Miles K. McElrath: From “Rags” to Dappled Dachshunds


“Dr. Miles K. McElrath passed away in October of 2012. He was one of the most important pioneers in the breeding and showing of quality ‘other color’ Dachshunds. He bred the first dapple longhair of either sex or size to finish an AKC show championship, Ch. Wagatomo Tessella L (chocolate dapple), as well as several other dapple champions. Those of us who now show ‘colored’ Dachshunds (those other than red or black & tan) owe a debt of gratitude to Miles that we can never repay for paving the way to acceptance in the show ring for the more colorful members of the Dachshund breed. Miles was my first and most important mentor in understanding color inheritance in the Dachshund, and I miss him very much.”
~Mary Sue Barnum, February 2013

From “Rags” to Dappled Dachshunds — a Summary History of Wagatomo Kennels
by Miles K. McElrath

From The American Dachshund 35th Anniversary Issue, September 1973
submitted by Mary Sue Barnum

In the course of one’s involvement in any of the various aspects of the dog game, it is possible to receive many kinds of recognition and satisfaction. For one whose primary interest is in breeding (as mine has always been), however, I can think of no greater honor than to be asked by the editor of a distinguished breed magazine to write an article describing the origin and development of one’s kennel. When I received such a request a few months ago from Mr. [Sanford] Roberts, therefore, I was surprised, somewhat incredulous, and initially hesitant about complying with the request, particularly when I was informed that the article would be included in the Thirty-Fifth Anniversary Issue of The American Dachshund. True, I fully realized that I had labored single-handedly for many years, and often against great odds and obstacles, in an effort to develop a line (not enough years have yet elapsed to call it a “strain”) of Dachshunds, particularly in the less-commonly seen colors, that would be of sufficient quality to be able to hold their own in stiffest competition. Yet, others, too, have worked equally hard, I’m sure, on their own breeding projects, and I feel very honestly that each of these other breeders deserves, perhaps even more than I, an opportunity to tell his own story. On the other hand, it would have been most ungracious of me to have refused Mr. Roberts’ request for any reason, the least of which would be one stemming from a feeling of hesitancy that is often generated by a sense of modesty, false or real.

Once I consented to describe my work with Dachshunds, however, I was immediately beset with the problem of deciding how best to go about it: Should I start with the whelping of my first litter and concentrate on pedigrees, genes, and show wins? Should I be so selective in my choice of material that all I would succeed in doing would be to present an ideal but inaccurate picture that would only mislead the enthusiastic novice into thinking that what I like to call “creative” breeding (or even “productive” breeding, for that matter) is a simple endeavor charged only with joy and success, and completely devoid of disappointment, great financial expenditure, sheer physical labor that never ends, and shattering heartbreak? Should I take special pains to avoid mentioning the occurrence of defects that inevitably crop out in any long-range breeding plan, no matter how carefully conceived?  Several other questions of this nature passed through my mind, including how best to handle the very sensitive area of personal relations that inevitably are a part of any activity not carried on in a vacuum. In the end—and after several unproductive starts—, I concluded that the final product would have to be a compromise of sorts; one that would result in a basically non-technical, sometimes personal, and somewhat rambling account. Undoubtedly, some will object to such an approach, but the cold, objective data pertaining to any aspect of my work are readily available, either by announced visit or by personal correspondence, to anyone having a constructive reason for desiring to examine my records.

The Early Influences
As is characteristic of Sagittarians (so the proponents of astrology tell us),  I have always had an innate fondness for animals (dogs and horses in particular) from as far back as memory takes me.  My earliest pets were white, longhaired rabbits, which my father bred as a hobby.  I also had a white rat, a little creature my mother viewed with great consternation, but one which was the delight of my early boyhood.  Cats were not particularly welcome in the household (my mother had been badly scratched as a child, and, as a result, had developed an unfortunate fear of them); but this in no way prevented me from bringing home kittens from time to time. not to mention any number of other fascinating little creatures I seemed to have a knack for discovering – snakes, turtles, tadpoles, frogs, toads, injured birds, salamanders, minnows, live eels, and the like. The circus delighted me in many ways, and I always considered it a personal triumph of persuasion when I received permission to purchase and bring home one of the small lizards that, in the old days, were always sold at circuses as “chameleons.” All of these creatures were tolerated by my parents, all except the felines, that is, which somehow, even to my childish mind, always seemed to disappear more rapidly and mysteriously than they should have. Strangely enough, I was eight or nine years old before I was allowed to have a dog of my own. One day, languishing between life and death as a result of serious complications from one of the usual childhood diseases, I was presented with a six-week-old ball of white fur, a not-quite-purebred Maltese puppy, as he ultimately turned out to be. I called him by the not so original name of “Rags,” and from the moment he licked my feverish nose and face, my recovery, I am told, was rapid and miraculous. This little dog became my companion and my life for a little more than five years. When he died from a lingering virus, my world temporarily came to an end.  Out of what, at the time, was a supreme tragedy for me came a renewed interest in dogs in general. More than ever before I began to read and collect books on dogs; I studied the standards of perfection: I collected photographs of the various breeds and placed them in albums; and I even went to a few local dog shows on my own, although I had some difficulty at first in trying to understand the procedures I watched so intently. My family, unfortunately, was not “doggy” in the breeding and show sense of the word; and, as luck would have it, I never chanced to meet someone of experience who might have taken me under his wing and nurtured the seeds of what much later was to be an engrossing and abiding avocation. Nevertheless, thanks to Rags, I knew instinctively that ultimately I would breed dogs of my own. It never occurred to me at the time, however, that the breed of my choice would be the Dachshund. That I acquired a Dachshund many years later, in fact, was purely a matter of fortuitous circumstance.

In the years that followed, I owned several other dogs: a Beagle puppy, Tim, who died early under the wheels of a car; a very fine black Cocker Spaniel, Toby, who lived to be twelve years old or so before succumbing to a heart attack; a German Shepherd, Ben, I purchased and raised in Japan. While serving there as an agent of the Counter Intelligence Corps during the Occupation, I took Ben everywhere.  Much to my regret, I was not allowed to bring back this great companion and guard when I returned to the United States. I left him with my Commanding Officer, and later was saddened to learn that Ben had been shot accidentally by the Japanese police, who, at the time, were still in the process of eliminating packs of now wild dogs that occasionally would come down from the hills into t0 smaller towns to scavenge.

After being discharged from the army, I returned to Connecticut to be with my family and to plan the continuation of my education.  Not surprisingly, I had long-wanted to be a veterinarian. But every veterinary college at this time had long waiting lists of applicants and the prospect of my own admission in the near future was thus very dim. I therefore considered the possibility of becoming an M.D., but after almost four years of pre-medical preparation I changed my mind and began to study for my current profession. In the interim, I had purchased a very fine show-quality Bulldog bitch, a breed I had always been strongly attracted to.  I showed her once or twice in matches, and intended to breed her eventually. My plans did not materialize, however, since, much to my regret, my family had her spayed while I was away at the university, and my long hoped-for entry into the world of breeding dogs had to be postponed.

After completing my work in Oriental Languages at the University of California in Berkeley, I returned to Connecticut to do graduate work at Yale. During most of this period I lived at home in a small town adjacent to New Haven, and one day, purely on an impulse, I purchased a brindle puppy, half Boxer and half Great Dane, simply as a pet, of course, and as a companion for the now spayed Bulldog bitch. I was most curious to see what such a Boxer-Great Dane cross would look like at maturity. With his ears cropped and his tail docked (practices I now disapprove of, incidentally), “Dirk” turned out to be a very handsome animal, indeed.  After completing my work at Yale, however, it was time to move on again. Before leaving for the University of Michigan for work on my doctorate, I was obliged to place Dirk with friends. He lived for some fourteen years, dearly loved by his adopted family.

In 1955, I went to Japan again, this time to teach and to gain additional practical experience in my field. To my knowledge, there were no dog shows there at that time. In fact, during the three years I spent there on this occasion I rarely saw purebred dogs of any variety except an occasional Akita, Tosa, or Shiba indigenous to the country.  Relatively popular as house pets, however, then and now, were the white, fluffy dogs usually referred to here as “Spitz.” In 1958, I returned to the University of Michigan to continue my doctoral work.  The following year I accepted a position in Japanese Languages at the University of  Hawaii.

A Dachshund Comes Into My Life
In the summer of 1960, I was considering the possibility of buying a house and chanced to meet a Dr. Leo Manol, formerly a lawyer from Vienna but now working as a real estate broker on Oahu. On one occasion I went to his home to discuss various house possibilities, and there I met a large chunk of my destiny in the form of an intriguing, nursing litter of standard smooth Dachshund puppies. The more I looked at the puppies, the more convinced I was that I had to have one. On 1 September I went to pick up my choice, a little red bitch that was immediately as outgoing as she was sassy. From that moment on, I was never again led into the absurdity of equating the Dachshund with a sausage. Instead, I spent the next thirteen years of my life learning about this breed which was so different from all other dogs I had ever known. In the process, I eventually embarked upon a breeding program, some of the results of which I hope will have contributed, if only in a very small way, to the development of the breed.

When I purchased my first Dachshund I knew relatively little about the breed and nothing at all about Dachshund strains or pedigrees.  I might also add that I had absolutely no idea of the hell and havoc a newly weaned Dachshund puppy (even a one and without the aid of kindred reinforcement) can raise in the course of growing up!  I did, however, have enough sense to read over the Dachshund Standard of Perfection several times before selecting my puppy, but at this point such a procedure was helpful only in making certain that I was not choosing a puppy with any major externally visible faults. The puppy, as it turned out, was a combination (and a common one, as we all know) of the great Marienlust and White Gables bloodlines, with heavy concentration on the “grand old man” himself, Ch Favorite von Marienlust.  Dr. Manol, who obviously knew a  great deal about Dachshunds, offered helpful comments, but he tended to stick to generalities in his evaluation of the puppies, assuming, perhaps, that a minute picking-apart of each puppy would only serve to confuse a novice like myself.  He also cared nothing for “fancy” names for his dogs and most of them were registered simply as “Paul,” “Pauly,” “Alonza,” and the like. Hence, it was up to me to name the puppy of my choice, and I eventually settled upon “Kuge’s Erda.”  (“Kuge” is a Japanese word for the Court Aristocracy of many centuries ago, and although Dr. Manol is not Japanese, his bearing at the time was certainly aristocratic enough to make this part of the name appropriate.)

