Sunday, July 26, 2009

German Shepherd Dog Coat Color: Dilute German Shepherd Dogs

I am really lucky to have some good dog lover pals around me. Yes, most of my peeps are dog lovers and some of them are specifically German Shepherd lovers. Rizia Robertson is one such friend of mine who seems to have given her heart to German Shepherds. During my last conversation with her, I told her I can talk about dogs for centuries without even getting tired. She said, “well you have a friend here who loves talking about dog – especially GSD”. Are you wondering why I’m talking about Rizia? Well guys, I just want to let you know that she has been the first one to inspire me to write about gene dilution in German Shepherd Dogs. My last post on Gene Dilution in German Shepherd Dogs was written being inspired by Rizia. Truth be told here… I had written the article on GSD gene dilution for blue and liver pigments some times back in 2007, but never published it until I felt the urge post it after having days of discussion with Rizia. I would like to thank her because of this. Rizia, let your love for German Shepherd Dog never stop!

This is again another piece of information about German Shepherd Dog gene dilution. Regarding German Shepherd Dog coat color the SV breed standard said, “the color of the GSD is in itself not important and has no effect on the character of the dog or on its fitness for work and should be a secondary consideration for that reason. The final color of a young dog can only be ascertained when the outer coat has developed.” It is hence, beyond all controversy, that amongst all undesirable factors in the GSD breed, the coat color is the one that should be included as the last point in the list. My personal view is that if the coat color doesn’t affect the working ability of the breed (which the breed is actually meant for), it should be excluded from the list right way so that the two mutations of black gene in the GSD: blue and liver are not considered to be faults in the show rings. GSDs have two pigment genes: melanin/ eumelanin (brown/black) and phaeomelanin (yellow/red). Melanin is normally black, which has two distinctive mutations in GSDs – blue and liver.

As per the standard the blues and the livers are genetic faults, and no reputable German Shepherd Dog breeder will breed these so-called faulty genes. The GSD breeders, who breed these genes, with both parents as carriers, end up with a shallow genetic pool. In most cases the liver and blue puppies usually come by accident. Frankly speaking, I haven’t yet come across a breeder who breeds to produce liver and blue pups deliberately. But here, again the same thing, I would like to say. If the color genes don’t affect the working ability, character and behavior of the breed, what’s harm in livers and blues? This is a very debatable question and I won’t go in for arguments and debates, nor would I like to criticize any bloodlines. I would rather say that diluted dogs may descends from high quality specimens from top bloodlines that have proved even in the Schutzhnd trial fields.

blue german shepherd dogs liver german shepherd dogs dilute german shepherd dogs
Just a gist about Blue and Liver genes in German Shepherd Dogs

Blue Gene in German Shepherd Dogs

  • Double recessive color gene
  • Rare color
  • Dilute gene, which means it dilutes the black pigment in the dog.
  • Considered a disqualifying fault by the AKC.
Liver Gene in German Shepherd Dogs
  • Double recessive color gene
  • Rare color
  • Dilute gene that blocks the black pigment in the dog.
  • Considered a disqualifying fault by the AKC
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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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