Dachshund Puppies by Li'l Dachs - AKC Miniature Dachshunds

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English Cream vs American Cream




    We've all seen dachshunds described as "cream" colored. Some are a golden buff color, some are a strawberry blonde color, some have black overlay, some have no overlay at all, and others appear to be simply red. Are all these various shades of color really "cream"? The answer is NO. In fact, there is only one true "cream"... the longhaired English creams of UK ancestry. Any other color that's mistakenly called "cream" or "American cream" is not a true "cream", and should be called and registered as RED. This is in accordance with the breed standard set by the Dachshund Club of America and followed by the American Kennel Club.

    So, if you're looking for a puppy, how can you tell if it's a true English cream or a misrepresented red? There are ways to distinguish between the two, and it's fairly easy for even the novice dachshund owner. You just have to know what to look for... and what to look out for...

    First of all, there are two completely different gene series responsible for "English" and "American" cream. These two gene series act in different ways to dilute the color of a red dachshund's coat.

    The Chinchilla Dilution ("C") gene series is responsible for true English cream. It effects the base coat color RED, and it effects TAN POINTS. It does NOT effect BLACK and CHOCOLATE pigment. This is why English cream dachshunds can have BLACK overlay. The RED base coat is diluted to the cream color, but the black overlay is unaffected. This is also why black & cream dachshunds have CREAM POINTS. The TAN POINTS are diluted to the cream color, but the black base coat is unaffected.

    The Blue Dilution gene series ("D") is responsible for American cream, blue & tan, and isabella & tan. It effects the base coat colors RED, BLACK, and CHOCOLATE. It does NOT effect TAN POINTS. This is why American cream dachshunds CANNOT have BLACK overlay. The RED base coat is diluted to the cream color, and any black overlay is diluted to a BLUE color. This is also why blue & tan dachshunds have TAN POINTS. The TAN POINTS are NOT effected, but the black base coat is diluted to a BLUE color.

    True ENGLISH Cream is the result of a dominant red (ayay -or- ayat) or recessive red (atat ee) dachshund with two alleles for CHINCHILLA DILUTION (cchcch). In the case of dominant red dachshunds, true English cream puppies are born very DARK in color. They look solid black when they are newborns. 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, and are accurately called "English cream". Others may retain a great deal of their black overlay, and are often called "shaded English cream". In the case of the recessive red dachshunds, true English cream puppies are born very LIGHT in color. They are a beautiful golden buff color. The lack of a black overlay is caused by the recessive red alleles (ee), which prevent any black pigment from showing in the dachshund's coat. The older the puppies get, the LIGHTER in color they become. These solid golden buff dachshunds are called "clear English cream". All true English cream dachshunds are LONGHAIRED, and have a BLACK NOSE and BLACK NAILS.

    In stark contrast, AMERICAN cream is the result of a dominant red (ayay -or- ayat) or recessive red (atat ee) dachshund with two alleles for BLUE DILUTION (dd). In the case of dominant red or recessive red dachshunds, American cream puppies are born very LIGHT in color. They can look almost solid white when they are newborns. Over the course of the first 6 or 8 weeks, their color DARKENS, slowly becoming more and more red. The older the puppies get, the DARKER in color they become. By 12 months of age, these dachshunds are some obvious shade of red. If they retain any of their overlay, it will be blue in color. Their noses and nails are blue. These dachshunds are accurately called "dilute red", and should be registered as RED.

    Prior to the initial import of true longhaired English cream dachshunds from the United Kingdom in the mid-80's, the "American cream" dachshunds we see today were accurately called "dilute red". It was only after the Dachshund Club of America and the American Kennel Club began to allow "cream" as a registered color (intended for the true English creams) that some U.S. breeders began to call their "dilute red" puppies by another color... "cream". For some, it may have been ignorance of the breed standard colors and genetics. For others, money was surely a motive, considering the novelty and healthy price tag placed on the new English cream puppies now being bred in the United States. Whatever the reasoning behind the change from "dilute red" to "cream", it was wrong then, and it is wrong now.

    The true English cream dachshunds being bred in the United States today can all be traced back within 5 generations to United Kingdom (UK) ancestry. If you do not see a UK registered "cream" in 5 generations, the dog is likely NOT a true English cream. There are dachshunds of Japanese ancestry, or African ancestry, which are registered as "cream". You should seriously research the pedigrees of these dogs. The UK ancestry might go back beyond the 5th generation, but it will still be there if they are true English cream. If you see a lot of "blue & tan" or "isabella & tan" along with the "cream" in a dachshund's pedigree, it is likely NOT a true English cream.






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