The Golden Rule of Genetics:
His pedigree will tell you what he ought to be.
His offspring will tell you what HE IS.
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Unfortunately, there are quite a few Dachshund puppy ads saying that their puppies "carry for all colors" or "carry for all patterns." Those are statements made by breeders who have absolutely no knowledge of genetics.
WHY are they saying that their puppy/dog "carries all colors?" To get you to purchase the puppy/dog, that's why. The puppy/dog CANNOT "carry for all colors" - period. I've spoken to some of those breeders and asked them why they think a puppy can "carry all colors" - and they all say the same thing, "Because all those colors are in the dogs pedigree!" <oh my gosh....shaking head>
Just because a color or pattern or coat type is in a pedigree, that does NOT mean that the puppy will automatically "carry them." That's like saying a blue-eyed baby will carry a brown-eyed gene because one of his parents or grandparents had brown eyes.....and that's an impossibility - because blue is recessive to brown. A recessive gene CANNOT CARRY a more dominant gene.
I saw just now an advertisement for a Chocolate & Tan Piebald puppy with "this puppy carries all colors" (!) It would be impossible for a Chocolate puppy to "carry" either "Red" OR "Black" - because Chocolate is recessive to BOTH those colors; and unless the puppy carried a recessive dilution gene - he would not be able to produce Creams, Blues or Isabellas (aka Fawns) either.
Don't be taken in - basic Dachshund genetics is not difficult. Learn the basics and question the breeders thoroughly before purchasing their puppies - and if you see an ad that says "this puppy carries all colors/patterns" - that is a big red flag.
Having just a basic knowledge of genetics will allow you to know if breeders are blowing smoke or not, for instance:
"This Black & Tan puppy carries for Red." NOPE - that's impossible, because Red is dominant to Black. A Black & Tan puppy CANNOT "carry" Red.
"This Chocolate & Tan puppy carries for Red or Black & Tan." NOPE - that's impossible because both Red and Black & Tan are dominant to Chocolate.
"This Blue & Tan puppy carries for Red or Cream" NOPE - Blue (which is merely a Black with a dilution gene) CANNOT carry Red or Cream, because Red is dominant to Black.
"This Isabella puppy carries for Red, Black, Cream or Blue." Baloney - It CAN'T carry for those colors because an Isabella is merely a Chocolate with a dilution gene, and those other colors are dominant to Chocolate.
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Dapples and piebalds are not as common as the solid colors, but they are by no means rare - or new; they have been around for a LONG time. (see further down on the page about how the dapple and piebald genes appeared.
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Blue eyes are common when dappling or double dappling falls on the eye area. They are not rare.
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Double dapples are Dachshunds that inherit a dapple gene from each parent. They are not "rare." They are not as frequently seen because most breeders refrain from breeding dapple to dapple. Unfortunately, many double dapples are born with hearing and/or sight problems (which can range from slightly deaf and/or slightly sight impaired to totally deaf and completely blind); and most breeders prefer not to have to deal with a handicapped puppy - not wanting to keep him, sell him or euthanize him.
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Suppose my Dachshund has a hearing or sight impairment, what do I do?
Dogs with hearing and/or sight impairments can be lived with very easily if the correct environment is provided. For instance, hand signals may be used for hearing impaired dogs; and touch signals may be used for sight impaired dogs. Hearing and/or sight impaired dogs learn a tremendous amount from other non-impaired dogs in the family - taking their cues from them.
Caution must be used to make sure fencing is secure and the Dachshunds (who love to dig) cannot tunnel beneath and escape. Wandering from home they will quickly become lost and disoriented, and cannot hear (or see) vehicles. Caution must be used when they are asleep - to never startle them awake (and this particularly pertains to children/toddlers); because they can wake up startled and disoriented and react defensively. There are many websites and webrings about hearing and/or sight impaired dogs which have a lot of great information.
(see also the webpage on the left titled "Deaf Dogs")
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Technically, there is no such thing as a "silver dapple" or "black and silver." Those dogs are actually "black and tan dapples." When the dappling falls onto the color black, it turns the black to a grey or "silver" color. Apparently these dogs were once called "silver dapples", but genetically they are (and the proper terminology for them is) "black and tan dapples."
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There is no such thing as a "Blue Merle Dapple." Those Dachshunds are simply"Black & Tan Dapples" and they are not rare at all. (Examples are Magic, Lilli, Harvey & Juice in the Past Puppies page.)
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Technically there is no such thing as a "Blue Silver Dapple" or a "Blue and Silver." These dogs are simply Blue & Tan Dapples. They are Dachshunds which have the color "Blue and Tan", and the pattern of "Dapple." Where the dappling falls on the blue, it bleaches out (ie dilutes) the color - making it appear silver or grey. But their correct description is "Blue & Tan Dapple."
There is no such thing as a "triple dapple," there are dapples (which inherited a dapple gene from one parent) and double dapples (which inherited a dapple gene from both parents).
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The term "Hidden Dapple" is very misleading. Breeders use it to describe an adult red or cream Dachshund which had dappling as a puppy. Dappling often fades on the color red and cream so the adults look solid instead of Dappled, but they are Dapples just like any other Dapples.
A Dapple is a dominant gene, it cannot be "carried" or "split for." The puppy/dog is either a Dapple or he is not. A Dapple gene (or any other dominant gene) cannot be “hidden” like a recessive gene. A recessive gene, such as Piebald, CAN be "carried" or "split for" - and indeed "hidden."
It's a shame to see some breeders advertising their puppies as "carrying Dapple, Piebald, Double Dapple, Cream, Isabella" etc. (just about everything under the sun). They figure that if a color or pattern is in the puppy's pedigree, then he must "carry" it. That assumption is extremely incorrect.
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There is no such thing as an "x-factor Dapple." There are single dapples and double dapples - period. It's not unusual for a Dapple to have a bit of white on the chest. If the Dapple also has white on the paws and tummy, likely it is exhibiting the s-gene (aka spotting gene, aka piebald gene). Although piebald bred to non-piebald is SUPPOSED to produce non-piebalds....very often puppies from those breedings DO exhibit some evidence of the s-gene. I firmly believe that our knowledge of genetics today is still in its infancy.
Dapples with white on feet, tummy, etc are NOT "special" or "rare" - they are simply Dapples who are exhibiting the s-gene because there is piebald in the background - even from only one parent.
How do I know that these markings are not connected to the Dapple gene? Because the SAME thing happens with self (aka solid) colors. A solid color puppy which has piebald in one parent (or in the background of only one parent) can have the SAME markings - white on chest, tummy & paws.
The markings, which are a result of this gene, are called "piebald" "mantle" "parti-color" etc . They are all caused by the "s-gene" (aka spotting gene). It is described more fully on the "Piebald Great Dane" page:
Part of the problem is that there is no real "definition" of what constitutes a "piebald Dachshund." I've contacted the AKC and Dachshund Club of America - with no response from either. A "piebald" (no matter what breed) can actually run the whole spectrum of "mostly white" to "just white on the chest and tip of toes." The s-gene runs a progressive and predictable pattern - as explained and illustrated on the Piebald Great Dane page.
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Can a Dachshund carry (but not show) a dapple gene?
Dapple is a dominant gene - it cannot be "split for" or "carried." Either the Dachshund IS a dapple, or it is not - it cannot "carry" dapple.
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But I had 2 Dachshunds which were not dapples and they produced a dapple puppy, how could that happen?Dappling on the base color red sometimes fades with age; and oftentimes the only indication that a red or cream puppy is a dapple might be a little dappling on an ear. If the dappling fades, the Dachshund will look solid red or cream - but he is still genetically a dapple; he will have the dapple gene to pass on. And because dapple is a dominant gene, only one parent has to be a dapple in order for a puppy to be a dapple.
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I've heard breeders say that they do not breed dapple to dapple, but that occasionally a double dapple puppy will just "pop up." Can that happen?
No. The only way you can get a double dapple puppy is from a dapple to dapple breeding. Dappling can fade on red and cream puppies as they grow, so one parent (or both) might not look like a dapple; but you can tell that the Dachshund is, in fact, a dapple if he/she: 1) is bred to a non-dapple and produces dapples, or 2) is bred to a dapple and produces double dapples.
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There is no such thing as a "double dapple gene." There is a "dapple gene" - period. When two dapples are bred together, there is the possibility that they might produce "double dapples"- puppies that inherited a dapple gene from each parent. But there is no "double dapple gene" to be passed on. A double dapple can only pass on one dapple gene - period.
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Is it true that only the dapple gene can cause sight or hearing problems?
By the way, it's the dapple gene doubled up that causes the white (lack of melanin) - not the single dapple gene. Single dapple Dachshunds do not have white patches; only DOUBLE dapple Dachshunds have white patches.
Any gene that produces white on a dog (particularly white on the eye or ear area) has the potential for causing sight or hearing problems, be it in Dalmatians, Dogo Argentinos, Bulldogs, Great Danes, Foxhounds, Old English Sheepdogs, Collies, Shetland Sheepdogs, Bull Terriers, Samoyeds, Greyhounds, Great Pyrenees, Sealyham terriers, English Setters, any breed that has piebald (including Dachshunds), etc.
And "pigment associated deafness" is not restricted to dogs - it also affects mice, mink, pigs, cattle, horses, cats and humans. Not all dogs having white on their heads will have problems; but it is the duty of a responsible breeder to understand the genetics, and to understand the relationship of pigment with sight & hearing, and to deal responsibly with breeding any animal which might result in impaired offspring.
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Is it true that some breeders (or lines of Dachshunds) can breed dapple to dapple and never have a problem with sight or hearing-impaired double dapple offspring?
Double Dappling might cause a problem with sight and hearing depending on WHERE it falls on the dog's body. If it falls around the eyes, there is a chance that the dog will be sight impaired. If it falls around the ears, there is a chance that the dog will be hearing impaired.
Take a look at Dazzle's page, in one photo she is shown with another girl, Misty. They are both Double Dapples. Dazzle is blind and deaf. Mistique has perfect sight and hearing. The difference? Dazzle's head is completely white (including the areas around her eyes and ears). Misty's head is mostly colored (including the areas around her eyes and ears).
