I am a big fan of fluffy Corgis and am so curious how they come about. Do you breed 2 fluffies and get fluffy pups? Do they just happen? I have never seen a fluffy around my town and would love to someday have one. Inquiring minds want to know.
If I'm right, Fluffy is a standard Mendelian recessive allele (as is tricolor). It won't be expressed unless you have two copies, one from the dam and one from the sire.
Different variants of the same gene are called "alleles". Let's call the dominant regular-coat allele "N", and the recessive fluffy-coat allele "f" [recessives are usually denoted in lower-case letters]. You get one allele from each parent (unless it's on the X chromosome; males get only 1 maternal allele because the Y is largely empty).
NN x NN --> 100% regular-coat pups, no carriers (this result is CERTAIN; all following percentages are PROBABILITIES only)
NN x Nf --> 100% regular-coat pups, 50% carriers
Nf x Nf --> 75% regular coat pups (NN and Nf), 25% ff Fluffies. Medelian 3:1 ratio. It's actually a 1:2:1 ratio: 25% NN regular coat ("clear") 50% Nf regular coat ("carriers"), 25% ff fluffies
Nf x ff --> 50% Nf carriers and 50% ff fluffies
ff X ff --> 100% ff fluffies (this result is CERTAIN).
In real life, it's more complicated because many alleles are imperfectly dominant or recessive. They talk about "incomplete penetrance". F'rinstance, the sable allele is thought to be an incompletely dominant red-color allele that lets a little black show in sable/tricolor heterozygotes. The blackheaded tri allele is thought to be recessive to the regular tri allele, which itself is recessive to red. Neat article on the PWCCA website: PWCCA coat color article
Actually, of course, this is all a lot of blather. Fluffies occur because the faeries LIKE fluffies.
Fluffies are actually considered a fault in the breed. If a puppy is a fluffy, it is supposed to be sold as a pet with a spay/neuter agreement so as not to breed and produce more. No reputable breeder will ever breed for fluffies. If someone is, they are not trying to better the breed and I wouldn't want to buy from them. I happen to think fluffies are cute too, but if you want one your best bet would be to find one in a rescue or find a breeder whose dogs had one unexpectedly.
I asked our breeder why, since no one breeds fluffies, the trait hasn't been bred out of the population. Her answer: "Because until now, we didn't have a DNA test for it". Do a cheek swab on your dog and put it in the mail, $60 I think.
Carriers of recessive traits are not strongly selected against because they do not express them.
It is also possible that breeders unwittingly select FOR the fluffy allele: it might be imperfectly recessive, producing a more desirable coat in the carriers that the breeders then choose. If this is the case, it would be impossibe to breed out the Fluffy allele without sacrificing something else.
[A similar situation occurs in whippets: the undesirable "bully whippet" trait is partially recessive, these dogs are never bred, too muscular, but the heterozygous carriers make the best racers. But homozygotes for the other allele are too weak("wimps'?) So the carriers are bred, and the breeders are stuck with 25% bullies, 25% wimps, and 50% heterozygotes, the good racers. Or maybe they could breed wimps to bullies, and get all heterozygous racers. But they can't breed out the "bully" allele.]
I'm kind of amazed that anybody took the trouble to map the Fluffy gene, since it's relatively cosmetic. The new gene chip technology must have made it much easier to do this kind of work.
Haha I'm sorry I think that is ridiculous. A breed fault? Sure you can't show a fluffy but they are great dogs, saying that breeding fluffies is "not trying to better the breed" is stupid. Fluffies are just as great as regular corgis, I would know I own both kinds. I am actually considering trying to breed my fluffy corgi because they are beautiful dogs
Hey, if you are talking about a lovable and smart and attractive pet, with that great Corgi personality, you are 100% correct.
However, a Corgi is MEANT to be a working cattle dog, even if few of them are used for that any more. Ever seen a field that cattle frequent? There is ALWAYS mud, even in high summer. I'm sure a cattle field in rainy Wales is even muddier. The wash-and-wear coat of a properly coated Corgi is infinitely superior to the fluffy in terms of using the breed for its original intent.
Now, if we want to be like, say, the English Setter or Springer Spaniel show people, and breed a dog that is utterly impractical for its original purpose (bench Setters and Springers have way too much coat to be a useful field hunter), then sure, go ahead and intentionally breed fluffies. But if you want a dog that at least looks like it can still do the job its intended for, then I would breed to the standard and if you want fluffies, then pick one up from a breeder who has one by accident.
Many of the well bred dogs do carry the fluffy gene. There are no health issues involved in being a fluff only the cosmetic hair fault. Many breeders will take the chance and breed to known fluff carriers because the other attributes of that particular dog may be superior. Many also feel that carrying the fluff gene may be instrumental in helping produce the "glamour coat" that many wish to have. On a good note it allows us fluff lovers to have very well bred fluffs.
I personally don't think there is anything wrong with fluffies, and actually think they look quite gorgeous and cuddly. My point was just that I would be leary of anyone who bred for fluffies since they obviously aren't paying attention to the breed standard and may have other suspicious breeding practices as well. I once saw a webpage (1st clue!) for a breeder that bred for blue-eyed fluffy pembrokes. Talk about a breeder I don't want anything to do with! Now, I think a blue eyed fluffy sounds cute, but I would wonder about the health of the puppy since she obviously knows little to nothing about the breed. Sadly, anymore when you are looking for a good breeder, you have to assume they're bad until they've proven themselves good!
no, you just need to ask to see the sire and the dam and to look at their health sertificates proving no genetic disorders. Also, if the breeder doesn't ask you personal questions and just gives you a "price chart" they definitely suck. But it is a completely different topic.
From all the information (Thanks so much for all your input) gathered the best way to get a fluffy is to network with high quality, proven breeders who occasionally have litters with a fluffy pup. By this meaning a breeder working on perfecting the breed standard but not necessarily eliminating the fluff gene. In a few years when I am ready for another Corgi, I will consider this.
And with the new gene mapping, you will be able to not bother looking into litters where one or both parents are "fluff free." I have no idea how many breeders test for this, but I know our pup's father, along with the regular health certs, was "certified fluff-free factor." So if you are looking for a fluffy, you can just not spend time checking with any litters from such parents.