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 Post Posted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 2:56 pm 
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Lately, the lacy community has been buzzing with talk about white markings and irish spotting.

Seeking clarification on the subject, I decided to send an email with pictures to our resident canine color expert, JP Yousha. If you will remember, JP gave a seminar on color genetics for the NLDA in 2012. She is the recognized expert in the one breed with the most complex color problems (Great Danes.) Her list of credentials is impressive.

According to JP, the white markings in our breed are most likely caused by either residual white or irish white spotting.

Residual white is non heritable. Typically, this involves white ONLY as a small spot on chest or tips of the toes (though some sources will say residual white can also cause spots on the end of the muzzle and tip of tail.) Sometimes residual white fades away as the puppy grows older.

Any more white than that involves recessive white genes and there are two known: Irish & Piebald.

Piebald is an erratic and excessive white that is unpredictable. You get some mostly white pups when carriers collide. There is a color genetics test for piebald so it would be easy enough to find out if the large white patterns in this breed are caused by piebald or irish. We just need to test a couple of dogs. If they show negative for piebald, then lacys carry the Irish gene.

Irish gene results in "tuxedo trim" - white feet, tail tip, white on the face and / or chest and belly.
So, all lacys producing white beyond toes (in other words, white covers the entire foot or beyond) & anything more than a simple star on chest are likely Irish carriers. There is a range of inheritability so you'll get some dogs with very little spotting and some with a lot.

Does this mean the entire population carries for Irish spotting? We can't determine what the genotypes are because there isn't a test for Irish but we can guess based on the phenotype (what they look like.) There are some lacys out there that have virtually no white on them. My Rowdy and her sister Hattie are two such dogs. Rowdy has a small white spot...smaller than a dime...on her chest. No white on her toes. Her sister has no white anywhere on the body.

Say we breed one of these to a male that also has no white (or virtually none) and we get puppies with Irish pattern...that would have to mean one of the dogs with no white carries for Irish.

If white markings are that undesirable, don't breed the Irish offspring & avoid breeding carrier parents.
Cull all the Irish marked pups then tag all parents as Irish carriers & only breed then to solid dogs from solid lines with no Irish outcrops.

The good news about Irish is that it doesn't cause deafness like piebald. So, what is the problem at all with working dogs having white on the face and / or tail? Tradition, I guess, though I'm not sure at what point in history it was written that white beyond the feet and chest was unacceptable.

In an effort to help increase our knowledge of the color genetics of lacy dogs, the National Lacy Dog Registry will soon be providing financial assistance for color genetics testing for breeding lacys through partial grants. This test is open to anyone...no matter where your dog is registered. If you are interested, contact us for details.

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 Post Posted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:55 pm 
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Quote:
The good news about Irish is that it doesn't cause deafness like piebald. So, what is the problem at all with working dogs having white on the face and / or tail? Tradition, I guess, though I'm not sure at what point in history it was written that white beyond the feet and chest was unacceptable.


Interesting. I imagine that, originally, excessive white was deemed unacceptable because it was assumed to be linked to deafness or other health issues.

Do you need a dog with white on its head to test for piebald, or will any dog with more than a small chest patch work?

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 Post Posted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:52 pm 
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Lucy has a large white spot on her and I will have her tested. Her white is not too noticeable because she has so much ticking in the white. She has only thrown one pup with much white and that was on one foot.

Anyone who has had their lacy color tested for anything, we can go in and additionally test for white spotting, if someone would like. UCDavis retains the DNA and will be able to do additional testing without having to have additional swabs. If anyone wants the additional testing, just let me know and I can take care of it. The cost will be an additional $25 I believe, but will have to check.

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 Post Posted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:46 pm 
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Very interesting and thank you for supporting research into the breed. I've probably read the color genetics post 10 times trying to wrap my brain around it :-?


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 Post Posted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:56 pm 
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It takes a while to completely grasp the color genetics. I have to review it quite frequently! Courtney has a great grasp on it and I wish that I got it like she does! I use my age as an excuse!!

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"You did then what you knew how to do, and when you knew better, you did
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Maya Angelou

"You have enemies? Good, that means you stood up for something in your life!"
Winston Churchill

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bjleek/


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 Post Posted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:32 am 
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:ymhug: I LOVE all this genetics/color/dna!!!! More more more!

And yes we want to test!!

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