ALOPECIA - COLOR DILUTION HAIR LOSS
Black Hair Follicle Dysplasia
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Alopecia simply means "Hair Loss" and is a very common disorder in dogs. The disorder can affect an individual animal in a variety of ways from partial to complete hair loss to it's immune system and can be from gradual or acute.
Alopecia can be inherited or acquired.
In some breeds such as the Chinese Crested, Mexican Hairless & the Hairless Rat Terrier the traits have been bred for.
Some Causes of Alopecia are:
1. Mange - Caused by the Demodex or Cheyletiella mite.
2. Ringworm - Fungus
3. Excessive level of steroids (*increased levels of estrogen)
4. Genetic - Gene programming - Hereditary
5. Dermatitis - Licking Disease where the dog licks itself habitually.
7. Hormonal Dermatosis - Hormonal fluctuations
8. Bacterial - such as Folliculitis
9. Black Hair Follicular - Hereditary disease in dogs with hair of multiple colors. Similar to Color Dilution Alopecia and is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait.
10. Congenital Hyportrichosis - Blue born puppies of certain breeds such as the Yorkshire Terrier.
11. Parasites (*Fleas - Ticks - Lice)
12. Follicular dystrophy/dysplasia - NON COLOR LINKED - unknown cause
13. Granulomas - Bodies reaction to a foreign material such as plants or chemicals.
14. Stress - such as during pregnancy and nursing known as "blowing her coat'.
15. Sebaceous Adenitis - Hair Glands are destroyed - Unknown Cause - Breed Hereditary Association
16. Color Dilution - Mutant Alopecia - Hereditary Condition affect dogs usually with blue (*diluted black) or fawn (*diluted brown) coat colors or has been known to affect normal color coated dogs from affected parents and common in certain breeds such as the Miniature Pinscher. Coat starts thinning usually around 6 months of age and progressively continues to get worst. It is not uncommon however for a dog to start showing signs of the disease later in life. Dogs with Mutant Alopecia should never be bred nor should their offspring. The hair follicles become weakened and break easily. The skin will become rough and flaky and often times bleed. There is no known cure and secondary infections of the skin are normal.
16. There is an INHERITED form of CDA which does now have a test in which to use to breed only clear dogs.
17. There is also an acquired form which comes from a multitude of things such as Parasites, Rash, Fleas - etc.
The treatment, if any, for Alopecia will depend greatly on the cause.
All of our breeding adults have been Tested and found CLEAR of the inherited form.
We do not guarantee against the acquired form as we have no control over how dogs are cared for in others homes.
An autosomal inherited recessive disease that is characterized by high concentrations of the amino acid
cystine in the urine leading to the formation of cystine stones.
There is a test for Cystinuria so only CLEAR tested dogs should be used for breeding.
Our adult breeding dogs have been tested and found clear of the Cystinuria gene.
PRIMARY LENS LUXATION
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A recognized recessive gene (*inherited) disease affecting the eyes of many breeds of dogs including the Rat Terrier and potentially the Harlequin Pinscher since the Harlies was bred out of the Rat Terrier breed. The condition may also be acquired. An acquired cause of PLL can not be excluded in some cases by DNA testing.
PLL is a is a painful widespread multi-breed issue associated with the disintegration of the zonule fibers which hold the lens in place. Once the lens luxates or moves from it's normal position the animal usually experiences the painful secondary Glaucoma occurrence and eventual blindness.
PLL is bilateral and both eyes will be affected even though time may elapse between eyes showing symptoms.
Incidence of PLL is very high in some breeds and breeders are highly recommended to test and eliminate affected animals while working toward eliminating carriers as well. For this to be an effective method of eliminating PLL however every breeder knowingly breeding "Carriers" MUST be a caring responsible breeder and realize they ultimately are responsible for what they produce and would need to take both moral and financial responsibility for offspring produced by them which suffer the consequences of their 'knowingly' breeding carrier adults. Test confirm up to 20% of carriers also have been known to suffer with PLL blindness.
The Rat Terrier and even the Harlequin Pinscher (*though low in numbers), in this authors opinion, have sufficient "Clear" tested and even potentially "Clear Untested" breeding stock making it irresponsible for any breeder to knowingly breed known PLL "Affected or Carrier" animals.
There are 3 categories of PLL Testing:
Does not have the gene - will not develop PLL due to mutation - Can not pass the mutation gene to offspring.
