Calico Dog

What Are Calico Dogs? – Are All Calico Dogs Females?

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We all love dogs and want to have them according to our likes and dislikes. So everyone wants to have a pet dog whose appearance should be according to their choice. This trend is rising slowly to a level where you can get dogs with specially designed colors known as calico. Calico is not the name of the dog’s breed, but it is the name of their fur pattern. Now the trend of calico dogs is rising day by day, so people start specific breeding for dogs to get their specific physical characteristics, including fur color patterns.

And at the same time, several people misunderstood the calico as the breed name of dogs. But this is not a breed name, and rather than that, it is just the name of their fur patterns. And that fur pattern contains different colors and shapes, which could result from the genetic makeup of specific breeding.

The name of dogs’ fur with different colors and shapes is calico. And sometimes, these patterns contain “tricolor” and “piebald,” and to represent such dogs, we refer to them as calico dogs.

One more thing that I want to clarify is that any dog can be a calico dog, and it means that the calico coat pattern of dogs doesn’t belong to any specific breed. So now you can get your favorite dog breed with your favorite calico.

And if you really want to have a calico dog according to your choice, you can, and for this, you have to know about them a little more. So let’s have a look at other interesting facts about calico dogs.

Further Reading:

Can Dogs Eat Hot Cheetos?

How Does Dog Get Its Calico Colors?

As we already discussed, calico is a pattern of dogs’ fur, which is wholly based on their genetic makeup. However, if you want a calico dog of your favorite breed, you can get it by specific breeding.

But how do dogs get their coat color? Let’s have a look at it. However, dogs’ color is defined by two kinds of pigments in their bodies named Eumelanin and Pheomelanin.


This pigment in dogs is responsible for their black fur shade. However, this pigment gives only black color to the whole coat of dogs. But the specter of black color could vary from breed to breed.

So you can say that the color of your dogs’ fur could be any shade from grey to black. However, not only in calico dogs, but this pigment is responsible for grey to black shade in every dog.


This is the second pigment that took part in making a calico pattern on a dog’s fur. However, this pigment gives a yellow or golden shade to the dog’s skin. However, not only these two colors are possible to appear on dogs’ coats, but the gene mutation can cause different shades from yellow to golden.

And because of this, you would be able to get orange color and cream color shades. Not only this, but the absence of this pigment gives white color to your dogs’ fur.

As eumelanin and Pheomelanin are the only two pigments that handle calico patterns on dogs’ fur. It means that by making changes in these pigments, we can change the calico patterns. However, this process is also known as the breeding of dogs. So let’s have a look that how we can breed calico dogs?

How Are Calico Dogs Breed?

Breeding is a process in which we intentionally cross-breed the dogs of different breeds to get the desirable calico patterns of dogs’ fur. However, there are two ways dogs can get their calico patterns.

  • Firstly, they can get their beautiful calico patterns naturally. In this process, dogs’ genes naturally undergo different changes to give calico patterns in results. As this process happens naturally, we cannot control the colors and shapes of calico patterns on dogs’ fur.
  • Secondly is the cross-breeding of dogs to get the desired colors and shapes of calico patterns. In this case, breeders try to change the genetic behavior of pigments that are responsible for their calico patterns. This process helps breeders provide various calico dogs to their customers.

In How Many Categories We Can Divide Dogs Fur Colors?

However, there is no limit to calico designs and shapes on dogs’ fur. And we can divide them into numerous categories, but we divide them into four categories. So let’s look at all categories of calico patterns in dogs.

Solid Color:

Such patterns contain only a single color, but the shapes and colors would differ in every dog. However, the dogs like Golden Retriever, Maltese, etc., are the types of dogs with solid color calico designs.

Particular Color Or Parti-Color:

Dogs with some primary color on dogs’ fur are called parti-color or calico with particular colors combination. However, these colors are not distributed equally, and also their patterns are not specific.

Moreover, these patterns contain unpigmented parts on dogs’ coats, so that’s why you can name them piebald dogs. However, piebald dogs are sometimes considered calico with white and black colors.

But this is not true as piebald dogs can contain any color with non-pigmented areas of fur. And these non-pigmented areas would be white with any other color.


These types of dogs’ fur contain two types of colors. However these could be any colors, but they are equally distributed on dogs’ skin. The dogs like German Shepherds, Dachshunds, etc., are considered bicolor calico dogs.

Tricolor Dogs:

This calico pattern contains three colors on dogs’ fur. And because of this, such calico patterns are known as tricolor, and such dogs are called tricolor dogs.

In tricolor, the dogs like border collies, Australian cattle dogs, King Charles, etc., are included.


This is another terminology that we used to represent the calico patterns of dogs. In this pattern, the primary color of the dogs’ fur is diluted with another color on top. However, these light colors could be more than one on a dogs’ fur. And these colors could be on the whole fur or in patches.


This is that pattern of calico dogs in which strips of color are shown on dogs’ fur. However, these strips are of the same color in a lighter and darker shade. The coat’s base color is mainly in a lighter shade, and the stripes are of a darker shade of the same color. But sometimes, reverse brindle happens in which the coat’s base color becomes darker, and strips are of lighter color.


In this category, the base color of the dogs’ fur is white with patches of other colors. For example, dogs can have black, blue, and grey patches in this category.

What Is A Dilute Calico?

As calico is only a name for different color patterns on dogs’ fur. And calico patterns can have any dog without minding their breed. So we say that calico patterns don’t belong to any specific breed.

But there are a lot of variations in calico patterns, and dilute calico is one of them. However, as represented by the name in such patterns, the colors of the calico pattern is not intense. And in diluted calico patterns, you will see white paint, cream color, etc., on the fur of different animals, including dogs.

Are All Calico Dogs Female?

Not only dogs but cats also contain calico patterns, but the thing is that in cats, only female cats contain calico patterns. And with this point of view, several people think that only female dogs can calico.

But this is not true because male dogs can also contain calico patterns. However, you may say that calico patterns in dogs are not restricted to females, but male dogs can also have them. Not only this, but breeders can breed different calico colors in both female and male dogs.

So if you are also one of them who think that the calico pattern only female dogs can have. But both male and female dogs can have this.

Why Are Calico Dogs Expensive?

Calico dogs are expensive due to the following two reasons.

  • Calico is a pattern of a dogs’ coat that produces due to a mutation in genes. As mutation in genes does not occur often, you are not going to get calico patterns naturally so quickly. This phenomenon shows the rarity of calico dogs naturally.

And as we know, the price of calico dogs will go up when calico patterns become rare. That’s why calico dogs are expensive, as they are challenging to get.

  • Another reason that puts a part in the high price of calico dogs is producing mutations in their genes to get specific calico patterns. As the increasing demand for calico patterns motivates breeders to develop artificial modifications for calico patterns.

And as we know, these techniques are costly, which causes a high price for calico dogs.

Above mentioned reasons are the cause of which you will get high prices of calico dogs. However, naturally occurring calico dogs are less expensive than artificially produced calico dogs.

A Final Thought:

Nowadays, we all have dogs as our pets. However, dogs have lovely bonding with their owners, making them a compulsory part of their owners’ lives. Moreover, as people love dogs to have them, this phenomenon increases the urge for particular breeds of dogs or dogs with calico patterns. Calico is only the name of dogs’ fur patterns containing different shapes and colors.

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