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Mudi Colors & Locus

The Mudi dog breed comes in various appealing coat colors; these colors can occur in solid or merle patterns. We hope you enjoy the information provided and the images on this page. We will use a solid color pattern within the context of this page unless otherwise indicated.

Hungarian Colors

In consideration of the Mudi's country of origin, the colors used are based on their current use in Hungary. They use Yellow instead of fawn, Brown instead of red, and Ash instead of gray or blue. Visit the About the Mudi page to read this wonderful breed's history.

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Mudi Colors:

The following Mudi colors are listed in the format of English | Hungarian: 


Black | Fekete

Black Merle | Cifra

Brown | Barna

Brown Merle | Barna Cifra

White | Fehér
White Merle | Fehér Cifra

Yellow | Fakó

Yellow Merle | Fakó Cifra 

Ash | Hamvas

Ash Merle | Hamvas Cifra

Ashbrown | Hamvasbarna

Ashbrown Merle | Hamvasbarna Cifra

Albino (DQ'd in standards)

Other Merle Alleles | Cifra | color locus, (Mc, Ma, & Mh)
(Cryptic, Atypical, & Harlequin)

Sable & Tan Points are not shown

4 mudis showing examples of coat colors, yellow mudi, black mudi, brown mudi, and a black merle mudi
Black Mudi
Black Merle Mudi
Brown Mudi
Brown Merle Mudi
White Mudi
White Merle Mudi

Most of the below pictures are of the same dog as a puppy and adult.


Black | Fekete | EE/KBKB/BB/aa/DD/II/mm/SS

The color black is a dominant gene located on the K locus for the distribution of pigments and a recessive gene on other loci.
Nose, lip, and eye pigmentation will be black genetically.


Black may also hide Sable and Tan Points patterns.


Black Merle | Cifra | Ee/KBKy/Bb/aa/Dd/II/Mm/SS

Has the dominant black gene and a merle pattern.​

The merle patches can be various shades along the black color range.

The black merle comes in various stunning combinations and is a dog version of abstract art.​


Brown | Barna | EE/KBKB/bb/aa/DD/II/mm/SS

The color brown is a recessive gene. Nose, lip, and eye pigmentation will be brown genetically. A pairing of brown dogs cannot create a genetically black dog.

Brown colors may range from light to dark brown.


Brown Merle | Barna Cifra | Ee/KBKB/bb/aa/Dd/II/Mm/SS

Has the recessive brown gene and a merle pattern.

The merle patches can be various shades along the brown color range.


The brown merle has only recently become popular. However, with various brown hues, a brown nose, and the possibility of lighter eye colors make it a mesmerizing companion to the black merle.


White | Fehér | ee/KBKy/Bb/aa/DD/ii/mm/SS

White is a recessive gene where the cells do not produce pigment. Nose, lip, and eye pigmentation may be black or brown genetically.

White colors may range from white to darker off-white. 

White can conceal a merle pattern. Testing for merle is suggested.


White Merle | Fehér Cifra | ee/KBKy/Bb/aa/DD/ii/mm/SS

Has the recessive white gene and a merle pattern.

The merle patches can be different shades along the white color range.

This is one of the most challenging merle patterns to detect due to the lack of pigment. Therefore, testing for Merle is suggested.


Yellow | Fakó | ee/KBKB/Bb/aa/DD/Ii/mm/SS

Yellow is a recessive gene. Nose, lip, and eye pigmentation may be black or brown genetically.


Yellow colors may range from light to darker yellow shades.


Another color where the merle pattern is hard to detect. Testing for Merle is suggested.


Yellow Merle | Fakó Cifra | EE/KBKB/BB/aa/dd/II/Mm/SS

Has the recessive Yellow gene and a Merle pattern.


The Merle patterns can be various shades along the yellow color range. 


"The owner assumed he had Merle based on the sire and tested to confirm." Therefore, testing for Merle is suggested.


Ash | Hamvas | EE/KBKB/BB/aa/dd/II/mm/SS

Ash results when a Black dog has two copies of the dilute gene. Nose, lip, and eye pigmentation will be shades of ash.