I watched Erda grow and, in the process, I relearned how not to raise a puppy. Within a few weeks I was also faced with a veterinarian’s bill for an amount almost three times greater than what I had paid for her originally.  She had suddenly broken out in a severe staph infection about the mouth, face, and neck; to prevent disfiguring scarring it was essential that each pustule be treated separately and this is what was done during a lengthy period of hospitalization.  Erda recovered, which is the important thing, and my growing fascination with the breed was not diminished in the least.  I began to study the Standard of Perfection carefully; I read everything on the breed I could buy or borrow, including most of the back issues of The American Dachshund; I became more knowledgeable about pedigrees and the dogs (at least from photographs and progeny records) mentioned in them; I kept copious notes and memoranda, a venture I attacked with the relentless zeal I have often applied in scholarly research.  Much of what I learned during this initial period I have long since forgotten, for I soon realized that much of it was meaningless without broad breeding experience.   And experience of this sort, obviously, comes only from doing – not from reading alone.  What all of this activity dignified, of course, was that I had already decided that I would breed Erda if she turned out well, and to do that I would have to select a proper stud for her.

Erda blossomed into a fine, typical bitch—not without deficiencies, of course, but certainly, as I realized in retrospect, good enough to show. But I did not show her. Typical of the overly conscientious novice, I was much too preoccupied with putting my newly acquired knowledge to the test by searching for the most miniscule blemishes, which I erroneously felt would certainly prevent her from winning very much, not to mention achieving the coveted title of champion.  I now appraise dogs, my own and those bred by others, essentially from the standpoint of virtues, and place minor faults and deficiencies in their proper perspective.  It took me some time to learn that this is a vital key to successful breeding, just as it is to competent judging.

As I was learning about Dachshunds and contemplating my first attempt at breeding, I began to think of what I would use as a kennel name.  At this stage, I felt very strongly that only dogs for which one was listed as the breeder of record should bear one’s kennel name.  In the years that followed, however, a variety of circumstances compelled me to modify this early purist view somewhat.  What, for example, does one do about naming a puppy bred by and acquired from someone who has no kennel name of his own and no set procedure for naming his dogs?  The choices are limited.  He must use a nondescript name (as I have never done); make up a prefix of sorts (as I did for Erda and for two or three other dogs I acquired under similar circumstances); or make use of his own kennel name (as I have done in a few cases where the acquired dog was to figure in my breeding plans or where I acquired a puppy on occasion in lieu of a stud fee).  In any event, if I were going to breed dogs I wanted a kennel name of my own to use for my very first litter.  What I sought was a name that was relatively short, one that was unique enough to qualify for registration with the AKC at a later date, one that would reflect to some extent my basic personal philosophy toward dogs, and one that would somehow tie in with my profession as a professor of Japanese language and literature. I finally came up with “Wagatomo,” an old Japanese word meaning “my companion.” Pronounced “wah-gah” (both syllables rhyming with English “ma”) “tow-mow” (both syllables rhyming with English “toe”), it obviously has nothing to do with wagging tails (appropriate as such a description might be for Dachshunds) or with Indian chiefs.

Some aspects of my motivation, philosophy, and approach
It would be impossible to attempt to record here everything that occurred to me or that transpired in the course of my Dachshund breeding endeavors over the years. Therefore, what I shall try to do is to describe, with occasional digression, some of the more significant events that took place in the course of my work – some of the failures and disappointments along with some of the successes and gratifications. It is my hope that from such a composite, limited and disjointed though it be, will emerge a relatively accurate picture of what I was trying to accomplish.

At first I was interested in “productive” breeding; this is, I had no other aim but to try to produce dogs of excellent quality by working solely with and within already established and proven bloodlines. This is the most common kind of serious breeding, the kind most of us do and should engage in. Whereas it rarely results in any startling innovations (i.e., long-range “improvement”), it does produce a great many good dogs, and even some great ones, that hark back to the best in a strain. At the same time, it guarantees, as no other procedure could do, a continuity of almost all of the good (and some of the bad) that has gone into the development of strains that, by cumulative consensus, possess the greatest combination of qualities that make the best of the breed what it is.  It is a procedure, in other words, crucial to the breed’s survival. Yet, how many times are we reminded that in any breed the “perfect” dog has yet to be whelped?  If we accept such a pronouncement as being valid, it follows that even the best of any given strain is still short of perfection.  Thus, in our own breeding endeavors, if we restrict ourselves to a specific strain or bloodline, the most (and this is a great deal to be sure) we can hope to achieve are replicas or near-replicas of the best the strain has already produced.  With a bit of luck, a factor still essential even though a strain of quality offers us a great deal stacked in our favor, we succeed in producing dogs that tend to repeat the theme of the strain within a relatively restricted range of variation. We do not, however, ordinarily achieve any significant “improvement,” an obvious requisite for allowing us to assume that we have taken one more step toward that ultimate goal of “perfection.” The only way of seeking improvement for one who knows what he wants to improve upon (and who is aware of the very unlikely appearance of a mutated paragon) is to make use of dogs produced by one or more strains other than his own. Nothing will cause Pandora’s Box to open faster than this, but for a very few it is the only challenge that has a potential for providing the satisfaction they seek.  In my work with dapples I had no choice but to follow many of the principles that breeding for improvement entails, even though I was essentially concerned with color and coat.  As is true of those who, in the past, have worked to improve other aspects of physical conformation, I often wondered how perfection would be determined, even if the perfect dog were to appear.  What would be the crucial objective criteria over and above the fact that the dog in question would conform to the positive requisites of the Standard of Perfection and would bear none of the faults listed therein?  For every knowledgeable person who might feel that such a dog is “perfect,” there would be another equally knowledgeable person who feels that the dog, though “faultless,” could still be improved upon. This issue has always been a subject of speculation, if not controversy, and by its very nature will no doubt always remain so.  Yet, I have never seen a more articulate or satisfying view of the question than that offered by the late Kyle Onstott and brought to our attention recently (AD, April ’73) by Sanford Roberts in an editorial note.  It behooves us all, particularly in moments of uptightness, to read, reread, study, and digest the great words of wisdom reproduced there.

And so it was with these considerations in mind that I entered upon my second phase of Dachshund breeding, without having given the first, or “productive” breeding phase, much of a go. I prefer to call this second phase “creative” breeding rather than “experimental” breeding, even though a certain number of “experiments” were obviously essential. In an article of several years ago I expressed the view that ” … every mating is … an ‘experiment,’ relative or gross …. ” This is a truism, of course. But if it were not – if there were no possibility for the unexpected-from where would the fascination inherent in the breeding of dogs come?  (Ultimately, I suppose, with the development and application of genetic mapping, the breeding of dogs may take the form of a contest among “breeders” to determine who, on paper or punch cards, can come up with the best arrangement of genetic factors. There may be no competition at all, even on this level, as computers flash out all possible combinations, perhaps replete with visual representations.)  In any event, what I set out to do in this second phase was to produce, by using several existing lines or strains of Dachshunds, a line of my own that would include most of the colors mentioned in the Standard of Perfection but rarely seen in the show ring.  Even before the whelping of my first litter of Dachshunds I was especially intrigued by the dapple pattern, and I wondered why there apparently were so few of them. The Standard of Perfection, after all, makes no mention whatever of priority of color preference, except, of course, in that large and various color class called “red.”

At this time I was still reading and rereading every available book devoted to the Dachshund, every book on dog breeding I could locate, and every book and article on canine genetics readily available to the layman. I was (and still am) suspicious of the validity of many of the statements I found presented as fact, with no or very weak supporting data. Much of what I found, on the other hand, was very helpful to me in my own endeavors, particularly the data on color inheritance provided by the late Dr. Leon Whitney (my first veterinarian, incidentally) in his “How to Breed Dogs“, by Marca Burns in her “Genetics of the Dog“, and by the late Dr. Clarence C. Little, a great geneticist and Dachshund fancier, breeder, and judge, in his indispensable”The Inheritance of Coat Color in Dogs“.  Surely other Dachshund fanciers and breeders had read these books; and yet the number of people who had bred dapples and blues (the chocolates have always fared better) in this country was very small, indeed.  The better-known names that come to mind are Mrs. Justine Cellarius, who bred the only (to my knowledge) dappled champion in this country, the smooth standard Ch Uhlan v Cellarius, until the advent of Ch Wagatomo Tessella L; the former Mrs. Sarah Hoyt of Fortune’s Fairing prefix; the amazing and unique Mrs. Mary Fitzpatrick Dean, who obtained some of the best of her own stock from Mrs. Hoyt; and the illustrious judge, Mr. John Cook, whose Kleetal’s prefix needs no introduction. The late Mrs. Grayce Greenburg of Teckelheim fame also bred dapples and was apparently especially interested in the blues. Was the relative rarity of dapples and blues, and to a lesser extent, chocolates, the result of an inability on the part of these early fanciers to produce dogs of acceptable conformation in these patterns and colors?  Or was it simply that the majority of fanciers, exhibitors, breeders, and judges, as a result, perhaps, of unfamiliarity with these colors, simply decided that they “did not like” them?  The answer may well lie in a combination of these factors, but I suspect that it is in the second question posed that we hit upon the crux of the matter. If so, it is not at all surprising that such a situation may have prevailed when we come upon such pronouncements [italics mine] as: “So few chocolate, gray [i.e., blue], dappled, striped, and white dogs are ever seen that it is a waste of space to describe them more fully than they are described in the Standard itself. Gray and chocolate dogs are universally cursed with light yellow eyes, which are universally unpleasant and which have foredoomed the popularity those colors of the breed might have had.”  (Milo Denlinger in “The Complete Dachshund”, p. 137.) This is only one of a great number of equally absurd and (in this case, at least, perhaps unintentionally) malicious declarations I might quote here.  Unfortunately, there are still some (and there will probably always be some) who share Mr. Denlinger’s sentiments.  One can only pity their prejudice; regret their apparent lack of knowledge of the development of the Dachshund as a breed, including some of the basic genetic factors that make him what he is; and, most of all, lament over their stunted aesthetic sense.  A Dachshund of excellence remains a Dachshund of excellence, regardless of his color, SO long as that color conforms to one of the several acceptable possibilities listed in the Standard of Perfection. True, it is human and acceptable to have preferences, as, indeed, I do myself.  What I do not condone, however, is a common enough thoughtless propensity of human nature to assume that as a result of these preferences everything that falls without one’s personally circumscribed bailiwick in this regard is necessarily and ipso facto inferior and unworthy of consideration.  Frankly, if I were to judge the breed (and so long as I am breeding dogs of my own it is very doubtful that I shall engage in this activity other than in matches), color would be the last criterion I would consider in evaluating the dogs before me.  Even then, in spite of personal preferences of my own in the area of color (and I am not saying what they are), I would evaluate color within its own group and not pit one color against another.  I could continue in this vein indefinitely, but the foregoing is sufficient, I believe, to indicate some of the considerations that motivated me in my pursuit of what is commonly referred to as “color breeding.” As a matter of fact, I have a strong antipathy for the term itself.   It almost implies that the reds, black-and-tans, wheatens, and the like are living Dachshund skeletons covered with a layer of transparent hair!