For example, take two dogs:
1. A 90% white dog - a dog with a pure white body and a colored head.
2. A 10% white dog - a dog with a colored body and a pure white head.
Which of the above do you think has a better chance of having sight/hearing impairment? If you chose #2 (the 10% white dog) - you were correct. It's NOT the amount of white - but rather where the white is located on the body which determines if the dog will have sight and/or hearing problems.
And since it is impossible to predict, determine or control where the double dappling white will fall on a Dachshund's body - breeders cannot control the potential sight or hearing problems the double dappling might cause. Any dapple to dapple breeding has the potential for producing impaired offspring.
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Isn't it true that only backyard breeders breed Dapples and Piebalds together?
In this day and age, it seems that most breeders consider “everyone else” a “backyard breeder” (but not themselves, of course). True, for a dapple pied to be registered with the AKC, it should be registered as a dapple (the AKC does not allow a combined registration of a “dapple pied” - yet (however the AKC DOES recognize the combination of two patterns (ie"brindle piebald" - code 127). And the AKC does change their color and pattern standards ie; addition of brindle Pomerianians, mantle Great Danes, etc.). Take a look at Whippets, the AKC position on them is “color is immaterial”.
My point is, combining colors & patterns have been practiced over the years in many breeds, and many have eventually been sanctioned by the AKC. Creating healthy, beautiful dogs is not going to hurt the breed.
Folks who spout off against breeding dapples & pieds together are generally the same people who say, “Huh? What’s a Punnett square?” and/or “I don’t understand those big genetic words.” They seem to think that a “dapple piebald” will ruin both the “dapple” and the “piebald” gene. It won’t.
These two genes interact, but are not altered by the interaction. It’s a common misconception to think that they will mix like paints on an artist’s palette, thus becoming blended or “dirty.” It’s more accurate to think of them as marbles – you can roll them all together, but no amount of mixing will alter the purity of each individual marble.
(I borrowed the wording from Laura Kiaulenas & Tom and Holly Sayvetz from their explanation of Harlequin genetics - but the wording is spot on for also describing the dapple & piebald genes.) Dapple is a dominant gene, Piebald is a recessive gene. Using them both in the same dog does not alter those (or any other) genes.
Proper use of them in a breeding program does not lead to the deterioration of a Dachshund’s quality.
A breeder once said to me, rather primly, "breeding Dapples to Piebalds is just not good breeding practice." I debated whether or not to point out to her that since her litter included a Dapple puppy AND a Piebald puppy, that she was doing exactly that. One parent had to be a Dapple (in order for there to be a Dapple puppy) and BOTH parents had to either be Piebalds or carry the Piebald gene (in order for there to be a Piebald puppy); ergo - one parent of that litter was either a Dapple Piebald or a Dapple carrying a Piebald gene, and the other parent had to be either a Piebald or carry the Piebald gene.
Just because you can't always SEE a piebald gene (ie if it is carried recessively), and just because you can't always SEE a dapple gene (ie in an adult red or cream dog) - that doesn't mean that the genes are not there.
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But I heard that you shouldn't breed Dapple to Piebald because that is breeding two patterns containing white, isn't that true?
Breeding a "Dapple" to a "Piebald" is NOT breeding 2 patterns "containing white".
A dapple does NOT have white patches, it's the dapple gene "doubled up" (ie a double dapple) that "bleaches" areas of color to white. [The single dapple gene might produce a small spot of white on the chest or a couple white toes, but that is quite common. The single dapple gene does not produce "white patches".]
1. Dapple (which does not carry the recessive piebald gene) bred to a piebald - will result in NO puppies with white patches. In order for the "piebald white" to show - BOTH parents have to either BE piebalds or CARRY piebald genes. In order for the "dapple white" to show - BOTH parents have to be dapples. That's why a Dapple (with no recessive piebald gene) & a Piebald will never produce puppies with white patches on them. They are only capable of producing solids and dapples (ie single dapples) - period.
2. Dapple (which does carry a recessive piebald gene) bred to a piebald - might result in solids, dapples, piebalds and dapple piebalds. It will NOT result in "double dapples."
3. Dapple Piebald bred to a piebald can produce dapple piebalds and piebalds - that's all they CAN produce. And again, this breeding will NOT result in "double dapples." And the "Dapple Piebald Puppy" will simply be the normal white & solid color of a regular piebald, but the solid areas will have the dappling effect from the dapple gene..
Dapples (ie Single Dapples - those dogs with a single Dapple gene) don't have white (except for perhaps a small spot on the chest or a few toes). It's the DOUBLE DAPPLES that have white.
I think the problem is that people are equating "dapple" with "double dapple"; and equating both with a "double dapple gene" - and that is a fallacy. There is no such thing as a "double dapple gene." A double dapple puppy inherits a dapple gene from EACH parent, but he can ONLY pass on one (ie a "single") dapple gene.
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Double dapples often have problems other than sight or hearing, don't they? Like deformities such as puppies born with intestines or brain outside the body, lack of anus, etc.?
Gastroschisis (a birth defect in which a baby is born with some or all of the intestines on the outside of the abdomen due to an abnormal opening), or a puppy born with the brain exposed, or incomplete digestive system (ie lack of anus) happens in all animals of any color - dogs, cats, mice and humans. These are not caused by the dapple gene.
Unfortunately it seems that some folks see a dapple with any defect and blame the defect on the dapple gene. That's like saying, "Oh, that person is a blonde and has skin cancer - therefore the skin cancer happened because she is blonde." Double dapples and other patterns that create white on the head might have sight and/or hearing problems...but don't make the gigantic erroneous leap that any other problem they have is caused by the dapple gene or because of the color white.
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Breeders are now (finally and sensibly) calling "American Creams" by their proper genetic name - which is "Dilute Reds" That is because the color "American Cream" is the result of a combination of genes - a Red gene and a Dilution gene.
By calling the dilute colors "American Creams", "Blues" and "Isabellas/Fawns" it gives the mistaken impression that there are "American Cream genes", "Blue genes" and "Isabella/Fawn genes" which can be passed per se. There aren't. The colors of these dogs are caused by TWO genes. Don't assume that just because a dog has a certain color or has a certain pattern - that he passes on a "single gene" for that color or pattern:
Double Dapple is caused by TWO dapple genes. A Double Dapple can't pass on a "Double Dapple gene" - because there is no such thing.
A Dapple Piebald is caused by TWO pattern genes - a Dapple gene and a Piebald gene. A Dapple Piebald can't pass on a "Dapple Piebald gene" - because there is no such thing.
Basically there are only 3 colors: Red, Black, and Chocolate.
When those three colors have the addition of the Dilution gene, they change in appearance:
Red + Dilution gene = Dilute Red (aka American Cream)
Black + Dilution gene = Blue
Chocolate + Dilution gene = Isabella/Fawn
Most folks recognize that the "American Cream" is really a misnomer - it's actually made up of two genes - Red and the Dilution gene.
I wish they could also wrap their logic around the fact that (1) "Blue" is a misnomer - it's actually a "Dilute Black" because it's made up of a Black gene and a Dilution gene; and (2) "Isabella/Fawn" is a misnomer - it's actually a "Dilute Chocolate" because it's made up of a Chocolate gene and a Dilution gene.
By calling them "Blues" and "Isabellas/Fawns" - it's difficult for folks to accept that they are NOT actual genes that can be passed on. They are only the appearance of colors which are made up of 2 different genes - and those 2 separate genes are what will be passed on.
If you want to breed for Dilute colors - you breed for the base color PLUS the dilution gene. It's erroneous to assume that you cannot get Blues or Isabellas/Fawns if there are none in the pedigree. That's like saying you can't get a "Double Dapple" or a "Dapple Piebald" if there are none in the pedigree - which is baloney.You breed for the combination of genes if you want those puppies.
To get a Dilute Red (aka American Cream) you breed for a red puppy that will also have the Dilution gene. To get a Blue puppy you breed for a Black puppy that will also have the Dilution gene. To get an Isabella/Fawn puppy you breed for Chocolate puppy that will also have the Dilution gene.
Dachshunds are not the only breed to have their base colors changed by the addition of a dilution gene. Take Labs, for instance, they also have the dilution gene which changes the base color:
Black Lab + dilution gene is called "Charcoal"
Chocolate Lab + dilution gene is called "Silver"However, I feel that a dog's color should describe the genes which are used to create it:
Red + Dilution gene is called "Dilute Red" (rather than American Cream)
Black + Dilution gene should be called "Dilute Black" (versus a Blue Dachshund or a Charcoal Lab)
Chocolate + Dilution gene should be called "Dilute Chocolate" (versus an Isabella/Fawn Dachshund or a Silver Lab)
That way there would be a clear understanding of the genes involved in the makeup of the color, and be easier to understand how the multiple genes are passed on to the offspring.
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The information that Isabella's (aka Fawns) and Blue's have skin and hair problems is typical of the type of nonsense which is being spread like wildfire over the internet. It's aggravating to me that people are not knowledgeable about genetics and commonly just mimic what they read or hear, and like the false spam forwards warning you of this or that - there are several false warnings being spread about Dachshunds, usually regarding the dilution gene or the dapple gene. And, unfortunately, vets are not immune to myths - particularly genetic myths.
There has been a phrase coined "Color Dilution Alopecia" - which purports to happen in dogs which have the dilution gene. However - the dilution gene that creates Isabellas/Fawns and Blues is the same dilution gene which also creates "American Creams" - and you NEVER hear any warning about American Creams.
If the Isabella/Fawn (dilution gene) was responsible for any skin problems - surely Weimaraners would have it constantly - because that is exactly what the Isabella/Fawn color is - and Weimaraners are bred dilute to dilute to dilute to dilute, etc. etc. etc. generation after generation.
In 30 years I have seen only ONE Dachshund with alopecia (thinning hair) and it wasn't even a dilute - it was a wirehair Wild Boar color. Another breeder of over 25 years has also seen only ONE Dachshund with alopecia - and that was a Red (again, not a dilute color). Those dogs were both spayed and never bred.
A bad coat is a bad coat, and it is much more to be caused by an environmental or medical problem than a genetic problem.