Has ONE copy of the PLL mutation and ONE copy of the normal/wild gene. Carriers have a very low risk of developing PLL (*up to 20%). Carriers have a 50/50 chance of passing the carrier gene on to their offspring. Carriers bred to another carrier can produce 'affected' offspring
Has TWO copies of the gene - will always pass along one gene to the offspring making every puppy a minimum of 'carrier' status. Known PLL Affected dogs should never be bred.
Testing is available and Cheek Swabs for testing can be ordered through:
"Low Blood Sugar"
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The condition of having low blood sugar (*glucose) resulting in low energy levels to a life-threatening condition.
The brain requires a steady supply of glucose to function properly and without those supplies of glucose the body starts to become weak, the patient will become disoriented and confused, stagger and eventually lose consciousness. If the condition is not treated immediately it can become life-threatening.
Toy breeds or small size puppies are most prone to bouts of hypoglycemia.
Puppies can have bouts of hypoglycemia during times of stress, during weaning, from Vaccinations and from over-exercise as well as having an underlying medical condition or from a parasite infestation either internally or externally.
Diet and Management are the only way to control hypoglycemia and prevent future recurrences.
Early Symptoms should be treated with oral administration of glucose or sugar in any form with the exceptions of Chocolate or Caffeine Drinks, which can be fatal to dogs (*take precautions as there could be other forms of sugar not suited for dogs).
Syrup, Sugar Water and 7-up are often used to treat Hypoglycemia.
If the dog is beyond swallowing to safely take sugar orally then an injection or IV of Glucose will be required.
Puppies often fail to eat enough during weaning to sustain their glucose levels.
It is very important that a puppy eat properly and enough at all times.
Giving puppies failing to eat properly supplemental applesauce often times helps keep their sugar level up till they start eating properly.
It is very important that once Hypoglycemia becomes a problem the underlying cause must be recognized and corrected.
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Autosomal recessive (*inherited) disease characterized by deficiency of arylsulfatase B.
The mutation prevents sugars from being broken down causing an accumulation of cells which results in skeletal deformations.
Requires 2 copies of the gene for an offspring to be affected but only 1 copy of the gene for the
offspring to be a carrier for life and for that dog to continue to give the gene to future offspring.
Diagnosed Carriers however have been known to exhibit dehabilitating symptoms of the disease later in life.
Affects several breeds and is a disease known to Miniature Pinschers and a possible disease in Harlequin Pinschers since the Harlie was bred out of and is still bred to the Miniature Pinscher breed.
Symptoms of MPS VI can be seen as early as 4 weeks of age. Puppies often times have normal appetites and normal puppy psychological behavior but will exhibit weak limbs or the inability to walk or function properly and usually have severe growth retardation. Common signs of the disease are Dwarfism, Bone Disease, Deformity of Facial Structure, Eye Cloudiness & Degenerative Joint Disease.
Diagnosis can be confirmed based on a DNA Test Result and Commercial test are available for MPS VI in the Miniature Pinscher breed which is also used to test for MPS VI in Harlequin Pinschers.
Dogs with MPS VI will have a poor quality of life and will most likely require euthanization.
MPS VI is a genetic abnormality and is caused by the mating of affected or carrier animals.
Inbreeding may increase the risk of MPS VI if the gene runs in bloodlines which are untested or bred by irresponsible breeders.
Responsible breeding of ONLY Tested "CLEAR" animals can eliminate the possibility of MPS VI in offspring and eventually the Breeds which it affects.
Pictures can be found on the world wide web of dogs affected by this horrible disease.
Natural Bob-tail Genetics:
The Brachyury mutation of the tail causing it to be known as a bob-tail or short-tail.
It is an autosomal dominant and dogs who carry one or two copies of the mutation will have a natural short tail.
The Homozygous (*2 gene) Brachyury mutation is semi-lethal in utero therefore the breeding of 2 dogs with the bob-tail gene is discouraged.
There is a 50% hereditary rate when breeding a single bob-tail parent.
Animal Genetics UK has a test for the bob-tail gene.
Due to legislative efforts to stop the practice of docking tails, the dog fancy will eventually have to turn to natural bob-tails to continue their love for dogs with shorter tails.
Over 25 breeds of dogs are known to have the NBT gene in their mist including the Miniature Pinscher, Rat Terrier and Harlequin Pinscher.