Ash colors may range from a light silver shade to a darker charcoal shade. You may need a side-by-side comparison with a Black Mudi or a DNA test like a dark blue sock.


Ash Merle | Hamvas Cifra | Ee/KBKy/Bb/aa/dd/II/Mm/SS

Has an Ash color and a Merle pattern.

The Merle pattern can be various shades along the Ash color range. 



Ashbrown | Hamvasbarna | EE/KBKB/bb/aa/dd/II/mm/SS

Ashbrown results when a brown dog has two copies of the dilution gene. Nose, lip, and eye pigmentation will be a shade of brown or ash. 

Ashbrown colors range from a light to a darker taupe and are identified visually by a similar nose color. For example, a dog could be Ashbrown and Merle and appear non-merle.


Ashbrown Merle | Hamvasbarna Cifra | Ee/KBKy/bb/aa/dd/II/Mm/SS

Has an Ashbrown color and a Merle pattern.

The Merle pattern can be various shades along the taupe color range. 


A dog with a very extreme amount of diluted pigment.

They will have pure white coats, pink pigment on eye rims and nose. Eyes are pale blue.


They are at risk for health issues and have vision difficulties in sunlight and can suffer from sunburn.

Cryptic Merles (Mc) with only one copy of Mc will almost never show a merle pattern, while a few that carry 2 copies may have very minor merle markings.


Atypical Merles (Ma) may look like other merles but can also have a grayish merle pattern with little black patching.

Harlequin Merles will have grey area diluted to white or light ash. Harlequin merle (Mh) is NOT the same as the H locus.


We have a wonderful example of an Atypical Black Merle meet "Fade"

Yellow Mudi
Yellow Merle Mudi
Ash Mudi
Ash Merle Mudi
Ashbrown Mudi
Ashbrown Merle Mudi
Albino Mudi
Merle (Cryptic & Atypical)
Coat & Texture
Color & Pattern Breeding
Breed Standards

Mudi Coat and Texture: 

Shown naturally, the easy-care wash-n-show coat requires no trimming or sculpting.

The coat may form cowlicks or ridges on areas of the body.

The texture may vary from fine to a rougher texture and should not be wiry. The mane should be proportionate to coat length and slightly more pronounced in males.

The correct coat lengths/types comprise:

  • Face: Short, straight, and smooth.

  • Front of legs: Short, straight, and smooth.

  • Ears: Wavy to curly feathering around ears.

  • Body: 1.5” - 3.5” in length and wavy to curly.

  • Back of front legs: Moderate feathering.

  • Back of upper thighs: Moderate feathering.

  • Tail: Has longer coat with moderate feathering, while shorter NBT tails may have less to none.

The mane should be proportionate to coat length and slightly more pronounced in males.

Mudi Color & Pattern Breeding: 

The colors and patterns for a litter will depend on the colors and patterns the breeding pair carries. While black is the only dominant color, multiple colors can be produced if both parents carry copies of various recessive color genes. The merle pattern is dominant, and only one parent needs to carry it. This is a complex subject, so visit here to start Dog Breeding (

Mudi Color in Breed Standards: 

All the above colors and patterns are accepted in the various breed standards except for Albino, which is a disqualification. Minimal white markings on the chest and toes are acceptable but not desirable when following breed standards. Dark brown is the preferred eye color in a Mudi; yellow eyes depending on the parent club, will be disqualified or receive low marks from judges. UKC will allow Sable & Tan Points as a fault. You can find links to the three (3) primary standards on our About the Mudi page.

Mudi Litter - Various Colors & Patterns

Mudi Eye Color & Pigmentation Tables

The following tables show correct eye colors and pigmentation for a Mudi dependent on their base coat color.

Eye Colors

Merle Patterns in a Mudi:

The merle is a pattern that can be riveting and unusually unique for each dog producing the pattern. The random combination of small to larger patches of color and the variation of the base color would make Jackson Pollock envious.

Merle is a dominant gene and cannot be “carried” by a non-merle dog (though it can be “masked” by some genes). Any color merle may have lighter-colored eyes, including heterochromia or blue eye(s).


