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What to Look for in a Winner - Tans

Tan mice can come with many top colours: agouti, black, chocolate, blue, dove, silver, lilac and champagne. Each type of tan has its own problems. For example, pale tans such as silver and champagne tend to have too dark a top colour when the tan is the desired strength, and too pale a tan when they attain the correct top colour, so a balance between the two is sought. The effect of blue dilution changes not only the top colour (from black to blue) but also dilutes the tan. For this reason blue and lilac tans suffer when they compete with black and chocolate tans on the show bench.

One problem that affects all colours of tan is tan feet. Ideally the feet should be tan on the inside and the same as the top colour on the outside. In reality a lot of mice have feet that are wholly tan, and this is considered a fault. Tan can also 'creep' so that it ends up behind the ears and higher up the jawline and flanks than desired. Darkest tans in particular tend to get throat spots, which are an obvious fault when the under of the mouse is examined.

BIS chocolate tan, bred by John Mackerill

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