And if a Dachshund (ANY color Dachshund, not just one with a dilution gene) had a genetically bad coat - it would show up BEFORE six months of age (both the wirehair Wild Boar and the Red mentioned above, showed up before that age). Any problem with skin or coat after that age is much more likely to be caused by an environmental (ie topical flea/tick preparations, overbathing, etc.) or medical (ie allergies, thyroid, lack of estrogen in older females, etc) problem.
The phrase "most dilute dogs are bald by five years of age" is absolute pure nonsense.
The next time you hear anyone tell you that Blues/Isabellas (or Fawns) have bad coats - ask them if they have ever heard of (or breed themselves) American Creams. If they say yes - tell them that the very SAME gene which is responsible for the colors "Isabella/Fawn" and "Blue" is also responsible for the color "American Cream" - and tell them to look it up if they don't believe it. And then ask them why they don't warn folks against American Creams?
There is a LOT of rubbish on the net, but most of it will come from folks who haven't the slightest idea of genetics; all they are doing is repeating something they've heard - and secondhand information is baseless, useless and highly detrimental - and, unfortunately, it spreads like wildfire because it sounds good. As I wrote on the FAQ Dachshund page, whenever you hear or read of a breeder who says things like that - contact him/her and ask her WHY. Unknowledgeable breeders will tell you "Everyone knows that" or "It's common knowledge" or "such-and-such website/breeder/kennel club/vet/friend told me"
There is a medical condition called "Canine Alopecia" (hair thinning or baldness in dogs) It can be caused by a multitude of things: allergies, medical conditions, age (especially those with lack of estrogen, ie older spayed females), genetic fault, etc.
"Canine Alopecia" can happen in all breeds of dogs, it is not dependent on breed, hair coat type or hair color.
Unfortunately, if a dog happens to have it and also happens to be a dilute color - people tend to call it "Dilution Alopecia" which is so unfair to the dilute dogs.
That's like looking at a blonde who has cancer and calling it "Blonde Cancer" and assuming that all blondes have (or will come down with) cancer.
Alopecia can happen to dogs of all breeds and colors. But honestly, in 30 years I have only known of 2 Dachshunds personally who have had it, one was the wirehair Wild Boar rescue we took in and the other was the Red which a breeder told me about. That's it. Those are the only two (and neither of them were dilute). And Isabellas/Fawns and Blues have been around for a long, long, long time. They are beautiful dogs and do not deserve the inaccurate information that is being spread about them.
Is it ever possible for an Isabella or a Blue to have alopecia? Yes - but it's possible for ANY dog, of ANY color to have it, and (as mentioned above) it can be caused by any one of several conditions - it is not necessarily a genetic problem.
I have never had a skin or coat problem with any of my Isabellas (aka Fawns), they have the best coats in the house and shine like glistening velvet.
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Is it true that any coat color can be solid or patterned and appear on any puppy?
Puppies will only be solid or patterned as determined by the genes they inherit from their parents; ie you can't get a dappled puppy from two non-dapple parents, you can't get a non-piebald puppy from two piebald parents, you can't get a dominant color puppy from two dilute parents, etc.
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Can a dog/puppy be 3/4 cream (or piebald, or anything else)?
A dog cannot be 3/4 (75%) anything. Each dog inherits two alleles (genes), one from each parent. For example, if a dog inherits 2 recessive piebald genes it is a piebald (100%). If a dog inherits 1 recessive piebald gene it is "split for" piebald (50%) - he carries the piebald gene but does not show it. If a dog inherits no recessive piebald gene (0%), he is not a piebald and is not split for piebald (and he cannot pass the gene on). The above example applies to any gene carried recessively.
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Inbreeding and linebreeding are bad, aren't they?
It is a common misconception to think that inbreeding produces degenerate offspring. This misconception exists because sometimes inbreeding produces puppies which concentrate the weaknesses and the faults of the two parents. By the same token, inbreeding can (with knowledge) concentrate the strengths and positive characteristics of the two parents. What inbreeding is NOT going to do is create "new faults" (more toes, less toes, two heads, pink Dachshunds with purple polkadots, etc.). Inbreeding only concentrates the traits that are already in the parents.
Take a look at the history of the American Hairless Terrier. The first hairless mutation (a female hairless pup) was bred to her son and produced a male and female hairless and two coated females. The male hairless of that litter was bred to all his littermates. Talk about inbreeding! Most of the info on the net glosses over the relationships of the breeding dogs used to create the American Hairless Terrier, but no question, they were inbreeding - and heavily. I've got nothing against American Hairless Terriers, those inbreedings created a whole new breed (and a wonderful one). I just mention it to show that all inbreedings don't result in tragedy.
If you look at the history of the Great Danes, you will see close linebreeding and often inbreeding from the "first modern dane" Nero I, (born in 1876 and owned by Ed Messter) to the influential Hansa line (who were never outcrossed) to the Saalburg line and even to the more modern Rosemarie Roberts' Dinro line. These lines produced Great Danes of such quality (including typey structure that was consistently passed onto their offspring) that have never been surpassed to this day.
Technically speaking, inbreeding is breeding close relatives together - father and daughter, mother and son, littermates to each other. Linebreeding is breeding relatives like aunt to nephew, uncle to niece, cousins to each other, etc.
A breeder not only has to look at the genotype (genes), but at the phenotype (appearance). Will a breeding be complementary? Are the pluses and minuses (of structure, movement, personality, etc.) taken into consideration, and will they compliment the mate and hopefully pass on the best traits to the offspring?
A lot of considerations should be taken when breeding; but blanket statements like "all linebreeding or all inbreeding are bad" are grossly incorrect.
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Keep in mind:
People are forever "making up" (ie inventing) new terminology all the time - but that does NOT mean that the color or pattern they are referring to is "new." On the other hand, all these names can be confusing as heck; I've run across so many puzzling & conflicting statements by breeders, many of whom admit inventing their own terminology.
Genetic knowledge (although we've come a long way) is STILL in it's infancy. The things we believed about genetics 10 years ago are often not believed anymore. Likely 10 years in the future we'll look back and not believe the things we believe today. All we can do is study them the best we can with the knowledge and facts we have available right here and now.
Remember that there are NO absolutes in genetics. Anything can and does happen - mutations, flukes, etc.
There is a BIG difference between color and pattern genes. Patterns do NOT determine the colors, nor do the colors determine the patterns. Colors and patterns are two totally separate entities. The pattern genes simply determine where and if the colors show up.
FOR AKC SHOWING PURPOSES ONLY: quoted from AKC: "Bred and shown in two sizes, standard and miniature; miniatures are not a separate classification but compete in a class division for "11 pounds and under at 12 months of age and older." Weight of the standard size is usually between 16 and 32 pounds." There is only ONE Dachshund. IF you plan on competing in the AKC show ring, it is divided into the categories "miniature" and "standard" - based on the dog's weight "at 12 months of age or older." I've had some folks say to me, "But miniature Dachshunds LOOK so different than standard Dachshunds!" Yes indeed - and that is because of their WEIGHT and STRUCTURE. You take a 180-lb big-boned Great Dane and stand it next to a slender 120-lb Great Dane - and you'd think that they belonged to two different categories of Great Danes, too.
While the AKC will not change a dog's registered name, they WILL change the color and pattern of a dog that was incorrectly registered as a puppy. (We did that ourselves with BMW Chablis (she was originally registered by her breeder as a harl, even though she was white). We contacted the AKC and had her registration corrected to reflect her real color. (and she was not a double harl...she was a double merle).
Genetic Terminology in a Nutshell:
Trait - a noticeable feature/quality; traits are determined by gentics and/or the environment
Allele - to make it simple, I use the word "gene" instead of "allele"
Gene - a sequence/section of DNA that is comprised of detailed genetic information
Chromosome - a strand of DNA that is comprised of genes
Locus - a point/location on a chromosome that usually corresponds to a specific type of trait in a gene that can be determined by menas of genetic testing.
Polygenic - a trait that is caused by the interaction of genes at more than one locus.
Genotype – Genetic makeup. The genes that are present gentically but that are not necessarily visibly seen.
Phenotype – The appearance. The visible appearance.
Heterozygous - when two genes for a trait are different in type.
Homozygous - when two genes for a trait are identical in type
Emelanin - black and/or brown pigment, whether diluted or indiluted (this includes black, chocolate, blue and isabella) Is a melanin pigment that causes some shade of black or brown coloration.
Pheomelanin - red pigment, whether diluted or undiluted (this includes red, blus, cream, buff, etc). a melanin pigment that causes some shade of red, orange, gold or yellow coloration.
Showing – I use the word as meaning the dog “shows” or “visually displays” a genetic trait (ie Phenotype)
Split For – Having a genotype where the genetic trait is hidden by the dominant (ie: Red split for b&t = a red dachshund that also carries a hidden [recessive] black & tan gene; OR chocolate split for pied = a chocolate dachshund that also carries a hidden [recessive] pied gene.) A trait that is present genetically but that is not necessarily visibly seen.
Carry – I don’t like to use the word “carry” because folks use it differently. Some folks use it to mean “can pass onto offspring” whether or not the gene is dominant and apparent, or recessive and non apparent. Other folks use it only when the gene is recessive and non apparent. I prefer to use the term “split for” (see above).
Dominant and Recessive Genes in a Nutshell:
Dominant – A trait which rules over others, and is usually visible on the dog. A dominant gene cannot be "split for" or "carried". Visible on the dog and will show with only 1 gene from 1 parent, can not be carried (split for).
Recessive – Submissive (or hidden) to Dominant. The recessive trait will only be visible if the puppy inherits those specific genes from each parent. Recessive genes can be "split for" or "carried" and not show visibly. Only visible with 2 genes, one from each parent. Can be carried (split for).
Incomplete dominant - is a form of intermediate inheritance in which one gene for a specific trait is not completely dominant over the other gene. A gene that is dominant and will show but can be altered by another gene that is recessive.
Incomplete recessive - a gene that is recessive and alters a dominant or other recessive gene. It does not show other than the results of the gene alterations.
Dachshund Base (Self) Colors in a Nutshell:
To show you how EASY basic Dachshund genetics are, there are only a few things you have to learn (and they are easy) - and you'll be able to spot 90% of breeders on the net who are blowing smoke:
(in order of dominance:)
1. Dominant Red - the most dominant color
2. Black - recessive to Dominant Red (above), but dominant to Chocolate (below)
3. Chocolate - the most recessive color
Dachshund Dilute Colors in a Nutshell:
But what about the "dilute colors" you ask?
