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Discussion Starter #1
Today I ran into a man at the store that my fiance' purchased a dog from in the past. He owns 2 wgsds (who by the way, are not titled in any way, nor have they had any certifications of any kind done that I'm aware of). Anyway, he was asking how I was doing, and if I still have shepherds...and proceeded in telling me that he has a friend who has a black female and is wanting to breed her with his white male! I may be wrong...but that seems so wrong to me! What type of puppies would that even bring?? I don't know anything about genetics, or breeding even, but I don't think I've ever heard of anyone breeding a white to a black, and I figured there must be a reason for that. What should he expect from such a pairing? I just felt like I should warn him against it, but unfortunately didn't have any facts to help argue my case. What color would he expect to see (if he went through with it) and would there be a greater risk for genetic disease to be carried out? I just thought some of you could give me information to pass on to him that would maybe make him change his mind.
 

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being black is recessive, unless the white dog carried black, no blacks. White is a masking gene, so you'd have to know what the parents of the white dog looked like since the white dogs colors are "hidden" so to speak.

You get sables only if you have a sable parent.
 

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I am not a breeder and don't know much about genetics, so breeders correct me if I'm wrong on this:

Color doesn't have anything to do with whether or not a GSD carries genetic diseases. Also, white is a masking gene, so you'd have to know what color the white GSD would be without the masking gene. It's not as simple as putting black and white together and getting a black and white dog. If the black GSD carries the masking gene, it's possible to have white puppies. If not, you can end up with any variations of colors depending on what genes the parents carry. Black, sable, black and tan, etc. I have never heard of black and white sables. There are silver sables, which may be what you're thinking of? Yes those would be possible if the parents carry sable genes, but remember, white and silver are not separate colors, they are just diluted or masked tans and browns.

I think anyways.

Also, I have heard of black and white GSDs being bred to each other before, it's not extremely rare.
 

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Again, genetics. Black is recessive.

So you have:

Black dog---- recessive to everything


White dog--- who knows what color since it's masked.

White dog could be sable, could be black and tan. Whatever color it is under the white masking gene, is prob. what the pups would look like. Easier way to find out is to know what color the parents of the white dog are.

But the likelihood of getting black and white puppies?? Really now.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I didn't talk to him long enough to get any information about the black dogs pedigree (as far as color goes) but I do know that his white dog is from a LONG line of all whites. I just had never heard of anyone breeding those colors together before, so it had me wondering what would come of it if he did.
 

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Angela, so since black is recessive that means even if the dog had the white masking gene they wouldn't produce whites? Or is it even possible, since he's black? I guess since he's black it means he doesn't carry white, otherwise he'd be white?

Sorry! Trying to learn.
 

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White masking gene is recessive, however it is located on a separate locus from the gene for general color. A white dog is genetically a regular colored GSD... could be black, sable, black & tan or bi-color. But, as the white masking gene causes the entire dog to BE white, we don't know what color that white dog carries, or would be if it didn't have the white masking gene. That's why knowing the color of the white dog's parents would be helpful.

Black is recessive to all other colors. So a black dog cannot carry genes for sable, black & tan or bi-color. It can carry the white masking gene. If it carries 2 copies of the white masking gene, it would BE white.

So White bred to black could produce any colored GSD. Without knowing what colors the white dog carries it is impossible to know what. If the black dog does not carry a copy of the white masking gene, which it probably doesn't, white puppies are impossible. If the black dog does carry a copy of the white masking gene, than statistically 50% of the litter would be white and 50% of the litter would be colored. What colors, again there is no way to say.

But no, there will not be any black & white puppies. The genes don't work that way.
 

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White is a masking gene so covers up what the true color of the dog is, BUT it is also recessive to color. So a dog must carry two genes for white to be white. If the black dog carries white there could be white puppies. Otherwise all the pups will be colored. The color will depend on what is being masked by the white. The resulting pups could be a whole range of regular colors. Make sense?
 

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Isn't genetics fun!!!


A dog can appear to be white due to the masking gene, but be genetically black.

