According to this article
, only THREE GENES are responsible for all the different coat types found in various breeds! Incredible!
New research shows that only three genes are responsible for all seven types of coats found in purebred dogs.
So, whether a dog is curly-haired like Bo, President Obama's pooch, or long-haired like Lassie, variations of the genes RSPO2, FGF5 and KRT71 are responsible, according to a U.S. National Institutes of Health study published online Aug. 27 in the journal Science. The findings may also point the way toward understanding complex human diseases caused by multiple genes.
In an analysis of 80 domestic breeds that included over 1,000 dogs, it was discovered that RSPO2 is the gene associated with whether or not a dog has a mustache and large eyebrows (known as "furnishings"), FGF5 determines if a dog has short or long fur, and KRT71 is associated with being curly or wavy.
The study, conducted at the University of Utah, also found connections between the overall health of a breed and the kind of coat for which it was bred. Dogs bred for a desired trait may become more vulnerable to cancer, immune disorders or other diseases of aging, the researchers noted in a news release from the university.
I wonder if that last paragraph means that breeds with certain types of coats are more vulnerable or if it means that when a specific coat is part of the breed (no matter what KIND of coat it is), the breed is more vulnerable than, say, border collies which (as I understand it) can have more of a variety of coat--either short or long, etc.