Dilute colors are NOT genes in their own right. (This is a BIG mistake that supposed Dachshund genetic "experts" are making.) Dilute colors are the APPEARANCE of a color which results from TWO genes appearing on the dog at the same time:
Red color gene + Blue Dilution gene = American Cream (aka Dilute Red)
Black color gene + Blue Dilution gene = Blue
Chocolate color gene + Blue Dilution gene = Isabella (aka Fawn)
Unfortunately, many breeders will say that a dog will have (or pass on) an "American Cream gene." NO! That dog will pass on the two separate genes which created the appearance of that color, in other words - that dog will pass on a "Red color gene" AND a "Blue Dilution gene."
Same with "Blue." That Blue dog will pass on the two separate genes - the "Black color gene" and the "Blue Dilution gene"
Same with "Isabella/Fawn" That Isabella/Fawn dog will pass on the two separate genes - the "Chocolate color gene" and the "Blue Dilution gene"
Remember that a gene can be "split for" (ie carry) another gene that is recessive to it; it cannot be "split for" (ie carry) another gene that is dominant to it. That's it! You have just learned 90% of what you need to know about Dachshund colors.
There you have it - the basic understanding of Dachshund color genetics :-)
Dachshund Patterns in a Nutshell:
Brindles, Dapples and Piebalds are NOT color genes....they are "pattern genes" which can fall on ANY color gene.
Brindle is a dominant gene.
Dapple is a dominant gene.
Piebald is a recessive gene.
Also, remember that these genes are not mututally exclusive; they can and often do appear together: For instance:
- A "Dapple Piebald" is a Dachshund that has the patterns Dapple and Piebald. There is NO "Dapple Piebald gene"; that dog is expressing (and will pass on) TWO genes - the Dapple gene and the Piebald gene.
- A "Brindle Piebald" is a Dachshund that has the patterns Brindle and Piebald. There is NO "Brindle Piebald gene"; that dog is expressing (and will pass on) TWO genes - the Brindle gene and the Piebald gene.
Dapple can be expressed as single or double. (more about that below).
More About Dachshund Colors:
Base Colors (aka Self Colors) (in order of dominance):
1. Dominant Red:
Dominant to Black and Chocolate (aka A-series Red, Dominant Red) This is the most dominant color gene. It is dominant to pretty much every color, Sable and Tan points. Can appear in wirehair, smooth & longhair. Color ranges from basic red, bright red, brownish red to mahogany red. Nose and nails are black. Eye color should be a deep brown. Red can refer to anything from a deep mahogany red to a pale golden or yellow color, and all shades of brownish red in between.
Reds do not have any tan points. A small amount of white on the chest is acceptable but not desired for the show ring.
Red dogs may be clear red, or may have many black hairs interspersed in their coats, particularly when they are puppies. This is often quite prevalent on longhair Dachshunds, leading many breeders to refer to these puppies as "Sable" or as "Shaded." These puppies are neither "Sables" nor "Shaded." (see "Shaded" and "Sables" below) Red Dachshund puppies can have a black dorsal stripe and/or black hairs interspersed in the coat - which usually fade as the puppy gets older.
Reds can appear with or without shading. (see Shading below)
Note - many wirehair Dachshunds are registered/described as "Wheaten" when, in fact, they are simply a light red.
Recessive to Red (above), dominant to Chocolate (below).Can appear in wirehair, smooth & longhair. Will have black hair all over, black eyes, black nose and black nails. Can appear with points or without points (see Points below). Note that dogs who spend many hours outdoors in summer can develope a "reddish tint" to the tips of their hair. This will shed out, and be replaced by normal colored hair.
Recessive to both Red and Black (above) Can appear in wirehair, smooth & longhair. The color is a milk chocolate to dark chocolate all over the body. A rich Hershey chocolate-brown color is the most desirable. Brown to light brown eyes, occasionally green to hazel eyes, a chocolate nose and nails. Can appear with points or without points (see Points below) Note that dogs who spend many hours outdoors in summer can develope a "reddish tint" to the tips of their hair.This will shed out, and be replaced by normal colored hair.
More About Dachshund Dilution Genes:
Ludicrous assertions by some breeders:
- Dilute colors often have coat problems
- Dilute colors are subject to allergies and infections
- Dilute colors will have sparse coat by the time they are 7 years old
- Dilute colors are very senstive to hot and cold temperatures
- Dilute colors tend to sunburn easily
- Dilute colors are prone to skin cancer
- Dilute colors are prone to compromised immune systems
- Dilute colors are prone to vaccine failure
- Dilute colors do not live to old age
Horse hockey. We've raised Dilutes for 30 years and NEVER had the problems above....and our breeding dogs stay with us from the time they are puppies right up until they pass over the rainbow bridge.
There are different kinds of dilution genes and they can affect the appearance of the Base Colors, nose, nails and points:
Blue Dilution Gene:
The Blue Dilution Gene is a recessive gene, and it dilutes EVERYTHING- including nose & nail color & points.
One breeder says the Blue Dilution affects black pigment so a Black & Tan that carries Dilution; has 1 Dilution gene, may have a liver/bluish colored nose. IF this is true, then the Blue Dilution gene is not a recessive gene - but an "incomplete recessive gene." I, for one, do not believe that. I've ALWAYS seen it act as a completely recessive gene.
Another breeder says "the color of a Blue Diluted dog will get DARKER over time" No - only a "Dilute Red" (aka American Cream) - which is the Red color gene plus the Blue Dilution gene - will get darker over time. Blues and Isabellas (which also have the Blue Dilution gene) will not get darker over time.
Blue Dilution Gene + base color Red = Dilute Red (aka American Cream) (has liver colored nose) Will not have any black or red on the body at all. Body color can range from very very light cream to very dark cream to almost red. These puppies are usually born very light-colored and often darken with age. A Dilute Red/American Cream Dachshund is actually a Red Dachshund with the Blue Dilution gene which makes him APPEAR Dilute Red/American Cream. A Dilute Red/American Cream Dachshund will NOT "pass on" a "Dilute Red gene" or an "American Cream gene." A Dilute Red/American Cream Dachshund will pass on a gene for the color Red and the Blue Dilution gene.
Blue Dilution gene + a Shaded Red (ie base color Red with black overlay) = Dilute Red/American Cream shaded with blue (since the Blue Dilution gene will dilute the Black overlay color)
Blue Dilution gene + base color Black = Blue (actually a gunmetal gray color) with charcoal gray colored nose & nails. A Blue will not have any black hairs on it at all. Could have gray, hazel or green eyes. A Blue Dachshund does NOT have a "Blue gene." A Blue Dachshund is actually a Black Dachshund with the Blue Dilution gene which makes him APPEAR blue. A Blue Dachshund will NOT "pass on" a "Blue gene." A Blue Dachshund will pass on a gene for the color Black and the Blue Dilution gene. The Blue Dilution gene DOES have an effect on Tan Points - it lightens them up considerably - though they are still called "Tan Points."
Blue Dilution gene + base color Chocolate = Isabella (aka Fawn) Same color as Weimaraners, looks silver in sunlight, light chocolate in indoor lighting. An Isabella/Fawn will not have any Chocolate hairs on it at all. The eyes will be gray, light brown, green or hazel. The nose and nails will be dilute chocolate color. An Isabella/Fawn Dachshund is actually a Chocolate Dachshund with the Blue Dilution gene which makes him APPEAR Isabella/Fawn. An Isabella/Fawn Dachshund will NOT "pass on" an "Isabella/Fawn gene." An Isabella/Fawn Dachshund will pass on a gene for the color Chocolate and the Blue Dilution gene. The Blue Dilution gene DOES have an effect on tan points - it lightens them up considerably - though they are still called "Tan Points."
Blue Dilution gene + base color Red + wirehair coat = Wheaten Liver Nose Red
Chinchilla Dilution Gene
The Chinchilla Dilution gene dilutes ONLY the color Red. It does NOT dilute the colors Black or Chocolate, If there is a black overlay (aka Shaded) - it won't affect that either. It also effects tan points.
One breeder said that the Chinchilla Dilution produces light Reds if one gene is Chinchilla Dilution; and Creams if 2 genes are Chinchilla Dilution. This would mean that it is an incompletely recessive gene. I'm not all that familiar with the Chinchilla Dilution gene, but I believe it is a strictly recessive gene - not an incompletely recessive gene.
Chinchilla Dilution gene + base color Red = English Cream. Has a dark eyes, dark nose and dark nails - preferably black. Coat color can actually range from a dingy looking white to bright butter color. Can appear in smooth and longhair. These puppies are usually born very dark colored, almost charcoal - and become lighter as they grow. English Creams can appear with or without Shading (see Shading below).
Chinchilla Dilution Gene + base color Red + wirehair coat = Wheaten which has a black nose, dark eyes and black nails. Coat color can range from dingy looking white to bright butter color. But the hair should be the color of wheat straw - a creamy yellowish golden color. (It's my opinion that a Wheaten is simply an English Cream with a wirehair coat - instead of a smooth or longhair coat.).
Chinchilla Dilution Gene + base color Black (with tan points) = Black & Cream
Chinchilla Dilution Gene + base color Chocolate (with tan points) = Chocolate & Cream
The following Dilution genes have never been known to occur in Dachshunds:
- Albino dilution: Albinism is the lack of all pigment on the skin and hair. Thus, the eyes and skin, including the nose, are pink. Albinos are extremely rare in any species of mammal, and no albino Dachshunds have been known to exist.
- Cornaz Dilution: The coat is pale gray, and the eyes are blue. Cornaz dilution is found in Pekingese and Pomeranians.
- Dondo Dilution: The coat is white, and the eyes and skin are eumelanistic (black based) in color (as determined by the b- and d-series. Dondo dilution is found in Samoyeds.
- Intense Dilution: Pheomelanin (red based) is diluted. Intense dilution is found in afghans.
Points are the tan (or cream) areas on the feet, over the eyes, on the face around the muzzle, on the chest and under the tail in Dachshunds which have coat colors of Black or Chocolate (or Blue and Isabella).
