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Friday, July 12, 2013

Talk about being nosey...


Black, Yellow and Liver Chatham Hill Retrievers
Diversity Breeding Guidelines we follow
As we've learned...the color of your dog is indicated by the color on the nose.  Yes, the nose not the color of it's coat.  The eyes are also indicators Since like the nose if it's a black dog then the eyes will be black, too.  And if the dog is Liver it will have Amber or Gold eyes.  We found this VETGEN color chart while researching color predictions in dogs about 6 years back. At the time this was directed at Labrador breeders to help assist with calculating the percentages of colored puppies in the resulting litters if breeders mixed and matched different colored parents.  And using this as the basis for our Flat Coats we found it was usually pretty accurate once we knew the DNA color profile of our foundation of dogs.  And we've DNA tested all our dogs for the color they "really" are.



VetgenVetgenVetgenVetgenVetgenVetgenVetgenVetgenVetgen
BBEE
I
BBEe
II
BbEE
III
BbEe
IV
BBee
V
Bbee
VI
bbee
VII
bbEE
VIII
bbEe
IX
BBEE
I
All
Black
All
Black
All
Black
All
Black
All
Black
All
Black
All
Black
All
Black
All
Black
BBEe
II
All
Black
¾ Black
¼ Yellow
All
Black
¾ Black
¼ Yellow
½ Black
½ Yellow
½ Black
½ Yellow
½ Black
½ Yellow
All
Black
¾ Black
¼ Yellow
BbEE
III
All
Black
All
Black
¾ Black
¼ Choc.
¾ Black
¼ Choc.
All
Black
¾ Black
¼ Choc.
½ Black
½ Choc.
½ Black
½ Choc.
½ Black
½ Choc.
BbEe
IV
All
Black
¾ Black
¼ Yellow
¾ Black
¼ Choc.
9/16Black
¼ Yellow
3/16Choc.
½ Black
½ Yellow
⅜ Black
½ Yellow
⅛ Choc.
¼ Black
½ Yellow
¼ Choc.
½ Black
½ Choc.
⅜ Black
¼ Yellow
⅜ Choc.
BBee
V
All
Black
½ Black
½ Yellow
All
Black
½ Black
½ Yellow
All
Yellow
All
Yellow
All
Yellow
All
Black
½ Black
½ Yellow
Bbee
VI
All
Black
½ Black
½ Yellow
¾ Black
¼ Choc.
⅜ Black
½ Yellow
⅛ Choc.
All
Yellow
All
Yellow
All
Yellow
½ Black
½ Choc.
¼ Black
½ Yellow
¼ Choc.
bbee
VII
All
Black
½ Black
½ Yellow
½ Black
½ Choc.
¼ Black
½ Yellow
¼ Choc.
All
Yellow
All
Yellow
All
Yellow
All
Choc.
½ Choc.
½ Yellow
bbEE
VIII
All
Black
All
Black
½ Black
½ Choc.
½ Black
½ Choc.
All
Black
½ Black
½ Choc.
All
Choc.
All
Choc.
All
Choc.
bbEe
IX
All
Black
¾ Black
¼ Yellow
½ Black
½ Choc.
⅜ Black
¼ Yellow
⅜ Brown
½ Black
½ Yellow
¼ Black
½ Yellow
¼ Brown
½ Choc.
½ Yellow
All
Choc.
¾ Choc.
¼ Yellow


The Chart also helps to understand where a dog that may be a carrier for another color comes into play as a part of the selective breeding process.  Dogs that are Black can be carriers for the Liver or Yellow color.  And if you pair two parents that appear black on the outside, they can very well produce a litter of puppies that are all three colors.  And that is amazing.  Also note that the chart shows the color of the dogs depicted as concentric circles.  The outermost circle indicates the dominant color of the dog's coat and the small dot connected to the circle indicates the color of the dog's nose.  The inner circles indicate what type of recessive color carrier they are.  Some dogs can be Black or Liver dominant and also recessively carry both of the other colors.  The real hard hitting fact about this chart...



When we apply it to Flat Coated Retrievers the occurrence of the yellow/cream recessive is potentially just as common.  And by examining the chart its clear that the yellow factor is a big portion of this color chart, its almost 60% of the chart.  Its also a reflection of just how important it would be to keep the yellow FCR in the rotations to maintain a better level of genetic diversity.  And its also a testament to human stupidity since it takes a great deal of effort to selectively breed just to keep from producing a yellow FCR.  If humans can take credit for helping anything about the FCR gene pool, they certainly helped to deplete it by trying so hard to eliminate yellow from it.

Liver, Black and Yellow Flat Coated Retrievers
What's also interesting is this charting can apply to any breed and with some modification can even account for brindling, harlequin, or roan coloration.  VETGEN soon republished this chart exactly as it is for Labradors to apply towards Poodles.  And Chatham Hill Dogs actually uses it to predict the percentages of colors that will be born in litters of Flat Coated Retrievers, Chatham Hill Retrievers and even Weimaraner. Even if you're looking at a dog that is multicolored like many Cocker Spaniels you can still base it off the parent's dominant color and the color of the parent's nose.  A Brown, Tan or Pinkish nose is a Liver colored Dog Even if the coat is dappled with white and cream markings.  Likewise a Black nose indicates the dog is a black colored one, even if that dog's coat is yellow or dappled or tricolored.  We've found the charting to be mostly pretty accurate, although sometimes nature can still surprise us.