I think it would be appropriate to point out here that in my breeding of dapples, chocolates, and blues, only rarely (and only where blues or blue dapples were involved) have I used color as the sole or primary basis for selecting from any given litter those puppies I intended to use for future breeding purposes.  Had I done so, it is doubtful that I would have achieved even a modicum of the success that was ultimately forthcoming. It is quite true that a well-marked dapple, for example, possesses greater initial eye appeal than one rather sparsely marked. Yet to have selected the well-marked puppy over one poorly marked but of superior conformation in other respects would have been sheer folly.  The ideal situation, of course, is to combine superior markings with superior conformation, but this is often more easily said than accomplished.  The extent to which the dapple pattern makes itself manifest would appear to be a factor that is impossible to manipulate to any great extent by selection.  I have had dapples of superior markings produce whole litters that were only poor to mediocre in this regard; similarly, I have had poorly marked dapples produce some ideally marked puppies. Why this should be so I am not  certain. It is quite possible that the wide variance we see in the extent of dapple patterning is influenced essentially by at least one pair of modifying genes (i.e., where one of the genes in the pair seeks to reduce the expression of dappling, and the other in the pair seeks to give it full expression. thus allowing three different modifying combinations) not yet identified. This is a rather unsatisfactory explanation for such a phenomenon. Yet, those who are up on their color genetics will remember that the concept of modifying genes is offered to explain the overlapping of white patterning between contiguous alleles in the S (white spotting) locus.

We must remember, of course, that what we actually see and identify as a dog’s coat color is the result of at least ten pairs of genes working simultaneously, in some cases cooperatively (so far as the visual effect is concerned) and sometimes competitively.  It is for this reason, I would assume, that most dapples show a marked diminution of the dappling effect as they get older, and this process seems to continue well beyond maturity.  This competitive effect, where one gene vies with another for expression, is sometimes seen in instances where the two genes from a pair or series on certain loci are different.  Not always is one completely dominant (or epistatic, as the case maybe) to the other as is sometimes assumed.  The gene B (which allows the expression of dark [black] pigment) is said to be dominant to the gene b (which inhibits the formation of dark [black] pigment and results in chocolate).  Yet, dogs of Bb constitution that appear to be black will often, in certain light, have a chocolate-like cast to the coat.

Another aspect of my approach in working with the “other colors” deserves mention.  From the very beginning I assumed that it would be very difficult to gain acceptance for my dappled products, no matter how excellent they might hopefully be, both in the show ring and from the Dachshund fancy at large.  Therefore, in order to attempt to convince those who in one way or another would be evaluating my dogs that color can be manipulated and that dapples in the ancestry of non-dappled dogs in no way constitutes some indefinable taint or threat to quality, I decided that, along with the dapples, I would show and hopefully finish dogs of the usual colors—dogs that derived directly from at least one dappled parent or close relative and sometimes from two dappled parents.  Ch Wagatomo Harlequin Tomtom L (a black-and-tan dappled longhair), whose own sire, incidentally, was a chocolate-and-tan dapple smooth carrying the longhair gene) and Wagatomo Kirsten Stardust (a black-and-tan dappled smooth carrying the longhair gene), for example, are the sire and dam respectively of Ch Wagatomo Tabard L (a black-and-tan longhaired dog that can never produce a dapple unless mated to one).  Tabard, in turn, mated to Wagatomo Rhonda v Schnee L (a dark sable) [AKC registered as “red”] produced Ch Wagatomo Autumn Archer L (a dark sable) [AKC registered as “red”].  Archer bred to Wagatomo Erin Colleen L (a relatively clear red) produced Wagatomo Marching Baron L (a dog, almost clear red, who now has four or five points including a major after having been shown three times so far).  Another example is Ch Wagatomo Paula (a black-and-tan longhaired bitch) who was sired by Ch Wagatomo Grenadier Gunner L (black-and-tan) out of Dapple Downs Flambeau L (a chocolate-and-tan dapple).  Paula bred to Tomtom this past year produced a fine litter of black-and-tans, chocolates, and chocolate-and-tan dapples.  Two of  these, a black-and-tan bitch and a chocolate-and-tan dappled male, I have kept for future showing and breeding. I could cite further similar examples, but the few I have mentioned will, I believe, clearly illustrate my point.

As is apparent from the preceding paragraph, I did not hesitate in the least to cross smooths with longhaired dogs-indeed, it was a necessity if I were to achieve what I set out to do in my production of  longhaired dapples.  On the basis of my experience in this area, I would not hesitate to do the same thing even if I were attempting to incorporate some factor other than color into either smooths or longs, provided I felt that what I was after could be achieved in no other way.   As I mentioned previously, it was impossible to avoid working with other aspects of conformation in my endeavors, although in the initial stages, color and coat factors received the highest priority of attention. In spite of commonly held opinion to the contrary, I myself do not feel that the crossing of smooths and longs in itself results in the ultimate emergence of  longhaired dogs of sparse or defective coats. The gene for the longhaired coat is recessive to the gene for the “smooth” (i.e., shorthaired) coat, as everyone knows.  Hence, even a longhaired dog resulting from two smooths carrying the longhair gene recessively is as “pure” for the longhaired coat as any other longhaired dog who has only longhaired dogs in his pedigree from as far back as one can trace it.  Such a dog—that is, a longhaired dog produced from the mating of two smooths carrying the longhair gene recessively—cannot also have one or more genes for the “smooth” (i.e. shorthaired) coat class floating around in his genetic makeup.  So, far as smooth and longhaired Dachshunds are concerned, there are only two gene slots for coat class to fill, so to speak, and therefore only three possibilities: a gene for smooth in both slots; a gene for longhair in both slots; or a gene for smooth in one slot, and a gene for longhair in the other.  Now, in my opinion (and this is only an opinion since I am not a geneticist and frankly admit that I do not have the data to support my assumption other than what I have observed in the course of my own work), there is a very important factor, often overlooked, that must be taken into consideration here.

In addition to the genes responsible for smooth, long, or wire as separate coat classes (and, therefore, “varieties” of the breed), I feel that there are undoubtedly other genes, apparently not yet identified, that work to modify the ultimate length of coat in either direction in all three basic coat classes. Whether these postulated genes consist of a pair of alleles, or whether multiple alleles are involved, with each gene in the hierarchy pressing for shorter coat length as one gets to the top gene in the series, is certainly an area worthy of investigation.   In any event, even among smooths that carry no gene for longhair as a class we find considerable variation in coat length. This variation is also seen in wires and in longs. In the case of  longs, it is as apparent in dogs that have resulted from so-called “all longhaired” breeding as it is in dogs that have one or both smooth parents carrying the longhaired-class gene recessively.  Now, if a smooth carrying the gene for the longhaired class also happens to carry one or two of the postulated genes for extreme shortness of hair, and if these modifiers for shortness of  hair are dominant as I suspect they might be, then a longhaired offspring of this smooth could possibly have a very short coat even though he is obviously in the longhaired class.  Similarly, smooth offspring of this dog would also very likely have shorter hair than others within the class of smooths.  The question is obviously complex and to arrive at a definitive answer we would have to: (1) establish the existence of the postulated genes for modification of  hair length; (2) determine whether this locus, once substantiated, offers an option of only a pair of genes or a series of three or more; (3) determine, if only a pair of genes is involved, which of the two is dominant to the other, or even, once dominance is established, whether the dominance is partial or complete; or if a series of genes is involved, it would be necessary to determine the order and degree of epistasis. It has often been said that the great sire Ch. Badger Hill Nobby, a smooth carrying the longhair gene, tended to produce longs that were deficient in coat. If this was so (and I have done no work in an attempt to determine the validity of this statement), then it seems to me that an explanation for it is to be found in something akin to what I have postulated about modifying genes for hair length and not in the fact that Nobby belonged to the smooth variety of Dachshunds.  Almost all of my dogs, I am happy to say, have Ch. Badger Hill Nobby in their backgrounds. This is not a matter of accidence but something that was planned and deliberately executed.  One of my champions, who happens to have Nobby on both sides of his family tree, was once faulted for being too profuse in coat. I do not mean to imply, of course, that this “profuse” coat is directly attributable to Nobby.  Chances are it is not, for other dogs appear between Nobby and my own stock.  What it does show, however, is that even if Nobby did happen to throw genes for modification of hair length toward shortness, it is a trivial consideration and a factor easily bred out.  I have produced only one longhaired dog I feel is deficient in coat.  She is a granddaughter of Ch. Mabob’s Marmion, himself a double grandson of Nobby.  Nobby also occurs on the other side of the pedigree.  The dam of the bitch in question was a smooth, one of the finest Dachshunds I have ever bred. Whereas this one example would seem on the surface to support the contention that longs deriving from smooths are lacking in length of coat – and lacking because one or more dogs in the background are smooth – in my opinion it merely provides  one more indication of the probable correctness of my assumption, i.e. that, in addition to the genes that determine which of the three coat classes a Dachshund will belong to, there are also other independently acting genes that modify hair length in all three coat varieties. The entire problem of coat inheritance, like color, becomes far more complex than might be apparent at first consideration. As Burns (Genetics of the Dog, p. 38) points out, “The characteristics of each coat type can be analyzed into a number of components most of which appear to be inherited independently of each other.  These components include length, coarseness, texture, wave or curl, density, (i.e. number of hairs per unit area of skin), medullation (the presence or absence and type of the central  hollow core in the hair). It might also be pointed out, as several investigators have done, that pigmentation (“color”) also influences coat characteristics in ways, real and apparent, too numerous to mention here.”

