The word “blue” in the Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel’s name can be misleading to many animal lovers. In truth, this pooch does not possess a blue coat.
We will talk about how his fur forms a coat pattern that produces a fantastic colour illusion as well as his other unique traits.
What Is a Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel?
The Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel refers to a Cocker with a unique blue roan coat pattern, which we will discuss in this section. His name may cause people to assume that he has a blue coat. However, his fur is actually devoid of any blue colour.
For dogs to have a blue coat, they should inherit 2 recessive genes that dilute black fur. Blue Roan Cocker Spaniels do not possess this type of gene. Hence, no dilution is happening on his coat.
Now you might wonder: “What is a Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel’s true coat colouration?” A Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel’s coat is a combination of black and white hairs. It is the layering of the colours that give off an illusion that his coat has a blue grey hue.
He typically has a white base coat with black fur that is evenly scattered throughout. In some cases, it is the other way around.
Some Blue Roan Cockers have black base coats layered with white hairs. The masking of the secondary colour on the base coat produces a smokey blue effect.
What Is a Roan Cocker Spaniel?
Roan Cocker Spaniels are dogs that have mottled fur because of the pigmented hair growing in the white areas of their coat.
Aside from blue, roan patterns in Cocker Spaniels are composed of other colours. The following variants are also accepted in the Kennel Club’s breed standards:
- Liver Roan: Brown and white colours form a roan pattern
- Orange Roan: Red and white colours form a roan pattern
- Lemon Roan: Light orange and white colours form a roan pattern
- Blue Roan and Tan: Blue roan pattern with tan markings
- Liver Roan and Tan: Liver roan pattern with tan markings
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The History of the Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel
The origins of the Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel are a bit hazy. It is believed that the Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel was the offspring of a Blue Roan English Cocker Spaniel and an American Cocker Spaniel.
Some speculate that although the Cocker Spaniel was developed around the 1800s, the blue roan pattern was not introduced until the early 2000s.
On the other hand, others theorise that the roan pattern has long existed in the breed ever since English Cockers and American Cockers were considered one and the same.
How Does a Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel Differ from a Blue Merle Cocker?
We have explained earlier that the blue roan pattern in Cocker Spaniels is a result of the layering of black and white hair that gives off an illusionary blue colour. No dilution gene is involved.
Blue Merle Cockers are the opposite. The unique marbling pattern in their coat is caused by a rare incomplete dominant dilution gene called the merle gene.
As the name suggests, it dilutes coat colour. Thus, blue merles are originally black dogs if they do not possess the aforementioned gene.
Why Is Colour Genetics Important in Dogs?
Colour genetics is important in dogs not only because it helps predict their coat colour and patterns, but it also shows canine health risks associated with certain colourations and patterning.
For instance, some studies have highlighted the propensity of merle dogs to have congenital reproductive, ocular, and hearing problems.
Canines with blue or lilac coats, due to inheriting a colour dilution gene, are often predisposed to a condition called colour dilution alopecia, which causes hair loss.
Health and Wellness of Blue Roan Cocker Spaniels
Certain coat patterns in dogs such as merle are linked to specific health issues like deafness, blindness, and sterility. Fortunately, this is not the case for the blue roan. It does not cause health issues to spring up in Cockers.
However, Blue Roan Cocker Spaniels are not exempted from breed-specific diseases. They may develop ailments that are very prevalent in the breed, such as:
Glaucoma is an ocular condition that causes painful pressure on the eyes. This health problem arises due to abnormal liquid drainage in the eyes.
Treatment often comes in the form of surgery coupled with medications. Delayed vet care can potentially result in irreversible eye damage and permanent blindness.
Lip Fold Dermatitis
Lip fold dermatitis is a skin problem resulting from a bacterial infection on the lip folds, which produces a pungent smell. Common clinical signs of lip fold dermatitis are skin irritation, moistness, and discharge.
Topical medications and oral drugs like antibiotics are used to combat this skin issue. Keeping the affected area dry and clean is also a must.
Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)
Intervertebral disc disease is a spinal disorder caused by the gradual degeneration of the intervertebral disc. Mild cases of IVDD cause back and neck pains in dogs. Paralysis may occur when it becomes severe.
Treating IVDD will depend on its severity. If mild, it can be resolved through pain medication and strict exercise confinement. More severe cases will require surgery.
How Long Do Blue Roan Cocker Spaniels Live For?
