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KC decision on dapple Dachshunds

Coat colour in the Dachshund varieties is complex because a range of colours is acceptable. Dapple patterning, patches of lighter colour appearing in the coat, is the result of the M gene in the dog.

There are two alleles of this gene: MM (merle) and M+ (non-merle), with merle (MM) being dominant to non-merle (M+). In some breeds, the effect of the merle allele (MM) is termed ‘dapple’.

Unfortunately, the effects of the merle allele (MM) are not confined to coat patterning and we know that there can be an increased risk of impaired hearing and sight associated with it, particularly in dogs that are homozygous for MM (dogs that carry two copies of the MM allele).

Many breeds are aware of, and have for many years, dealt perfectly adequately with avoiding the consequences of these health issues. However, at the request of the Dachshund Breed Council, the General Committee has agreed that with effect from 01 January 2010, the Kennel Club will not accept the registration of any Dachshund puppies from matings which take place on or after this date, where both parents are dapple.

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