Before discussing some of the dogs and matings involved in my two phases of breeding, I should like to mention one other detail that some may find of interest. When I first started to work with dapples, chocolates, and blues, my ambitions were grandiose.  I fully intended to produce dogs in these colors in both Standard and Miniature, and in all three coat varieties.  It was not long before I discovered the folly of attempting such a project. From the beginning, my dog-breeding activities have been a one-man operation.  Even if I could have afforded to hire help, reliable people were almost impossible to locate.  On occasion I tried cooperative breeding arrangements with others who seemed enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and trustworthy, but in almost every case either of two things happened: (1) all agreements, written or verbal, ultimately went unheeded and only rarely did I receive the puppies (some of which were crucial to the full implementation of my project) contracted for;  (2) many of the dogs (placed with others under various kinds of arrangements) that were unique in constitution or bloodlines impossible to duplicate were lost in a wide range of  tragic accidents. As most of us realize, merely the physical labor entailed in keeping one’s dogs and kennel clean is a time-consuming chore.  Though carrying on a full-time profession I naturally had to find time for these basics and for all of the other aspects of breeding and showing dogs.  To make a very long story very brief, after some successful and promising work with dappled Miniature smooths and longs (I was breeding down from dogs in the eleven to fifteen pound range) and with dappled smooth Standards, I came to the conclusion, inevitable under the circumstances, that rather than risk failure (and possible eventual commitment to a mental institution) by attempting to take on more than anyone person can constructively handle, I would have to concentrate exclusively on one size and one coat variety.  My choice was standard longhairs, which by this time I had come to prefer in spite of my prevailing love and esteem for all the others that make up the breed.  In the course of my concentration on longs, some excellent smooth Standards in a variety of colors were produced occasionally, but I made no effort to keep most of these. Those I did retain, sometimes only temporarily, all carried the gene for longhair and possessed other qualities, purposely bred into them, that I felt would be essential to developing my line of longs, not only in dapple, chocolate, and blue but also in the usual colors.  I regret that I was unable to work with the wires, Standard or Miniature, for this means that my limited knowledge of the breed as a whole is even more circumscribed than I would like it to be.  I did own one dappled wirehaired Dachshund obtained at the age of nine months from Mrs. Dean in the summer of 1965.  Since he was unnamed I called him “Wagatomo Monty Mariner W.”  He was a superb, enchanting little dog for whom I had a very special affection; but in view of my decision to work exclusively with longs I gave him, with stud rights (just in case), to a good friend, a fancier and exhibitor of longhaired Dachshunds and Dobermans, Miss Ann Holcomb of Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan.  Ann ultimately showed him to two obedience titles and I believe that on at least one occasion he was highest scoring hound.  Although he was owned by Mrs. Dean at the time I obtained him, “Monty” was bred by Linda (McCray) Billings.

As I stated earlier, my efforts at breeding Dachshunds fall into two distinct but overlapping phases, “productive” and “creative” breeding as I have rather loosely defined them.  The first phase, in which I was attempting to duplicate the stock of others, was short-lived for a number of reasons, but primarily because I derived little satisfaction from it and soon felt compelled to devote my full energies to the second phase.  One aspect of this second phase remains incomplete at this writing. I have every intention of seeing it to fruition, but in the interim I shall very likely take most of my present stock not directly involved in the immediate unfinished project and place it in the hands of others in the hope that they will carry on from where I feel I must leave off.  If I were to continue breeding on any scale at all, however, I would proceed in two (possibly three) directions simultaneously: (1) I would continue with what I can now call “productive” breeding within my own established lines in an effort to make certain that what has been achieved thus far would not be lost;  (2) I would seek improvement in my own line by introducing into it studs and bitches (carefully selected for those qualities I was seeking to obtain) not of my breeding but nonetheless closely bred themselves within lines: (a) related to one or more of the best lines I used in the development of my own dogs; or (b) unrelated, relatively speaking, to any of the lines I used in the development of my own dogs.  These approaches, of course, are respectively equivalent to: inbreeding, or close family breeding; linebreeding, or more distant family breeding; and outcrossing.  The last of these holds the greatest danger and the greatest challenge.  It is a return, in other words, to “creative” breeding at its highest level. The process of selection is important to success in any approach, obviously, but it is in the last named here that it becomes vital.  Fixing into one’s line any improvement one might be fortunate enough to realize, while also retaining the best of what one has already achieved, is the whole crux of the matter. It taxes the breeder’s ingenuity and puts his skill to the most acid of all tests. Yet, for a very select number of persons in any breed it would seem that here lies the only path that can lead to a feeling of satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment.  I also believe that it is only from successful ventures of this kind that any distinct and transmittable improvement in any breed is achieved.

Some Facets of the Breeding Experience
Let me backtrack, if I may, to a point in 1961 when Erda, my first Dachshund, was approaching her second season. With admittedly novice eyes, I had already started to look at several smooth standard studs available in Hawaii.  There were several,  all of relatively similar bloodlines, that appealed to me, but ultimately I selected a dog that pleased me more than the others. As is still true, I was not particularly concerned with whether the dog I elected to use was a champion; I was more interested in other things—apparent quality, complementation of the bitch, bloodlines, and previous progeny results. The dog I selected was Twin Seas Quest (Ch Hillcrest’s Little Hercules x Robhors Danny Girl), a handsome black-and-tan. Whelped in quarantine, Quest had been accidentally blinded in one eye and thus was never shown.  He was bred and owned by Joseph and Lillian Chun of Twin Seas fame.  Erda produced a superb litter of eight, a credit to her bloodlines.  The Chuns were much interested in this litter, and as the puppies grew so did my friendship with Joe and Lillian.  From these two fine Dachshund fanciers I learned much about the breed I could have acquired in no other way.  At the same time I learned the mechanics of whelping and puppy care from my next-door neighbor, the late Mrs. John (Florence) Kyslowski, a breeder-exhibitor of Miniature Schnauzers and perhaps the most skilled canine midwife in Hawaii.

From this first, or “A,” litter I kept three black-and-tan bitches: Ayako, Amayo, and Adako. I wanted to keep more, but right from outset the considerations of available facilities and the number of dogs I felt the neighbors would tolerate forced me to limit my selection. The puppies grew; I joined the Dachshund Club of Hawaii and the Hawaiian Dog Fanciers’ Association; I went to matches and shows; I continued, as I am still doing, to learn. As the ribbons and trophies came in I again scrutinized the Standard of Perfection over and over.  I went over every Dachshund I could get my hands on and began to compare one with another, and all with my own.  As objectively as possible I began to make judgments in an effort to capture in my own mind a picture of what I envisaged the ideal Dachshund to be. In the process of carrying out these various activities I discovered that I was not at ease in the show ring.  Somehow, although fully cognizant of its importance, my personality rebelled against my being there.  Perhaps I was too close to my dogs; perhaps I felt I could never learn to present a dog properly; perhaps I was already geared to emphasis on breeding, that fundamental activity that makes all other aspects of the dog game possible. In any event, I found little pleasure in being in the ring as an exhibitor (win or lose), and thereafter I avoided it as often as I was able. Lillian, fortunately, came to my rescue and easily finished Ayako. In the course of her very short show career, Ayako managed to take an all-breed BIM, a HG-I (Hawaiian Kennel Club), and a BB (Dachshund Club of Hawaii), her last show. I showed Amaya a few times but she was always in Ayako’s shadow and ultimately she was used chiefly for breeding.  Adako was ultimately sold to Major and Mrs. Taylor Fulton on a one-time breeding contract. She ultimately became pointed, receiving at least one five-point major.

Two months after acquiring Erda, I purchased two more red puppies of similar bloodlines, a bitch and a male.  I eventually gave away the male and bred the bitch, Sabi, to a stud different from the one I had used with Erda.  Sabi refused to accept her puppies and Erda was thus saddled with ten to care for, although I provided supplementary feeding for all of them throughout the nursing period.  Sabi’s two puppies, black-and-tan, were excellent, but both had unusually large white spots on the chest and were early sold as pets.  Because of Sabi’s excellent conformation and bloodlines, I decided to breed her once more, even though the male in her first litter turned out to be monocryptorchid.  Even at this early period I was interested in learning from firsthand experience more about such things as orchidism, white spots, maternal behavior, and the like.

This time I selected still a different stud heavily linebred to a dog that will remain nameless here.  This was indeed a disastrous mating.  Out of seven puppies, six had bent tails. The seventh, a superb red bitch,  had no such deformity but she died suddenly at three weeks of age.  This was a sobering experience, indeed,  but one not at all without long-range value.  It immediately brought into sharp focus an awareness of the pitfalls that all  of us who breed dogs are subject to, regardless of the best intentions, the best bloodlines, the best of care, and the most fervent prayers. With the help of my veterinarian I managed to straighten all the tails somewhat and  placed the puppies as pets with no registration papers.  No, I would not put them down as I am certain many other breeders might have done. I do not adhere to the practice of “culling by killing,” unless the deformity is such that a puppy cannot function normally and comfortable, and I am happy to say that only once have I been obliged to resort to this extreme.  Withholding papers, it seems to me, is a perfectly satisfactory way of dealing with unsatisfactory puppies, and certainly spaying and castration remain ready options if one is  concerned lest the puppies be used for breeding purposes by the unscrupulous.  But this is an eternal issue which each must solve for himself.  Under no circumstances, however, can I condone the wanton destruction of apparently normal, healthy puppies merely because the breeder feels that the litter is too large for the dam to manage. In most instances Nature has a way of dealing with these situations; and even when Nature does fail on occasion, adequate diet for the dam and supplementary feeding of the puppies by humans in anyone of several practical ways can easily resolve the problem.  If one feels that he will have difficulty in placing all of the puppies  he does not choose to keep from a large litter, he should not be breeding dogs in the first place.  And if he rationalizes that the breed will suffer if he is forced to postpone subsequent matings in his breeding plan, while he cares for an unusually large litter already whelped, he is only deluding himself.

But back to the litter of puppies with the bent tails. (Yes, I know I could have pretended that such a litter never appeared, but of what value is an article of this kind if only the good is mentioned and all the bad is ignored?  That so little progress has been made in the area of defects in dogs is due, in great part, to deliberate cover-ups of such occurrences by far too many breeders who, fearing for the status or image of their own stock, pretend that they have never bred a defective puppy. But cover-up or not, defects will continue to arise in spite of efforts to cull them out.  Instead of wasting energy aimed at placing the blame for such defects on individual dogs, strains, or breeders, as is so often done in any breed via the treacherous “canine grapevine”we are all familiar with, it seems to me that what we need are more projects like the projected study of disc problems in Dachshunds or hip dysplasia in some of the larger breeds. Merely sweeping the defects one encounters in breeding dogs under a rug or two will obviously do nothing toward eliminating them. And it may be that some of them cannot  be eliminated without eliminating the entire breed; but in order at least to try to eliminate them we must learn more about them than would seem to be currently known.) I wondered, of course, what went wrong in this litter.  My veterinarian at the time, a man for whom I have the highest regard, felt that the crooked tails were the result of overcrowding in the womb.  Because of the wide difference in location and angle of the bends, I tended to agree in this case. On the other hand, we know that such a condition, or one similar to it, can also be the result of defective genes.  If inherited in the case of my own litter, it would have to have been the result of a recessive  gene or a recessive polygenetic complex since neither the sire nor the dam obviously had abnormal tails.  Here then was a golden opportunity, I thought, to have made a contribution of sorts by ultimately breeding together a brother and a sister from the litter and publishing the results.  Circumstances were against me, however, for not only was the time for me to leave Hawaii fast approaching but all the males turned out to be dual cryptorchids.  Sabi, needless to say, was not permitted to reproduce again. She was spayed and placed as a guard and companion in a good home.  As it turned out, her litter brother whom I had earlier given away was also dual cryptorchid at maturity.  At a later date I purchased a magnificent red smooth male puppy that had in his background what I felt would be needed to reinforce or to improve upon the qualities of the smooths I kept from my first litter.  He had great bone, great head, good length, excellent balance, superb topline, promising movement, and an enchanting temperament. But alas, he too, at maturity, turned out to be dual cryptorchid and was thus placed as a pet.  (There is still considerable question, I believe, whether cryptorchidism is a simple recessive or whether it is polygenetic, or perhaps even connected somehow with  another genetic mechanism that produces faulty functioning of one or mare of the endocrine glands so that orchidism results as an incidental side effect. It is one of several defects that most of us, I suspect, are faced with at one time or another.  Since the genetic mechanism responsible for the manifestation of the condition apparently may also be carried by the female, it would seem very doubtful that it can be eliminated entirely. This would seem to be true of other unfortunate conditions also such as inherited epilepsy or disc problems, both of which more often than not do not appear  until the dog so afflicted is well past maturity.  In the interim, who can say how many puppies produced by such dogs will have inherited either condition and in turn, even if they themselves never show any symptoms, will eventually transmit the propensity to some of their ownoffspring, and so on “ad infinitum”?)