Natural Erect Ears Vs Drooped Ears
There are only 50 gene combinations that control a breed's appearance in size, shape, fur types, ear positions and shape, color and etc. Within those 50 gene combinations lies the secret to perfect V-shaped Natural Erect Ears to the hound dog type drooped ears and it lies within only one gene on the CFA10 or Chromosone 10.
Dogs with drooped ears were originally genetic mutations from Erect Earred lineage.
Once the mutation occurred however and humans allowed the breeding of the mutation then the gene pool was set to be able to produce both Natural Erect Ear and Drooped Earred dogs.
The Natural Erect Ear was named as such due to it's Natural State as seen on the Wolf.
The NEE is a recessive gene therefore the dog must have 2 copies of the NEE to have NEE.
2 NEE parents mated together should produce NEE offspring unless a mutation for drooped ears occurs.
There are a variety of ear sets: Erect, Drop, Tipped, Rose Ears, Half Set, and combinations where a dog has 2 ear set types.
Many breeds allow any type ear set in their breed standard.
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The dominant eye color for dogs is brown.
A number of genes affect eye colour in dogs.
There are a variety of eye colors such as:
Occurs mainly when the eumelanin produced by the dog is diluted or modified by the B or D (*dilution) gene.
Brown, Blue and Isabella coloured dogs will have Amber eyes.
Amber is considered to be anything from a light brown to a yellow, yellow-green or grey eye.
Occasionally occurs on black pigmented dogs producing "Copper" eyes.
There are 4 genetic ways for a dog to have blue eyes.
The most common is the side effect of the merle gene which dilutes random part of the pigment of the eye.
A split eyes has some blue in it and the rest brown or amber.
A Wall Eye technically known as heterochromia are dogs with one blue eye and one brown or amber eye.
A double merle (*homozygous) have a higher percentage of Blue eyes.
Dogs with large amount of white around its eyes are more prone to have blue eyes as the white areas are unable to produce pigment.
Inheritance of a completely separate gene such as seen in the Siberian Husky where coat color and pigmentation are inherited separately.
The ACR/HPA list in their breed standards acceptable eye colors of: Blue, Green/Gold and Dark.
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Coat Colors & Patterns:
There are 3 Main Coat Colours in dogs being Black, Red and Brown.
All other colors are dilutions or modifications to these 3 colors.
1. Black - Recessive - Found on the K and A Series
2. Red - Found on the A Series (*often referred to as Sable)
3. Brown - Recessive found on the B Series
Some of the Diluted or Modified Colours of these 3 are:
1. Blue - Dilution of Black - Recessive - Found on the D Series
2. Fawn - Dilution of Brown - Recessive - Found on the D Series
3. Tan - - Recessive
4. Blue/Fawn - Recessive
Brindle - Kbr - A Striped Coat - Found on the K Series - Can be in dominant or recessive gene form depending on the breed which it is associated with. In the Rat Terrier and Harlequin Pinscher however the brindle gene has only be known to be dominant in nature meaning AT LEAST ONE parent must be brindle to get brindle offspring.
Progressive Greying - Where the coat turns from a black to a blue as seen in Yorkshire Terriers. Found on the G Series.
Merle - Gene modifies the coat to a lighter colour, leaving patches of the original coat colour. Merle effects only eumelanin thus Black, Brown, Blue and Fawn coats are noticeably merle in pattern. Red is Phaeomelanin and often times the Merle gene is not easily noticed on a Red coat.
Merle Modifiers (*Harlequin & Tweed):
Merle is a dominant gene in all breeds therefore AT LEAST ONE parent must be merle in order to get Merle offspring.
TWEED: - A merle gene modifier when inherited along with the merle gene causes a varying shade of patches on the coat.
If the merle gene is not present the merle modifiers will go unnoticed.
It is believed Merle Modifiers are located on their own locii.
HARLEQUIN: - Modifier which turns areas between the dark patches on a merle to pure white including Reds.
It is a dominant gene and is inherited separately to merle. The Harlequin Gene requires the presence of the Merle gene in order to work.
Found on the H Series.
DOUBLE MERLE: - The expression of merle combined with the extreme modification causing patches of white.
The ACR/HPA does not condone the breeding of merle to merle or double merles therefore have taken the stand of not registering litters or animals of Double Merle Status.
