Breeding coats - genealogy - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-21-2011, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Breeding coats - genealogy

Hey all!

So I'm working with a breeder currently to find me a pup in Fall (Ryanhaus). I ran the question by her via email without response yet but I asked pretty vaguely what the potential colors/patterns would be. I wanted to start up a discussion about this a bit on this forum.

To start, I am no expert at this kinda stuff by far, by I know a bit about genes (recessive/dominant etc).

If you go to her site under upcoming litters (link: Upcoming litters - Ryanhaus Kennel ), and look at the Theo/Caroline breeding, you will see that Theo is a bit of a sable with markings that kind of resemble a saddle back. It is difficult to put your finger on it. Caroline is a blanket back.

Looking at their parents I found out the following (link: Mating test - German shepherd dog) :

Caroline's father is a bicolor and mother is a blanket/saddleback. I didn't look further than that. So Caroline might be carrying a blanket back gene and some other recessive gene (bicolor maybe).

Theos father is somewhat of a sable/blanket back and his mother is a blanket back. The only sable (dominant) that I could find that Theo may have inherited was from his grandfather (dad's side).

That is as much as I gathered with my minimal knowledge of this stuff. What I know is from least to most dominant the colors go: Solid black, bi color, blanket back, saddle back, sable.

So what I'm wondering is, am I looking at this the wrong way? What are the potential and likely outcomes of breeding Caroline and Theo? It is tough to say as Theo is sable but very much resembles a contrasty pattern like saddle or blanket. What are the chances of some of the pups looking like Theo with the same general look/markings. I am in love with his coat pattern. I am not too big of a fan of a solid black mask or a more or less homogenous sable look (not trying to offend anyone who does! I think they are still beautiful, just not what I'm looking for). I do like Caroline's look as well as she still has a bit of red/tan on her mask.

Also, when the pups are whelped, how long does it take before you begin to notice what they will be (sable, blanket, etc) and if sable, what their markings will turn out to look like in the end?

(More pics of Theo: link: Theo Von Ryan CD - Ryanhaus Kennel )

Thanks everyone!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-21-2011, 12:09 PM
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First, a little leasson in color genetics in German Shepherd Dogs. The colors are (listed dominant to most recessive): Sable, Black and Tan, Bi-Color, and Black. There are other modifiers which control how much black, the shade of tan, etc. So the puppies in your litter will either be sable or black and tan.

I think the pups will most likely be darker than Theo due to Caroline's dark coloring and genetic make-up. You will notice what color they are right away as far as sable or black and tan, but it can be hard to tell just how much black they will have until they are a little older.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-21-2011, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Gotcha, thanks. At birth, would breeders be able to tell the difference between a black & tan vs solid black? Or even a tiny bit of how dark the mask will be/whether the mask will be solid black? I only ask because it looks like they both might potentially be carrying recessive black genes looking through their pedigree
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-21-2011, 01:04 PM
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Yes, breeders can tell the difference between solid black and black/tan at birth. The black/tan pups will have some tan markings already, whereas the solid blacks will of course be solid black. Sables are also very easy to identify. The only ones that are tricky when young is bi-color vs dark (blanket) black/tan. Often one has to know the underlying genetics in terms of which of the 2 is possible to tell if it's a bi or a black/tan.

When it comes to black/tan pups though, no one really can't tell with a pup how dark it will be at adulthood, how dark of a mask, etc... One can get an inkling as the pups grow, as those who will be lighter black/tans will be lighter as pups, and those who will be darker will be darker as pups. But all black/tan pups are darker, with more black and less tan, when puppies, and how much the tan will advance and black will receed is just a guess. The best way to predict how dark a black/tan, or sable, will be is to look at the parents and underlying genetics. But it's still just an educated guess.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-21-2011, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! Yeah I was trying to look through the parents and grandparents etc through the pedigree database. Trying to make educated guesses as to what the possible outcomes would be, but its hard to tell what was passed along as a recessive gene and such. I guess it really is up to chance. I think all GSD's are beautiful anyways. I'll leave it up to the breeder to make the best guess for me. But please do keep this discussion going. Learning lots and it is all very interesting.
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