Why test for a curly or wavy coat?
Hair curl is responsible for the beautiful curly coat you see in Poodles, and Bichon Frise and others. Some breeds, such as Maltese Terriers and Border Collies, only occasionally produce puppies with a curly or wavy coat.
The gene which controls curly coat is incompletely dominant. This means that dogs with only one copy of the curl gene will have a wavy coat.
Breeders can use this test to find dogs that are carriers for the curly coat gene. The gene for hair length also contributes to curly hair, as very short hair simply can not form a curl.
The curl test is part of our shedding panel. Curly hair can become matted more easily than wavy or straight hair. This is most important for high-shedding dogs whose loose hair can get caught in the curls. This contributes to the formation of cords in Pulis and other corded dogs.
The gene for curl is described in Cadieu et al. (2009).