Friday, January 13, 2012

Guess the Genotype #44

Can you guess this dog's genotype? Her breed?

Images are copyright to Jess Booth of Desert Wind Hounds, and are used with permission.

Lilly (full name Toumlilt) is an Azawakh, though a fairly unusually colored one. The majority of Azawakhs seen in the Western world are in the Irish white range, while Lilly is very white indeed. This coloration, along with numerous others that are not allowed in the FCI standard, are known in the breed's area of origin but rarely seen outside of Africa due to color restrictions by the current main registry: the FCI. If you're curious to see her as a puppy, there are numerous pictures. Her parents (father Fasiqqi: one, two, three; mother Tiraout: one, two) are within the normal range of what is considered typical for a Western Azawakh. So, on to her genotype.

Lilly is a sable. Though it is difficult to see, she does have a faint trace of black hairs that is especially noticeable as a puppy. It is typical for sables to fade with age, especially clear sables as Lilly and her parents appear to be. Though some other forms of the Agouti locus do appear in the breed, especially in the area of origin, they are not overtly common. I suspect that Lilly is AyAy sable.

As for the intensity of the red for Lilly, it is moderate to moderately pale. I suspect that the most likely genotype for her is cchcch moderate red. In Azawakhs, this is commonly referred to as fawn.

The only other gene that can be known to go into her coloration is on the Spotting locus. On one side, Lilly appears to be extreme white, and on the other she appears more piebald. Since there is some influence in the amount of white in heterozygous individuals, I suspect that Lilly is most likely spsw piebald carrying extreme white piebald.

So, that would be AyAy cchcch spsw or moderately extreme white piebald fawn sable.


  1. Lilly's coloration does exist in her country of origin (C00), but it is not accurate to say that her coloration is "fairly commonplace" in her COO.

    During the ABIS expeditions of 1996, 1997 and 2000 inventory on colours was taken on 582 Azawakh in the West African countries of their origin. Here is the data:

    251 are red or 44,84%;195 are sands or 33,51%;
    81 are brindle or 13,92 %.
    32 are piebald or 4,50%;
    1 is blue or 0,17%;
    1 is black or 0,17%;
    9 are creme or 1,37%;
    3 are lilac or 0,52%.

    Under the FCI breed standard, only the "si" allele is permitted (ridiculous restriction). The "sP" and the "sw" alleles are not permitted. Nor is the "S" (no white) permitted.

    Under the AKC breed standard, coloration is irrelevant - every color and color combination is acceptable.

    While it is fun to speculate about the Azawakh, in fact, the number of specimens like Toumlilt is very small and it is misleading to state that it is commonplace. I would not like to see breeders striving to breed for this coloration, nor base any of their selection criteria on color, for that matter.

    I am the owner of Toumlilt's sire and dam, Fasiqqi and Tiraout. If you have any further questions, please contact me privately,

    Mimi Drake

    1. I agree that my phrasing was not the best and I do apologize for that. I have edited this post to provide a more accurate picture of the color's prevalence.

      I do agree with you that in a breed like the Azawakh, there should be no preference for or against any colors present in the area of origin. Dogs like Toumlilt do occur, however, and perhaps I was being a bit too overzealous in trying to show that the breed is more varied than much of the Western world would think.