Color Mutations in Dobermans

Albino Dobermans and Color Dilution Alopecia


Albino: The doberman appears light cream with white markings, translucent blue eyes, a pink nose, eye rims and foot pads.

Color Dilution Alopecia: The dilution of the red color produces a fawn colored doberman and the dilution of black produces a blue colored doberman. Coats are normal at birth and start to deteriorate between six months and three years of age.




Albino: In November 1976 the first albino doberman was born.There was a mutation in her gene for tyrosinase. Tyrosinase is an enzyme catalyst that helps in the conversion of tyrosine to the conversion of melanin. She was bred to a dominant black male and produced fourteen black and rust puppies. Her son sired her next litter and produced two albino males. He was also bred with his sister and produced two albino females. The males and females were bred together to produce a litter of albinos.

Color Dilution Alopecia: The first case of color dilution alopecia was found in two blue pomeranians named Squid and Cracker in 1897. These dogs suffered from hair loss and poor skin.

Genetic Inheritance and Transmission

The dam and the sire will contribute one of their two color genes to their offspring, either the gene for black (B) or the gene for red (b). As we have learned a BB parent can only contribute a B gene and a bb parent can only consider a b gene. A Bb parent can contribute a B or a b gene. The Bb gene shows a phenotype of black.

Albino: The albino gene is known as the masking gene. The mutated tyrosinase gene (CC,Cc,cc) greatly reduces the number of pigment granules in the fur. The dog must be recessive (cc) for the gene to show the phenotype of white or cream.

Color Dilution Alopecia: The coat color can be modified by the second pair of genes (DD,Dd,dd), which produce the intensity of the color. Dilution of the red color produces a phenotype of fawn and the dilution of the black color produces the phenotype of blue. Both of the intensity genes must be recessive (dd) for dilution to occur.

Doberman Color Inheritance Chart

Example of Crossing Different Colors

Blue Doberman Pinschers (16 days)

Why these Color Abnormalities are a Problem

Albino: Some concerns include skin and eye problems such as photosensitivity, behavioral problems (ie biting and aggression), abnormal development of the retina, skin cancer, and skin legions.

Color Dilution Alopecia: Some concerns include brittle hair, patchy hair loss, skin problems, bacterial skin infections, and bumps on the skin.

How to Eradicate or Decrease Prevalence

To decrease the prevalence dogs that produce an abino or diluted phenotype should not be breed. Dogs that are carriers should also not be breed. In fact, most breeders strongly recommend not breeding these dogs because of their numerous health issues and genetic complications of inbreeding.

Food for Thought

Is it worth producing a dog that shows unusual and in some cases interesting phenotypes if there is a chance of compromising the health of the dog and the breeding line?


Dickinson, Teri, and R. M. Russell. "DPCA Breeder/Exhibitor Education."Color Dilution Alopecia -. Doberman Pinscher Club of America, n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014. <>.

"Dobermans Den." Dobermans Den RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014. <>.

Foster, Race. "Color Mutant Alopecia (Blue Doberman Syndrome)." Color Mutant Alopecia (Blue Doberman Syndrome). Drs. Foster and Smith Inc., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014. <>.

Kendick, Cathy. "Coat Color Genetics." Doberman Pinscher Club of America. Dobe Quest, n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014. <>.

Thompson, W. Donald. "The Doberman." DPCA. Doberman Pinscher Club of America, n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014. <>.

"White Dobermans." White Dobermans. Pargon Kennel, n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014. <>.