Abstracted from http://www.splendorfarms.com/english-creams.html – A lovely breeding kennel in Louisiana, U.S.A.
There are many available dachshunds described as “cream” colored. Some are golden, some are strawberry blonde, others have black overlay, and some have no overlay at all. Are all these various shades really “cream”? The answer is NO. In fact, there is only one “true” cream all of which come from UK ancestry. Hence, the “English” in describing a true English cream. Any other color is mistakenly called “cream,” and is genetically different.
Why is this important?
The genetics that create a true English cream are distinctly different than those that create a dilute red, (often referred to as an “American Cream”), and are widely believed to create advantages in temperament, coat, and general health. Because of this, and their greater rarity, English cream pups will typically cost more than other types of dachshunds.
How can you tell if a dachshund is a true English cream?
- DNA testing – this may be costly;
- Pedigree – generally dependable, but may contain errors;
- Observation – most pragmatic if you’re willing to learn some genetics;
Understanding the Genetics Provides an Advantage
The Chinchilla Dilution (“C”) gene series is responsible for true English cream. It effects the base coat color red, and the points color, tan, (i.e., the color above the eyes, along the nose, etc.). This gene does NOT affect black and chocolate pigments. So, when two alleles for the chinchilla gene are present, the red base coat is diluted to the cream color, but any black overlay is unaffected. Hence, a true English cream dachshund may have a black overlay, whereas red dilutes will not.
When dominant reds are overwritten with two Chinchilla genes, true English cream puppies will be born very dark in color, almost black. However, over the course of the first 6 or 8 weeks, the true cream color emerges from the undercoat, slowly overtaking the initial black coat. The older the puppies get, the lighter in color they become. Some may lose almost all of their black overlay, while others may retain a great deal of it. The later are often called “shaded English cream”. The key to identifying these pups is evidence that they were born black and are progressing toward cream.
When recessive reds are overwritten with two Chinchilla genes, true English cream puppies are born very light in color, a beautiful golden buff to near white, without any black overlay because the recessive red alleles (ee) prevent any black pigment from showing in the coat. These puppies are called “clear English cream”. “Clear” referring to their lack of any black overlay. The key to identifying these pups is evidence that they were born very light without any trace of a black overlay and continue this way.
Additionally, true English cream dachshunds are always longhaired, and retain their dark eyes, nose and nails because the black pigment is unaffected by the chinchilla gene. (Please note that the dachshund coat is not fully developed until two years of age so a longhaired pup may not appear to have very long hair in infancy.) By contrast, red dilutes may have lighter eyes, nose and nails.
- True English cream dachshunds may have a black overlay, whereas red dilutes will not;
- True English cream dachshunds will either be born black and obviously be progressing toward cream, or are born very light without any trace of a black overlay and continue this way.
- True English cream dachshunds are always longhaired, and retain their dark eyes, nose and nails;
We hope this information has been helpful to you. If you have further questions, please contact us. We are proud to offer true English cream pups to loving families as we have them. We maintain a waiting list for these pups which we invite you to join. To see our latest cream pups, please click here….