Mother is a West Highland White Terrier. Father is a Mal-Shi (Maltese/Shi-Tzu Mixed Breed), coloured white, brown and tan.

Our puppy was born pure white. Is she likely to change her colour as she matures?

  • 2
    I doubt there is any reliable answer other that "wait and see", unless you are willing to get a generic analysis done...
    – keshlam
    May 25, 2016 at 21:00

1 Answer 1


There's no definitive way to say, but you can assume that there's the chance of some of the colors or patterns of the parents becoming visible over time. Just don't expect your white puppy suddenly being completely brown or black.

Depending on how old your puppy is, however, it's likely you won't see any significant changes anymore.

Here are some shots of one of our dogs to illustrate the color pattern on his head changing over time (or not).

With just a few days of age (you can see the mother in background; the father has a mix of white/light brown fur), you clearly see strong and distinctive white and black areas:

Tiny puppy

About 8 weeks later this changed to a more grayish mix of hair (also note the white line in the middle almost disappearing):

Not so tiny puppy

This gray/white mix of colors sticked for quite some time then, here about a month later:

Bit older puppy

With about 6 months you can clearly see the darker hairs returning while he also started his first change of coat (losing the puppy coat):

Almost big boy puppy

The "final" pattern after about a year finally sticked (with minor changes between winter and summer; compare this with the mother above and it's quite close, albeit significantly darker):

No puppy anymore

Also, from my experience, fur in summer and winter can have different shades or colors, but the dog won't look completely different just due to that. In our case we see a more grayish back in winter and a almost completely black back in summer.

And to add another tiny bit of trivia: For some races the eye color might change as well. In the case of huskies they can have eyes ranging from blue to dark brown, sometimes even having a pair of different colors.

Just make sure you like your dog no matter his hair/eye color, because you might be in for some surprises. :)

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