Ludicrous statements by some breeders:
- Non-pointed Dachshunds are very incorrect and unattractive
- The ancestry of non-pointed dachshunds is questionable
- Non-pointed Dachshunds do not exhibit the typical expressive Dachshund face
- Non-pointed Dachshunds are created by bad breeders
- A dog must have tan points to be a true Chocolate, and a "Chocolate" dog without tan points is really only some shade of Red.
- Breeding "too many Black & Tans" will cause the points to disappear.
Points are created by a GENE, for pity's sake. The dogs have the gene, or they don't.
Solid colors (Black, Chocolate, Blue, Isabella/Fawn) with no points are considered undesirable in the show ring. But they are NOT the product of poor breeding, backyard breeding or of "breeding too many black & tans."
Points are recessive. Both parents must either be pointed or carry the point gene in order for the puppies to be pointed.
Tan points (tan on feet, over eyes, on the face around the muzzle, on chest and under the tail) can range from light tan, to deep tan to almost mahogany. Tan points are recessive to Dominant Red. This is why most Red Dachshunds do not have tan points but can appear to have a lighter shading where tan points should be when carried. Tan points are incompletely recessive to Wild Boar and Sable. That is why some Wild Boars and Sables have tan points and some do not. A dog cannot be split for (ie carry) tan points; if the gene is present the tan points will show.
- Black & Tan
- Blue & Tan*
- Chocolate & Tan
- Isabella/Fawn & Tan*
*Note that although the name "Tan" stays the same as for the solid colors, the Blue Dilution gene DOES affect the tan points to a certain extent - it dilutes them in color also - so they appear more as a "faded tan."
Cream points are cream on feet, over eyes, on the face around the muzzle, on chest and under the tail. Cream points are caused by the Chinchilla Dilution gene (above) which dilutes the tan point color to cream without affecting the bodies' Black or Chocolate color.
- Black & Cream
- Blue & Cream
- Chocolate & Cream
- Isabella/Fawn & Cream
Some colors can also have the addition of "Shading" (aka overlay of another color hair):
Shading is an interspersion of darker hairs on the body, usually on the ears, down the back sometimes extending down the sides, and sometimes down the tail or ringing the tail.
- Shaded Red (aka Red overlayed with Black) Black hair dispursed throughout the coat, or a stripe down the back and tail, or black on tips of ears. NOT to be confused with Sable which makes the dog actually appear black in color. These Shaded Red dogs should be registered as simply Red.
- Shaded American Cream (aka Cream overlayed with Blue) Cream dogs with blue ear tips, and varying degrees of blue as an overlay down the back and tail. The Blue Dilution gene changes Red to Cream and Black to Blue - so the Red dog with Black overlay becomes a Cream dog with Blue overlay.
- Shaded English Cream (aka Cream overlayed with Black) Cream dog with black ear tips, and varying degrees of black as an overlay down the back and tail. Chinchilla can affect tan points and any base color except Black and Chocolate. That is why an English Cream longhair can have black hairs mixed with the cream, usually on the ears, back, or tail.
More About Dachshund Patterns:
Any pattern can be superimposed over any self or solid color.
Striped, like a tiger. brindle is a pattern of alternating strips of eumelanin and phaeomelanin pigmentatin, ie yellow and black, red and black, cream and grey, etc. A dominant gene.
Brindling can affect any base color. Most often seen with the Red base color, but it can occur on other base colors - Black and Blue.
A Red Brindle will have reddish black stripes all over its body.
Black Brindles can only be defined IF the dog carries the point gene (either tan or cream). A Brindle Black & Tan or Brindle Black & Cream will show the dark stripes on the tan/cream markings.
A Chocolate cannot have black on it's body (nor can a blue), so the stripes on a Chocolate will be Chocolate (and presumably the stripes on a blue will be Blue). Therefore Chocolate Brindles and Blue Brindles can only be defined IF the dog carries the point gene (either tan or cream). A Brindle Chocolate & Tan, Brindle Chocolate & Cream, Brindle Blue & Tan, Brindle Blue & Cream will show the dark stripes on the tan/cream markings.
Brindling can occur in wirehair, smooth and longhair coats.
The best Brindles are striped all over the body, but even if there are only one or two stripes on the feet or muzzle, the dog should be registered as a Brindle.
Some breeders say that they have seen brindle puppies from non-brindle parents. I would hazard a guess that one of the parents was actually a brindle, but a Black or Chocolate, where the brindling might have appeared only faintly in the tan/cream points (muzzle or feet)
Reverse Brindle - a dog with more Brindling than base color on him. "Reverse Brindle" is simply a breeder's descriptive term, they are registered as Brindles.
Dapple (called "Merle" in other breeds)
A dominant gene which "mutes" the color it falls in varying degrees of shades. The Dapple can fall on the eyes also, causing partially or wholly blue eyes. Can occur in wirehairs, smooths and longhairs.
In the color Red (and hence Cream - because cream is merely Red with a Dilution gene) Dappling can often fade with age - leaving the dog looking as if it is NOT a dapple. If a puppy is born with ANY Dappling - it should be registered as a Dapple because he IS a dapple (and therefore, as an adult, should not be bred to another dapple).
Remember - all Dappling is the LIGHTER color than the base color. The base color is always the darkest regardless of the amount of it actually showing.
A small amount of white on the chest of a Dapple is acceptable in the AKC show ring.
One breeder said that "dappling should be evenly marked on the dog." The Dapple/Merle gene creates RANDOM areas of dappling. There is no way at all to "control" WHERE dappling will fall on a dog.
By the way, Dapples are not "recent" - those genes developed very early in the domestication process - likely within 8 - 10 generations of dogs first being domesticated by man (see "Piebald and Dapple Genes" further down on page)
There are only 2 types of Dapple:
1) Single Dapple - A dog who inherited a single Dapple gene from one parent. One breeder erroneously states that Dapples can only occur with the colors Red, Black and Chocolate. Dapple is a PATTERN - and one that can appear on any color - even Creams, Blues & Isabellas. Dapple is called merle in other breeds, leopard in catahoulas and Tri-color in Beaucerons. A dapple dog who has some white on his chest, toes or tail is NOT necessarily a double dapple, it's fairly common for Single Dapples to have some white on the chest. The Single Dapple will pass on a "Dapple gene" and a "non-Dapple gene" to it's offspring.
2) Double Dapple - A dog which inherited a Dapple gene from BOTH parents - therefore it is exhibiting TWO dapple genes at the same time - which can further mute the base color right down to white in some areas. Puppies can often have physical defects - particularly the eyes, and are not uncommonly blind and/or deaf. There is no such thing as a "Double Dapple gene" - a Double Dapple simply describes a dog who has received a Dapple gene from each parent. That Double Dapple can ONLY pass on one Dapple gene.
Double Dapples are often confused with Dapple Piebalds, but a Double Dapple will frequently have Dappling intermingled in the white areas of the coat - where a Dapple Piebald will not.
One breeder claims that Double Dapples can have "ticking." Although there might be a few spots of muted color on Double Dapples, it is NOT the same as real "ticking" - which occurs only with the Piebalds. I suspect that breeder mistook Dapple Piebalds (which can have "ticking") for Double Dapples.
At one time the AKC said that a Double Dapple MUST have 25% white, and a Piebald MUST have 50% white - Baloney. The "amount of white" - has NOTHING to do with determining if a dog is a Double Dapple or a Piebald. Both Double Dapples and Piebalds can run the whole gamut from "mostly white" to "mostly colored."
A "Reverse Dapple" - is a breeder's descriptive term only. It is simply a Dapple (either Single Dapple, Double Dapple or Dapple Piebald) which has more Dappling than non-Dappling on it's body. It's a normal variation of the Dappling gene.
Piebald (aka Pie, Pied)
The AKC refuses to give an actual definition or description of "Piebald" - even when I pointed out to them that the "s-gene" (aka spotting gene, which is responsible for the Piebald pattern) can occur in many variations - from most of the body being colored with a little white on the chest and toes, to as little as only the ears being colored and the rest white.
Piebald is a recessive gene. Some claim it is incompletely recessive to solid. I believe that it is incompletely recessive to solid, judging from my own experiences with breeding Dachshunds.
Usually the colored areas are rounded (not jagged like a harlequin pattern) on a white background.
The piebald pattern can occur with or without ticking. (see Ticking below)
One breeder said "to be considered Piebald, a dog must show white on their neck, chest, all four legs, underbody and tail tip. A dog with less white than this is not a Piebald, and should not be registered as a Piebald." Bull cookes! That breeder obviously doesn't understand one thing about the s-gene (spotting gene) which is responsible for creating Piebalds.
The s-gene follows a progressive and predictable pattern - as illustrated below on both a Harl Dane and a Black Dane:
The aforementioned breeder also said that "in my opinion all puppies born with large areas of white should be registered as Piebald." !!!!!!!!! Dapple Piebalds and Double Dapples may also have large areas of white and NEITHER should be registered as Piebald!
Another breeder said "A puppy that is not a Piebald should not be represented as carrying for Piebald unless one parent is a Piebald." That is a problematic statement. The puppy may very WELL carry a recessive piebald gene - if EITHER of the parents carried a recessive piebald gene (and hence was not actually a piebald). Many times you can't tell what recessive genes a dog carries until he is bred. Remember the saying?
Your eyes tell you what the dog appears to be.
His pedigree (parents) will tell you what he ought to be.
His offspring will tell you what HE IS.
There are different types of Piebalds:
- Tuxedo (aka Irish Spotted, Boston, Mantle) is a dog with a solid colored body, 4 white feet, white chest and a partial to whole white collar. The effect of the Tuxedo pattern would be if you were to stand the dog up on it's hind feet and it would look to be sporting a solid-colored tuxedo coat, with white collar, white shirt front, white sleeve cuffs and white socks. The Tuxedo Piebald is caused by the same s-gene (aka spotting gene) that causes ALL Piebalds; however, the Tuxedo Piebalds do seem to be more dominant in nature than Extreme Piebalds. Ironically, it seems that these dogs should not be registered as Piebalds, but instead simply as the base coat color.
- Extreme Piebalds - Dogs that are mostly white with a little color. They should be registered as Piebalds.
