Dachshund lovers know that wiener dogs come with three types of coat: wire-haired, long-haired or short-haired, according to their genetic make-up. Now researchers have learned that wire-haired wieners have the RSPO2 variant, long-haired Doxies have the FGF5 variant, while short-haired Dachshunds have neither.
A study of the canine genome has identified the genes that together account for the seven common styles of dog coat, which are present in about 90 per cent of pedigree breeds.
As well as offering insights into the evolution of the 209 distinct dog breeds, the findings have implications for understanding human genetics.
The researchers believe that similar techniques should illuminate human traits and diseases with similarly complex genetic roots, such as diabetes and cancer.