In 1962, or possibly earlier, I had seen in The American Dachshund an ad for dappled smooths placed by Mrs. Mary Fitzpatrick Dean.  After a certain amount of correspondence Mrs. Dean agreed to sell me the two dapples I was seeking, a blue-and-tan dapple and a chocolate-and-tan dapple. Since a trip to California was not possible for me at the time, I was forced to make my selections from unposed photographs.  The dogs were not at all inexpensive and when I figured up what it would cost for their shipping and a four-month stay in quarantine, the total seemed astronomical to a struggling professor.  Yet I went ahead with the venture and in January of 1963 I was the owner of Apple of My Eye (the blue) and Dean’s Redy to Ruffit (the chocolate).  Apple was already named  but for “Roughie” I received the usual “blue slip” and was again faced with the task of naming a dog I had acquired from someone else. “Roughie” had already been referred to as “Redy To Ruffit” by Mrs. Dean, but I felt that something identifying her as breeder would be appropriate.  With her consent (not easy to obtain, really) I registered the dog as “Dean’s Redy To Ruffit.”  Needless to say, these two “spotted” hounds created something of a sensation at the quarantine station and a joint raising of the eyebrows by the Hawaii group of Dachshund fanciers. Even the Poodle people were aghast, and I can still hear a lovely British lady of the Poodle fancy saying to me as I stood fascinated outside the pens containing the two dapples: “Oh deah, Miles, Miles, what have you done?”   My answer, as I remember it, was something to the effect that I hadn’t done anything yet but certainly intended to.  Throughout my entire work with dapples I frequently encountered scorn, disparaging remarks, and incredulous shaking of the head.  Attempts to explain what I had in mind fell on deaf ears and on some rather hard heads. As should be apparent by now I never for an instant intended to mix up all these dogs, the dapples I imported and my basic stock of smooths, in some kind of haphazard fashion.  I fully intended to continue in the spirit of my original approach, i.e. attempt to produce potential winners in red and black-and-tan from already established bloodlines. A t the same time, I wanted to develop a second line—one of dapples into which would be incorporated, hopefully, the qualities of the lines already established by kennels represented in my original stock.  As it eventually turned out, however, I bred only two more litters of standard smooths in which dapples did not figure.  In 1965, while in Michigan, I bred both Ch. Ayako and Amayo to the late Ch Mabob’s Marmion.  Ayako, alas, missed but Amayo produced a very fine litter of eight, all black-and-tan. I ultimately kept only one of these, Wagatomo Jonathan Aniki, a dog I feel came closer than any of my other smooths, with the possible exception of Ayako, to what I was looking for in my brief first phase  of breeding.  In 1969 I bred him to Sugarshacks Jethrine (Ch Brenner’s Jason x Amoness of Hopi Hollow), a lovely red bitch bred by Barbara McMahon and one which I co-owned with Mrs. Molly Turlish of Ann Arbor.  I retained the one bitch in the litter but placed her later when I was forced to disperse my kennel temporarily.  Aniki was shown a few times before he was really ready and managed to acquire a few points. I did not finish him, however, since he, along with several other promising dogs, was a victim of a long and very difficult period in my life when it became virtually impossible for me to do any consistent showing.  He was used at stud ten times but only twice with bitches (both dapples) of my breeding.  Ironically, I now have nothing directly descended from him, and he was killed by a car in Maine in November of 1970 shortly after I placed him with acquaintances who had  given me the usual hollow (as it turned out) assurances. Among his get is the dappled Goblin of Norwester out of Wagatomo Karousel, a dapple and full litter-sister to the great producing dappled bitch Wagatomo Kirsten Stardust.

I left Hawaii in the fall of 1964 to accept a position at the University of Michigan and to complete work on my doctorate, which by this time was long overdue.  Before leaving the Islands, however, I bred Apple of My Eye  to Amayo and to her dam, Erda.  Erda had only one puppy, a handsome red dappled bitch born by Caesarean section.  “Ember,” as I called her, I elected to leave at my home in Hawaii. Amayo produced a multi-colored litter, two black-and-tan dapples, one chocolate-and-tan dapple, two chocolate-and-tans, and one black-and-tan.  The occurrence of chocolates in this litter came as a  great surprise and indicated that both Apple and Amayo carried the gene.  In the dam’s case, the gene for chocolate evidently had been carried down recessively through red and black-and-tan for a great many generations. I ultimately kept only the chocolate-and-tan dapple,  a bitch I named Wagatomo Domino Batik.  Erda, incidentally, shortly after producing Ember, developed pyometria and had to be spayed.  Now going on fourteen and almost white, she lives out her remaining time in Connecticut with my sister and her family.  Out of Amayo’s sister, Adako, I ultimately received the chocolate dapple, Wagatomo Flicker Batik. “Roughie” had been given to my veterinarian, Dr. Edward Nakagawa of Kaneohe (both he and his lovely wife Elinor are now successful Dachshund breeders and exhibitors), with instructions that he be bred to Adako when she came into season after my departure.  Adako, too, carried the chocolate gene and surprisingly enough and against all odds, all five of her puppies were chocolates, although only Flicker was dappled.

Of the greatest significance for what was to come later, however,was my purchase of a very fine black-and-tan longhaired bitch from Fred and Mary Ellen Compagnon. No Ka Oi’s Krystal Ebony (Ch. Red Locket Stevedore  x Ch Twin Seas Oleana), or “Karla,” as I called her, arrived in Hawaii in September of 1963.  Although only three months old, she, too, had to spend four months in quarantine.  Happily, she had company in the form of a very handsome red longhaired puppy obtained by the Chuns at the same time. I tried unsuccessfully to purchase him and he later became Ch No Ka Oi’s Headliner. From the moment I saw Karla and Headliner my interest in smooths was replaced by an abiding attraction to the longhairs. Krystal Ebony was to be my foundation bitch  for the “productive” breeding of quality longhaired Dachshunds.  She was also going to figure prominently in my projected attempt to produce longhaired dapples. Before leaving for the mainland I made arrangements for some ten dogs to be shipped to me in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Among them and arriving much later than all the others was an as yet unwhelped Bulldog bitch, Wagatomo Amanda. I had imported from England two Bulldog bitch puppies that did not live up to their expectations. Both were placed in a good home and arrangement were made to breed the better of the two to a fine English import. Amanda was the pick of the litter and a vast improvement over her dam.  Unfortunately, she did not remain with me too long. The Dachshunds misinterpreted her natural snorting and playfulness for aggression and as a result there was incessant trouble.  She was an unusually good bitch with enormous breeding potential, and attached as I was to her, I was forced to sell her.

My earlier purchase of Krystal Ebony led to correspondence with the Compagnons about longhaired Dachshunds and this, in turn, led to a meaningful and continuing friendship.  They graciously invitedme to stay with them  during a stopover in Los Angeles on my way to Ann Arbor. I accompanied the Compagnons to the San Diego DC Specialty and can still remember the excitement I experienced at seeing so many fine Dachshunds assembled  in one area. For some reason, the Open class of smooth Standard black-and-tan bitches stands out in my memory as being especially spectacular.  As a guest of the club I was warmly received and it was a delight and a pleasure to see personally several of the outstanding dogs I had known only from photographs, and to meet, in addition  to the Compagnons, many of the other great personalities in Dachshunds—the Ornes, the Sanford Roberts’, Mrs. Bigler, the Newhausers, and several others too numerous to mention.  Knowing of my interest in locating a stud  for Krystal Ebony, the Compagnons suggested I look at several dogs, including the Hirschman’s Ch Bergmanor Rumpelstilskin.  I was able to go over him personally and later did indeed breed him to Krystal Ebony. I had  already had the good fortune to see the Compagnon’s great Ch. Twin Seas Forever Mystic and Ch. Twin Seas Oleana (both bred by the Chuns), Krystal Ebony’s maternal grandsire and dam respectively; and later, again thanks to the Compagnons and the cordiality of Vera Gunn, I was able to see Ch Red Locket Stevedore, Ebony’s sire, a double grandson of Ch Badger Hill Nobby and sire also of the great producer, Ch Covara’s Tabasco,  to whom America’s longhaired Dachshunds owe so much.  Aware of my interest in Nobby and of my desire to  locate a stud in which Nobby figured prominently, the Compagnons also arranged for me to see Ch Mabob’s Marmion, a double Nobby grandson then owned by the Segessers.  When I informed the Segessers that I wanted to breed Marmion to three smooth bitches, they graciously suggested that they ship him, though already well advanced in age, to my residence in Ann Arbor, rather than follow the usual procedure and have me send the three bitches to California. This too was ultimately done. What I had in mind, of course, was ultimately to have smooth and longhaired Dachshunds, in both the usual colors and in dapples, that would be closely related in bloodlines and similar in conformation except for coat.  I had long since decided that an important key to all of this lay in dogs descended from Nobby. My discussions with Sanford Roberts about Marmion, Nobby, and the line in general, convinced me that my approach was well worth trying.