By the way, Piebalds are not "recent" - those genes developed very early in the domestication process - likely within 8 - 10 generations of dogs first being domesticated by man (see "Piebald and Dapple Genes" further down on page)
ANY puppy which is a Dapple should be registered to reflect that fact.
Dapple Piebald - A dog exhibiting both the dapple gene and the piebald gene. not a combination recognized by the AKC, however these dogs should be AKC registered as Dapples. Other registries will allow you to register them as Dapple Piebalds. They are simply dapples with white areas of a piebald. (often confused with double dapples). There is no such thing as a "Dapple Piebald gene" - A Dapple Piebald is a dog that expresses both the dapple gene and the piebald gene. And if that dog is bred - he would simply pass on a dapple gene and a piebald gene. Should be registered as a Dapple. A dapple piebald will show dappling in the colored areas, not the white areas. A black and tan brindle piebald will show brindling only in the tan points, not the white areas.
Dapple Brindle - There is no such thing as a "Dapple Brindle gene" - a Dapple Brindle is a dog that expresses both the Dapple gene and the Brindle gene. And if that dog is bred - he would simply pass on a Dapple gene and a Brindle gene. Should be registered as a Dapple.
Dapple Piebald Brindle - There is no such thing as a "Dapple Piebald Brindle gene" - a Dapple Piebald Brindle is a dog that expresses the Dapple gene, the Piebald gene and the Brindle gene. And if that dog is bred - he would simply pass on a Dapple gene, a Piebald gene and a Brindle gene. Should be registered as a Dapple.
Brindle Piebald - A Brindle Piebald will show brindling in the colored areas, not the white areas. There is no such thing as a "Brindle Piebald gene" - a Brindle Piebald is a dog that expresses both the Brindle gene and the Piebald gene. And if that dog is bred - he would simply pass on a Brindle gene and a Piebald gene. It should be registered as a "Brindle Piebald" with the AKC. It is NOT true that the AKC will let you register only one pattern. "Code 127" is the official AKC Dachshund designation for "Brindle Piebald."
The combination patterns are absolutely gorgeous, but unfortunately - are very misunderstood. Public awareness of the genes are essential if folks are to be knowledgeable about the Dachshunds they purchase; and to be knowledgeable enough to ignore the ignorant "warning junkies." The DCA (Dachshund Club of America) is no less ignorant than the AKC about these genes. The DCA bylaws state that the purpose of the club shall be "to do everything in it's power to protect and advance the interests of the breed....." How on earth can they PROTECT the breed when they don't understand the genetics? When they don't understand that combining patterns in no way "muddies" the genes? When they don't understand how those genes interact and are passed on? The Great Dane Club of America is no better (as you'll find on the pages linked from the "Great Danes page" on the website.) Those clubs are politics combined with egotism mixed with ignorance - and they seem to take NO interest in keeping up with the latest scientific genetic discoveries.
Sable (technically a color, but in essence a pattern) - can only occur in longhair. This is not a common pattern. It really cannot be truly labeled until a pup is about 6 months of age. In a Sable, all body hairs, except on the face and feet, are banded with two colors, the base color appears closest to the dog's body while the darker color occurs near the hair tip. The face and feet are usually just the dog's base color. Sable dogs have individual hair strands that are two different colors...the base color (usually red) at the root progressing to black at the tip. A true longhair Sable can have any base color, just like a brindle, dapple or piebald.
A Sable dog with red roots would be registered as a "Red Sable", with Red being the color and Sable being the marking. Red Sable dogs will appear Black or Black & Tan at a distance, but when you brush against the hair, the red roots will obviously show.
Supposedly recessive to Red but dominant to Black and Chocolate. May have points or not. A Sable dog cannot carry for tan points. If the gene is present, the tan points will show.
Many Red puppies have black hair which disappears as the puppy grows. IF a puppy is sold as a "Sable" and then loses the black hair - it was simply a plain Red puppy - period.
One breeder said a Sable refers to a Red with a Black overlay. Nope! A Red dog with a Black overlay is a "Shaded" Dachshund - which has individual black hairs OVER individual colored hairs. Unfortunately, Shaded puppies are often sold as Sables.
Wild Boar Dachshunds:
Wild Boar (technically a color, but in essence a pattern) The true Wild Boar color comes only in Wirehair and has each individual hair banded in THREE or more different colors (black, brown and grey; black, red and cream; etc. This is not red hair, mixed with cream hair, gray hair and black hair. Each hair strand actually shows 3 or more different colors. With Wild Boar, you can push up the fur and see a definite fullness of one color on the bottom and other colors on top.
Wild Boars often result in almost a "salt and pepper" appearance and often appear to have dark 'saddles' on their backs.
A Wild Boar dog cannot carry for tan points. If the gene is present, the tan points will show.
I've seen on the net they claim that it can also occur in smooth - BUT those sites that claim it comes in smooth describe the Wild Boar hair as being banded with only 2 colors. I tend to think that the "smooth Wild Boar" and the "wirehair Wild Boar which has hair banded in only 2 colors" - are not, in fact, real Wild Boars at all.
Many puppies are mislabeled as Wild Boar when they are in fact, plain Red (if the black dissipates as the puppy gets older).
Many puppies are also mislabeled as Wild Boar when they are actually Shaded (dogs with Black overlay). But the hairs in an overlay are intermingled; some hairs are Red and some hairs are Black, but no strand has multiple colors on it.
Supposedly Wild Boar is recessive to Red and dominant to Black and Chocolate.
Would be interesting to see if a dilution gene affected the wild boar - turning the bands of hair color to different colors.
Dachshunds and Ticking:
Ticking: (sometimes called Spotting, Roaning, Flecking, Speckling) (called Belton in English Setters) Piebalds can have the addition of a Ticking gene. But technically "roaning" "flecking" and "speckling" is a pattern of intermingled white and colored hairs on some part of the body. Ticking is a pattern of many small pigmented spots on a white area.
The ticking could be a few spots on the toes and muzzle, or heavy ticking all over the white areas.
Ticking is dominant to non- ticking. Some say a dog who carries 2 genes for ticking will show more intense ticking than a dog who carries only one gene for ticking.
Ticking does not become visible in Dachshunds until a week or two after birth.
Heavily ticked Piebalds are sometimes mistaken for Dapples or Double Dapples.
Dachshund Coat Types:
Wirehair - Dominant (or perhaps incompletely dominant) over both Smooth and Longhair. Wiry hair on body, ears and tail. A true wirehair has a stiff, harsh coat, wiry to the touch, close to the body, but noticeably more profuse on the muzzle and legs. Should have pronounced hair on muzzle area (called a beard). Said to have been created by breeding in wirehair terriers into the Dachshund breed, but (supposedly) there is no recorded documentation to support the theory. Wirehairs should NOT be bred to smooths or longhairs. Wirehairs should only be bred to wirehairs.
Smooth (aka Shorthair). Recessive to wirehair, dominant to longhair. Hair should be the same smooth length on all parts of the body
Longhair - Recessive to both wirehair and smooth. Coat is silky, ears, body and tail are covered with longhair. In the US, often the body hair is much shorter than the feathers on the ears and legs or flag on the tail. This variety is said to have been created by breeding small Spaniels into the Dachshund breed, but (supposedly) there is no known documentation to verify that.
Misc. Terms for Dachshund Colors, Patterns & Coats:
Many of the terms below are linked with the Red genes, which is why I generally try to stay away from the color Red - except for Red Piebalds. Also, many of these terms are made up to describe various shades of color (particularly Red or Cream); and also many terms made up to describe various (or improper) textures of different coat types. The problem is, none of these terms are recognized by the AKC, and are frequently just made up by breeders - who often use several terms for the same color/pattern/coat.
Blonde - supposedly another word for American cream which can have a wide range of coat color.
Blush (aka Half Red Half Cream) A blush can range in color from red to light, buff red. (sounds like American Cream?)
Brown - there is no "brown dachshund" - it is either a tan color (which is technically a Red) or a dark brown -which is called "Chocolate"
Brown-Nosed Reds - a red dog with hazel eyes and liver nose and nails. This dog is uniquely both a red dog and a chocolate dog, however because red is the dominant color, that is the color the dog is considered. This dog will be capable of producing reds, instead of only having chocolate genes to pass to its offspring. Same as chocolate based reds? Same as liver-nosed reds? Supposedly this can happen when you have a red dog that carries for chocolate and breed it to another dog that is or carries chocolate, the baby is red but also has the full set of chocolate genes. These will be able to produce chocolates when bred with a dog that is or carries chocolate, but will also produce red puppies.
Buff - (Dilute Cream)Buff is very light, creamy-colored. A buff's coat would be lighter than but roughly the same color as a cream.
Chocolate Based Reds (same as liver nosed reds?)
Cinnamon - supposedly another word for American Cream, which can have a wide range of coat color.
Clear Cream - some English creams will be born a golden color cream or honey buff cream.
Clear Red - supposedly a red Dachshund with no black on anywhere on the body. The nose & nails will be charcoal or chocolate. Perhaps what some folks call "blue based Red" or "chocolate based Red"?? - should be registered as a Red. Another breeder claims that a "clear reds" do have black nose & nails. In some cases they can appear almost white at birth and various shades of cream to red. As they mature in most cases will be a clear red. One person equated this with American Cream, another said it was often confused with Cream. I'm wondering if a Clear Red cannot have black hair - does this pertain to baby puppies, too? - since most Red puppies have a lot of black hair when they are born.
Clear Recessive Red (same as above?) Makes a red color, has no black in the coat at all. Totally red and usually a light fcolor but can range to very dark. Recessive red is dominant over black and chocolate when having both recessive genes.
Clear Dilute Red (same as Clear Red?) Another breeder says "dilute red and clear dilute red are stometimes mistaken for cream in puppies, but will turn a reddish shade as puppies get older. These puppies should be registered as red, not cream.
Coarse/harsh wirehair (aka Stockhair)
Crisp shorthair - has short, straight/crisp, smooth hair
Dilute Blush (aka Flax)said to be d-series dilute red. A flush can range in color from red to light, buff-red.
Dilute Cream (aka Buff)Buff is very light, creamy-colored. A buff's coat would be lighter than but roughly the same color as a cream.
