Mi-Kis come in a variety of colors, textures, and two (and a half) coat types. The variety of Mi-Ki coat types and colors is one of the charming things about them. This collection of Mi-Ki puppy and adult photos will help you understand how their coat colors may change over time with factors such as the graying gene and coat type.
Mi-Ki Coat Types
The two main coat types of Mi-Kis include the Long Coats (more common) and Smooth Faces, also known as smoothies. A more recent discovery is the F2 Long Coat which has sparse furnishings with a shorter beard, mustache, and ankle hair. The F2 Long Coat is sometimes referred to as a “Tweener.”
Long coats are considered to be more hypoallergenic as they do not shed. As non-shedding dogs, they do require skilled or professional grooming as the coat is like human hair that grows indefinitely.
Long-coat Mi-Kis can have a silky texture or more of a cottony coat. Silky coats may be easier to maintain. Cottony coats tend to mat easily and may be suited for a “puppy cut” for easier maintenance. Your Mi-Ki’s coat texture may change as they move from their puppy coat to their adult coat.
Smooth-Face Mi-Kis look similar to a long-haired Chihuahua or a Pomeranian when they have erect ears, and more like a Tibetan Spaniel if their ears are dropped.
Smooth-Face Mi-Kis have a demi-long coat and do not have furnishings. Furnishings are what we test when we’re determining a Mi-Ki coat type. Furnishings are the long hair growth of the mustache, beard, eyebrows, and feet.
Smooth-Face Mi-Kis are easier to groom. They do shed and maintain a consistent hair length. Because of their shedding, smoothies may not be the best choice for those with pet allergies.
As with long coats, smooth-face Mi-Kis can also vary in coat texture. Some smoothies have a very dense, thick coat that tends to shed more. Other smooth-face Mi-Kis have a sleeker coat that lies closer to the body. These are the smoothies that tend to be lighter shedders.
F2 Long-Coat Mi-Kis (Tweeners)
Mi-Ki breeders have recognized that some of their long-coat Mi-Kis may not have very long furnishings. Recently, Animal Genetics discovered another furnishings test, F2, that has given us another clue about why our puppies may look a little bit like long coats, and a little bit like smoothies. That is why we call them Tweeners.
Here are photos of our former pup Mickie, a parti-sable DNA-confirmed F2 long-coat provided by Diane.
Truthfully, the Tweener Mi-Ki is pretty ideal as a pet coat as it can be the best of both worlds in terms of ease of grooming and looks. They are less prone to matting and require fewer trips to the groomer. Their fresh-from-the-water-bowl kisses are a little less slobbery. Their shorter foot fur has them bringing in fewer dry leaves from the yard.
We’ve now figured out that Mickie’s mom Eden is an F2 long coat through a process of elimination. The F2 genetic test was developed after her DNA was processed as a puppy. Eden does shed minimally when brushed, but I don’t experience any allergic triggering with her coat. Her coat is one of the easiest to care for in the kennel. Now that she has matured, Eden’s beard, mustache, and foot hair have grown to be nearly indistinguishable from regular F1 long coats.
Here is a slideshow of Eden growing up to demonstrate what an F2 long-coat tweener might develop into over time.
We’ve found that the F2 gene isn’t entirely foolproof as we’ve had Mi-Kis that look like tweeners even if they don’t test for it. But genetics is a developing science, so we will see what we learn about furnishings, coat traits, and health in the coming years.
Mi-Ki Coat Types and Color Changes
Long coats change the most over time. That dark brown long-coat puppy with a black face may end up a platinum blonde with low-lights as an adult!
Smooth-face Mi-Kis generally retain more of their puppy color and arent affected by the graying gene. Some of the deepest, richest colors can only be found in the smooth-face variety. We’ve only seen one long-coat Mi-Ki retain her dark face mask into adulthood. Additionally, brindle banding is most easily seen on smoothies, whereas a brindle long-coat has an overall mottled appearance.
Most of our galleries represent long-coat Mi-Kis as this breeder does deal with dog allergies and so we specialize in the long-coat variant. We have made an effort to include smooth-face Mi-Kis in our program, however, as we regularly get requests for them.
