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Registration of Recessive Coated Dachshunds - Lafora Disease

Last year, the Kennel Club decided to amend Annex D to the B regulations, allowing the registration of Dachshunds born with a recessive coat type.

The Dachshund Breed Council expressed concern that this could lead to Lafora’s disease, a debilitating neurological condition which currently affects only Miniature Wire Haired Dachshunds, from entering the gene pool of other varieties.

After careful consideration, the Kennel Club Board have approved a recommendation from the Dog Health Group that the progeny of any Dachshund from two Miniature Wirehaired Dachshund parents, registered as a different coat type to their parents, must have a coat type DNA test as a condition of registration, and will be endorsed by the Kennel Club (R progeny not eligible for registration). The endorsement will be removed only should a clear Lafora’s test result be produced or if both parents are either tested as clear, or shown to be hereditarily clear from the condition.

This comes into immediate effect and the Kennel Club has today written to Miniature Wirehaired Dachshund Breeders to advise them of this change. (See letter below)

Breed Council Chairman Ian Seath said "We are delighted and relieved that the Kennel Club listened to the case we presented. All our Breed Clubs agreed it was important to put measures in place to avoid knowingly introducing the Lafora mutation in the other varieties via recessive coat registrations."

Gill Key, Pet Advisor on the Breed Council's Health Committee said "I owned a Miniature Wire affected badly by Lafora and have supported many owners with similarly affected dogs. The thought of accidentally spreading this particularly severe and ultimately life-changing form of inherited epilepsy into other varieties of KC registered Dachshund was horrific. This change of Kennel Club policy to require DNA testing before registration and endorsement of any progeny is both extremely sensible and welcome".

Roger Sainsbury, Chairman of the Breed Council's Health Committee said "Allowing recessive coated Dachshunds to register in the appropriate breed for their coat will help improve the size of the gene pool for these breeds. I am very happy that the Kennel Club have now put testing in place which will prevent Lafora disease from being accidentally introduced into other breeds of Dachshund when this is done".

What are Recessive Coats?

Dachshunds in the UK normally have 2 copies of their own coat type gene (Wirehaired = WW, Smooth-haired = SS or Longhaired = LL) because the KC does not allow cross-coat matings. However, these were allowed until 1977 and there are still Wires and Smooths that “carry” the genes for different coat types. It is therefore possible for a Mini Smooth to be born from two Mini Wire parents and for the Lafora mutation therefore to be introduced into the Mini Smooth gene pool when the recessive coated puppy is registered. DNA tests are available for coat type and for Lafora Disease.

Find out more about health testing.

Find out more about the genetics of coats and colours on our Presentations page.

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