While attending the San Diego DC Specialty the Compagnons also introduced me to a young lady who deserves recognition as the most important single figure in the history of dappled longhaired Dachshunds in this country,  Linda McCray (now Mrs. James Billings).  When I was informed that Linda had a litter of longhaired dapples at home at that very moment I was flabbergasted and at the same time fascinated to discover that someone  had already done what I had been contemplating doing for so long. Linda and Jim Billings (her fiancé at the time) were extremely cordial and I wasted no time in going to see the puppies myself. I found it inconceivable that no one in the area seemed to be particularly interested in Linda’s accomplishment and hence it was that I had considerable doubt about the quality of the dappled puppies I was to see. When I saw the puppies, however, I could hardly believe my eyes!  Here was a litter of longhaired Dachshunds, and beautifully dappled at that, as fine as any I have ever seen of any color in the more than thirteen years I have been in the breed. It is a matter of profound personal regret and, at the same time, a great loss to the fancy, I feel, that circumstances apparently prevented Linda from continuing with her work which was off to such a magnificent beginning. Before leaving California, I made arrangements to purchase one of Linda’s puppies, a beautiful chocolate-and-tan dappled bitch,  Dapple Downs Flambeau L (Ch Georgia’s Bengal x Dapple Downs Confetti).  I managed to get several points on Flambeau and there is no question in my mind that she would have finished had I shown her more often and consistently.  I bred her only once and ultimately sold her along with four other dogs from the best of my stock  to a gentleman in Florida who came with the highest recommendations. Still in a very idealistic stage and desirous of sharing with others interested in dapples the best of what I had, I made several errors in judgment.  Unfortunately,  I never again heard from the purchaser of these dogs and regret to say that I have no idea of their ultimate fate.  All were of valuable and irreplaceable bloodlines and included among them was Wagatomo Rhonda v Schnee L (Ch Webb’s Strolch v Teckelhof x Maxsohn Hilde), dam of champions Autumn Archer, Autumn Sonata, and Autumn Aria.

When I arrived in Ann Arbor from California, my immediate problem was to find a house suitable for carrying out the breeding activities I had in mind. The dogs began to arrive from Hawaii by twos and threes, and since I was not yet set up to accommodate them, I was forced to board all of them for several weeks.  After much searching I managed to find a very small house (really part of a house which was still awaiting extension) on five acres which were bordered on all sides by fields or vacant land. With due apology to the owners, it was not much  of a house, but it was an ideal setup for dogs. I converted the garage to a kennel by installing inside runs,  a heating system, and a single exit door that opened into two large exercise areas several hundred feet square.  The garage also opened directly into the house and for the next five years I literally lived in a kennel while I pursued the most intensive phase of my breeding activities. In the spring of 1965 I visited Mrs. Dean, with whom I had been corresponding at regular intervals for some time. I was interested in purchasing another dapple or two I felt would be necessary for my work. While there, I was especially attracted to four dogs, although  I eventually ended up with ten, some purchased, some received as a gift, and some leased.  One of the four was a very young puppy bitch that eventually became Wagatomo Appaloosa Firefly L (Know Ye Well Victor of Long Ago x Katie Met Me at the Kitchen Dor, as indeed she had done upon my arrival), a beautiful black-and-tan dappled bitch that had evidently come into the genes for longhair via Ch Red Locket Stevedore, who appeared somewhat distantly on both sides of the pedigree (as Mrs. Dean explained to me, Mrs. Gunn had at one time sought to produce blue-and-tan dappled longs but then abandoned the project).  Another of the four was again a very young homozygous (“double”) blue-and-tan dappled bitch puppy. I was unable to buy her but did succeed in leasing her. In an attempt to follow Mrs. Dean’s unique method of naming her dogs, I registered her as Heavenly Blue Heather.  I raised her, ultimately bred her to Ch Wagatomo Grenadier Gunner L, and returned her  with reluctance, to Mrs. Dean in November of 1967.  The other two dogs were chocolate-and-tan dappled smooths.  I was especially taken with them and not at all surprised to discover they were litter brother and sister.  What did surprise me, however, and what made them, in my own thinking, extremely valuable to my own plans was the fact that they were litter mates of Dapple Downs Confetti, Flambeau’s dam!  I knew that they had to carry the gene for longhair and I had already seen living proof of what Confetti could produce when bred to Ch. Georgia’s Bengal, who himself carried several Badger Hill dogs in his pedigree as well as several other superb bloodlines. I managed to purchase the male and to lease the bitch.  Both came to me with the ubiquitous “blue slips,” and I was somewhat in a quandary as to how I should register them.  Since I purchased the male and was to use him in my own creative plans, I named him Wagatomo Mackie Sardonyx, since I was merely leasing the bitch, I again tried to conform to Mrs. Dean’s punning techniques and therefore registered her as Marietta Gingham Jumper.  Also included in the ten dogs that swelled my numbers was a blue-and-tan bitch, Bay’s Blue Bayby, about whom I shall have more to say subsequently.

One more dog I purchased deserves special mention here, No Ka Oi’s Night Wind. I had already seen his dam, Gretchen Sh-Boom, earlier and had left my reservation for one of her puppies.  The Compagnons bred Gretchen to Ch Bergmanor Rumpelstilskin and in January of 1965 I received “Nik,” who filled the only remaining gap in the basic materials I sought to assemble before embarking on my scheme.  Nik is the largest Dachshund I have owned, a magnificent black-and-tan of superb coat, bone, temperament, ribbing, topline, and head. I still own him, although for several years he has lived with a friend, Mrs. Katherine Takahashi of Ann Arbor.

In December of 1964, I bred No Ka Oi’s Krystal Ebony to Ch Bergmanor Rumpelstilskin in accordance with the decision I had made in San Diego earlier.  From this litter, my first attempt at longhaired breeding, I kept (Ch) Wagatomo Grenadier Gunner L.  Gunner was later sold to the Compagnons, and the only bitch in the litter was sold to the late Mrs. Wayne (Joyce) Cottrill of Hazel Park, Michigan, and her daughter Pamela. In August of 1965 Ebony was bred to Wagatomo Mackie Sardonyx.   This was an exceptionally good litter but I kept only two puppies, both black-and-tan longhaired dapples: (Ch) Wagatomo Harlequin Tomtom L and (Ch) Wagatomo Harlequin Holly L.  By this time Marmion had already been shipped to me from California and I soon bred him to Ayako,  Amayo, and the chocolate-and-tan dapple Wagatomo Domino Batik.  As I mentioned earlier, Ayako missed and Amayo whelped a litter of eight. Bitches from this litter were acquired by John and Beverly Winther (Norwester), then of Ann Arbor but later of Vancouver, Washington, and by Mrs. Roy Couch (Von Lagershof) of Ann Arbor.  From Domino’s litter I kept Wagatomo Interlochen, a black-and-tan dappled smooth later given to Mrs. Daphne McReynolds (Blue Ridge), and a black-and-tan smooth bitch, Wagatomo Imogene.  Much later I bred Imogene to Tomtom.  Shortly after weaning her puppies she died as the result of a tragic accident while in the care of a friend.  I kept only one from this litter, a chocolate-and-tan longhaired bitch, Wagatomo Libra Chariko L.   A beautiful chocolate-and-tan dappled smooth bitch, Wagatomo Libra Cameo was sold on a one-time breeding contract (which, alas, I was unable to find the time to execute) to Miss Jean Daniels of Ann Arbor. The third puppy from this litter, a superb black-and-tan longhaired male, Wagatomo Libra Moses L, was sold to Mrs. Leslie Jones of Ann Arbor.   And the fourth puppy, a black-and-tan dappled longhaired male, Wagatomo Libra Braeburn L, was sold to Miss Joan Wagner, also of Ann Arbor.  Last year, Chariko was bred to Ch Rufus De Sangpur (owned by Betty and Bernard Piper of Buckeye Dachshunds, Columbus, OH). From this litter of six bitches and one male, all black-and-tan, I kept only one, a bitch, Wagatomo Belinda L.   At this writing,  Chariko and Belinda are the only two dogs I still own that descend directly from my original smooth stock, other than their great and great-great granddam respectively, Kuge’s Erda.

Also in August of 1965 I bred Marietta Gingham Jumper to No Ka Oi’s Night Wind.  This was an extremely important litter since it was to provide, I hoped, what I was seeking to complement Tomtom and Holly. There were four bitches and one male in the litter, one longhaired bitch and the rest smooth. The longhaired bitch, Wagatomo Kellie Ebon L, was acquired on a breeding contract by Mr. & Mrs.Daniel D’Agostino of Ann Arbor. Wagatomo Kathy Colleen, a black-and-tan bitch, and Wagatomo Karousel, a black-and-tan dappled bitch, were acquired by Mr. & Mrs. William Johnson of Ann Arbor and the Winthers respectively, again with breeding arrangements.  The male, Wagatomo Kerry Sean, a black-and-tan, was sold with stud rights to Mrs. Dorothy Wood of Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan. I myself retained only Wagatomo Kirsten Stardust, a black-and-tan dapple. I planned to breed Kirsten Stardust to Tomtom, and Harlequin Holly to Kerry Sean, thus approaching an amalgamation of the same complex of bloodlines from two directions, a breeding approach, incidentally, that has much to offer.  I regret to say that Kerry Sean was ultimately burned to death in a fire in spite of valiant efforts made by Mr. & Mrs. Wood to save him. Since Kerry Sean had been the only male in the litter, and since Marietta, his dam, was lost in an incident mentioned below, it became utterly impossible to carry out the other  half of what I felt was my most exciting breeding project.  I now regret that I did not breed Holly to some other stud,  but my disappointment and frustration were of long duration.  Time passed quickly and before I realized it, she had already exceeded an age at which I felt a first litter was advisable. Thus she has no progeny and I shall never know what might have been.

In 1966, Marietta Gingham Jumper was bred again, this time to Gunner. Eight puppies, of which four were dapples, were produced.  One of these died at birth and of the remaining seven, four were longhaired and the other three were smooth.  All were sold, some with breeding arrangements, but within a matter of months all but two had been killed in a variety of accidents.  I was shaken by this turn of events and then totally crushed when Marietta herself in July of  ’66 died from shock as the result of a fight that had somehow occurred in my absence. Since Marietta had been leased to me, one can readily imagine the trepidation and sadness I felt at the prospect of informing Mrs. Dean of the tragedy. When I called Mrs. Dean to tell her what had happened I learned just how deep the compassion of this great lady ran. “I’m very sorry, my dear,” she said, “but remember the joy we both experienced in loving her for the short time she was with us.” I was deeply moved.

