What’s the difference between “liver-nose” and dark-nose Ridgebacks?

Occasionally puppies are born “liver-nose”. This is a unique difference to the more common black-nose Ridgeback, and has a light-brown nose.

This is because the liver-nose gene is recessive, both parents must carry it, even though they may be black-nose themselves. If both parents are liver-nose, all offspring will be liver-nosed (double recessive).

Liver-nose Ridgebacks are within the breed specification but tend to have these physical variations from black-nose:

  • Liver nose (instead of a black nose)
  • “Clear” muzzle (brown) (instead of blackened muzzle)
  • Amber eyes (instead of black eyes)
  • Tan toenails (instead of black)
  • Usually less white hair blazes (instead of typically white toes, and a white blaze on chest)

Their temperament is said to be a little more friendly and trusting, compared to black-nose dogs. Most breeders agree that adult liver-nose ridgebacks are more outgoing, boisterous, and playful.

Selecting a liver-nose is a matter of choice, but it’s often that people who meet the dog in the street will identify the dog as a Hungarian Vizler, which do indeed share similar colouring and general shape (but are different in many other ways). Some owners might find this annoying!

ABOVE: Buckle, a black-nose, and Arlo, a liver-nose. Both super-cuddly.