DO WE HAVE A STANDARD?
This is a review of information that was written
in an editorial by Michael Allen named "We Do Have A Standard" in her magazine
The American Cocker Magazine. The entire article follows
When Ms. Allen wrote this she stated 'I have searched through the Cocker
books of the past such as Ella Moffit's, Ruth Kreauchi's original effort
in 1956 and others and this problem was not mentioned, in print at least,
at any time in the published history of the Cocker Spaniel.'
Now for her article
I would say by that very comment, she did
not go looking very hard when the American Kennel Club, decades before,
registered American Cocker Spaniels as sables. *See
the documentation on web site
One thing she fails to mention is the fact
that Dr. Phillips, in Ella Moffit's book that she quotes in her article,
talks about the red cocker as being a deep mahogany shade and it being
the most desirable color in reds.
With so many sables that were registered during
the previous decades as mahogany, "IS THIS REALLY THE COLOR HE WAS TALKING
By her own words, Ms. Allen, has shown that
she does not understand coat color inheritance of the sable gene.
|WE DO HAVE A
The time has come it would seem for comments from your editor
on a current problem. the above mentioned problem should not exist,
in fact I have searched through the Cocker books of the past such as Ella
Moffit's, Ruth Kreauchi's original effort in 1956 and others and this problem
was not mentioned, in print at least, at any time in the published history
of the Cocker Spaniel. This situation is very basic and simple.
There has arisen of late within the past few years, a color new to the
breed and to Sporting dogs but very old to all other groups of dogs, i.e.
sable. This is any buff based color from light silver to dark red
with an overlay of black hair. this is a perfectly legal and desirable
color in many breeds including Dachshunds Sheepdogs, German Shepherds,
Lhasa Apsos, etc. a glance at the American Kennel Club Dog Book will show
you the standards of all breeds and show you the standards of all breeds
and their accepted colors. It will also show you that this is NOT
an accepted color for the Cocker Spaniel nor of any other sporting breed.
The official American Kennel Club approved
standard of our breed is like a law. It is our only guideline for
breeding our dogs and for their exhibition. To introduce a "rare"
color is breaking the law. The last standard change presented this
"new color" for the fancy to consider inclusion and it was rejected.
Thus, the color sable is not an allowed color and should not be bred.
The law is simple. We have a wide range of attractive colors that
|permitted, so what is the actual purpose of introducing
a "new one"? This
is an important question that breeders should ask themselves honestly.
Secondarily, in searching the books it is
a fact that I found absolutely no mention of sable or of any color that
remotely sounds like it. Phillips in his chapter on color in the
Moffit book of 1935, made several derogatory comments about livers in stating
his opinion and he mentioned blues, fawns and whites as examples of the
unusual colors in the breed but no sable. As former editor of the
Review and current editor of the Magazine, I have made every attempt to
persuade the very few sable breeders to present their side of the situation
by sending me articles on where their first sable came from and copies
of their photographs, in the interest of fairness and impartial editorialism,
I have repeatedly made this request over the telephone and by letter but
I have not received the above material. In this situation, I feel
that casual opinions as to the vague possibility as to what dog in the
far distant past MIGHT have carried the gene is of no value. Proof
is needed. In many long discussions with other breeders of long standing
of several breeds that do allow the color, they have all agreed that a
gene that is recessive only to black but dominant to others connot "sleep"
for decades and then make a surprise appearance. In some pet shop,
some article, in some back yard, some person would have had it and made
mention of it's existence, such as in the case of the blues. Even
the undesirable muddy fawns, very rare are mentioned in old books but no
sable. The breed simply does not carry the gene for merle,
|brindle, the masking gene such as found in Great
Danes and several other common traits in other breeds but not Cockers.
The Phillips article also mentions that he had never seen the black and
tan with the heavy extension of tan so that the animal has a saddle like
Beagle. Now I have very recently, but the Cocker was admittedly no pure
This is a serious situation and should be
given some appropriate thought. Readers, ask yourselves these questions?
Where did the color suddenly come from? Why was it not in evidence
until recently? If you feel that it was evidence, where is the proof?
There are other people who have read and respected our standard. A well
known and very highly thought of judge just excused the sable and white
from the ring the first day of the Houston Astrodome weekend. She
is to be commended for her courage as she is hired to judge the dogs by
the written stand and it clearly states and describes the allowed colors.
In ASCOBs, it states "solid color" A sable us certainly not
solid. In parti-Colors, it states, "definite colors appearing
in clearly defined markings" It mentions roans also as acceptable.
Not sable. Let us all put aside personal feelings and think about
these "new" color. Editor
*footnote: Proof of this color's dominance is clear. The
people who have bred their bitches to sable dogs have gotten sables in
the first litters. As these bitches heritage is known to all and
the individual's have been seen by either a few or a great many persons
and know to be not-sable, the appearance of the sable puppies in the litters
is proof of the dominance of the gene, If it were recessive, both
parents would have to possess it and the ancestry of the bitches who have
produced the sable puppies (to the best of my knowledge) are clear of this
color as they are known, and photographs exist of them. The individuals
behind the sable sires are not so know