Do blue-black dogs actually have blue pigments?

Do dogs with blue-black coats actually have blue pigments in their coats?
I know humans don’t but it isn’t too far-fetched for another mammal to have blue fur pigments. There are already mandrills that have blue butts and dogs that have blue eyes, so are their dogs with actual blue coats?

No. Like other dogs, they have melanin, a dark pigment, in their hair.

Blue coloration in vertebrates (and most other animals) is not due to pigments, but to structural colors. That is, the color is produced by characteristics of the skin, scales, or feathers that scatter blue wavelengths of light.

Interesting that thats actually true. I guess the blue-ish look is just the blue sky reflecting off a black shiny coat.

Similarly, blue eyes aren’t actually blue from a pigment perspective.

A dramatic example of structural color is the blue jay. No blue pigment, just the way the light refracts in the feathers.

With a dog a good way to see this is to brush your hand with the grain of the fur and notice how some colorings appear and disappear as the angle of light changes.

The fact that the feathers are not actually blue can be seen when they are wet, when they appear black, their actual color. The water prevents the scattering of blue light.

Our former master did a column on this. At the time he wrote it, there was some dispute about whether the blue came from scattering or interference. But it’s definitely not blue pigments

I’ve never in life seen a blue or even a partially blue dog.

**Is this real? **

Maybe it’s like with that dress; some people see them as yellow and black.

Obviously not. The dog has either been dyed or the image photoshopped.

Jays are annoying enough dry. I’d hate to think of the ruckus they’d make if I tried to get them wet! :wink:

Anyway …, I come across a jay feather once in a while in the yard. I’ll have to try this.

Are we saying blue dogs have structural coloring that make their fur blue?? I don’t think so. The “blue” dogs like the blue heeler aren’t actually blue. I’m pretty sure the “blue” patches are just light gray patches that look blue when contrasted against the pale brown fur.

That’s not the kind of “blue” that the OP is talking about, which is blue-black. As you say, blue heelers and blue tick hounds are not blue, but a shade of gray that we refer to as blue gray. This kind of “blue” is due to pigment.

Very deep black glossy hair can appear to have blue highlights due to the reflection of light. That’s an effect of the light, not pigment (although not due to reflection of the sky, as speculated in the third post).