Groover is Lilly's son and the newest addition to the crew. It's been a long time since we kept a boy as a permanent family member, as girls and boys together can get quite tricky at times, but we decided to take the plunge with this little lad as he has a twinkle in his eye that just cannot be ignored!
Groover is a Red Dapple; Dapple is also known as Merle in other breeds.
For some time, Red Dapple wasn't an 'in vogue' colour, specifically amongst exhibitors and those within the show ring. I'm very pleased to see that the colour is becoming popular again as not only is this little guy stunning, he has a fantastic pedigree and is completely delicious in every way. A total keeper!!
Groover will be invaluable to us in our breeding when he is fully grown. He is PRA Clear, his Sire is an older stud dog, a Champion, who shows no signs of any health issues to date, specifically IVDD, and this is always very reassuring.
When using a Dapple dog at stud, it is imperative that the bitch being mated isn't a Dapple also, as this would result in Double Dapple puppies (as written about on Lilly's page).
There is still some confusion surrounding Dapples and breeding. Exercising caution at all times is absolutely necessary, but there are a few things to highlight.
If one parent is Dapple but a puppy born from it is not, then the puppy
DOES NOT CARRY the Dapple gene. For example, in the photo above, there is a Red Dapple Dog (Groover), a Silver Dapple bitch and a Black and Tan bitch. Their Mum is a Silver Dapple, as are two of her puppies, but the Black and Tan bitch pup DOES NOT carry the Dapple gene.
To carry the Dapple gene, the coat will also be Dapple.
Should she have a litter, she CAN be mated to a Dapple dog because she isn't a Dapple herself, even though her Mother and siblings are.
The caveat to this, however, is that 'Dappling' can be as little as one strand of hair, it doesn't need to be an obvious pattern for all to see. It's extremely rare for the pattern not to be visible, but it can happen and every breeder should be aware of this.
For this reason, should a litter be planned from a bitch/dog who has a Dapple parent but doesn't appear to be Dapple themselves, I strongly advise a simple DNA cheek swab to test for the Merle Gene (M Locus) prior to mating. This is the only way to be 100% sure. These tests can be obtained from the Animal Health Trust or Laboklin, are reasonably priced and both offer an excellent service.