When such a white dog is bred to a solid black dog, the black dog would provide the pigment allowing the genetic patterns of the white parent to show up in their non-white progeny. That is why black to white breeding can produce agoutis and two-tone dogs. Only if the white parent has at least one gene for the solid pattern can a white to a black produce solid blacks. The colored parent must also possess at least one gene for the white recessive gene for a black to a white to produce whites. Dogs of other patterns than solid black may produce any of the patterns and colors found in colored dogs when bred to white, depending on what pattern and color genes BOTH of the parents possess.


See this site for more interesting reading:
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Acres/6869/colors.html
 

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Thanks!!! Alright, now the silver color. I see white is a masking gene of any normal colors, but silver? Is that just a diluted tan? Poor pigment?
 

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By black and white, I assume you're asking if the puppies would have coats that are part black and part white???? No, this wouldn't happen with the color or masquing genes. Like someone said, the puppies could be black and a very light silver which is not the same as white.

The color is a crap shoot unless you can determine what color the WGSD is under his white masquing gene. Also, it would depend on if the black carries the white masquing gene or not. If the puppies are black, then BINGO, you know the secret that the WGSD is black!!! If some of the puppies are white, then you know the black carries the white masquing gene.
 

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Yes, silver is just diluted tan.

Genetically, black & red, black & tan, black & silver, black & cream are all black & tan dogs. The color diffrences are caused by separate modifier genes that affect the hue of the tan markings.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So, when looking at a wgsds pedigree, do you just look back to see where the colored dogs come into play to find out what color the white is masking? Like I said, I know this mans dogs are all white for at least several generations back, but there would have to be some color somewhere down the line. Right?
 

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Yes, there would be some color somewhere down the line, but if it's several generations back it's going to be hard to guess what the current dogs could be carrying.

Normally people breeding whites breed white to white since that's a guarantee to all white puppies. So not much attention is paid to what colors those whites may carry, since it's irrelevant when breeding white to white.
 

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yes but the further back you go and it's masked the harder it will be to tell what the current dog should actually be. Each dog gets 1 color gene from each parent. This doesn't count what's covered up. So say 2 generations ago, you had:

dog 1- black/tan black recessive
dog 2 - sable, black recessive

Say their 1 offspring DOG 3 was sable with black recessive (could've easily have been black/tan!)

Other side of the pedigree:
dog 4- bicolor black recessive
dog 5 sable no recessive

result is DOG 6 sable with bicolor recessive (could be black recessive too!)

Dog 3 is then bred to Dog 6
Dog 3 sable with black recessive
Dog 6 sable with bicolor recessive

Dog 7 coming from 3 & 6 could be sable with bicolor recessive, sable with black recessive or bicolor with black recessive

This is just showing a possibility of 2 generations!

to add even more fun!

Say dog 7 ends up being bicolor with black recessive and bred to dog 8 that is black/tan with bicolor,
resulting pup 9 could be bicolor with black, bicolor carrying bicolor, or black/tan carrying black or bicolor.

THEN add in the white masking gene coming down every generation on dog 8 (as a carrier) and 7 ended up being a carrier, pup 9 would be white
 

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Discussion Starter #19
OMG! You people really know genetics! It's all very interesting, but can seem somewhat complicated to those like myself, who are hearing it for the first time.

I don't think that guy was expecting to get puppies that were black&white, but I got the impression he thought the odd color combination would create more along the lines of the blues or livers. Maybe I should just point him in the direction of this forum, so he can read up on the genetics of it all himself. lol

Thanks so much for all of the great information!
 

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Nope, to further complicate things, blue and liver are separate genes altogether. They're unrelated to color, pattern or white masking.

Blue and liver are caused by dilution genes that impact the expression of melanin (black pigment). On a dog with a blue dilution, everything that would normally be black markings will be a steel gray color. On dogs with a liver dilution, what would normally be black markings will be a chocolate brown color.

A black to white breeding could produce blues or livers, but only if both parents carried the recessive gene for blues or livers. It's possible they do, but unlikely. Nothing about breeding black to white would cause it though, as it's entirely separate genes that cause the dilutions.
 
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