The Dreaded I.C. (Improper Coat Gene) in Australian Cobberdogs: by Beverley Rutland-Manners
2017 has seen a wave of panic racing through ( mainly new) Australian Cobberdog breeders across the world regarding the improper coat gene. So what exactly is it?
Firstly what it is NOT. Improper Coat is not a health issue. Neither has it been linked to any health issue.
The Australian Cobberdog Breed Standard calls for a profuse coat that doesn't shed and I applaud breeders who are committed to remaining true to the Standard. But like so many other areas in life, it's a good idea to read the fine print! This article is intended to be a brief overview of the fine print, and it is my earnest desire that breeders will pause and think before they remove I.C. carriers from their breeding programs.
I have been breeding "coated" dogs for 50 + years, and improperly coated long coated breeds have been around for as long as I can remember. It is thought that there are several genes involved in the various kinds of imperfect coat, but this one is responsible for the majority of them according to current research into the Portugese Water Dog, ( the breed in which the gene was first identified) by Dr Gordon Larkin and Research Scientist Kevin Chase at the University of Utah.
FACT: I.C. 'carriers' can look exactly the same as correctly coated Cobberdogs. A DNA test was developed in 2010 to identify its presence
THE SIXTY FOUR DOLLAR QUESTION-
"Why shouldn't breeders eliminate I.C. carriers from their breeding progams?
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