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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 this review.

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.'
     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 ABOUT???"
Sable!!!! 
     By her own words, Ms. Allen, has shown that she does not understand coat color inheritance of the sable gene.

Now for her article


WE DO HAVE A
                 STANDARD 
                              EDITORIAL
 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 are 
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 Cocker.
     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
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Alicia Dooley
 This web site and accompanying list are for the promotion of the sable color in American Cocker Spaniels...... Although we can't show them in conformation, (USA) they can still participate in juniors, obedience, agility, hunt tests, field trials, etc. We'd love to hear stories of what people have done with their sables 
  http://www.sable-cocker.com  Oak Ridge Cockers