There are 3 Primary Colors in dogs being Black, Red and Brown.  All other colors are dilutions or modifications to these 3 colors.  There are a variety of coat colors and patterns in the Harlequin and Miniature Pinschers.  

Main Coat Colors:

1.  Black – Dominant in nature.  Only requires 1 black gene to be black.
2.  Red – Red is dominant over all colors and dominant in nature.  Often referred to as Sable.  Only          requires 1 red gene to be Red.
3.  Brown – Recessive in nature.  Requires 2 brown genes to be brown.

        Note:  Some folks call the brown coat color Chocolate.  There is no such gene therefore no such                    color!!  

To be breed standard ALL Blue, Fawn, Black & Browns in Min Pins & Harlequin Pinschers MUST have Tan points.


To be breed standard ALL Blacks of the Min-Pins and Harlequin Pinchers MUST have tan points, ​Black noses, Black eyelids and Black paw pads.  None of these breeds have solid blacks.


Comes in varying shades from light blonde color to a deep dark mahogany.  Red is the lighter genetic type with NO black tipping on hair.  Stag Red is the darker genetic type with black tips on hairs.  ​Nose can be Black or Brown.  Brown nosed Red is the Red dog expressing they carry the brown gene.


 To be breed standard ALL Browns of the Min-Pins and Harlequin Pinchers MUST have tan points, ​Brown noses, Brown eyelids and Brown paw pads.  None of these breeds have solid browns.
There is NO black on a brown dog.


​The dilute gene is recessive and found on the D locus.  Dilutes should be bred with extreme caution and only from obviously full coated breeding dogs. They can have a condition called CDA – Color Dilution Alopecia meaning hair loss known to the Dilute gene.

1.  Blue – Dilution of Black.  Requires two dilute genes.
2.  Fawn – Dilution of Brown.  Requires one brown gene and one blue gene.

3.  Tan –   – Recessive
4.  Blue/Fawn – Recessive


To be breed standard ALL Blues of the Min Pins and Harlequin Pinschers must have tan points, Blue noses, Blue eye lids and Blue paw pads.


To be breed standard ALL Fawns of the Min Pins and Harlequin Pinschers must have tan points, light brown noses, light brown eye lids and light brown paw pads.


Blue-Fawn is the dilution of the black hairs on a Stag Red dog instead of the whole coat being diluted.  A blue-fawn has a blue pigmented skin making the coat appear a Peachy cream color.
To be breed standard Blue-Fawns must have Blue noses, blue eye rims and blue paw pads.
Blue-Fawns DO NOT have tan/rust points.


Tan is the dilution of the brown hairs on a Red with brown nose dog.  A tan has a brown pigmented skin, brown nose, brown eye lids and brown paw pads.  Tans DO NOT have tan/rust points.



​Merle is a PATTERN and not a color – it MODIFIES colors.  Merle can occur on any color and even in combination with other patterns. Merle effects only eumelanin thus Black, Brown, Blue and Fawn coats are noticeably merle in pattern.  Red is Phaeomelanin and often times the Merle gene is not easily noticed on a Red coat.​ Red Merle is an undesirable color/pattern combination due to it’s lack of being a visibly seen at times.  Merle is a dominant gene in all breeds therefore AT LEAST ONE parent must be merle in order to get Merle offspring.

  The Merle gene modifies the coat to a lighter color, leaving patches of the original coat color. Merling can be in varying degrees from just a single spot to almost full body.  Merle modifies the coat by LIGHTING areas it touches which can include eyes turning them blue.

****The dogs base color will be the DARKER areas.****

The Double Merle gene is semi-lethal and 2 Merles should never be bred together.

Merle X Merle is a highly UNETHICAL breeding.  Double Merles can have severe health issues, be blind, deaf, deformed and/or die in-utero.  Ethical Registries concerned for the health of the breeds they register will NOT accept Merle X Merle breedings nor will they allow Double Merle offspring/dogs to be registered in their database.

​ACR and HPA do not allow Merle x Merle breedings or Double Merle registrations.


Tweed is a merle gene modifier when inherited along with the merle gene causes a varying shade of patches on the coat.  If the merle gene is not present the merle modifiers will go unnoticed.
It is believed Merle Modifiers are located on their own locii.


The brindle is the “tiger striped” coat pattern.   Brindle affects the red coat colors and tan points.  The brindle pattern shown in the Harlequin Pinscher the brindle gene has only be known to be dominant in nature meaning AT LEAST ONE parent must be brindle to get brindle offspring.


This is a dual pattern where the merle and brindle pattern is expressed on the same dog.  The Merle and Brindle genes are located on separate loci’s, therefore it is safe to breed these two patterns together.

White Spotting

  Found on the S Series – Can express itself in varying degrees from:

Tri: – Small amount of white usually on toes, chest, chin and forehead.  Sometimes these markings are caused by pigment migration interruption during embryo development.  Tri can also be the lowest form of the Piebald gene.


Also known as Irish Spotting – Where there is a white pattern on feet, chest and a partial to full collar.  A tuxedo patterned dog looks to be wearing a Tuxedo when stood on its hind legs.


  A white base coat with patches of unconnected color.  A dog with a spotted coat.
Extreme white Piebald as seen in some breeds, such as the White Bull Terrier & Boxer, may cause deafness due to lack of pigment in the inner ear.