PitterPatterPrints

Roan comes in any parti color from :

  • Black (often called blue as it gives that blue-gray appearance mentioned above by the AKC) including black tricolors  (blue roan and tan).
  • Brown including brown tricolors.
  • Buff or Red (depends on the darkness of the coloring.
  • Sable (often you will see only the lighter coat color as roaning and not the darker color in the roaned areas (face, feet, legs) and only see the dark sable areas on back and ears.

The AKC defines roan as "FREQUENTLY A BLUE-GRAY OR IRON-GRAY, THIS COLOR IS THE FINE MIXING OF COLORED HAIRS WITH WHITE HAIRS. FOR EXAMPLE, A BLUE ROAN IS A COAT COMPRISED OF BLACK AND WHITE HAIRS"

Roan is actually a pattern and not really a color.  Roan is visually a parti color and thus in that 'class' vs a solid which can appear to be solid due to the filling in of black (darker) hairs on the white (parti pattern) areas of the American Cocker Spaniel.

Roan Information

How to recognize the pattern in your puppies.

Primarily you need to have one of the parents be a Roan in order for your puppy to be one.

So knowing what the parents looked like as puppies is helpful because Roans can fill in and look like either a mismark or a solid depending on how 'heavy' the roan pattern is in that adult.

  • Assuming you know that one of the parents is a roan one of the first signs that your parti color puppy is also a roan is what is known as a 'halo' around the pads of the feet and also on the face by the nose and rest of the muzzle.  This is usually noticed within the 1st week of birth.  Sometimes as soon as 3 days old.
  • Roan progresses up from the feet to the legs and then back, it may also progress from the front of the muzzle and to the rest of the head of the puppy.
  • It is hardest to see in the lighter colors such as buff, brown or sables as pigment itself fills in with them in the first few days thus making it easier to see in the more familiar black and white (or tricolors).
  • Kat has produced black and brown roans from a buff roan and possibly in a litter with Mickey and Minnie (it's not easy to tell) in sable as well.


Why there is controversy linked to the Roans

Unfortunately 'color'/pattern bias is prevalent in the American Cocker Spaniel.  

     Before the AKC had merle and the Z list (to identify merles) people were advised to register their merles as whatever color/pattern that they most closely resembled.  So many blue merles were then registered as blue roans.  There is disagreement as to whether the merle breeders and owners  were being dishonest and such but it's my opinion that those that continue to register without the merle z listing are now being dishonest where as before they had the benefit of the doubt as there was no way to list merle.


I will be working to transfer some photos from my 1st Roan Litter to show you the progression of roan in the puppy as it grows.  In the mean time there is an article using those photos and talking about my experience in September 2016's Edition of Cockered Magazine.

Where the PitterPatter Of Cocker Spaniel Paws Can be Heard Through Out the Halls.