View Full Version : Whole Colour

5th August 2008, 07:10 PM
Just back from our hols in Italy :p Spotted what looked exceedingly like a whole colour Cav in Black ! Do they exist ? Has anyone ever seen such an animal ? Any info?

5th August 2008, 07:15 PM
They do turn up sometimes, one or two board members have them. There's possibly a recessive gene floating about but these could as likely be crosses so it is very hard to know. Most likely you saw some sort of cross. A cocker cross could definitely look like a small black cavalier but so could a cavalier cross. Black colouring can be a dominant coat colour to result from some mixes.

Historically there were some small black spaniels behind the breed so no doubt some recessive genes from those seep through now and then. Given the breed is very rare in Italy though, and how rare an all black cavalier on top of that, it would seem far more likely to have been a cocker or other cross.

Chelle & Rex
5th August 2008, 07:21 PM
Here's a pic of the black cav who celebrated his birthday last week - Cooper

5th August 2008, 07:27 PM
Thankyou for your answers ! We only came across two Cavs in two weeks sad ! Missed ours terribly we even had photos of him with us:)

6th August 2008, 03:41 PM
I met some people at petsmart one day who had their two cavs with with them. One was a gorgeous blenheim and teh other was solid black. the two dogs came from the same purebred litter. the black one had a few tan hairs under his ears, but not many. He was gorgeous! the couple had only planned to get the blenheim, but fell iin love with the solid black as well. That is the only one I've ever seen.

6th August 2008, 10:42 PM
I've never seen one in person, but a good friend of mine that raises cavaliers had a litter of rubies and B/Ts, and she had one little solid black girl in the litter that really surprised her - I think she did get a FEW brown hairs as an adult, but you wouldn't see them unless you really looked, and you sure didn't notice them in the pictures I saw of her.

6th August 2008, 11:40 PM
Mostly black with a few red hairs would be a severely mismarked B&T. Doesn't matter at all with a pet dog of course. But there is likely a whole black that is recessive, too! Like chocolate cavaliers -- rare but the gene is still bouncing around.

7th August 2008, 06:15 PM
CavyMom. I am very interested in the litter your friend had. I study coat color genetics as a hobby.

In Cavaliers we breed for two of the three most recessive colors in dogs. In order of dominance, at the bottom of the heap are black & tan, recessive black, and ruby. (These are the base colors of the dog - white spotting is considered separately).

There has yet to be proof of recessive black (carried on the Agouti locus which is also where black & tan is) in the Cavalier breed. If indeed there is evidense in Cavaliers I do know that Sheila Schmutz would be very, very interested. Her email is at the very bottom of this page. Photos of the litter and parents would be important.


It is important to note that a ruby dog can be carrying on its "switched off" loci alleles that would allow both black and tan, recessive black, and dominant black along with all the other colors - brindle and sables included, without any breeder knowing so. These could hide for generations if lines are kept ruby/blenheim only, for as long as a dog is given two recessive "e" alleles on the extension series, the other series are effectively "switched off" and cannot be seen.

Ruby/blenheim only lines assure that a dog has only this recessive pairing on the extension series.

As soon as a black & tan/tri is bred in, though, a pup needs only one "E" allele from that parent dog to allow those previously hiding colors on the Agouti locus (or K locus) of the ruby/blenheim parent to show.

I have heard of evidense of recessive black in Cavaliers, and have seen black & tans with very, very dark tan pips which makes me suspicious that we have recessive black, but in every litter I've investigated with a black pup, you can follow a trail not far back through ruby only lines on at least one side to a point of unknown parentage - ie probably an outcross. Of course breeders breeding only red lines would be unsuspicious of the outcross as long as they stuck only to ruby/blenheim breedings.

I understand we had blacks registered in our breed until the 50s. It is possible, but highly unlikely, for dominant black to still be lurking in some of our ruby/blenheim lines. It is also possible for us to have recessive black. I'd love to know which these pups are.

Arlene and her three.