What Breeds of Dogs Have Masks?

by Louise Lawson
This fawn whippet displays a prominent black mask.

This fawn whippet displays a prominent black mask.

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Masks aren’t just for superheroes; a number of dog breeds sport multicolored facial markings that give them a masked appearance. Large and small breeds alike may sport masks, and while this list does not cover all breeds, it gives a comprehensive overview of masked dogs.

Small Masked Breeds

Pugs are one of the most recognizable of all masked breeds. These jovial little dogs come in a number of colors, but the fawn and apricot with black masked markings are most common. The shih tzu also sports masked markings, although the mask may be any color that is different from the base color of the coat.

Medium Masked Breeds

The Siberian husky comes in a plethora of colors, and may be born with or without masks. Huskies tend to fade as they age, so a heavily masked puppy may mature into a minimally masked adult. The Australian shepherd is one of the most colorful breeds in the dog world, and their masks follow the same colorful trend. Aussie masks often come in black or tan like many other breeds, or may be a lighter or darker variation of the base coat.

Large Masked Breeds

German shepherds are known for their rich tan or red coats and black saddles, although many people do not realize that their characteristic black muzzles and ears are a variation of the masked gene. Great Danes also display masked coloration, which may be present in all coat patterns and color varieties.

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