Has anyone ever seen premature graying in a dog? We're seeing it in our 3 year old Cavalier and its bizarre...we have a

Asked by Cooper on Dec 27th 2007 in Other Health & Wellness
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Premature graying is actually very common in many different breeds and types of dogs. It's usually due to two factors - genetic and environmental.

For example, there are some lines of German Shepherd dogs that are known for getting grey fairly early. It's not so much the breed, but the lines your dog is from. Were Cooper's dam and sire grey early? What about generations back?

Another big factor is your dog's environment, especially your dog's food. Some foods seem to make dogs go grey earlier, while others make them appear younger longer. Most dogs I know that have been raw fed from when they were puppies have little to no grey, for example, and I've noticed with my dog that she's actually less grey now that she is raw fed.

Abby answered on Dec 27th.

Other Answers



Maggie has had a gray beard since she was about 6 months old. I have a 4 year old lab and a friend has a 4 year old lab and both have gray hair. Of course I can only speak for labs, but I don't think it is anything to wory about; some just gray earlier than others.

Riley answered on 12/27/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Jumpin' Jack Flash Red

Jack actualy got his first gray this week! He is 2 years 2 months. I think it is the dog food. It might b worth the $ to extend life.

Jumpin' Jack Flash Red answered on 12/27/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I've seen it, because Oreo had, (and still has), it the moment we saw him upon adopting him at the exact same age as your dog.

Considering I have no clue about the living conditions prior to adoption, I can't offer any clues as to why this happens, but thankfully dogs don't care how they look :)

(It gave us a reason to lovingly nickname him "Little Old Man")

Oreo answered on 12/27/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


They premature graying is normal coloration that happens in some dogs. Some breeds actually have to have this according to their standard. For example, Yorkies are born black and tan and must develop graying in order to get their steel color. Kerry Blue Terriers are another. I think Shnauzers are another but I'm not sure about them.

Anyway, it's not related to age. . . it's just a drop in melanin pigment which is caused by genetics. There is nothing you can do and there is nothing wrong with the dog. It's just a part of his genetic makeup.

Juliette answered on 12/29/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer