Through the Years
The wolf can range from solid white to solid black and a variety of colors in between including blond, tawny, buff, and brown. The most abundant coloration found in North America is the agouti or grizzled gray coloration. The guard hairs play a determining factor in the coloration of the animal. Wolves typically have a higher percentage of multi-banded guard hairs. An agouti has multiple colors of brown, gray, and beige on each guard hair. Even black or white animals have multi-banded hairs.
The higher content wolfdogs typically inherit the wolfier coat characteristics. While low and mid content wolfdogs can come in a broad assortment of colors that are inherited from the dog genes in their line.
Wolves and high content wolfdogs are always born dark brown, charcoal or black. The head may show a slight variation in color, but a high content or pure litter should have color conformity. A well-bred high content litter will not be born solid white or cream colored. Typically, a creamy colored puppy will indicate a lower content of wolf or severe in-breeding.
Wolves and high contents will "phase out" as they grow older. Each consecutive year they grow slightly lighter in color. This is most obvious in the case of black wolves. They usually begin phasing by the time they are three years old. The muzzle and feet are typically the first to show signs of lightening in color. By the time they are 7-10 they can be a solid white or silvery color.
It is important to understand that no two wolfdogs are alike and each one will grow and change slightly differently from the next. Even siblings will develop on their own schedules.
Visit these pages for a progression of photos showing the changes in coloration in high content wolfdogs through the years: