Albino Dog Breed Profile:
The Albino Dog breed profile describes the unique color type which includes only one gene. They are known to have very pale skin, hair, eyes and nails. This rare color type is not common among other dog breeds.
Only three other colors are classified as “white” (pale brown, black & tan), but these three colors do not occur naturally in dogs at all! White is a genetic mutation caused by a single recessive gene. There are no known cases of white dogs being born. Albinism affects the body’s ability to produce melanin, the pigment responsible for making our bodies’ tissues and organs pigmented. Melanin helps protect us from harmful ultraviolet rays and sunlight exposure. Without it, we would burn easily or turn yellow when exposed to heat. If there were any way to prevent this condition, we wouldn’t need sunscreen or sunblock products!
Albinism is caused by a defect in the production of melanin. This means that the body cannot make enough melanin. When there isn’t enough melanin, cells don’t absorb certain wavelengths of light properly, resulting in blue or greenish hues instead of normal reds and yellows.
These colors are usually seen as pale, grayish-blue or greenish-gray. Other shades include purplish purple, pink, orange and yellow. The eyes, hair and skin are all paler than normal. Albino dogs also have reduced dark-light vision. Their vision is similar to that of a normal dog at night, but in full view of the sun their eyes are unable to protect themselves, so they must squint or close their eyes altogether.
Albino Dogs With White Hair:
Albino dogs with white hair are a result of recessive genes. There are two types of albino dogs: white and non-white. Both types have pale skin, hair and eyes.
Albinism is a result of an absence of the pigment melanin. Melanin is what gives color to our skin, hair and eyes, so when there isn’t enough pigment, these areas turn pale or white.
Both types of white dogs have red eyes. Dogs with this condition are unable to distinguish between certain shades of colors. Red is usually the safest to look at, but some dogs have problems with other shades of the color spectrum.
Puppies with this condition are very sensitive to sunlight. The brightness of their red eyes gives them away as albino dogs. They must be kept out of direct sunlight, otherwise they may suffer from sunburn-like symptoms on their light skin and eyes.
Albino Dogs With White Fur:
There is another type of albino dog, a dog with white fur. They are the rarest of all albino dogs. Albino dogs with white fur and no pigmentation will have a very short life span.
They are prone to skin burns and sun poisoning because they lack the necessary pigment to protect themselves from sunlight. These dogs usually die before reaching adulthood.
These dogs are most often found in countries with extreme weather conditions. The lack of pigment allows them to blend in easier with their surroundings and protect themselves from the sun. These dogs have the same eye problems as the other kind of albino dog, but they are not as sensitive to direct sunlight.
Albino Dogs Are Unusual:
Albino dogs are unusual creatures. Their genetic mutation is a result of nature’s rare occurences. They usually only survive in the wild through hiding and blending in with their surroundings.
Domesticating them would only expose them to predators who would surely find and eat them.
Sources & references used in this article:
Linkage and segregation analysis of black and brindle coat color in domestic dogs by JA Kerns, EJ Cargill, LA Clark, SI Candille… – …, 2007 – Genetics Soc America
COLOR INHERITANCE IN MAMMALS: X., The Cat—Curious Association of Deafness with Blue-eyed White Color and of Femaleness with Tortoise … by WM Barrows, JMI Phillips – 1915
The albino rat: A defensible choice or a bad habit? by S Wright – Journal of Heredity, 1918 – academic.oup.com