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White face border collie?

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I have heard a lot of things about border collies with mostly white faces. I am aware that in some cases a MerlexMerle crossing can result in blindness and deafness in mostly white offspring. But my border collie is from two traditional black and white border collie parents. She sees and hears just fine. So my question is, what causes it? Is it normal for her to have a white face and untraditional markings?

 

Thanks so much:)

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A white face is just another variation of coat color. It doesn't indicate a merle x merle breeding. White headed dogs, or extreme white factored dogs, can produce pups with a greater incidence of deafness. This has to do with lack of pigmentation in the hairs of the inner ear. Color on the ears along with a white head does not guarantee a hearing dog, but the reverse is true as well (that is, it doesn't mean the dog will be deaf).

 

Was one parent white factored?

 

Here's a very well known white faced dog (although he has black around his right eye), Bobby Dalziel's Wisp, two-time winner of the International Supreme:

 

http://dreamwork-sheepdogs.ie/pictures/wisp5.jpg

 

See Joni Swanke's Lew on this thread:

http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showtopic=7433&page=2

 

J.

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What Julie said. :) It's just a variation of coloring and generally means one parent carries the genes for extra white, which is white factoring. Nor is it unusual for a litter of pups to have one puppy with a white face or half white face, while the others are all traditionally black/white marked. Has nothing to do with merle coloring at all.

One of your pup's parents was therefore white factored, but even that can be very subtle in appearance. Some white factored dogs will have a giant white ruff or white that splashes up over one hip, so it's obvious. But sometimes they can appear traditionally marked black-and-white, and the only "clue" is something as subtle as the white from one hind foot continues in a little stripe up the inside of the leg and connects with the white on the belly.

~ Gloria

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Yes it is normal to have a white faced dog with untraditional markings. Don't know about the deafness part of it, but the dog in my avatar wasn't deaf at all.

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Thank you all so much for the replies!:) and great info I finally understand haha. I'm glad it's just her coloring and not a harmful defect. Blessings and best wishes from Texas :D😁

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One of your pup's parents was therefore white factored, but even that can be very subtle in appearance. Some white factored dogs will have a giant white ruff or white that splashes up over one hip, so it's obvious. But sometimes they can appear traditionally marked black-and-white, and the only "clue" is something as subtle as the white from one hind foot continues in a little stripe up the inside of the leg and connects with the white on the belly.

~ Gloria

Hi Gloria,

 

Most geneticists theorize that white-factored is not the same as white-headed...in other words, they are controlled by different genes.

 

My Liv is split-faced but NOT white-factored. And I know there aren't any hidden white hairs that may have disappeared as she got older because I've known her since she was one day old! She is a granddaughter of Joni's Lew as referenced above.

 

In contrast, my Rob has a solid black head and no white running up his back legs, but he IS white-factored. He had a very small patch of white on his flank that has basically disappeared as an adult. I also knew him at a couple days of age :) He does have white in front of the point of his shoulders, as well.

 

Let me try to find some pictures. I have tons, but my iPad doesn't necessarily jive with Flickr :(

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Have to post as attachments:

 

Liv, white-faced

post-7793-0-78575700-1437479786_thumb.jpg

 

Rob, white-factored

post-7793-0-47155700-1437479880_thumb.jpg

 

Baby Rob

post-7793-0-47917400-1437479958_thumb.jpg

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I was taught that white factor for the head is controlled by different genes than the rest of the body. My Rose (from an animal shelter) is extreme white factored on her body (just a little black ticking and one small black patch on her back) and white factored on her head (split face, white on ears). Rose has, IMR/SARDs, an autoimmune disease (Rose still has some vision due to a year long treatment of immunosuppressants). There is a strong correlation and believed to be a genetic link between white factoring on the body and autoimmune diseases. Also Rose is suspected to be deaf in one ear as she has issues figuring out the direction you are calling her from when she's out and about. She doesn't have the common issue of sunburns around her eyes however I got her when she was older and many outgrow that trait (usually when they develop black pigment around their eyes).

There is a lot of research out there on white factoring and health issues in Border Collies. You might want to message Liz P., she has a lot of studies and information regarding this topic.

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