We've all seen dachshunds described as "cream" colored.
Some are a golden buff color, some are a strawberry blonde color,
some have black overlay, some have no overlay at all, and others
appear to be simply red. Are all these various shades of
color really "cream"? The answer is NO.
In fact, there is only one true "cream" ... the longhaired
English creams of UK ancestry. Any other color that's
mistakenly called "cream" or "American cream" is not a true "cream",
and should be called and registered as RED. This is in accordance
with the breed standard set by the Dachshund Club of America
and followed by the American Kennel Club.
So, if you're looking for a puppy, how can you tell if it's
a true English cream or a misrepresented red? There are ways
to distinguish between the two, and it's fairly easy for
even the novice dachshund owner. You just have to know what
to look for... and what to look out for...
First of all, there are two completely different gene series
responsible for "English" and "American" cream. These two
gene series act in different ways to dilute the color of
a red dachshund's coat.
The Chinchilla Dilution ("C") gene
series is responsible for true English cream. It effects
the base coat color RED, and it effects TAN POINTS. It does NOT effect
BLACK and CHOCOLATE pigment. This is why English cream dachshunds
can have BLACK overlay. The RED base coat is diluted to the
cream color, but the black overlay is unaffected. This is
also why black & cream dachshunds have CREAM POINTS. The
TAN POINTS are diluted to the cream color, but the black
base coat is unaffected.
The Blue Dilution gene series
("D") is responsible for American cream, blue & tan,
and isabella & tan. It effects the base coat colors RED,
BLACK, and CHOCOLATE. It does NOT effect TAN POINTS. This is why American
cream dachshunds CANNOT have BLACK overlay. The RED base
coat is diluted to the cream color, and any black overlay is
diluted to a BLUE color.
This is also why blue & tan dachshunds have TAN
POINTS. The TAN POINTS are NOT effected, but the black base
coat is diluted to a BLUE color.
True ENGLISH Cream is the result of a dominant red (ayay
-or- ayat) or recessive red (atat ee)
dachshund with two alleles for CHINCHILLA DILUTION (cchcch).
In the case of dominant red dachshunds, true English
cream puppies are born very DARK in color. They look solid black
when they are newborns. Over the course of the first 6 or 8 weeks, the
true cream color emerges from the undercoat, slowly overtaking
the initial black coat. The older the puppies get, the
LIGHTER in color they become. Some may lose almost all of their black
overlay, and are accurately called "English cream".
Others may retain a great deal of their black overlay, and are
often called "shaded English cream". In the case of the recessive red dachshunds, true English cream
puppies are born very LIGHT in color. They are a beautiful golden buff color.
The lack of a black overlay is caused by the recessive red alleles
(ee), which prevent any black pigment from showing in the dachshund's
coat. The older the puppies get, the LIGHTER in color they become.
These solid golden buff dachshunds are called "clear English
cream". All true English cream dachshunds are LONGHAIRED,
and have a BLACK NOSE and BLACK NAILS.
In stark contrast, AMERICAN cream is the result of a dominant red (ayay -or- ayat) or recessive red (atat ee) dachshund
with two alleles for BLUE DILUTION (dd). In
the case of dominant red or recessive red dachshunds,
American cream puppies are born very LIGHT in color.
They can look almost solid white when they are newborns.
Over the course of the first 6 or 8 weeks, their color
DARKENS, slowly becoming more and more red.
The older the puppies get, the DARKER in color they become. By
12 months of age, these dachshunds are some obvious shade of
red. If they retain any of their overlay, it will be blue in
color. Their noses and nails are blue. These dachshunds
are accurately called "dilute red", and should be registered as RED.
Prior to the initial import of true longhaired English cream
dachshunds from the United Kingdom in the mid-80's, the "American cream" dachshunds
we see today were accurately called "dilute red". It was only after the Dachshund
Club of America and the American Kennel Club began to allow "cream" as a
registered color (intended for the true English creams) that
some U.S. breeders began to call their "dilute red" puppies by another color... "cream".
For some, it may have been ignorance of the breed standard colors
and genetics. For others, money was surely a motive, considering the novelty and healthy price
tag placed on the new English cream puppies now being bred
in the United States. Whatever the reasoning behind the change
from "dilute red" to "cream", it was wrong then, and it is wrong
The true English cream dachshunds being bred in the United States
today can all be traced back within 5 generations to United Kingdom
(UK) ancestry. If you do not see a UK registered "cream" in 5 generations,
the dog is likely NOT a true English cream. There are dachshunds
of Japanese ancestry, or African ancestry, which are registered
as "cream". You should seriously research the pedigrees of these
dogs. The UK ancestry might go back beyond the 5th generation,
but it will still be there if they are true English cream. If
you see a lot of "blue & tan" or "isabella & tan" along with
the "cream" in a dachshund's pedigree, it is likely NOT a true
(NOTE: Splendor Farms offers the
cream color in breedings with some of our dams that are not English Creams. For more information about these puppies, please contact us.)