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Coat color inheritance

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I am curious how much grandparents of pups-to-be influences coat color. Yes I know you shouldn't be breeding FOR color, but I think it's fun to "guess" what you might get. And I'm only a teenager, not a breeder, so go easy on me lol. I'll be taking biology next year and one of the things that interests me is how genetics works, especially in animals, and even moreso in BCs since that's what I have and they come in so many colors.


Anyway, on with my inquiry.


Black is dominant, right?

How do black/white "red factored" dogs come into play?

Is there a dominant ear-set? (prick ears, rose ears, etc)

How is the tricolor pattern inherited? Parent to offspring or can it skip a generation (like if you bred two bi's but those two bi's had one tricolor parent each)


Such as in these combinations, what colors may end up if you were to do these breedings? (i made these kind of "hard" or at least with alot of factors to think about)


Breeding 1


Sire: black/white bi (sire: black/white bi, dam: red/white bi)

Dam: black/white bi (sire: blue merle tri, dam: black/white bi).


Breeding 2


Sire: blue merle tri (sire: blue merle tri, dam: black/white bi)

Dam: black/white bi (sire: black/white bi, dam: red/white bi)


Breeding 3


Sire: red/white tri (sire: red/white tri, dam: black bi)

Dam: blue merle bi (sire: blue merle bi, dam: black bi)


I didn't add any white-factored dogs in there because I haven't even begun to understand how that works.


Any humouring to my curiosity and learning is much appreciated! :rolleyes:


Edit: forgot to ask, if black is dominant and merle is dominant, which one is MORE dominant? And can a recessive color from a previous generation "sneak" through and show up in a litter between a merle and a black? Can a merle be produced if one of the parents is not a merle?

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Check out this web site. The variety of color in the Aussie is analogous to the Border Collie's color range.



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  • 1 month later...

The best way I can describe the tri gene is that it's like a bonus color, it tacks itself on to the others. The dog can carry the tri gene but doesn't have to show it.

I think prick ears are recessive, but I am not sure.

Breeding 1

the pups should be all black and white with maybe one or two tri's, there will be a few with the red recessive gene and/or the tri gene, but they will not show it.

Breeding 2

will have 1/2 the puppies blue merle, the other half will be b/w. Half the puppies should be tri, that will be split amongst the b/w and the merle puppies. Some puppies have the red recessive gene and/or the tri gene.

Breeding 3

Same as the previous litter.


If you are looking to get red puppies, or red merles both parents need to had the red recessive gene.

Example Breeding 4

Sire: Blue merle (sire: blue merle, dam: red/white)

Dam: B/W tri(sire: red/white tri, dam b/w

Puppies will be half merle, some blue some red, 1/3 of the puppies will be red, the rest will be b/w. Half the puppies will be tri. The b/w puppies will have the red recessive gene.

If anyone has any corrections please let me know.

The white factor is just a matter of markings. If you keep breeding dogs that have little white, you could eventually (theoretically) "breed out" the white. This is the same reason we have toy breeds and mini horses. People bred for size, which has nothing to do with gene dominance, just evolution.

You can also get into colors like blue, blond, and sable. These are all diluted forms of other colors. Blue is from black, blond is from red, and sable is from tri. But thatis another can of worms.


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