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Design Guide - Sable

Journal Entry: Sun Aug 9, 2015, 1:18 AM



Sable is a dark marking that covers the top-line from the forehead to
the base of the tail, and can often include highlights of lighter color intermixed.
Sable is much like a blurred blanket, or the polar opposite of pangare.

Sable must have a thoroughly blended edge without mimicking a much darker base coat.


Sable Max Toki by DesignDenSable Max Normal by DesignDenSable Max Dire by DesignDenSable Max Akota by DesignDen


The maximum range for sable is shown above.

Please note that even if your sable falls within the maximum range, your design may still
be denied if it is (for instance) a tundra with sable that instead resembles a brown with pangare.

Also please keep in mind that some of the base coat must show.
For instance, you cannot have maximum sable with maximum pangare and have zero
areas where the base coat is visible. The base coat should always be easy to distinguish.

Sable Min Toki by DesignDenSable Min Normal by DesignDenSable Min Dire by DesignDenSable Min Akota by DesignDen


At minimum, sable must be present on the withers as shown above.


Sable does not have to resemble a solid gradient or blended blanket.
In fact, it can take different fun shapes, within reason. 
It can also have lighter areas within it to mimic the natural marks that wolves carry, called highlights.

Sable cannot be split into two or more separate coverages; it must be one solid marking.


Sable is always darker than the base coat. The only exception to this
rule is that sable will be lighter than the base coat when the reversal mutation is present.

Unlike blanket, sable cannot be lighter than collar if collar is below sable - it must always be darker.

The color of sable should be similar or natural compared to the base coat; it cannot be, for instance, bright red on a white coat. 

Sable can always be pure black, even without the presence of greying,
but otherwise requires saturation (unless the greying gene is present).
The only exception is that sable can have extremely minimal, subtle desaturated points, to an extent.

These points can never be fully grey, but can dip further into a desaturated
region than the base coat or markings normally could.
Notice the grey on the back of the withers:
Sable by DesignDen 


Highlights are lighter areas on the uppermost areas of sable, resembling dogs or wolves.

Below is a rough maximum of highlights.
Be sure to distribute highlights irregularly! If it resembles roan, it will be denied.
Highlightsmax by DesignDen
Above is a rough maximum of highlights.

Highlights Range

Highlights Range by DesignDen
The orange denotes the range where highlights may occur.
Remember, this is not a maximum of highlights; they cannot be in all of those places at once.

Highlights Color

Highlights cannot be too saturated, but can be more saturated than the sable itself.
Highlights are always lighter than the sable.


Gradients are permitted, and can include a wide range
of colors, following the same limitations above.
Sable Gradient by DesignDen

What Shows Over Sable?

Sable covers the base coat, pangare, blanket, and saddle; any other markings should show over sable!
Collar may show above or below sable.

What to avoid

- Patterns are unnatural, swirly, or stripe-like.

- Sable is too light and de-saturated for a non-graying Tokota.

- Not blended enough, and/or too shapeless and straight.
- Missing minimal coverage along the topline.
- Too much blending, resembles just a straight gradient, and may confuse the base coat.

Real life examples:

If you're stuck, a good idea might be to take inspiration from real life dogs, like the following:

Good Examples of Sable Tokotas

Skin by Horsepoint and alexpeanut, paw icon by Kawiku, images by noebelle
Add a Comment:
Shaslan Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Just to be clear, would sable sit under roan?
DesignDen Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2018
Sorry for the late reply - yes, sable would sit under roan.

Shaslan Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you!
majfisch Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2017
Can the collar be darker than sable if there's sable on top of it?
DesignDen Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2018
Sorry for the super late reply!
No, sable cannot be lighter than collar in any instance (except reversal).

Hidden by Commenter
DesignDen Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2017
Greying does not sit above or below any marking, it is a modifier and desaturates whatever it touches.
If you had a completely desaturated tokota, sable would have to be equally desaturated.
If you have minimum greying, where there are only a few spots of grey on the tokota,
sable would have to be desaturated only where they touched, and could remain
saturated in the areas where it did not come into contact with greying.

~ leo
BlueWolf0907 Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah, thank you!
BV-Academy Featured By Owner May 23, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Does cream affect sable the same way it affects the base coat? By lightening it?
Arrillaga Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2017  Hobbyist Artist
Not an admin- But yes! Sable must always stay relevant to the base coat, so a cream sable would have a lighter sable, however it would still be darker than the base coat!
SalamanderMoon Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Is it allowed to have sable completely covered by snow roan, or does it have to still show a little? I'm having some trouble fitting in all of the back markings on my first Tokota.
Talliburr Featured By Owner May 3, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hello, DC admin here!

Sable needs to be shown on the design.  It doesn't have to show an excessive amount, just as long as whoever is judging the design can tell the tokota has sable.
Hope this helps!
SalamanderMoon Featured By Owner May 3, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Ok, thanks! I actually already designed the Tokota in question at this point with the sable showing (managed to do it), and got it accepted. Thank you anyways, I'll keep it in mind for future Tokotas!
Talliburr Featured By Owner May 3, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Glad I could answer your question (though it's a little late!)
magikwolf Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2016  Professional Artist
What does "the max amount can be relative to the base coat" mean exactly?
DesignDen Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2016
It depends on the base coat color and the sable color. Your toko cannot resemble another base coat color with pangare - if you had a tundra with dark brown sable, you could, in theory, create a design that looks like a brown with very pale pangare by maxing out your sable range. This is not allowed, and the sable would have to be scaled back so that it is clearly sable on a lighter base, rather than a darker base with pangare.
magikwolf Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2016  Professional Artist
ok and now how can a tundra's sable color be brown? 
DesignDen Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2016
That is stated in the guide under "Color."
FlareAndIcicle Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm slightly confused by the maximum range... the maximum range on the back leg is higher on the leg than the first correct example. Same goes for the max on the chest...
HaruTheDemonHalfer Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I can't wait to see this!!!
ShadowKuri Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2015
Collie tokota here I come!
Horseste Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
ermg i need dis
sealle Featured By Owner Edited Aug 9, 2015

SunnyCreekRanch Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2015
Ugh I love it
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Submitted on
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