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There has been much controversy lately regarding the increasing number of Long Hair Rottweilers being born and indeed the concern of some breeders who are aware of others that are deliberately mating long haired Sire and Dams  together.

It is not my prerogative to pass judgement on this issue but my duty to pass on information which might assist those contemplating breeding.

There is no doubt, in my opinion, that our gene pool is being increased with normal Long Hair Carriers and inevitably this will result in an increase of Long Haired pups being born to perfectly normal looking Sire and Dams. In the near future I believe it will be more difficult to find two parents that are non carriers. and more Long Hair pups are inevitable. It is also possible that this scenario has been with us for longer than we think but has been subdued for various reasons. To avoid this it will become necessary , for those that are concerned, to utilise a readily available coat testing scheme which will alleviate the cross your fingers approach.

The article below, collated from credible sources, is my understanding of the dilemma that faces us and each and everyone of us must draw our own interpretation from it.

 

Long Coat Inheritance

The long coat gene is recessive. This means that in order to be a long coat a dog has to inherit the gene from both parents. Thus every dog that produces a long coated puppy carries the long coat gene.
Rottweilers can have three different genetic coats. They can have a normal coat and not carry the long coat gene (N). They can have normal coats but carry the long coat gene (NL). Or they can be long coats (L).  These three different genetic possibilities can combine in 6 different ways.

Non-carrier X Non–carrier

If two dogs that do not carry the long coat gene (N- N) are bred together, none of the resulting puppies will carry the long coat gene.

Non-carrier X Long Coat

If a non-long coat carrier (N) is bred to a long coat (L) there still will not be a single long coated puppy in the litter. Every puppy, however, will carry the long coat gene (NL)       

Carrier X Carrier

If a long coat carrier (NL) is bred to another long coat carrier (NL) each puppy will have a 25% chance of being a non-long coat carrier (N) a 50% chance of carrying the long coat gene (NL) and a 25% chance of being a long coat (L)

To generalise the possibilities are that ¼ of the litter will be non-carrier, ½ will be carriers, and ¼ will be long coats. While that's the way this is often thought of, it is not actually accurate, particularly not when dealing with the small number of pups produced in a single litter. Instead, think of each puppy as a roll of the dice. On each roll you would have a 25% chance of coming up "non-carrier" (N), a 50% chance of coming up carrier (NL), and a 25% chance of coming up long coat (L). It is entirely possible that in a single litter you could come up with coats very different from what the odds suggest. For instance, an entire litter of long coats or not a single long coat in the litter. It is only when you approach 100 puppies from a particular pairing that you would expect to see the 1/2/1 ratio. Obviously not something likely to happen when breeding dogs. So looking at a ratio like this does not give a real idea of how many puppies of each genetic makeup there will be in the litter. It does, however, give a breeder an understanding of what combinations are possible.

Carrier X Long Coat

Similarly, if a long coat carrier (NL) is bred to a long coat (L) each puppy will have a 50% chance of being a long coat carrier (NL) and a 50% chance of being a long coat.(L)

 Non-Carrier X Carrier

And if a non-long coat carrier (N) is bred to a dog that carries the long coat gene (NL), there will be no long coats in the litter. The puppies will, however, will each have a 50/50 chance of carrying the long coat gene. (NL)

               

Long Coat X Long Coat

Finally, if two long coats (L-L) are bred together, every single puppy in the litter will be a long coat. While dogs who do not carry the long coat gene and those who do both have "normal" coats, it is interesting to note that they do not have identical coats. The long coat gene is not a case of simple dominant-recessive inheritance. Instead it involves what is called intermediate inheritance (also sometimes called incomplete dominance). What that means is that a dog that has one "normal" and one "long" gene actually has a coat somewhere in between. Thus a long coat carrier (NL) will have a slightly longer overall coat with more hair on its legs, tail, and likely its britches and ruff than a dog that does not carry the long coat gene (N).  Though it sounds like this would make it easy to tell long coat carriers from non-carriers, the truth is that there still is considerable variation in actual appearance. Modifier genes play a big roll and can greatly affect what the coat actually looks like. Within family groups and particularly within litters, however, the amount of coat a dog has can be a strong indicator of the gene being carried.


E.Nicol