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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Hey is that a Silver Flattie?

 Silver and Blue Weimaraner
For Diversity Guideline we follow CLICK HERE
They also come in a Blue variant BTW and no they are not Flatties.  But, they certainly can act like them.  These are Long Hair Weimaraner, which do have a flat coat and and mannerisms similar to the Flat Coated Retriever.  Its also a theory that the long haired gene introduces a docile trait for the temperament in this breed, which has been our experience as well as documented on other UK sites that confirm the temperament on this variant of the Weimaraner is comparable to the Flat Coat Retriever.  They go as far as to describe the look of the dog as similar to A Flattie. From our firsthand experience they certainly do calm down in the home and turn on the energy when we run them out in the pastures or several times daily in their indoor arena.  They are typically the same proportions as the Flatties and actually come in colors that are the diluted compliment of the FCR.  Since the Silver variant is actually a diluted Liver color and the Blue Variant is actually a diluted Black color.

We took an interest in the Long Hair Weimaraner because we were researching on further improving through outcrossing, the genetics for our hybrid formula.  And since the creation of FCR developed essentially as a sort of "Heinz 57" formulation from many other breeds of dogs it was not far from the base formulation used in the beginning.  Pointers were a part of the mix to create Flatties from the very beginning of the breed development.  And Pointers have been used recently as a way to correct the shortcomings in another breed of dog that we admire.  The Dalmatian.  The addition of The Shorthaired Pointer into the outcross for the LUA Dalmation was done to correct a health problem in Dalmatians that was painful and ultimately killing them.  That was almost over 2 decades of outcrossing and backcrossing to develop a dog that looked, and acted just like any other Dalmatian, except they weren't Dying from the same bladder disorder that was killing the original breeding stock.  In fact the only way to tell them apart today is from a very scrutinizing DNA test that will show the dog being tested is 99.999+ % Dalamtion.  By all means this is now basically a purebred Dalmation.

So where do the Long Haired Weimaraners fit into the grand scheme of things within Chatham Hill Dogs?  Well, they offer another deck of cards to shuffle into the genetic pool for any outcrossing decisions we will make in the future for the benefit of our Flatties.  And for the short term we are producing a few litters of long haired litters to introduce them into the Northeast corridor here in the United States.  They share the same sort of dilemma that the Yellow FCR does in the fact that they are not an accepted variation of their breed here in the United States.  Unlike the Yellow FCR they are only scorned here in the United States, whereas the Yellow FCR is frowned upon in all countries.  But, we've always been the rogue here at Chatham Hill.  And where others see a flaw in the variation they set aside as not worthy of being recognized, we see as an opportunity for putting back a genetic  advantage into our pack of dogs.   Our Chatham Hill Retrievers are an open formula, so the possibility of adding some of this pointer breed into the mix can be a very positive boost for diversity in the future.

The occurrence of the Long Haired Weimaraner goes as far back as the standard variant.  Both variations can pop up in a litter from two shorthaired parents.  Just like a Yellow FCR can be in a litter from two Black FCR parents.  Its all about the genetics and whether both parents carry that genetic trait.    So when a LongHaired pup is born the tell-tale signs. take about 3 to 4 days to reveal itself, since from day one they look just like any other Weimaraner puppy.   By the 3rd day the pups with the longhair trait will show tufts of hair popping from between the toes and whispy curls developing on the ears.  So a long haired puppy as a standard does not get its tail docked.  In the Germany and other countries this is the typical visual  you get for the long haired variation.  But, since this is not a common thing here in the United States, there are many breeders who will dock the puppies in their litters before the third day and the Long haired pups are accidentally docked.  It just goes to show how unpopular the variation is and how unprepared many breeders are to identify this trait.  With a strive more towards breed diversity more breeders have been importing dogs from Germany and the UK without knowing the imports are carriers for this trait and over time they've unknowingly introduced more dogs that carry the longhair genes into the US populations.   And its apparent that many of the US breeders were not prepared to deal with this since this variation is often docked before they realize what they have.

We have a couple of Long Haired Weimaraners with docked tails.  Which is unfortunate, but does not take away from the fact that they are excellent examples of wonderful temperament and health.  So for the purpose of diversity in our breeding program, they are an awesome addition and offer a great advantage from a genetic perspective.  The breed does have a few lines with hemophilia in them, but there is also a genetic test for this trait and the occurrence of this disorder is very rare now since responsible practice tests for this before planned breedings.  And yes.. we test our dogs.  We welcome any genetic tests since these are conclusive markers to use for preventing bad things from passing onto the puppies.

Weimaraners had a rocky start here in the United States from their introduction into this country.  The German Breed club was very strict on not allowing the dogs to come to the United States as breeding stock and the first wave of Weimaraners through a radiation process were sterilized to prevent popularizing the specialized breed here in this country.  Which was a novel approach to try and stop a very commercially consumer oriented society like America from making another dog into a fad for profit.  But, the process didn't work and the dogs were able to produce puppies.  Which now that you look at things... was actually a positive for the breed.  American breeders of Weimaraners in general are a very responsible bunch.  In fact some of the best experiences we've had with breeders have come from this bunch.  It doesn't eliminate the fact that US breeders still try to capitalize on things by attempting to charge almost double the price for a Long Hair than they do for a Standard Weimaraner by trying to argue about how rare it is and how everyone is always looking for something different as the reason for their unreasonable price hike.  We're about to change that and will likely take a hit from the many breeders who've stumbled upon this variation popping up in their litters and want to charge an arm and a leg for the privilege of owning a Long Hair Weimaraner.  NONSENSE.

Just like the Yellow FCR there is nothing rare about the variation.  It has the potential to be as common as the Yellow Labrador.  In the FCR, yellow is selectively bred away from by some very ignorant breeders who have some very incorrect information about Yellow FCR stuck in their heads.  And its all based on some very outdated breed standards that were put in play by some enthusiasts that started the FCR clubs a LONG LONG LONG time ago.  From today's modern proof of the benefits of diversity there is now the need for some revision of the almost century old breed standards.  This applies to the Weimaraner club here in the United States as well.  Any potential for diversity is a benefit for the breed as a whole.  Yellow FCR sell for the same cost as a Black or Liver.  So as far as we're concerned here at Chatham Hill Dogs the same applies to the Long Haired Weimaraners.  We're not about to exploit the fact that this variation is "rare" or "unique" and charge a premium.  If we charge a premium for anything it is for the methods we employ for socializing, whelping and preparing these puppies for the families that we have interviewed to have them.  Its these methods that should set the breeder you choose apart from the rest, not the type of dog you're buying.

So, we're excited waiting for the first all Long Haired Weimaraner puppy litter bred here at Chatham Hill Dogs to be delivered.  And hopefully in the coming years we will be able to raise the awareness for this variation which is much better suited to the colder and temperate climates found in the northern half of the United States.  And to the benefit of all these puppies none of them will ever have their beautiful bladed and feathered tails docked.  The future is looking good for the pack here.


1 comment:

  1. Hallo,
    I‘m a owner of a long haired weimaraner in austria, and before i had a flat coated.
    I'm interested how your breed works.
    I think the weimaraner and the flat have completely different character,but the weimaraner has a high potential to imitate. Well its interesting how the both character are changing when you pair them,
    Geets Julia


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