In the spring of 1966, No Ka Oi’s Krystal Ebony was sent to Mary Ellen Compagnon (with an agreement of co-breedership) to be bred to Ch Covara’s Tabasco. I wish it were possible to say that I had conceived of this idea, but actually my only contribution to this alliance was to overwhelmingly agree with Mrs. Compagnon that this was indeed a desirable mating. Of the seven puppies that were whelped, I received two, Wagatomo Rosemary No Ka Oi, a red bitch, and Wagatomo Orion No Ka Oi, a black-and-tan male. I regret that circumstances later prevented me from breeding Rosemary.  Just as I was considering doing this, much later than is normally desirable for the first time, she developed pyometria while being kept elsewhere and spaying was necessary to save her. I also regret that these same circumstances prevented me from consistently showing these two dogs, among several others.  Krystal Ebony is undoubtedly a breeder’s dream come true and she ranks, along with Amayo and Kirsten Stardust, as one of the three greatest producing bitches I have owned. In spite of ths, and while still subject to that kind of idealistic and altruistic thinking that all too often leads one into gross misjudgment, I placed her, under strict agreements, with another breeder. Only recently did I learn that she has since been transferred twice more.  Although now in her eleventh year I tried unsuccessfully to buy her back and thus must pay the penalty of my own disturbed conscience.

Also in 1966, I bred Dapple Downs Flambeau L to Gunner, and ultimately I kept only one puppy, a black-and-tan bitch (Ch) Wagatoma Paula. One of the longhaired dapple males in the litter, Wagatomo Panda Pirate L, was ultimately sold to Mr. & Mrs. David Bartlett (Barqua) in Nebraska. A bitch from this litter, Wagatomo Pandora L, was also sold to the Bartletts along with another show-potential bitch of my breeding, but both were killed simultaneously in another tragic accident.

The last mating of significance that took place in 1966 was that of No Ka Oi’s Omega (Ch Twin Seas Forever Mystic x Greta Amorado von James) to Ch Ann’s Tristam Schatz C.D. (Ch Passenheim’s Field Marshal L x Maxsohn Hilde), owned by Ann Holcomb. I had long been anxious to own a red Mystic daughter and was pleased, therefore, when I obtained one in 1965. I kept one puppy from this litter, Wagatomo Rolanda. Rolanda was ultimately bred to No Ka Oi’s Night Wind and of the seven puppies produced only one was a bitch, Wagatomo Erin Colleen L.  Colleen was later bred to Ch Wagatomo  Autumn Archer L, although by this time she was owned by Mr. & Mrs. Glen Breitner of Ann Arbor. I had made no attempt to lease Colleen for this litter and was content to simply select a stud-fee puppy, namely Wagatomo Marching Baron L, who is now co-owned with Mrs. Patricia Crary of Lafayette, Louisiana.

It was not until 1967 that I was able to start putting together some of the pieces of the puzzle I had created. In February of that year I bred Kirsten Stardust to Tomtom. I do not ordinarily recommend the breeding of dapple to dapple, but in this case there was no alternative since these two dogs had been created for each other on the primary basis of bloodlines and complementary conformation, not to mention the matter of the longhaired coat. It would have been safer, I felt, if only one of the two carried the dapple gene. Yet the litter produced was extraordinary and exceeded my expectations. I wanted to keep them all, something I obviously could not do in view of my already growing numbers. I did retain four, however, including the black-and-tan double dappled smooth bitch Wagatomo Tecale, who still resides with Mr. & Mrs. Grover Schiltz (Groville) where she originally went to be temporarily boarded along with several other dogs long since retrieved. The other three are longhaired: (Ch) Wagatomo Tessella L, chocolate-and-tan dapple; (Ch) Wagatomo Terrazzo L, chocolate-and-tan dapple; and (Ch) Wagatomo Tabard L, black-and-tan.  The litter included another double (homozygous) dapple in chocolate, the smooth Wagatomo Tambour. What made this dog even more interesting was the fact that both of his eyes are solid blue. I gave him to Linda Billings, who was much taken with him, when she and her husband paid me a visit in Ann Arbor some time after the puppies were whelped.

In 1968, I bred Wagatomo Rhonda v Schnee L (Ch Webb’s Strolch v Teckelhof x Maxsohn Hilde) to Tabard. I had acquired Rhonda, a heavy sable [AKC registered as “red”] as a puppy in 1965 when I was still in the process of assembling dogs of certain bloodlines in specific colors. That I managed to obtain her at all was due to the assistance of the late Mrs. Cottrill I mentioned earlier. Of the seven puppies resulting, two black-and-tan and five sable, I kept three; (Ch) Wagatomo Autumn Aria L (later sold to Mr. & Mrs. Duane Burnor who showed her to her championship), (Ch) Wagatomo Autumn Archer L, and (Ch) Wagatomo Autumn Sonata L. A few months ago I bred Archer to his sister Sonata, fully aware that there would very likely be whelping difficulties for a bitch of her age who had not been bred before. Unfortunately, two of the three puppies whelped were born dead. The survivor, a sable bitch like her sire and dam, is now nine weeks old. At this point she looks very promising. How she ultimately matures will provide some indication of the quality and stability of this offshoot of the main line.

In 1969, six litters were whelped. Two of these were involved with Miniatures and small Standards (the story of which I have omitted from this article); one was the Imogene-Tomtom litter I mentioned earlier; one was a smooth litter by Wagatomo Jonathan Aniki out of Sugarshacks Jethrine (Ch Brenner’s Jason x Amoness of Hopi Hollow), also referred to earlier. The other two litters involved the production of longhaired dapples. Kirsten Stardust was bred to Jonathan Aniki and produced a litter of five, one of which did not survive. The best of these was a black-and-tan longhaired bitch, Wagatomo Jonkir Carillon L, that I had planned to keep but ultimately was forced to sell, along with a great many others, when the people from whom I had rented the house decided that they would move back to the country from town. Wagatomo Jonkir Jojo L, a beautifully marked black-and-tan dappled longhaired male, was also sold and shortly thereafter killed by a car. Wagatomo Kellie Ebon L mated to Tomtom produced a litter of four, only one of which was dappled. This puppy, Wagatomo Keltom Kevin L, was sold to the Burnors of Ann Arbor who had earlier acquired Autumn Aria.

The summer of 1969 was a veritable nightmare. Having been given a very short notice of the landlord’s intention to move back into the house I was occupying and with a kennel containing a greater number of dogs and puppies than I had ever had before or since, I was faced with the problem of finding new quarters where dogs would be acceptable.  This, of course, turned out to be impossible and in desperation I had no choice but to sell or give away a great many dogs that were to figure in plans conceived long before but now impossible to carry out. I also realized that I had been so preoccupied with my breeding schemes that I really had very little to show for my efforts in terms of champions, and if there were no champions it was doubtful that what I had attempted to accomplish would have any lasting significance. I remain eternally grateful to Hannelore Heller and Mary Ellen Compagnon for showing many of my dogs to their championships.  I am also grateful to several others who agreed to board one, two, three, or more of my dogs for a short time until I could manage to reestablish quarters for them. When I did manage to find a new location, I began to bring back some of the dogs that were scattered from Califomia to Maine. No sooner had I done this, however, than I discovered that the owners of the house I had newly moved into were merely using me to harass a next-door neighbor whom they apparently disliked. There came a series of complaints from this neighbor and appearances on my part before city officials. Again, I had to go through a rapidly conceived dispersion of my stock. I finally found a house in town where I was allowed to keep five or six dogs but the rest were again scattered around the country. In the process, of course, several were lost, but I tried not to think about this as I labored away on a dissertation deadline for my doctoral degree. In 1970, I resigned from the University of Michigan and accepted a position at Ohio State University, but it was not until the summer of 1971 that I was able to reorganize Wagatomo kennels into its present form.

In May of 1971, I bred Kirsten Stardust to Wagatomo Orion No Ka Oi in an effort to continue where I had left off, so to speak.  The best of the five resulting puppies, (Ch) No Ka Oi’s Omar, was sold to the Compagnons and the best bitch, a smooth black-and-tan, Wagatomo Orikir Ondine, was sold to Mrs. Noxie Stearns of Buena Park, California.  Two others were sold as pets and I still have a longhaired male, Wagatomo Orikir Oberon L. Since Kirsten Stardust is still vigorous but no longer young, I bred her again her next season to Tomtom, a repeat of the mating that produced Tessella, Terrazo, Tabard and the others. Three males and two bitches were produced. Wagatomo Rondo Darin L, a black-and-tan dappled longhair, was acquired by the Compagnons; Wagatomo Rondo Tobias, a chocolate-and-tan dappled smooth, and Rondo Kerry L, a chocolate-and-tan dappled longhair, were acquired by Patricia Crary; and I kept the two bitches, Rondo Marguerite, a black-and-tan dappled smooth that very closely resembles Kirsten Stardust, and Rondo Mignon L, a black-and-tan double dappled longhair. The only other litters whelped in 1972 have already been mentioned elsewhere in this article, one by Tomtom out of Paula, and the other by Ch De Sangpur Rufus out of Wagatomo Libra Chariko L—1973 shows every indication of being a nonproductive year, with the exception of the one puppy already mentioned sired by Autumn Archer out of Autumn Sonata. Periodically, however, there comes a time when a hiatus is in order, particularly when numbers again begin to mount and one is forced to consider the pressure of other commitments. It is also wise to pause in order to reassess one’s stock, reexamine one’s aims, and, in a moment of relative tranquility, ascertain the direction in which one is to proceed.

