Descriptive Coat and Marking Guide

The following code has been approved by the Alaskan Malamute Club of America, Inc., and its purpose is to:

  • Eliminate misunderstandings and incorrect information on pedigrees, registrations, etc.
  • Supply the information needed for prospective or new owners and breeders to describe the dog correctly.
  • Provide a universally accepted set of color and marking definitions that can be utilized by the Breeders Information Service.
  • Facilitate future studies and research in color genetics.

Please mouse click on the following section titles for an illustrated version.

Color Description

Black and White — Black guard hair with black or dark grey undercoat.

Alaskan Seal and White — Black or black tipped guard hairs with white or cream undercoat. Dog appears black at a distance but is not a true black because of the light undercoat.

Sable and White — Black or gray guard hairs with a reddish undercoat and red trimmings. Both black and red factors evident.

Gray and White — Gray guard hairs with light gray, cream, or white undercoat. Dog definitely appears gray even though there may be some black hairs on the topline. No red factor evident.

Silver and White — Light gray guard hairs with white undercoat.

Red and White — A definite shade of red, either light or dark; with light points (lip line and nose), and eye color. No black factor evident.

All White — Both guard hairs and undercoat are white. Often evidence of a mask in cream color. Only solid color allowed.

Trimmings — Shadings of gold, cream, buff, brown or reddish hues often found on legs, ears, tail and face between white areas of the underbody and the dark color above.

Face Markings

Cap — A cap of color covers the top of the head and ears usually coming to a point in the center of the forehead.

Goggles — Dark areas under the eyes and extending sideways to the cap.

Bar — A dark area extending from the center point of the cap down the nose.

Eye Shadow — Dark markings under the eyes but not extending out to the cap.

Star — A small white spot in the center of the forehead.

Blaze — A white mark extending from the center point of the cap back up the forehead. Width and length can vary.

Closed Face — Dark coloring covering the face with no distinct markings on the face.

Open Face — A cap covering the top of the head and no other markings on the face.

Full Mask — The combination of cap, goggles and bar.

Mask — The combination of cap and goggles.

Chest Markings

Necklace — A curving band of dark color across the chest.

Eagle — Two bands of dark color protruding partially across the chest forming a pattern resembling the eagle emblem.

Neck Area

Collar — A white band of color encircling the neck.

Withers Spot — A white mark varying in size but centered on the withers or at the base of the neck.


Mismarkings — Undesirable, uneven splashings.

Join the Texas List for Malamute Lovers!

The Dogs!

Texalmal Website
Malamute Sections, Information & Links