Most DNA breed testing will identify if your dog is merle, colors like white and yellow may hide merle, and testing is suggested if any parent carries merle. For more specific merle allele (Ma, Mc, Mh) testing, you can purchase a test at M locus (Merle) | DNA tests for your pets (, Paw Print Genetics, and UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory also carry specific trait testing kits. 

For more information on merle genetics: Story of Merle - SINE Insertion from Mc - Mh (

Merle dogs should not be bred together, as homozygous (or "double") merle puppies from the litter may have health problems that range from minor to severe. The most common health problems occur with pigmentation, hearing, or vision. Genetic color testing is critical in these situations to avoid pairing merles. Please visit our Mudi Health page for more on DNA testing and discounts.


It is forbidden in most European countries to breed merle to merle.


The United Kennel Club (UKC) Standard was recently updated to allow Sable & Tan Points as a fault. The club spent time and effort researching the history and current DNA samplings of the Mudi dog breed. Both of these resulted in showing us that other coat patterns did and do exist. Pattern traits that currently exist in today's Mudi have been hidden by coat color or pattern and some have been incorrectly marked as black or merle on registration and pedigrees, when in fact they are sable or tan points.

Our Members voted to allow these existing patterns to be listed in the standard, as this will allow registrations and pedigrees to correctly state a dog's true Color and Pattern.

A Sable coat pattern (Ay) is defined as having an ombre-like pattern within the hair shaft. A lighter color will appear closest to the root of the hair, and the color darkens as it approaches the end of the hair. Only one dog of a mated pair needs to carry the gene to produce a sable. A black or white Mudi will easily hide this pattern within its coat color.


A Tan Points coat pattern (at) is specific to areas on the coat, what are called pips or lighter symmetrical tan markings on the eyebrows, throat, chest, belly, lower legs, and under the tail.

DNA Context:

Current DNA research sampling has provided us with the information that  ~9% of Mudi carry the Sable pattern and ~12% carry the Tan Points pattern. In 2022 Embark added the Tan Points, which has provided us with the additional pattern information. This is in addition to the current Patterns listed in the standard.

Historical Context:
In 1936 Dr. Dezső Fényes, wrote the following description in the journal Police Dog;
"Colour. - Either it's all black, or it's "tawdry" (Merle) on a lighter or darker gray background, dotted with irregular black spots and specks. The two color variations can occur in the same litter. A slight white mark on the bud or toes of a dog with tawdry hair is permissible but undesirable. A brownish-reddish, rusty shade occurs very often on the heads and limbs of the original dogs of the shepherds, and even shepherds love the "tricolour" dog. However, in regular breeding, it is necessary to gradually discard such them. The black version can only be unmarked. This color should be bright black. White marking, brownish, reddish or grayish tint should be eliminated."

Sable & Tan Points Patterns in a Mudi:

Dilute in a Mudi:

The dilution gene is recessive and occurs on the D - Dilute locus. When a dog has two copies of the d (dd) allele, a genetically black dog will become ash, and a genetically brown dog will become ashbrown. A dog's nose is usually pigmented to an ash or ashbrown color when diluted. 

Some Breeders will not breed any dog carrying dilute due to concerns they carry CDA, see below, while other breeders have found some success with ash, and their litters have been healthy without adverse effects. Similar to merle, breeders will not pair dogs that are both carrying dd.

Most DNA breed testing will identify if your dog is dilute; Wisdom Panel will also let you know if it is a D1, D2, or D3 allele. 

CDA for a Mudi:

Unfortunately, while unverified, dilute colors may also correlate with a skin disorder called “color dilution alopecia” or CDA, some Mudi suffer from CDA, with mild to severe side effects, and at this time there is no genetic test available to identify the cause of CDA. Not all dogs that are dilute get CDA, but most dogs with CDA are dilute. 


Mudi Locus, Genes, & Allele

The below table reference shows the genes that go into producing coat colors and patterns. A gene is the basic sequence of inheritance of a trait, locus is the physical location of the gene, and an allele is one of two or more versions of the sequence. As an example, the gene sequences for a black merle would be something like this, EE/KbKb/aa/BB/DD/II/Mm/SS

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