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Improper coat

The funny coats – improper coat

The owners of the Cymbrogi kennel who have registered their Australian Labradoodles dogs with ALFA-Europe, were confronted with some puppies in a litter which had a funny coat. A colleague breeder drew their attention to puppies of the Portuguese Waterdog which had an abnormal coat. The similarity was striking.
This unwanted coat was called Improper Coat by the Portuguese Waterdog breeders because this coat does not meet the breed standard of the Portuguese Waterdog.
Most dogs that have an improper coat have a coat that resembles the coat of a Border Collie or a Flat Coat Retriever. Within the Australian Labradoodle breed, those dogs are often called “flat coats” and they often shed heavily.


The OptiGen-IC13 test

In 2010 genetics find out that the phenomenon of the improper coat in the Portuguese Waterdog breed is caused by a mutation in one of the genes that distinguish the coat trait. It turned out to be a recessive gene, meaning that a tested dog can have this specific gene mutation although the coat is normal.

For the Portuguese Waterdog breed, a breed specific DNA test -calling the DNA-IC13 test- has been developed by OptiGen, an American Laboratory. With this test you are able to determine if a dog is a carrier, a normal or an affected dog for this gene mutation. This DNA test enables the breeder to avoid combinations from which improper coat puppies could be born.
Because this mutation is not a disease, genetics warn that it would be a big mistake to remove carriers of this mutation from the breeding program. Those dogs contribute to the genetic diversity of the breed.

In 2012, with the help of the Dr. van Haeringen Laboratory in the Netherlands (VHL), Cymbrogi has proved that the IC13-test was applicable and valid for the authentic Australian Labradoodle too. Visit the website of Cymbrogi Australian Labradoodles if you want to know more about their discovery.


Improper coat / Furnishings

Because VHL considers an Improper Coat as a variation in coat trait, she offers a new DNA test known as: 484 Improper coat / Furnishings

For many years breeders of Australian Labradoodles worldwide were puzzled because they did not know where those funny coats came from. Now we know the cause and even better, we know how to avoid it. In the meantime this phenomenon has been proven to exist in many other breeds as well.

It can take generations before this gene mutation becomes manifest because both parents must be carrier of this recessive gene. So many breeders will be confronted with this mutation when they breed dogs without testing them on the IC13-gene.

If you want to know more about coat variation please consult the links page.


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