White Spotting - Found on the S Series - Can express itself in varying degrees from:
Tri: - Small amount of white usually on toes, chest, chin and forehead. Sometimes these markings are caused by pigment migration interruption during embryo development but if the markings are found to be predisposed to markings then it most likely is the lowest form of the Piebald gene being TRI.
Tuxedo: Also known as Irish Spotting - Where there is a white pattern on feet, chest and a partial to full collar. A tuxedo patterned dog looks to be wearing a Tuxedo when stood on its hind legs.
PIEBALD: - A white base coat with patches of unconnected colour. A dog with a spotted coat.
Extreme white Piebald as seen in some breeds, such as the White Bull Terrier & Boxer, may cause deafness due to lack of pigment in the inner ear.
Ticking: also known as Roan - The inheritance of very small dots of colour throughout the coat. Ticking can be from black to grey to red.
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Let me state that I have used many registries over the years and left them for good cause for one reason or another.
I have never been banned, suspended or fined by any of them.
Let me rephrase "TO DATE, as of this writing, I have never been banned, suspended or fined by any of them."
I have been around dogs and registries for a LONG time!
There are more registries today than you can shake a stick at. Some good - some not so good, Some superior in their field some mediocre and others inferior. I found 102 different Clubs/Associations/Registries just from a simple search of the internet. Some registries only register a single breed thus called a 'breed registry' while others register only established purebreds; some register anything you want to send in and others do something in-between.
I personally choose a registry which has established and stable breed standards that won't be changed at the whims of a few
every time the regiment changes. A registry that establishes it's own breed standards and not by a revolving membership of a given
Breed Club. A registry that isn't prone to caving in to a single minority group of breeders who want a given size or color/pattern
made a fault or disqualification in an established breed standard where it already exist and worst yet has already sold a set
of papers to the owner of that animal recalling the papers based on size, color or pattern that YESTERDAY was a qualified
part of the breeds standard. I choose a registry that sells me a documented set of papers with a truly given Color & Pattern
listed on it that allows me to SHOW that animal just as any other animal of the breed that gets issued papers from that registry.
The only reason a dog with issued papers shouldn't be allowed to show is if it has disqualifying health issues or poor confirmation.
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AMERICAN CANINE REGISTRY
ACR is both a dog registry and the mother registry to a large and ever-growing group of breed associations.
I will address the registry itself and the Breed Associations I am involved with.
ACR has established, stable and genetically history based breed standards.
ACR's commitment to health, genetics and individual dog Identification is unsurpassed by any other registry.
ACR's name has never changed and the owners of the registry is an American family-based group.
I do sit on the board of the ACR due to my Status of being the Director of both the BYA and HPA.
I am also the contact person and have access to the individual personnel at ACR to get answers if I do not already know the
answer to your questions.
I know I do not fit into what most people consider 'the normal dog breeder' category.
I prefer to walk my own path and tend to step outside the boundaries
so many bias and judgmental breeders see as acceptable - my path has led me to a life of love, joy and happiness both in dogs
and family so you'll need to forgive me if I see it as a successful path and for which the incredible journey for me still continues today.
If you want your dogs health testing information, Vet confirmed height, length, weight, ear set or DNA to be on future pedigrees then send it in
and ACR will put it in their database so future pedigrees will show it all.
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ACR .... I use ACR for my Rat Terriers, Miniature Pinschers, Yorkshire Terriers and the occasional litter of LGD's.
ACR was actually started as a breed registry for Rat Terriers to establish a stable breed standard and a PUREBRED documented
database for the Rat Terrier.
Within months of beginning operations ACR was requested by it's breeders to open the registry to a total breed registry as it is today.
The ACR Rat Terrier Breed Standards are research History Based. An in-depth research of the breeds history was under taken and
the standards were set basedon research and not the whims of a few. The sizes were set based on health concerns, genetics and
history of the breed.
The ACR Rat Terrier breed standards have been in place since the 90's and have never been changed or seen the need to change.
ACR is registry ran - No membership required - No squabbles - No whim changes.
ACR registration certificates have a 3 generation pedigree on them.
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BIEWER YORKIE ASSOCIATION - aka BYA .... I use BYA to register my "Class Act" Biewer Yorkies, some Parti Yorkies and
any F or Traditional Yorkies I plan to use in my Biewer breeding program or those I sell to be used in a Biewer breeding program.
