14 Jun 2016

Auckland dogs to change colour

5:23 pm on 14 June 2016

Aucklanders may own copper canines and mahogany mongrels now but within the year that will change - on paper, anyway.

Dogs that are registered as ginger, copper, Blenheim, liver, mahogany or rust will soon be known, more prosaically, as "red".

And pooches who are carefully described as wheaten, cinnamon or chocolate coloured will receive the less imaginative label "brown".

A liver-coloured German Shorthaired Pointer

A liver-coloured German Shorthaired Pointer - or red, under the Auckland Council's new classification system. Photo: 123RF

The dogs are to "change colour", as Auckland Council has decided to narrow the way canine coats can be described when dogs are registered, leaving owners to choose between red, grey, blue, orange, brown, white, black, brindle, tan, gold or tri-colour.

"We're standardising the colours we use to describe dogs into 11 plain shades, to bring them into line with the National Dog Database run by the Department of Internal Affairs," said the chair of the council's bylaws and regulatory committee, Calum Penrose.

The database holds the details of all registered dogs, their owners and any infringements that might have been issued against an owner or person in charge of a dog. When a dog is picked up by the council, officers can check the database to help locate the owner and contact them.

Another councillor, Cathy Casey, said the colour standardisation would make life easier for everyone.

"You'll be able to have a primary colour and a secondary colour, so a Dalmatian will now be white [with a] secondary colour of black," she said.

"It's just for the council, it's just for your registration - and you can still wax lyrical about your dog at shows, with the kennel club, with other owners.

"We're only making things easier for you if your dog gets lost."

New Zealand Kennel Club president Clyde Rogers agreed dog owners should not be concerned about what the change would mean for their furry friends.

"This is just a change on council dog registration forms. The breed standards will not be affected and neither will the way people continue to describe their dogs at home or kennel club gatherings."

Ms Casey, who owns two dogs herself (two Chinese Crested Powderpuffs - "smokey grey" and "sooty black with an ivory face"), said the change wouldn't affect registration costs.

Dog owners will see the change on their dog registration forms in 2016 and 2017.

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