Flax (dilute blush) said to be d-series dilute red. A flush can range in color from red to light, buff-red.
Flush (what some folks call dilute red) - one breeder said d-series diluted red. A flush can range in color from red to light, buff-red.
Gray (some folks call Blue Dachshunds "gray." Some folks call Black Dapple Dachshunds "gray."
Half Red Half Cream (aka Blush)A blush can range in color from red to light, buff red. (sounds like American Cream?)
Harlequin dapple - Nope. The pictures on the net are of Black & Tan DAPPLES - not harlequins. The harlequin pattern (and it's a pattern, NOT a color) exhibits itself as ragged patches of solid color on white background. The supposedly "one line of Harl Dachshunds" showed a picture of what looked like a Double dapple or a dapple piebald - taken not in color, but in black and white. It did NOT remotely resemble a real harlequin pattern. The only breed of dog known today to have the harlequin gene is the Great Dane. (more about the merle and harl genes on the Great Dane pages)
Harsh wirehair: supposedly has a double coat with long, coarse/harsh coverhair and a soft, wooly undercoat. also called stockhair.
Insulating wirehair - has a single coat of long, coarse/harsh hair that is thinner next to the body and thicker at the tips.
Inverse wirehair - has a double coat with long, soft, wooly coverhair and a short, coarse'/harsh undercoat.
Liver-Nosed Red (aka brown nose red) - should be registered as a Red. Supposedly a combination of red and chocolate. Supposedly liver-nosed reds carry chocolate gene, but no black. Supposedly they can produce chocolate puppies. Have liver nose and liver colored nails.
Minus Factor - IF they are caused by the s-gene (aka spotting gene) - then yes - those dogs are piebalds (because the s-gene is the gene which causes piebalds). (and you can see on the Great Dane pages how the s-gene can appear minimally on a dog which results in an almost solid dog but with a few white points on it - chest, feet, etc. However, if they are indeed NOT caused by the s-gene, then they are the puzzling "minus factors" - which are still not understood.
Mosaic - the description claims that a mosaic has one or more pathes of color on an otherwise "normal" - looking background. The picture of the puppy looked for all the world like a dapple piebald (to me, anyway).
Mottled Dapple - could not for the life of me, differentiate the differentiate the Mottled Dapple from the Patchwork Dapple. The one "example picture" I saw was described as a Chocolate dapple with red mottling. Didn't look like it to me - it looked like a chocolate patchwork dapple with different shades of chocolate.
Patchwork Dapple - some folks think there is something "special" about having the different shades of base coat on a dapple, but it's very, very common. The gene which causes the dappling causes VARIOUS shadings of the base color.
Pinwire coat - Has a single coat of shorter, coarse/harsh hair. I've seen pictures of "pinwire Dachshunds" and to me they look like badly bred wirehairs. Their coat is rather sparse and smoothish. Have no idea if there actually is such a thing, if it's an honest-to-goodness "type" of coat, or if it's just a poorly bred (bad) wirehair coat. The pictures of adult pinwires have a notable absence of the important "beard" - leading me to believe that "pinwire" is simply a badly bred wirehair coat. (my opinion only). One breeder claims that "pinwire" is a result of wire to smooth breeding. Wirehairs should only be bred to wirehairs.
Recessive Red -(aka E-series Red) normally Red is the dominant color, but there have been instances (according to various breeders) that there is the existence of a recessive Red gene. For instance, parents that are NOT red producing a red puppy in a litter.
Red Boar - Supposedly a "rare wire color" Mostly red, but with black and brown and grey mixed in.
Red Dilutes - one breeder says that all true red dogs, no matter what their shade of coloring, always have brown eyes and black noses and nailss. Occasionally a brown dilution gene will creep in and cause the eyes to be hazel (greenish-brown), and the noses and nails to be brown or liver colored. These dogs do not have tan markings and are not chocolate dogs. There is no such thing as a chocolate red (or chocolate based red). They are red dilutes....according to her, anyway. This same breeder claioms that "American Creams" are also "red dilutes." She obviously makes no differentiation between the TYPE of dilution gene affecting the color red.
Silky wirehair - has a single coat of long, soft, wooly hair. This coat type is difficult to maintain as well as totally unusable/unmanageable for a working dachshund. Also called soft wirehair.
Silver Dapple - Once called "silver dapples" they are now known by what they really are - Black Dapples (or Black & Tan Dapples). The dappling dilutes some of the black color to a grey or silver.
Soft shorthair - has short, soft, smooth hair.
Softwire (aka silkywire) has a single coat of long, soft, wooly hair. This coat type is difficult to maintain as well as totally unusable/unmanageable for a working dachshund. Also called silky wirehair. (some say it's simply a wirehair who has not been grooomed (ie stripped) properly. Wirehairs which are not stripped have hair which grows longer and soft. But also in the US, longhairs have been bred to wirehairs...and the resulting pups are called softwires. This is a strict no-no in Germany and most of Europe. A wirehair coat is unique - and wirehairs are only bred to wirehairs, to breed them to another type of coat would ruin the wirehair. Looking at pictures of "softwires" in this country - the ones I've seen lack the beard - meaning they are the result of mixed-coat breeding.
Stockhair: supposedly has a double coat with long, coarse/harsh coverhair and a soft, wooly undercoat. also called harsh wirehair.
Tan Dachshund - there is no such thing as a "Tan Dachshund" - those dogs are usually Red Dachshunds.
Tri-Color (a Dachshund that has 3 colors - example a Black & Tan piebald - which will have black, tan points and white piebald patches)
Velvet shorthair - has short, extremely soft (offers very little if any resistance), velvety smooth hair.
Wolf pattern: a wolf pattern is a pattern in which some or all of the hairs on the body are banded in 2 or more distinct colors. The dog's self-color will be present at the tips of these hairs, and the inner band(s) will be different colors.
Wooly wire coat - a soft fluffy coat.Supposedly it can be stripped to achieve correct wirehair texture.
Wirehair, Piebald and Dapple Dachshunds in History:
Just like the different colors & patterns in Great Danes, the different colors & patterns in Dachshunds is documented in history:
In Cassell's Book of the Dog published in 1890, there is this comment, 'The quaint shape and peculiar appearance of the Dachshund rendered him from the first conspicuous on the bench and greatly influenced many breeders to take up the breed.
In this book therre is a reproduction of an engraving captioned 'Rough-coated Dachshunds' showing four dogs, two of which are the variety now called 'long haired.' Woolsack, born 1888 or '89, whose picture appears in the Famous Dachshund Section, was also classified as 'rough coated' and has the type of coat now known as wire haired.
One of the earliest breeders was the Rev. G. F. Lovell of Saint Edmund Hall, Oxford who became one of the authorities of the breed. His first two dachshunds registered at the Kennel Club were Satan (previously owned by Mr. Forbes and imported from Stuttgart) and a prize winner in '69 and Mouse, born in '72. Both described as "red and white."
At the Crystal Palace in 1873 (a four day show) there was the first separate class for Dachshunds. The winners were 1st Mrl Hodge's Erdmann; 2nd Rev. G.F. Lovell's Satan; 3rd Hon. G. Lascelles' Schnaps. All three dogs were imported from Germany.
By 1874, at many shows, colours were separated. There were classes for 'dachshunds red', 'dachshunds other than red', 'dachshunds black and tan', and dachshunds 'other than black and tan.'
The Kennel Club Stud book for 1878 records "The First Exhibition ofSporting and Other Dogs.' This was held in New York on the 8th, 9th and 10th May 1877. The engry being 1191. at this show there was a dachshund class and equal first were Mr. T.B. Allen's Spot, Mr. Lester's Nellie and Mrs. Farson's Frau. There were also three equal seconds. Two of the dogs shown were described as white and tan.
Dapples were registered as early as 1876.
One bitch, Paulina, born about 1876 is described as 'black and tan with markings.' She was imported by Mr. Schuller of Poland Street, London who is mentioned by Hugh Dalziel in his book "British Dogs" published in 1888 as '[having imported a great number of the best dachshunds dseen in this country.
Mr. C. Healey's Wald'l, late owner Adjutant von Harman, breeder Lieut. Scheider, born 1876, was described as 'tan with black markings and spots.'
Dapples were firmly established by 1880 and from then on there was a steady record of them.
At Alexandra Palace in 1900 there were classes for 'white, dappled, brindle and piebald' and several shows about that time included an 'any colour class.'
Color and Coat Breeding Expectations:
Black & Tan x Black & Tan - puppies will all be Black & Tan
Black & Tan x Chocolate - puppies will be all be Black & Tan split for Chocolate
Black & Tan x Red - puppies will be all Red split for Black & Tan
Black & Tan x Red split for Black & Tan - puppies will be Red split for Black & Tan, and Black & Tan
Black & Tan split for Chocolate x Black & Tan split for Chocolate - puppies will be Black & Tan, Black & Tan split for Chocolate, and Chocolate.
Black & Tan split for Chocolate x Chocolate - puppies will be Black & Tan split for Chocolate, and Chocolate
Black & Tan split for Chocolate x Red split for Black & Tan - puppies will be Red split for Black & Tan, Red split for Chocolate, Black & Tan split for Chocolate, and Black & Tan
Black & Tan split for Chocolate x Red split for Chocolate - puppies will be Red split for Black & Tan, Red split for Chocolate, Black & Tan split for Chocolate and Chocolate.
Chocolate x Chocolate - puppies will be all Chocolate
Chocolate x Red - puppies will be all Red split for Chocolate
Chocolate x Red split for Black & Tan - puppies will be Red split for Chocolate, and Black & Tan split for Chocolate.
Chocolate x Red split for Chocolate - puppies will be Red split for Chocolate, and Chocolate.
Red x Red - puppies will all be Red
Red split for Black & Tan x Red split for Black & Tan - puppies will be Red, Red split for Black & Tan, and Black & Tan
Longhair x Smooth - all puppies will be Smooth split for Longhair
Longhair x Smooth split for Longhair - puppies will be Smooth split for Longhair, and Longhair.
Longhair x Wirehair - puppies will be all Wirehair split for Longhair.
Longhair x Wirehair split for Longhair - puppies will be Wirehair split for Longhair, and Longhair.