I am the 1st U.S. breeder of Registered German Imported Biewer Yorkies. I am the 1st U.S. breeder to show a Biewer to it's Championship.
BYA was the first to offer a show venue for the Biewer Yorkie in the United States.
BYA is the 1st U.S. Biewer Registry ever established and the 2nd Biewer Registry ever established in the World (*bar none).
The BYA was founded at my request to establish a U.S. based Biewer Breed Registry. The Registry Certificates I received with my first Biewers
was of course ACH since they were the only Biewer Registry at that time. They however were in German and I neither speak nor have the
ability to read the Germany writing so it made sense that a U.S. registry was needed and apparently I was correct in my thinking as at least 3 others
followed suit in later years in establishing U.S. based Biewer Registries. The BYA however is the only Biewer registry in the United States and afar with the lone exception of the ACH which has been established without disgruntlement being the basis of it's foundation at the time of this writing.
BYA has never changed it's name, requires no membership to register an animal, No squabbles and No whim changes.
The BYA Biewer Yorkie Breed Standard has been the same since 2003 and was based on the uncertain history of the breed.
BYA is a Biewer Yorkie Breed Registry. A Biewer Yorkie is a parti patterned Yorkie based on all legitimate information to date resulting from the mating of
2 AKC registered purebred Yorkies.
BYA is solely ran by the ACR family of registries.
BYA is the only approved U.S. registry of the founding U.S. breeder of Biewer Yorkies.
BYA registration certificates come with a 3 generation pedigree on them.
There is a breed known as a Biewer TERRIER registered through AKC which supposedly came from the same origin as the Biewer Yorkie but
the Biewer Yorkie has tested to be a purebred Yorkie while the Biewer Terrier tested to be a cross-breed of multiple breeds.
Ours are purebred Biewer Yorkies.
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HARLEQUIN PINSCHER ASSOCIATION - aka HPA ... I use HPA to register my Harlequin Pinschers (*fancy Min Pins) and the traditional
colored or Piebald factored Min Pins I plan to use in my Harlequin Pinscher breeding program or those I sell who plan to use them
in a Harlie program.
I am the developing and founding breeder of the resurrection of the extinct Harlequin Pinscher.
I am the catalyst for the reason the HPA was formed to establish a documented lineage database which to work toward purebred status of the
Miniature Pinscher and patterned Rat Terrier cross to develop a new breed known as Harlequin Pinscher.
After years of breeding, documentation, testing, hurdle jumping and complying with a variety of rules and regulations the Harlequin Pinscher breed
and the HPA database was accepted into the ACR family of registries as a purebred breed of record.
HPA is solely ran by the ACR family of registries.
HPA has the only founding pedigree database for the Harlequin Pinscher and the only certified pedigree database approved by the founding breeder.
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History and Facts of the Breeds:
Biewer Yorkies - the history of the Biewer Yorkie is simply that of the Yorkshire Terrier with a little twist of how a PARTI Yorkie got a new breed name in Germany.
Let me start by saying this is the story as presented to the world - there are some speculations to it's truthfulness and accuracy.
Mr. and Mrs. Werner produced parti Yorkies out of a pair of traditional Yorkshire Terriers and wanted to register them as purebred, showable Yorkies and have
their patterns accepted and not marked as 'Wrong Color - Not for Breeding'. Few are even aware the now known "Biewer Yorkshire Terrier al a Pom Pon" isn't
even the original way the Werners registered their puppies - originally they were registered as Yorkies and later changed to the Biewer classification.
Are they purebred Yorkies - I can't answer for ALL dogs listed as Biewers but MINE ARE as I have had them breed tested.
There is another lady however who claims she was able to lay hands on 100 separate so-called Biewer dogs DNA and has proven through
MARS testing the Biewer Terrier is a mixture of multiple breeds. Keep in mind here I do NOT breed Biewer TERRIERS but Biewer Yorkies -
She calls hers Biewer Terriers but they supposedly have ALL came from the Germany Biewers from the Werner lines in Germany.
You will also need to be aware that the time the testing was done it's highly unlikely, if not impossible, to of gotten 100 Biewer samples as that would
of probably been close to every Biewer in existence at that time as the Biewer breed was close to extinction till early 2000 when
the American Breeders took interest and started breeding them.
