FLUFFY LONG COATED DOGS
Coat length and texture is inherited in a Swedish Vallhund’s DNA. The gene responsible for a long coat is called FGF5. It is an autosomal recessive gene. This means that dogs with a short, correct length may still be a ‘carrier’ of the long coat and pass this to their puppies without having an incorrect long/fluffy coat. This may happen over many, many, generations and it is not until two parents, each carrying the long coat gene are bred together than puppies with long fluffy fur may appear. The below chart shows the statistical probability of long coated puppy occurrence in a litter when dogs that are clear of the long coat gene (they will have a short coated), those that carry the gene (they will have a short coated) and those that are affected (they will have a long coated) when bred together.
"The correct length, hard, double layer coat is regarded as a HALLMARK of the breed."
The double layer consists of a tight top coat made of ‘guard hairs’. The guard hairs are longer than the undercoat; the shaft of the guard hair carries the dark banding which creates the distinct harness markings and patterning. The undercoat is finer, softer and paler in colour. It is this undercoat that the Vallhund will spontaneously shed over a short period of weeks going from their winter coat into summer their coat, also by the bitch in the post whelping period, and occasionally a convalescing dog will shed their woolly undercoat.