Coat colour variation is determined by many genes, one of which is the melanocortin receptor type 1 (MC1R) gene. In this study, we examined the whole coding sequence of this gene in four species belonging to the Canidae family (dog, red fox, arctic fox and Chinese raccoon dog). Although the comparative analysis of the obtained nucleotide sequences revealed a high conservation, which varied between 97.9 and 99.1%, we altogether identified 22 SNPs (10 in dogs, six in farmed red foxes, two in wild red foxes, three in arctic foxes and one in Chinese raccoon dog). Among them, seven appeared to be novel: one silent in the dog, three missense and one silent in the red fox, one in the 3′-flanking region in the arctic fox and one silent in the Chinese raccoon dog. In dogs and red foxes, the SNPs segregated as 10 and four haplotypes, respectively. Taking into consideration the published reports and results of this study, the highest number of missense polymorphisms was until now found in the dog (9) and red fox (7).