It was also discovered the lady sent in samples and fraudulently listed herself as a Vet. I don't know about anybody else but I personally am not
going to give justification to testing done under so much under-handedness and deceit. My question would be under what established
standard were the samples taken, what established protocols were used to verify the dogs the samples were taken from, what standard was set for
WHO was allowed to take the samples, What bloodlines did the samples come from and where are the databased papers showing the
recorded Registration Certificates and pedigrees to substantiate their claim their samples were from Biewer stock. Further keep in mind this lady
had started her own registry due to necessity as she had been kicked out of the IBC so any paperwork she did present would be questionable at best.
Also keep in mind that this same lady was seeking AKC recognition of the Biewer Terrier and would only be accepted if it was a mix of 3 or
more breeds. Her very questionable testing has achieved her goal and only further proves AKC's lack of integrity as even the smallest amount
of research on AKC's part would of uncovered the fraud and deceit the rest of us easily saw. You would think Ms. Werner would be livid as if the test
are accurate because then she and her late husband would have defrauded a lot of people over the years - - ME INCLUDED.
If the test are indeed accurate you would think there would be breeders lined up filing lawsuits against Ms. Werner and even the lady who had done
the testing as prior to her wanting to seek AKC recognition she also claimed for hers to be from the Werner's stock who claim theirs to of came
from purebred Yorkies. Of course the mixture of 3 breeds only came into play when that is what it took to achieve AKC
recognition. Oh my - what wicked webs we weave!
The first breeding pair of Biewers were brought into the United States in early 2000 by Nancy Anderson.
There is undisputable documented evidence to the importation of the first Biewers.
The only registry at that time for the Biewers was the ACH in Germany.
If I was to register with a registry today in Germany it would be the ACH as it has no tainted beginnings, is the ORIGINAL founding Biewer registry of the breed and has
never been associated with shady breeders in the United States nor has it ever been wishy washy to accepting U.S. registrations. The ACH is the registry of choice of
the majority of German Biewer Breeders and is held in the highest regard.
IBC, Another Biewer registry in Germany, however has been accused of falsified paperwork by a U.S. breeder who partnered up with them early in their beginning in the
attempt to sway U.S. breeders to use IBC. The owner of the IBC even went so far as to post she would no longer accept U.S. registrations when her and this other lady parted ways - she later recanted as I am sure she quickly realized the financial demise of her decision made in haste and anger. I also find it ironic that when the U.S. breeder
was in good graces with the IBC she was loudly proclaiming if you didn't register with the IBC in Germany you were doing a disservice to the breed - her opinion
apparently quickly changed once she was banned from IBC and opened her own U.S. based Biewer registry and started seeking AKC recognition.
Let me just state here - BYA is a Professionally ran registry of integrity who has never played politics with anybody or any other registry.
The BYA was formed in 2003 and became the 2nd Biewer registry in the world and the 1st U.S. Biewer Registry (*BAR NONE).
The BYA had the first Biewer Yorkie Show and is accredited with having the first Championship Biewer Title in the United States.
Every wonder "WHY" ever dog of the same lineage but of different color associated with the Biewer and Yorkie seems to need it's own BREED classification.
It's a total Registry breakdown of common sense and understanding the Yorkie history and genetics.
Biro is a brown spotted Yorkie - Nothing more nothing less - BYA registers it as a brown/tan piebald or belted Biewer or Yorkie.
Stardust - Gold-dust - Crème - Golden (*whatever name it seems to of been given of the day) is a Crème/Red Yorkie - nothing more nothing less --
BYA registers it as a Crème or Red Biewer or Yorkie depending on it's tint color and coat pattern.
Biewer Yorkies are Parti Yorkies. It really is just that simple.
Sometimes The Truth Hurts
*5 Star - Super Highway Breeder with HPA & VIP Breeder with ACR
Harlequin Pinschers, Rat Terriers, Miniature Pinschers, Yorkies and Biewer Yorkies
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JUST THE FACTS JACK:
If the truth is important to you without all the bias cluttered thinking that goes along with so many others version of the truth then this page is for you - Read On. If you already feel you know it all then the below information shouldn't be of interest to you. This page has not been made available to change the facts or to change any minds - it's simply here to let the TRUTH and the FACTS be known to those who truly are interested in being well informed and educated on the below topics.
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I will do my best to 'try' to educate those wishing to learn the truth about the merle gene. Others have consistently posted knowingly false or unproven or even dis-proven theories on the merle gene in their bias attempt to make others fear the gene.
