Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Bit About Colors and Patterns in German Shepherd Dogs

german shepherd information, black german shepherd puppies, german shepherd info, german shepherd size, breeding german shepherds, sable german shepherds, white german shepherd dog, black german shepherds, german shepherd silver, sable german shepherd, white german shepherd dogs, white german shepherdWell, don't be scared... this is one of the toughest chapter. I have been consulting a varried sources since years. Today I just felt like I should write on the colors and patterns in GSDs. Many a times I've been hit by querries, as to whether there is only these colors in GSDs that we usually find in localities and dog shows. Nah.... a lot more are there that are not seen in general dog shows, nor in our localities. Some of the pigments have been declared to be conformation fault; some are really rare genes. But, hey... I'm not a scientist, nor do I understand the magic of gene to the fullest extent. Nor again have I come across all these colors. But I can show you some pics of really awesome pigments and patterns that I've collected while exploring the web randomly. I started gathering info about the colours and patterns in GSDs and related pictures in the year 2003 or so, when my CIZAR (pronounced as 'Scissor') was just a li'l boy.

When we think of GSDs, the image that reflects in our mind is a robust dog with errect ears, bushy tail, brown almond eyes and royal gesture and kingly gait, with saddle-black or black-tan markings. However, German Shepherd Dogs come in a wide range of colors... saddle-black or black-tan are the ones that are most commonly found. GSDs can be one solid colour – either solid white or solid black. Besides, there are colors like sable with black mask. The patterns include a varried combinations like black & tan, black & red, black & cream, solid black, solid white (conformation disqualification, although a pure gene - not albino), sable (various colorations). GSDs als come in black & silver, liver (rare - conformation fault) and even blue (rare - conformation fault).german shepherd information, black german shepherd puppies, german shepherd info, german shepherd size, breeding german shepherds, sable german shepherds, white german shepherd dog, black german shepherds, german shepherd silver, sable german shepherd, white german shepherd dogs, white german shepherd This topic of colors and patterns in German Shepherd Dogs should should not be taken for granted. It is one of the most serious point to be kept in the forefront of mind, especially if you are an aspiring breeder or have already started breeding German Shepherd Dogs. Dr Malcolm B Willis wrote two books "The German Shepherd Dog: A Genetic History" and "Practical Genetics for Dog Breeders", which are still a couple of unparallel books about German Shepherd Dog breed and the genetic configuration thereby. Based on the information in these books here is a brief summary of the patterns and color inheritance in GSDs. Colors in German Shepherd Dogs, as in many other breed as well, are actually controlled by some series of genes.

AGOUTI SERIESgerman shepherd information, black german shepherd puppies, german shepherd info, german shepherd size, breeding german shepherds, sable german shepherds, white german shepherd dog, black german shepherds, german shepherd silver, sable german shepherd, white german shepherd dogs, white german shepherd

  • Golden sable
  • Grey sable
  • Saddle marked black and tan
  • Bicolor - black and tan (bicolor is where the dog has tan only on the legs and face, not on the body)
  • Black

BLACK SERIES (gene controls the black pigment formation)

  • Black pigment includes nose, eyerims and pads
  • Liver color
  • Liver color - brown black colors, brown nose, eye rims and pads.

WHITE SERIES (The gene that controls 'White' is recessive to all other colors. In order get a white coat color, both parents must carry the white gene - either be white themselves or be carriers of white gene)

  • Melanin is produced (Standard GSD's colors have this)
  • Partial albinism - chinchilla (not seen)
  • White coat with dark eyes and nose (not albino)
  • Yellowish coat collar (proposed)

COLOR SERIES (This gene controls the intensity of non-black pigments)

  • Cream - Lightest tan
  • Tan - Intermediate tan
  • Red - Darkest tan

DILUTION SERIES (The gene controls how intense the black pigment will be)

  • Dense pigment
  • Blue dilution
  • Black pigment-blue dilution together begets a blue coat which looks as though it has a dusty or flour sheen.

MASK SERIES

  • A prominent black mask on the face
  • Entirely dark coat without the mask on the face
  • Brindle (Brindle striping on the legs - The rarest of the rare gene – Almost extinct)
  • Clear tan
german shepherd information, black german shepherd puppies, german shepherd info, german shepherd size, breeding german shepherds, sable german shepherds, white german shepherd dog, black german shepherds, german shepherd silver, sable german shepherd, white german shepherd dogs, white german shepherdNow here's just a note of mine. I have friends and acquaintances who believe that Black (Solid Black) is a separate gene altogether. They mean to say that Solid Black is altogether a distinctive marking pattern that is controlled by an entirely a separate gene. Researchers view it in a bit different way. They say that Solid Black is only the darkest version of the Agouti Series - Agouti marking pattern. Another very common thing that I have noticed is the small white marking in the chest region. I used to think that that was by any chance associated to white gene.

german shepherd information, black german shepherd puppies, german shepherd info, german shepherd size, breeding german shepherds, sable german shepherds, white german shepherd dog, black german shepherds, german shepherd silver, sable german shepherd, white german shepherd dogs, white german shepherdJust the last time, I came up with a beautiful litter of REVA and REX. That wagsd info, about German Shepherd Dog Information,  german shepherd dog kennel west bengal, German Shepherd Facts, GSD information, German shepherd dogs breeders, gsd breeders, gsd breeders india, gsd breeders west bengal, kennels west bengal,  gsd facts, gsd interesting facts, dog kennels west bengal, dog kennels hooghly, gsd facts, gsd interesting factss a small litter of three, one of which, I remember, had a small white patch on the chest. I sat back with the pedigree chart again and spent a lot of time over the web and with some of my books and study materials. There wasn't a trace of white gene in the parental lineage of both the Dam and Sire. I was amazed with the magic game of gene! It may be a recessive trait that expresses itself in the absence of a dominant one or may be something really still obscure to the mankind! Stay tuned... I will be talking more about colors and patterns of GSDs and the Brindle one - the one that we do not find these days.


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All you need to know about German Shepherd Dogs. Read out what I have to share with you regarding the amazing German Shepherd Dog breed. Are Alsatian dogs and German Shepherd Dogs same? Who was Max Von Stephanitz and What is SV? Also learn a bit more in depth on German Shepherd Dog training tips, German Shepherd puppy care tips, German Shepherd Dog behavior, German Shepherd instinct, German Shepherd Dog standard and history of German Shepherds.

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