“Dominant Fading Factor”

It’s “tall weeds” time again, our euphemism for venturing into anything having to do with genetics, our weak suit. This time, we’re talking about “dominant fading factor,” which isn’t as dire as it sounds. It simply means that genetically, puppies are born darker in coat color than they will appear as adults (with the exception of puppies that are born white). If you have such a breed, speak up (and pictures please!).
For now, we offer as Exhibit A, the PONS, or Polish Lowland Sheepdog. The cleverest among you will have noticed that the Polish Lowland Sheepdog’s name does NOT match the acronym that you’d think would be PLS. What’s up with that?
PON is the acronym for the breed’s name in its native country: Polski Owczarek Nizinny. The name is pronounced: “pol skee, ahv chah rek, nie ginnee,” and we’re a bit wistful that this name isn’t its official AKC name since we always like a challenge.
The Polish Lowland Sheepdog is a double coated breed and is accepted in all colors. Different coat colors have different textures, but black has little, if any coarse outercoat. Puppies are born darker than they’ll be as adults because of the “dominant fading factor.” As an aside, most Bearded Collies also carry the fading factor and turn lighter as adults.
Polish Lowland Sheepdog by Elle J Wilson

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