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Huge surprise for foster parents helping their dog to give birth

Golden Retriever with four black and white puppies
© Ourgoldenyears – Instagram

Foster parents Karen and John Black readied themselves for their latest Golden Retriever adoptee to give birth. But when the time came, the dog's offspring looked nothing like they expected. Read on to discover how puppies can sometimes look very different from their parents.

By Nick Whittle, 16 Jul 2019

A year and a half back, Golden Retriever crossbreed Rosie was taken in by the Blacks during her final weeks of pregnancy. The couple from North Carolina had helped out Neuse River Animal Shelter 20 times previously. Their looking after pregnant Rosie was, while exciting, nothing out of the ordinary.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Leroy & Winchester (@ourgoldenyears) on

But when Rosie began to give birth to her puppies, the Blacks and mum were shocked by the colour of the puppies'fur. The four little offerings were black and white; there was not a hint of Retriever about them.

Speculation was rife that dad was a Dalmatian, but because Rosie was picked up as a stray it was difficult to confirm this without the aid of a gene screen.

Due to their black and white colouring and their resemblance to “little cows” the pups were named Daisy, Betsy, Clarabelle and Moo.

Genetic colouring 

The colour of a puppy born of two parents of the same breed is down to chance. However, professional breeders are aware of the likelihood of puppy colourings. Generally speaking, the colour of a puppy’s skin is 25% certain, there being four possibilities of genetic mixing (two colour genes from each parent).

In the case of Rosie, a Dalmatian father is likely especially in view of the uniqueness of the Dalmatian’s spots (no other dog has this type of marking).

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Leroy & Winchester (@ourgoldenyears) on

Neuse River Animal Shelter

Neuse River Animal Shelter is “dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and adoption of golden retrievers in need.” The shelter also prides itself on work within the community to educate pet owners about the best practices of animal care and welfare.

The North Carolina shelter has been operating since 2015 and since then has successfully rehomed over 3000 dogs. It survives by public donations and volunteering; doing so allows it to foot a $200,000 a year veterinary bill.