Blue Roan Cocker Spaniels can live for up to 12 to 14 years. Acquiring your puppy from a reputable breeder is the first step to ensuring that he lives a long life.
Trustworthy Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel breeders health-screen their parent stock. This prevents them from using disease-prone dogs in breeding. Thus, the puppies they produce are less likely to develop the health issues mentioned above.
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Coat Colour May Play a Role in the Temperament of Blue Roan Cockers
According to research, dogs with white patches of colour were the least aggressive compared to other coloured variants. This could also be potentially true for the Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel temperament.
However, other experts believe that colouration is unreliable for determining a dog’s disposition. A canine’s lineage, genetics, and environmental factors are more dependable variables to work on.
Generally, Blue Roan Cocker Spaniels are no different from regular Cockers apart from their coat pattern. They are lively family dogs that love to go on adventures with their human companions.
Their high energy levels require them to have at least 30 minutes to an hour of exercise.
Training Blue Roan Cocker Spaniels tend to be relatively easy. Their people-pleasing personality and high intelligence allow them to learn quickly. As with any dog, patience and consistency are required during training to produce good results.
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How Do You Know If Your Cocker Puppy Is a Blue Roan?
Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel puppies are born with plain white markings. Their white fur gradually changes in shade and colour as they grow older.
It will contain darker flecks of black over time. By the time the pups reach around 12 months, their coats have fully developed the blue roan pattern.
It takes a long time for blue roan to show in the breed. Thus, dog enthusiasts who are interested in owning one need to wait until the puppies reach 12 months. Otherwise, chances are they might receive a wrong-coloured Cocker.
However, if both parents of the litter have blue roan patterns, most of their offspring will likely take after them. Thus, there is less risk of making a mistake.
Some dog owners recommend checking the paw pads of Cocker Spaniel puppies. It is believed to help in determining their true coat colours and patterns.
Blue Roan Cocker pups have black paw pads. Those with pink paw pads most likely possess black and white coats without any patterns.
Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel’s Price Tag
The Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel price tends to be a bit heavy on the wallet. As we have mentioned, Cockers with this coat pattern are not as common as others. Thus, obtaining them will require you to spend a little more money.
Blue Roan Cocker Spaniels for sale cost around £800 to £1,500. Remember that price does not determine how healthy and stable your puppy will be. With this in mind, get your furry pal from a responsible breeder to avoid falling victim to puppy scams.
Or you could try adopting a Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel puppy. This will help you cut costs and most importantly, this will provide a loving home to an abandoned pooch needing a new family.
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FAQs About the Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel
1. What Should a Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel Look Like?
Blue Roan Cocker Spaniels look like regular Cockers apart from their unique coat pattern. They have long, smooth, wavy hair and solid black floppy ears.
Their eyes and nose are surrounded by patches of the same colour. These markings can be seen on his back as well. His eyes can be of any colour, including black, brown, and blue.
2. Are Blue Roan Cocker Spaniels rare?
No, Blue Roan Cocker Spaniels are not rare. However, you are more likely to see other coat colours than this one.
The rarest type of roan in Cocker Spaniels is the lemon variant. Amongst all the colours, it is the most recessive, making it a challenging colour to produce in the breed.
3. Are Roans Mostly English Cocker Spaniels?
Yes, most Roan Cockers come from the English Cocker Spaniel breed. When American and English variants were distinguished as separate breeds, many American breeders opted to avoid breeding roan-patterned Cockers.
The reason behind this decision is so that American Cockers will slowly diverge from their English counterparts because the two look closely similar.
4. Do Blue Roan Cocker Spaniels Bark a Lot?
Blue Roan Cocker Spaniels do not bark a lot unless they sense a stranger trespassing on their human companion’s home. Training them during their puppyhood will prevent unwanted behaviours like incessant barking from becoming an issue as they grow older.
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Blue Roan Cocker Spaniels are not blue-coated dogs, but their name might mislead people into thinking that they are. The blue colouration of their fur is a result of a unique patterning of pigmented hairs and white hairs.
Unlike canines with merle coats, Blue Roan Cocker Spaniels are not predisposed to colour pattern-related congenital diseases. However, similar to other purebred dogs, they may inherit certain health issues from their parents.
No pooch is impervious to ailments. However, keeping track of their health will significantly reduce this danger. Thus, here is an article about the Dog Health Check Process That You Should Know.