testing specific for the mutation in MITF known to be associated with piebald/random white spotting. The genetic test verifies the presence of the mutation and presents results as one of the following. Note- white patterns will vary among individuals and from breed to breed.

S-Allele Results:

S/S Piebald The dog carries two copies of the dominant MITF S allele. The dog will have limited coat color and will always pass on the "S" allele to any potential offspring.
S/n Piebald The dog carries a single copy of the S allele. The dog will have limited random coat color deletion. The dog can pass on either allele to potential offspring.
n/ n negative No copies of the MITF S allele where detected. The dog will not pass the MITF mutation on to offspring.