The Mudi dog breed comes in a variety of appealing coat colors; these colors can occur in solid or merle patterns. We hope you enjoy the information provided and the images located further in the post of the Mudi's different colors and patterns. For the remainder of this post, the color pattern should be considered solid unless the term merle follows it.
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.
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
Other Merle Alleles | Cifra | color locus, (Mc, Ma, & Mh)
(Cryptic, Atypical, & Harlequin)
In the following, check out more information on each of the colors above.
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 coarse and should not be wiry.
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 to 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 (doggenetics.co.uk).
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. You can find links to the three (3) primary standards on our About the Mudi page.
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 (eurovetgene.com), 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-sine-insertion-from-mc-mh.com).
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.
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 Eye Color & Pigmentation Tables
The following tables show correct eye colors and pigmentation for a Mudi dependent on their base coat color.
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
Black is a dominant color gene located on the K locus for the distribution of pigments and a recessive gene on other loci it is also one of the most common Mudi colors. 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
Genetically black with a merle pattern, it is considered the most common merle color.
The merle patches can be various shades along the black color range.
The black merle comes in such a variety of stunning combinations, it is truly a dog version of abstract art.
Brown Merle | Barna Cifra | Ee/KBKB/bb/aa/Dd/II/Mm/SS
Genetically brown, with a merle pattern.
The merle patches can be various shades along the brown color range.
The brown merle has only recently become popular. With its various brown hues, brown nose, and possibility of lighter eye colors it makes a mesmerizing companion to the black merle.
White | Fehér | ee/KBKy/Bb/aa/DD/ii/mm/SS
White is a recessive color 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 a pale cream shade.
A dog can be white and merle and look non-merle in appearance. Testing for merle is suggested.
Yellow | Fakó | ee/KBKB/Bb/aa/DD/Ii/mm/SS
Yellow is a recessive color and “dominates” all other color and pattern loci. Nose, lip, and eye pigmentation may be black or brown genetically.
Yellow colors may range from a pale-yellow shade to a darker fox red shade.
A dog could be yellow and merle and look non-merle in appearance. Testing for merle is suggested.
Ash | Hamvas | EE/KBKB/BB/aa/dd/II/mm/SS
Ash, also called gray or blue in some breeds, is the result of a black dog with two copies of the recessive dilute gene. Nose, lip, and eye pigmentation will be shade of ash.
Ash colors may range from a light silver shade to a darker charcoal shade. Like a dark blue sock, you may need a side-by-side comparison with a black Mudi or DNA test.
Ashbrown | Hamvasbarna | EE/KBKB/bb/aa/dd/II/mm/SS
Ashbrown is the result of a brown dog with two copies of the recessive dilution gene. Nose, lip, and eye pigmentation will be a shade brown or ash.
Ashbrown colors range from a light to a darker taupe and is identified visually by a similar nose color. A dog could be ashbrown and merle and look non-merle in appearance.
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"
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