Blue and Silver Long Hair Weimaraner pups
It even applies to Weimaraners.  If you think of the Blue Weims as "Black" which they technically are and Silver Weims as "Liver" which again they technically are then the above still applies.  The different thing about Weimaraner is they have a dilution gene similar to having the yellow gene.  Which results in coloration referred to as "Blue"(Gun-metal Gray) or "Isabella"( a pale grayish-Lilac coloration). To make this even more complicated... The Isabella dilution can affect the Eumelanin production, this dilution causes the black color of the entire dog to change its pigment which accounts for Liver toYellow-cream dogs or the Phaemelanin effect on the shade of the coat. Basically this means... that these are all variations of the hue on the coat on a brown dog.  It all depends on how much diluted pigment is present in the dog to produce these different hues of coloration.

Red Chatham Hill Retriever
So wait...what is the difference??  Well Pigment (Eumelanin) is what it is the real color of the dog and its all a variation of black... Dilution can affect the appearance of that pigment (Phaemelanin) and you can tell this by looking at the color of the skin and the eyes.  Here's how I understand this... All dogs by default are Black.  And everywhere you look where there is black coloration its caused by eumelanin producing cells.  But, there are genes that exist and can be inherited which turn this eumelanin into different colors by preventing the full production of the color or diluting it onto... Liver, Blue or Isabella.  If any of these recessive genes exist in the dog then all the coat will be changed along with the skin, eyes, nose to reflect this gene that changes the color of the eumelanin.  Think of it like this... Eumelanin is always trying to apply one main color whereas Phaemelanin is addressing the shade of that color.

Red Chatham Hill Retriever
So, as far as black color goes... thats the foundation for all the other color variations or Eumelanin.  A blue Dog is basically a Black dog with this dilution gene and this gene is produced at the level where all the areas of the dogs are also affected.  Likewise a Silver (isabella) dog is a black dog where the production of the eumelanin is inhibited thus resulting in the different hue Liver and also diluted ending in the Isabella coloration.  Therefore, even a Black or Liver dog can have a diluted coat.  Again its all about the color on the nose.  So Where does Pheamelanin come in to this?  Well, then there's this other coloration variation that comes into effect...  If the dog's nose is black and the coat is liver then you have a black dog with a dilution trait called Phaemelanin that is only affecting the coat.  In other words the pigment of only the coat is affected not the entire dog since it's eyes and nose, lips and paw pads and skin will still predominantly present as black.  And therefore only the coat is diluted and depending on the pigment effect on just the coat the genes produce variations on a Black dog with coat from Cream, Yellow, Red to Liver and every variation in between.  Take that one step further... the dog can be a Liver or chocolate which means it has a brown, or pink nose with Amber or Golden eyes and still have a variation in the coat color.  And Isabella is the resulting dilution of this Liver to appear as a washed out Silver or Gray or Lilac depending on hue in the dog's coat.


Silver LH Weims
So what about our Red and Cinnamon dogs?  How do they get their color?  Well, that's pretty simple.  The red color is actually a variation on Liver, which is a variation of Yellow or Cream.  The hue is affected in the coat.  This applies to Black and Blue dogs that are Liver-Yellow Recessive or Brown and Isabella Dogs that are Liver-Yellow recessive.  So like a bag of M&M's you can have a complete palette of  subtle hues In Black, Blue, Liver and Isabella dogs that all are derived from black.

And white dogs?  What about those?  Actually they aren't white... but there are dogs that have a gene that blocks any color and the result is either an albino or more often dappled patterned dogs where areas of the skin do not produce eumelanin.  The effect is literally white hair since it is devoid of any color.  But, then on the areas where there is color all of the previous in this post applies.  So you can technically have dogs that are Black, Blue, Liver or Isabella with patches and patterns of White.  There is a specific offshoot category called, Merle Where other modifiers in the dogs genes will produce patterns of Tweed and Harlequin.  Again All of the previous paragraphs mentioning dilution also applies here.  So You can have Merle dogs with a dilution to have Black, Blue, Liver and Isabella variations with all the same subtle differences to hue as well.

Pick a color
Then there are other interesting color variations that can occur when the genes in that dog are set to disperse all color hues.  This is more of a carry over trait from their wild ancestors.  Where the distribution of the color was more random in the dog which effectively produced a natural camouflage.  So you'll see dogs that are Brindled, or Roan or Agouti result.  Saddle marked with colored points, Tricolored or Tiger patterned are all random results of color distribution and the results can be very dramatic.  In their wild cousins like wolves and coyote the coat looks sort of brownish from a distance.  And it serves them well since it helps them to blend into their surroundings.   But when examined up close you can see the speckles of all the discussed color hues throughout the dog's entire coat

Now take all of the above and toss it in a pot and shuffle it around.  Really mix it up.  Because, that's how it is in real life.  As humans we can be selective on the pairing of two dogs to very accurately predict the look and feel of the resulting puppies.  But, if left to fate... Its likely that all dogs would eventually all have the same look and feel.

It's all very interesting and can become even more complicated if you start to speak to the DNA coding and "Locus" this or "Locii" that, etc etc.   For a bit of simplifying it  the above should explain enough to get a handle on why the resulting dog in front of you at any given time is the color that it is.

More important.  It's letting on to our readers that we actually do make pretty good predictions on the expected colors in the litters we produce.

Colors like a rainbow

Cheers



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