KNOWLEDGE IS A WORTHY OPPONENT
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"THE TRUTH ABOUT MERLES"
Merle is a modifying gene found in many breeds of dogs including the Rat Terrier and Harlequin Pinscher.
It works to lighten areas of the dogs body in which the gene touches, sometimes including the Eyes and Nose.
M - a merle allele responsible for merle colouring of the coat - dominant gene
m - an allele responsible for normal coat pigmentation - recessive
mm - Normal pigmentation - NO MERLE - homozygote of mm - genotype.
Mm - single merle - heterozygote
MM - double merle - homozygote
Wall eyes (*blue eyes caused by Merle gene) are not inferior in vision to normal colored eyes.
In single form the Merle gene only modifies areas of the dogs coat and sometimes the eyes.
A double merle, or homozygous merle, is exactly that - the breeding of a merle to a merle resulting in double merle offspring. There is no special gene these dogs carry, they simply have two copies of the normal merle gene. The double merle gene is considered semi-lethal as it does
not adversely affect every dog with the double merle gene inheritance.
In double form (*double merle) the gene can cause in utero death of fetus or deaf, blind, deformed offspring. Keep in mind this is NOT the single merle form. The answer to not producing double merles is to simply not breed Merle to Merle. It's a pretty simple concept even for those on a learning curve. BUT I regress ... When breeding merle to merle there is a doubling up of the Merle gene and 25% of the DOUBLE MERLE offspring resulting in excessive white coat. (100 puppies X 25% = 25 25 x 25% = 6 so on average 6 out of a 100 puppies from Merle to Merle breeding have the possibility of having genetic issues from breeding Merle to Merle). It is that 'WHITE" which causes deafness and while the doubling up of the merle gene can cause the deafness so can any associated white gene such as the Piebald gene. LSU states "Evidence suggest that deafness is inherited in a non-Mendelian manner in piebald breeds". LSU went on to state in their article that all 18 Merle Chihuahuas and the 4 Merle Dachshunds in their testing panel were all single merles and none had a deaf ear. LSU further stated "Consequently, the deafness in this study cannot be positively atrributed to the SILV mutation ... The SILV gene has been eliminated as a cause of deafness in the Dalmation breed".
Deafness is completely determined by the pigment of the hair in the inner ear. If the hair lacks pigment then the dog will be deaf - irregardless if it is merle or not. Many white dogs of other breeds (*ie Boxer, Dalmation, White Bull Terrier, Piebald Dachshund) have been known to be prone to deafness and yet they do not have the merle gene associated with their deafness.
There has been so much 'bad research' related to the merle gene that we have to wonder who is monitoring these professionals leading us astray. Gen Mark claimed to of found the gene related to merle, more specifically calling it the "SILV" then in 2006 recalled the testing due to inaccurate results being found. The Journal of Veterinary Medicine in 2009 posted an article stating that while merle dogs had a slightly elevated deafness rate over dog breeds homozygous for the piebald gene, the merle dogs also had a lower deafness rate than that of the Dalmation or White Bull Terrier. Genomia claims to of identified the merle gene on CFA 10 or Canine Chromosome 10. Genetic DNA studies performed at LSU, Texas A&M, Cornell, Auburn, Clemson and the University of Viriginia have some very different views of the Merle gene than some others. Some of their studies have shown that the merle gene may affect some breeds differently than others. Their studies showed dogs having both the Double Merle and piebald gene have a greater propensity for producing deafness in their offspring. Double merle breedings in Catahoulas during their research did not show to have an increased incident of deaf offspring.
Testing for Merle gene is being offered by several Laboratories such as IDEXX in Canada. Merle dogs however are usually visibly merle so there is little cause for testing.
LSU has a test called the BAER test available for those wishing to have their dogs hearing tested.
LSU states on their website "Breeds with white pigmentation are most affected".
LSU also list 97 breeds of dogs with Reported Congenital Deafness and VERY FEW of those breeds listed have the merle gene associated with it.
Many tend to try to label merles as hidden, cryptic, phantom but the bottom line is that IF the dog is a merle then somewhere on the body is a merle modification that was simply overlooked.
No 2 merles are ever just alike and their markings are as distinctive as finger-prints.
The merle gene has long been a bias subject for myth and false statements with a sprinkling of truth woven into the story.
With all of this being said we can only hope some will be less likely to jump on the Merle-Haters band wagon.
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