The Value of Genetics
I’ve become absolutely intrigued by genetics in breeding. There’s so much more than just putting two dogs together that comes with breeding. I can generally determine what colors of patterns I will get in a litter because I know what genes the parents carry. Some colors are dominant and others are recessive. Black is a default color. If both parents don’t carry for common colors the default is black. You have to know what your dogs carry or you end up with a bunch of black puppies and for some weird reason black puppies are hard to sell, personally they’re my favorite color, the coat mats less than the other colors because the pigment is different and their coats are so soft and shiny!
Just some basic genetics info for beginners:
Parti markings can only be achieved if both parents carry parti gene. (White with colored patches on the body).
Merle markings can only be achieved if one parent is a merle and it can be DEADLY to breed two merles to each other as they can produce puppies that can be blind, deaf or even deformed. The merle gene is very complicated if you don’t know what you’re doing. A dog can be a merle but not show the speckled pattern too, they’re called a cryptic merle. They’re called cryptic because only black and chocolate coats can show the merling but if a dog is of the red, apricot, cream shades they’re too light to show the speckling and it isn’t visible so they can hide it. If someone was uniformed and didn’t check the background on their dogs they could accidentally breed a cryptic merle to a merle and end up with a lot of sadness on their hands. Sometimes a cryptic merle will show it’s merling in an eye so one who knows how the gene works will know that’s what it means but not all merles have blue eyes so it’s something that can only be detected by a DNA test.
Keira is clearly a merle. The male below is a cryptic merle,
He’s caramel and his merling is only known because of DNA testing.
If I breed two dogs together that have liver noses (non-black) it is impossible to produce any pups with black noses. All pups will have liver noses and have chocolate and various shades of caramel coats.
If I breed a parti colored dog to a noncarrying parti dog I will not get any parti colored puppies even though a parent is a parti because it’s a recessive gene and both parents must carry it for it to be achieved. Many pups in a parti factored litter will have white mismarks on their feet, chest, tail, head, but never will you get a full parti if only one parent carries it.