According to the AMRA registrar, Tamara Beebe, smooth-face Mi-Ki numbers are declining. Less than 25% of all registered Mi-Kis are smooth-face. We also think it’s important to maintain the smooth-face variety to increase diversity in the Mi-Ki gene pool.
Red sable is the most prominent color found in the Mi-Ki breed. Sable Mi-Kis are born dark brown and have a darker stripe down their spines. They may be solid, spotted, and may have dark masks. The long-coat sable Mi-Kis gradually lighten as they mature leaving only a bit of dark fringe on their ears and the tips of their coat. Mature sables can be cream, gold, or gray. Sables can also come in chocolate and blue.
Watch Isabelle, a solid masked sable Mi-Ki, grow!
It’s hard to believe that the dark brown masked puppy transformed into a light cream adult!
More Sable Mi-Kis
The chocolate gene is a recessive trait that turns all black pigment brown in both the coat and the skin. Therefore, chocolate Mi-Kis will have brown nose leathers, paw pads, and eye rims instead of black. Additionally, chocolate Mi-Kis will have amber-colored eyes. Chocolate can also be modified by the graying gene to turn into a beautiful taupe color like our Truffle. Chocolates can be sable, brindle, and clear red. They can also be spotted. Chocolate Mi-Kis are popular possibly for their human-like expressions.
Watch Ghirardelli (Delby) grow
Delby is a solid dark chocolate Mi-Ki with the graying gene. He is out of Jubilee’s Champagne Truffle. We’re pleased that Delby now lives in the United Kingdom and is contributing to the gene pool across the pond.
Chocolate Sable Mi-Ki age progression
Cocoa Chanel is a solid chocolate sable Mi-Ki. She started out a beautiful ginger color with the brown nose leathers and paw pads that distinguish her as a chocolate. She has now grown into a pale cream adult.
More Chocolate Mi-Kis
Clear Red Mi-Kis
Clear Red Mi-Kis have no black pigment in their fur, only on their skin. This is a recessive trait. Clear Red Mi-Kis may be white (almost always with a few cream spots), cream, buff, or apricot. Out of all the colors of Mi-Kis, the clear reds will change the least amount in color as adults.
Watch Brighton Grow
Other Clear Red Mi-Kis
With brindles, you never, know what you will get as they mature. Brindle long-coat Mi-Kis tend to have more of a mottled appearance and vary greatly in color. They may have dark masks or may be particolored (white spotted.) It is easier to see the brindle banding on smooth-coat Mi-Kis as adults than on long-coat Mi-Kis.
Watch Harley Grow
It’s uncommon for black Mi-Kis to stay black. They tend to silver as adults because of the graying gene, which is dominant. We have a rare black line that stays black thanks to Belle Amie’s Sinbad. His coat is a beautiful glossy black that he has passed down to his offspring and can be seen in his great-grand puppies. We first crossed Sinbad to our dark chocolate Savannah and have kept two of their daughters (Eden and Everleigh) who produce dark chocolates and beautiful black puppies. Black Mi-Kis can be solid, have tuxedo coloring with a white chest, paws, and chin, or be splashy particolored.
Black & Tan Mi-Kis and Tricolors
Black and tan Mi-Kis have tan points like Rottweillers. If they have white spotting, they are known as tricolors. Genetically, black and tans and tricolors are fairly rare. So far, the ones we have produced have stayed black as adults and not silvered.
Watch Lucy grow
More Tri-color and Black & Tan Mi-Kis
Dilute (Blue) Mi-Kis
To date, we have not produced any blue Mi-Kis. But we hope to soon! Gabriella, Cosmo, and Francine (in our Guardian Program) are blue carriers. The dilute gene turns all black pigment silvery-blue and affects both the coat and the skin. Dilute can influence the other coat colors and can be combined with black and tan, brindle, and chocolate (which is called Isabella coloring.)
In some breeds, the dilute coloring can be associated with various skin problems including allergies and alopecia (hair loss.) We have carefully selected our blue lines that have not been accompanied by these worrisome traits. We look forward to eventually posting photos of blue puppies here hopefully in late 2022.
Coming Soon – Mi-Ki Genetics Tutorial
For those of you who are dog nerds like me, I’ve created a little flowchart of Mi-Ki Color Genetics. It’s a work in progress, but I’ll just leave it here for you to peruse.