Earlier in this account, I mentioned that one goal I have had in mind for so many years remains incomplete, namely the production of blue-and-tan and blue-and-tan dappled longhaired Dachshunds of quality. This is undoubtedly the most difficult goal of all to achieve.  Within the area of allowable Dachshund color (excluding pure white or true brindle), provided one is obliged to start from “scratch,” so to speak, in the form of a blue-and-tan or blue-and-tan dappled smooth, neither one of which even today is so common that they are easy to come by. What is required merely and exclusively from the standpoint of coat and color – that is, before we can even begin to worry about the other requisites of conformation – is assembling in one animal three pairs of recessive genes in the case of blues, and the same three pairs of recessive genes plus one dominant gene for dappling in the case of the blue dapples: one pair of genes for black-and-tan (atat); one pair of genes for dilution (dd); one pair of genes for longhair (ss); and in the case of heterozygous dapples, one gene for dappling and one for lack of it (Mm). For double, or homozygous, dapples two genes for dappling are necessary (MM). I earlier omitted mentioning any matings involving blues so that I might include them here. In March of 1966, two months after obtaining her from Mrs. Dean, I bred Bay’s Blue Bayby, a blue-and-tan smooth, to Gunner, a black-and-tan longhair. Two males (one of which died at birth) and three females were produced: Wagatomo Norman, Nyssa, Nanette, and Nettie. respectively. All were black-and-tan smooths as was anticipated. I retained Norman and Nettie and sold Nyssa and Nanette on breeding contracts. In February of 1967 I bred Heavenly Blue Heather, a blue-and-tan double dappled smooth I had leased from Mrs. Dean, you will recall, to Gunner also (I had made this mating earlier but no puppies resulted). Heather whelped nine puppies consisting of eight males (one of which was pulled dead twenty-four hours after the others had been whelped) and one bitch: Wagatomo Salome, Semaphore, Sparkler, Shelly, Saxon, Shadow, Schroeder, and Stephen.  All of these were smooth black-and-tan dapples as had been anticipated. I retained Salome, Semaphore, and Schroeder. The remainder were sold or given away. Dachshund breeders who acquired a puppy from this litter were the Bartletts in Nebraska, the Winthers in Washington, and Barbara McMahon in California. It is unfortunate I did not breed Apple of My Eye to a good black-and-tan longhaired bitch as part of the groundwork for this project, but at the time my thinking was directed toward using Gunner as the common denominator in the two litters just mentioned. Further, Bay’s Blue Bayby was Apple’s dam and I thought it best to emphasize the side from which I was obtaining the longhaired coat and hopefully the improvement in conformation. (Apple of My Eye was sent to Barbara McMahon in December of 1968 and I recently received from her an impressive black-and-tan dappled son of Apple (ex Sugarshacks Jasonette), Wagatomo Sugarshacks Signet, so that I have retrieved one of his genes for blue, at least and other qualities from Jasonette.) In 1968 I bred Katie Met Me At The Kitchen Dor, a granddaughter of Ch Red Locket Stevedore, to Schroeder since Katie’s pedigree indicated that there was a very good chance of her carrying the gene for blue and I already knew that she carried the gene for longhair. Only black-and-tans (including one longhair) appeared. Shortly thereafter I bred Nanette to Semaphore and of the four puppies produced, three were black-and-tan (including one longhair) and the other was a black-and-tan dapple. I next bred Nyssa to Semaphore and this time the genes for blue did indeed reappear. The litter included one black-and-tan, one black-and-tan dapple, one blue-and-tan dapple (male), and two blue-and-tan bitches. But, alas, all were smooth. I kept the blue-and-tan dapple male but at about nine months of age he retracted his testicles and I placed him as a pet. I was forced to sell one of the blue-and-tan bitches during the crisis period but did manage to place the other blue-and-tan bitch, Wagatomo Doric Bluebell, with friends so that I might breed her at a later date. After the breeding contract for Nanette was satisfied, the people who owned her sold her to Mrs. Lu Retha Hoag of Ann Arbor. I arranged to have Nanette bred to Semaphore again for a pick of the litter puppy. Again there were no blues in the litter but I selected a black-and-tan dappled longhaired male, Wagatomo Onyx Captain L. In the interim I had bred Nettie to Semaphore. This mating produced three males, one black-and-tan and two black-and-tan dapples, one of which was longhaired.  I retained the longhaired dapple, Wagatomo Fabian Foulard L, but eventually sold him with stud rights I have not yet used. Nettie and Semaphore became victims of the moving crisis. While in the care of others Nettie was killed by a car and Semaphore died from ingesting nylon cord. Norman was given away by the person I placed him with and I have yet to use him. Schroeder was sold to Patricia Crary in 1970 and this then left me with only one dog I was certain carries blue, longhair, and dappling – Salome, the bitch. I recently bred Captain to Bluebell on the chance that he carried the gene for blue, but the bitch failed to conceive. In March of this year I bred Salome to Captain, knowing full well that I should not have delayed so long in allowing her to have her first litter. As so often happens when a bitch is not bred until she is six or more years old, Salome was unable to deliver her puppies without drastic assistance, and I rushed her to my veterinarian at three o’clock in the morning for an immediate section. She had only two puppies, both males, but here at last was what I had been seeking for so long. One of the puppies was a blue-and-tan dapple, and the other was a blue-and-tan double dapple, both superbly marked for their respective patterns. Since the hair was longer than I have ever before seen it in newly whelped puppies I am certain that both were longhaired. I say’ were” because I lost both of them, one through a malfunction of the esophagus, and the other through my own carelessness, engendered perhaps by going without sleep for far too many hours while seeing the bitch through her ordeal. It was at this moment that I experienced the most crushing disappointment I have ever encountered in breeding dogs. When my grief subsided I realized that, in spite of my loss, there was also a positive aspect to what had transpired, for the color of the puppies indicated that Captain does indeed carry the gene for blue. With the removal of what had been a crucial unknown, the way was now open to use him, without guesswork, not only in a repeat mating to Salome but also with other bitches who might be known to carry the same genes for coat and color.

Some Statistics
As I indicated elsewhere in this account, I have omitted any discussion of matings involving Miniatures or very small Standards. I also have not described a certain number of matings that were carried out for the express purpose of learning more about the nature of certain apparently heritable defects. Each of these facets are separate stories in themselves, and neither endeavor was sustained long enough to render the results especially noteworthy. Including all such matings, however, I so far have bred a total of forty-six litters of Dachshunds, with the number of puppies per litter ranging from one to nine. In four instances of the forty-six, the puppies were either born dead or failed to survive the nursing period. Of these four litters in which no puppies survived, three were delivered by Caesarean section.  Of the forty-two litters in which at least one puppy survived, sectioning was required in only two cases.

Only a relatively small number of the promising dogs produced were shown or shown consistently. Of the few that were shown, the following (all are longhaired except Ayako) attained the title of “Champion” not necessarily in the order indicated:

Wagatomo Ayako (Black-and-Tan Bitch)
(Twin Seas Quest [B&T] x Kuge’s Erda [Red)

Wagatomo Grenadier Gunner L (Black-and-Tan Dog)
(Ch Bergmanor Rumpelstilskin [B&T]) x No Ka Oi’s KrystalEbony [B&T])

Wagatomo Paula (Black and-Tan Bitch)
(Ch Wagatomo Grenadier Gunner L [B&T] x Dapple Downs Flambeau L [C&T Dapple])

*No Ka Oi’s Romilda (Red Bitch)
(Ch Covara’s Tabasco [Red] x No Ka Oi’s Krystal Ebony [B&T])
*[Co-breeder with Mary Ellen Compagnon]

Wagatomo Harlequin Tomtom L (Black-and-Tan Dapple Dog)
(Wagatomo Mackie Sardonyx [C&T Dapple] x No Ka Oi’s Krystal Ebony [B&T])

Wagatomo Harlequin Holly L (Black-and-Tan Dapple Bitch)
(Wagatomo Mackie Sardonyx [C&T Dapple] x No Ka Oi’s Krystal Ebony L [ B&T])

Wagatomo Tessella L (Chocolate-and-Tan Dapple Bitch)
(Ch Wagatomo Harlequin Tomtom L [B&T Dapple] x Wagatomo Kirsten Stardust [B&T Dapple])

Wagatomo Terrazzo L (Chocolate and Tan Dapple Dog)
(Ch Wagatomo Harlequin Tomtom L [B&T Dapple] xWagatomo Kirsten Stardust [B&T Dapple])

Wagatomo Tabard L  (Black-and-Tan Dog)
(Ch Wagatomo Harlequin Tomtom L [B&T Dapple] x Wagatomo Kirsten Stardust [B&T Dapple])

Wagatomo Autumn Archer L  (Red  Sable Dog) [AKC registered as “red”]
(Ch Wagatomo Tabard L [B&T] x Wagatomo Rhonda v Schnee L [Red Sable] [AKC registered as “red”])

Wagatomo Autumn Aria L  Red Sable Bitch [AKC registered as “red/sable”]
(Ch Wagatomo Tabard L [B&T] x Wagatomo Rhonda v Schnee L [Red Sable] [AKC registered as “red”])

Wagatomo Autumn Sonata L  (Red  Bitch)
(Ch Wagatomo Tabard L [B&T] x Wagatomo Rhonda v Schnee L [Red Sable] [AKC registered as “red”])

No Ka Oi’s Omar Wagatomo   (Black-and-Tan Dog)
(Wagatomo Orion No Ka Oi [B&T] x Wagatomo Kirsten Stardust [B&T Dapple])

Gunner, Tomtom and Tabard have all produced champions; Terrazzo (who will shortly be bred to two chocolate-and-tan bitches, one smooth and one longhaired) and Omar (so far as I know) have yet to be used; Archer has sired four litters so far and several of his get are on their way to the title. Tomtom has been used only four times on bitches not of my breeding.  Joan Wagner of Ann Arbor and Patricia Crary (Sangsavant) both have prospects sired by Tomtom that should be in the ring soon. The most recent champions sired by Tomtom were bred by Robert and Alice Dildine: Ch Cinnabar Parasol, a black-and-tan bitch, and Ch Cinnabar Candy Man, a black-and-tan dapple, sister and brother out of a litter whelped by Ch Fantasy von Kotthaus.

To the best of my knowledge, Tessella, owned and shown to her championship by Grover and Beverly Schiltz, is the first dappled Dachshund bitch to attain the title in America. She is also the country’s first longhaired dappled champion of either sex, and the first chocolate-and-tan dappled champion of any coat or. either size variety.  As gratifying as this may be to me personally, is my fondest hope that Tessella’s achievement, and that of  her dappled sire, aunt, and litter brother, will have set a precedent solid enough to assure, as time goes on, a Wider appreciation of the “other color” Dachshunds, which for so long were denied the rights and privileges of their diverse but distinguished heritage.


Mr. McElrath uses sable in the same way that many other breeds use the word — a shaded red dog as opposed to the fairly rare color/pattern that we Dachshund fanciers now label as sable.  True sable Dachshunds are (probably) homozygous for at at the agouti allele. They do not look like conventional black and tan dogs, though, because of the alleles present at the K and E loci. This combination of alleles at three different loci limit the extent of eumelanin pigment on what otherwise would be black and tan dogs.

“Dual cryptorchid” animals are more commonly called “bilateral cryptorchids”. The causes of cryptorchidism are still unknown. It certainly can be carried by females and passed onto their male offspring. Research in other species has shown that the cryptorchid trait is likely recessive but may also involve more than one gene.
~Tracy Freeling, March 2013


There are now genetic tests available to determine coat color, coat furnishings (wire), coat length (long) and the dapple (merle) pattern.
~Jeanne Rice, March 2013

  2 Responses to “Miles K. McElrath: From “Rags” to Dappled Dachshunds”

  1. […] In  tribute to Miles McElrath, we have a new article on the website.  Written in his own words, Miles had a very interesting outlook on the breeding of Dapples, not necessarily what would come to mind initially.  He encountered many disappointments and obstacles during his journey; but his perseverance brought him success.  Hopefully we will be able to add a few photos in the near future. […]

  2. […] In  tribute to Miles McElrath, we have a new article on the website.  Written in his own words, Miles had a very interesting outlook on the breeding of Dapples, not necessarily what would come to mind initially.  He encountered many disappointments and obstacles during his journey; but his perseverance brought him success.  Hopefully we will be able to add a few photos in the near future. […]