Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Who ordered all the extra chrome?

If you read the post about Eta’s litter you might have noted two of her puppies have considerably more white than the average Toller. The male puppy has a wide blaze that extends down the back of his neck. He has one completely white front leg, as well as a generous amount of white on his back legs, chest and belly and a large white tail tip. The female puppy has all that and more as the white extends over her eyes, making her look a bit like a white faced border collie.

Color genetics is complicated at best and not an area I am comfortable expounding on, but it is worth noting that the same gene (the Irish spotting gene) which produces many of the white markings in collie type breeds is also responsible for the flashy white found in our breed. This gene has many possible modifiers, which makes it unpredictable (but interesting!) at best.

Soon after this litter arrived I took some pictures on my iPhone and texted a fellow breeder. Knowing the standard, I couldn't help but wonder if I would have trouble placing these puppies (who are healthy and normal in every other way). As it turns out, almost everyone (including some people "in the breed") were rather infatuated with these pups. These pups have been placed in active agility homes and their owners are prepared for any questions their odd markings might generate.