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DOMINANT SPOT (PIEBALD) (Dsds or ss)

The Dominant Spot gene, Ds, produces patches of white over the head and body of the hamsters, as well as turning the belly fur white. The "coloured" patches can be any colour, including Golden, Cinnamon, Yellow and, (particularly striking), Black. The amount of white varies considerably between individuals; some look like "white animals with coloured patches", while others resemble "coloured animals with white patches".

For showing purposes, the "ideal" is a predominantly white animal with clearly defined patches of colour, distributed evenly over the head and body. The areas of colour should be free from white brindling and vice versa. Hamsters approaching this standard are fairly rare, but even a mediocre one can look striking.

Since this gene is dominant, it need only be inherited from one parent. Since the belly fur is white on Dominant Spot animals, it is impossible to be sure whether or not they also possess the white bellied gene, (Wh), which, (if present in both parents), can produce eyeless pups. To safeguard against producing eyeless young, a Dominant Spot animal can be mated to a non-Dominant Spot animal of the appropriate colour, producing around half Dominant Spot and half non-Dominant Spot young in the litter. A further complication occurs because Dominant Spotting is a "Homozygous Lethal" gene; embryos inheriting a copy from both parents, (if two Dominant Spot animals are mated to each other), die in the womb. This means that all Dominant Spot animals are "carrying" the ds gene, for non-spotted coats.

NHC Standard

1. The dominant spot shall have the appearance of a white animal with coloured spots. The spots shall be sharply defined and evenly distributed over the top surface of the animal.

2. The belly fur shall be white.

3. The white areas shall be white to the roots.

4. The coloured spots shall conform to the recognised corresponding full coloured variety.

5. Eye colour: as for the full coloured variety, also ruby/red eye or eyes permissible.

6. Ear colour: as for the full coloured variety, also flesh or partly flesh coloured permissible.

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