Colour breeding - Dilutes (Blue and Isabella)
“Colour Dilution Alopecia doesn’t exist”; “All our dogs are healthy and well looked after”; “People who breed ordinary colour dachshunds are just jealous of the money we can make”
These are two recently rescued dilute colour dachshunds, one male, one female, a male aged around 12 months and female 18 months. When collected, both were emaciated, covered in faeces and had severe alopecia (baldness) patches. The female is so bald it is difficult to identify her true colour.
Both had been used for breeding.
They are evidence that Colour Dilution does exist and that some breeders care more about the money they can make from producing pups than the welfare of their dogs and pups.
Dilute colours: sometimes a dachshund inherits genes that weakens the colour. The black in black and tan coats changes to a faded grey (blue). In the chocolate, the coat fades out to a very milky ‘Galaxy’ bar colour, known as Isabella. Dilute dogs may suffer from Colour Dilution Alopecia.
What is Colour Dilution Alopecia (CDA)? Not only do the genes weaken the colour, but in many cases, the genes also thins and weakens the hair shaft, so that it easily falls out or breaks off, leaving bald patches on the body, particularly on the ears. This can leave the skin particularly prone to sunburn, infection, dermatitis and cancer. Unfortunately, Dachshunds seem to be at particularly high risk. A dilute pup recently advertised for £6500 was described as having a coat that ‘almost glowed pink’ – seemingly the breeder was unaware that it was the skin showing through the very thin overlying hairs.
Is there a cure for CDA? No. Owners of dogs with CDA have to fight a constant battle with dietary changes, supplements and medication to keep it under control.
Is there a DNA test for CDA? Short answer – no. Longer answer – no, and because of that, responsible breeders in the UK do not deliberately breed dilute colour dogs.