Black Tibetan Spaniel
Every single individual “Tibbie” has two alleles from each of the assumed eight series og genes. One allele from each series from its mother and one from its father. The basic, genetic types of colours present can be defines as follows.
- Sable (golden, red, creme or grey): It is within this group we will find the greatest number of Tibbies. The colours are a combination of light or dark hairs in various amounts. Light ones varies from deep red to light creme or white. Darker ones are normally black but may also appear liver-coloured or gray, depending on how many plus or minus factors that enters the equation. Some sable dogs loose black or dark strands of hair as they grow older but must not be confused with “clean” colours, that does not have any form of dark markings at birth.
- Pure tan (red, golden, creme or white): These dogs do NOT have a dark pigment in their coats colour (nor black nor liver-coloured), not even at birth.
- Black: A completely black Tibbie will never have red, golden or creme coloured strands of hair anywhere, if so it will not be classified as black but as black & tan, permitted exceptions are white, preferably on its paws or its chest.
- Black/tan: It can be difficult to distinguish if a newborn Tibbie is black & tan or just black, as they both may have white socks and other white markings hiding the tan. The best place to determine this is under its tail, white markings are rear in that location, but black & tans normally always shows tan there, if present.
The reason for the various markings and colours is, as mentioned earlier, the individuals various alleles. The dark portion of the pigment can be reduced (modified – a minus-factor), by a large number of other genes.
- Particolor-gene (P) is able to change any one of the four basic colours, evident by white markings on the body.
- Gray factor (G), changes dark hair to grey in all basic nuances, as the dog grows older. Only its snout (the forward facing portion of its nose), is independent from this allele.
- Blue gene (d) causes dark or black hair to turn grey, usually visible at a young age. The snout area on a blue puppy is normally grey and the eyes either grey or brown like a nut.
Liver colour (b) may change black elements in all the basic colours including in the snout area which normally turns into liver or brown or, on rarer occasions, yellow.