Smooth x Wirehair - puppies will be all Wirehair split for Smooth
Smooth split for Longhair x Smooth split for Longhair - puppies will be Smooth, Smooth split for Longhair, and Longhair
Wirehair x Wirehair split for Smooth - puppies will be Wirehair, Wirehair split for smooth
Wirehair split for Longhair x Wire split for Longhair - puppies will be Wirehair, Wirehair split for Longhair, and Longhair
Wirehair split for Smooth x Wirehair split for Smooth - puppies will be Wirehair, Wirehair split for Smooth, and Smooth.
Dapple x Dapple - puppies will be Solid, Dapple, and Double Dapple.
Dapple x Solid Color- puppies will be Dapples, and Solid Color.
Double Dapple x Solid Color - puppies will all be Dapple.
Piebald x Piebald - puppies will all be Piebald
Piebald x Solid (NOT split for piebald) - all puppies will be Solid Color split for Piebald.
Piebald x Solid split for Piebald - puppies will be Piebald, and Solid Color split for Piebald.
A word about percentages:
A single breeding might not produce all the colors/patterns possible. Learn to use Punnett Squares - but also remember that they represent the POSSIBLE outcome - not the exact percentage. For instance, a harl breeder I knew bred her harl to a harl and had a litter of 9 pups - none of which were fawniquins (harl pattern on a fawn dane, so the dane had golden patches on white, instead of black patches on white). So she assumed that both parents were "clear" of fawn. Nope. Next breeding produced only 3 puppies - and ALL of them were fawniquins. So just because you don't get the colors/patterns you expected from a single breeding, remember that they might appear in subsequent breedings. These percentages work on the "law of averages."
Genetics are Not the Most Important Thing:
A person can be super-knowledgeable about genetics, but that does not necessarily mean he/she is a great breeder. Genetics play a part of breeding, but they are by no means the only thing to consider. Breeders have to have a gut instinct, they have to know their dogs, they have to know how to breed to get the BEST from both parents. They have to know how to breed in a "complimentary fashion."
Most breeders "champion chase" - breeding their dogs to others simply because they are champions or simply because they have few faults - even though neither dog shows superlative qualities. Just because a dog is a champion - that does NOT automatically make him/her the best dog for breeding. Many dogs who have taken the highest show honors do NOT have the ability to produce as well as a lesser known sibling; even in spite of completely identical bloodlines it's not always the best and most beautiful dog in the litter that is the best dog for breeding.
Time and again I've seen breeders overlook superlative dogs because those dogs had faults, in order to breed their dogs to "fault free" but mediocre dogs. And mediocre bred to mediocre does NOT result in great dogs....you'll be lucky if they result in even mediocre dogs - perhaps almost as good as their parents, but often not even as good.
"Superlative qualities" make up superlative dogs
It takes an eye (and the knowledge not to dismiss a dog because of his faults) and the experience to use that dog to carry on his superlative traits and diminish his faults - by breeding in a "complimentary fashion."
The breeding of the Great Dane BMW Ouzo to BMW Flamingo, exemplifies what "complimentary breeding" is all about.
BMW Ouzo: A well-balanced and "elegant" Dane. Although not fault-free, he carrried exceptional qualities - which were very much influenced by his Grandfather (a FAWN* - Can. CH. Dinro's Goliath). Ouzo had fawn type, elegance, style, long neck, chiseled head, low set hocks.
*For those "purists" who are aghast at breeding a fawn into a harl line, I've got news for you. It is NOT "muddying the gene pool" one little bit. A fawn is a "color." A Harl is a "pattern" - and a pattern can fall on ANY color. If you don't believe me, how about believing the lady, Leigh Anne Clark, who DISCOVERED the harlequin gene? I quote from her interview:
"Harlequin and merle do not determine the color of the coat. They cause a pattern of varying intensities (from full pigmentation to no pigmentation) of the base color, which is determined by other genes."
Unless you are able to differentiate "color" and "pattern" and know HOW they interact (or do not interact) you cannot have a grasp of genetics. More can be seen about this on the Great Dane page: Danes of Special Note
He was bred to BMW Flamingo:
Flamingo was an absolute TANK - especially for a female. Again, not fault-free, but carrier of exceptional qualities. Short, stocky, solid & powerful but with beautiful lines.
Neither dog would have likely done well in the show ring - BUT - together they produced one of the greatest Dane Champions of all time - CH BMW Ruffian (2 pictures below):
The bone and thickness and "oomph" from his Mom combined with the elegance of his Dad created this world-renowned Dane. Ruffian was exceptionally athletic, great bone, had smoothness & elasticity of muscle, good coordination, long shoulders, tight elbows, tight feet & pasterns, very powerful hind legs. He also had the ability to produce exceptional champion puppies.
And THAT's the whole purpose of "complimentary breeding." To combine superb traits from dogs that excel in certain areas (even if they have some faults), to "compliment" each other - and create puppies that minimize the undesirable traits, maximize the desirable traits; combining the very best of each parent AND excelling both. That's what a breeder should be able to do.
But you can't tell that to these young breeders nowadays. They take one look at a "fault" - even if a NOSE is the wrong shade (honestly - that happens!) - and wouldn't breed the dog..
Of course, I am not talking about breeding dogs with obvious hereditary problems, or with faults that are going to interfere with structure, movement, soundness or temperament.
There is one Dachshund breeder on the net who claims she has broken down traits like long head, short ears, long legs, light eyes, deafness, chest depth, etc. into dominant and recessive genes, and claims you should never breed any dog that has any of the numerous faults she listed. That is absolute pure, unadulterated HOGWASH. ANY breeder worth his salt could take many (if not all) of those "undesireable traits" and create SUPERB quality Dachshunds from them - if they knew what they were doing and breed the dogs in a complimentary fashion.
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There is a lot of hullabaloo surrounding them. But guess what? They were most likely NOT caused by any "natural" mutation - they were the results of the domestication process by man.
Take a look at the following link, an experimental study of domesticating foxes was done to explain the physiological and emotional differences between "wild canines" and "domesticated canines." Besides the obvious decrease of sexual dimorphism (the tamer they became by generation the more they LOST their distinctive male vs female body size and skull shape), the tails became shorter and curlier, etc. And one of the FIRST differences noted, was an increase in "depigmentation" (ie more white, less color). WHY?
"Belyaev determined that this piebald pattern is governed by a gene that he named Star. Later my colleague Lyudmila Prasolova and I discovered that the Star gene affects the migration rate of melanoblasts, the embryonic precursors of the pigment cells (melanocytes) that give color to an animal’s fur. Melanocytes form in the embryonic fox’s neural crest and later move to various parts of the embryo’s epidermis. Normally this migration starts around days 28 to 31 of the embryo’s development. In foxes that carry even a single copy of the Star gene, however, melanoblasts pass into the potentially depigmented areas of the epidermis two days later, on average. That delay may lead to the death of the tardy melanoblasts, thus altering the pigmentation in ways that give rise to the distinctive Star pattern."
So what changed the migration rate of the melanoblasts to begin with?
Answer = Reproduction.
Wild dogs bred once a year. The whole purpose of "domestication" is to increase reproduction, and the captive foxes (and early domesticated dogs) became sexually mature earlier and also became more fertile - allowing 2 seasons a year instead of one. This change of increased reproduction changed the rate of migration for the melanoblasts and created genes for piebald and "mottling" (aka dappling or merling - and remember, a "harl gene" is an offshoot of the "merle gene").
The article has fascinating photographs of the differences of coat color (ie the increasing areas of white and also "mottling") over the generations of foxes tested. (ever see a piebald fox? you will there!) And it must be noted that they were not inbreeding the generations over and over. They started out with 40 male foxes and 100 vixens, and by the 8th to 10th generation, noted the distinctive changes in the coat color.
Anyway, it's a fascinating study, for anyone wanting to pursue it. And reinforces the affirmation that piebald (or "s-gene" as it's now called) and merle/dapple were patterns which were developed during the early domestication process of the dog (and likely within the first 8 - 10 generations of the earliest domestication which happened thousands of years ago).
They were NOT unexplained "mutations"
They were NOT intentionally "created" by man - though his disruption of the canine's normal reproduction cycle caused their creation
They are NOT a result of inbreeding, poor breeding or poor dogs.
They ARE an inherent result of the domestication process, dating back to when the dogs were FIRST beginning to be domesticated, and their breeding controlled by man.
All the old-time harl breeders KNEW that merle could exist without harl - but not vice-versa. They didn't have the "more book learning than sense" that the younger breeders nowadays have...the old-time breeders knew because they EXPERIMENTED with their breedings.
But this goes back to the difference between colors and patterns - you HAVE to know the difference in order to understand the genetics. Anyone can spout off the ee or bb or DD genetic codes...but most of those people don't understand HOW they work OR the difference between "colors" and "patterns."
And if you don't know HOW the pattern genes were created, and HOW they work, and HOW they are different than color genes - then you can NOT understand genetics.....period
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Although great discoveries and strides have been done in the field of genetics, I feel that the study is still very much in it's infancy. It's not nearly as "cut and dried" as it's made out to be.
For instance, breeding the same dilute male to 2 females who carry the dilute gene; 1 female whose parent was a dilute, and the other female whose grandparent was a dilute - will result in a great difference in the number of dilute offspring.
A recessive gene is there or it's not - a dog doesn't carry "more" or "less" of a recessive gene (as we understand genetics today); and yet....and yet...... the female whose parent is a dilute will produce far more dilute puppies, than a female whose grandparent is a dilute - both females bred to the same dilute male. I know this is so, because I've seen it time and again, and experience it here with my own Doxies.
Technically, as genetics is understood today, this shouldn't happen. Both females carry the recessive dilute gene, one shouldn't be able to carry MORE of it (or less of it) than the other.
But what we understand today is MUCH different than what we understood 10 or 20 years ago, isn't it? I feel that 10 - 20 years in the future, we'll look back on our knowledge of genetics today and shake our heads, wondering how we could have believed the fallacies/simplicities.
All we can do is go by the knowledge and guidelines we have available right now. "We can't know what we don't know" - as Freda Monroe, a retired breeder of Great Danes, so eloquently says.
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