Coloring Of Dogs And The Basic Principles Of Its Inheritance

Coloring Of Dogs And The Basic Principles Of Its Inheritance
Coloring Of Dogs And The Basic Principles Of Its Inheritance

Video: Coloring Of Dogs And The Basic Principles Of Its Inheritance

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Video: Dog Colour Genetics: Part 1 - Introduction 2023, February

Coloring and coloring are important elements of the dog's exterior, characteristic breed characteristics. The appearance of non-standard colors in the breed sometimes indicates its clogging with extraneous blood. The birth of puppies with an uncharacteristic color can give rise to doubt whether the pedigree data corresponds to the origin of the dog. If some colors are inextricably linked with undesirable constitutional features, then breeding dogs with colors of this type should be conducted in accordance with certain rules.

At first glance at all the variety of dog breeds, it seems that there is an incredible variety of types of their color, which is extremely difficult to systematize. In fact, the emergence of different color options obeys a certain pattern.

Bernese Mountain Dog, dog photo
Bernese Mountain Dog, dog photo

Bernese mountain dog

Coloring as a whole is a symptom due to a relatively small number of factors. Inheriting many of its elements is straightforward.

To understand what factors determine the color, let us first recall that a dog's hair consists of three layers: the core, the cortex and the shell. The hair of the dog is heterogeneous, it is formed by different types of hair.

The cover hair is located in a greater amount on the neck, on the back, on the thighs, and in a smaller amount on the sides. He is the longest and thickest, usually he is elastic, rough and cruel. There is a lot of cover hair in wire-haired, and in short-haired it is usually absent or goes in a narrow stripe in the upper back and neck. In dogs with soft, long hair, the top coat is fine and silky. It forms a “collar” on the neck, “feathers” on the front legs, “trousers” on the hind legs, and “suspension” on the tail and is called a decorating hair.

The outer hair is noticeably shorter than the integumentary one, therefore it is covered with the integumentary hair and is usually thinner. The outer and outer hair is often referred to as coat.

Down hair (undercoat) is the shortest and thinnest, wave-like curved, without a core. Usually the undercoat is covered by the guard and top coat.

In individual animals of the same breed, depending on the living conditions, certain categories of hair develop more intensively, or vice versa, they completely disappear. With age, the ratio of all three types of hair in the scalp changes. Long-haired dogs develop decorative hair, while wire-haired dogs develop a mustache and beard.

The overall impression of coloration is created by the combination of the color of the coat and the undercoat. In this case, the color of the guard hairs has a greater effect on the basic tone, and the undercoat - on the shade. Hair coloration is determined by the pigments in it. In the absence of pigment, the hair is white.

There are only three known pigments in dogs: black, brown, yellow (red). The pigment in the hair is contained in the form of grains of various shapes. The perception of color depends on the refraction of light as it passes through the pigment grains, so it can be different for different grain shapes.

Pigments in the hair can be contained with varying density and uniformity both in the core and in the cortex. With a uniform and dense distribution of the pigment, the color tone is intense. As a rule, covering hairs are darker than the undercoat, as they have a different structure.

German Wachtelhund, German Quail Dog, German Spaniel, photo dog photo
German Wachtelhund, German Quail Dog, German Spaniel, photo dog photo

German quail dog

Newly grown hair is colored brighter than hair on the eve of molting, as over time, mechanical erasure of a part of the cortical layer occurs. In other cases, the color may be less bright and not always uniform. For example, if the hair core is intensely colored, and there is little or no pigment in the cortical layer, then the main color seems to shine through the tissue paper and looks lightened. This is how the blue color of Poodles, Great Danes, Kerry Blue Terriers, Bedlington Terriers is obtained. This color is a weakened black.

Many colors change with age. This may be due to both a change in the structure of the coat and a redistribution of pigment in the hair: the appearance of gray hair, a violation of the mechanism of pigment synthesis, the action of factors that prevent the normal penetration of pigments into the hair, and other reasons.

Consider the hair of a wolf. It looks gray, but under the microscope, you can see that the hair color is distributed in annular zones: the end is black, then the yellow zone, then black again. the base is light (depigmented). This type of coloration, most often found in wild animals, is called "agouti" - after the name of the South American rodent, in which it is clearly expressed. In dogs, this is a zoned gray color, characteristic of German shepherds, gray huskies, schnauzers and other breeds.

Sometimes color zones change their width. If both black zones are close, the middle of the hair is yellow, and the base is devoid of pigment, a reddish color with dark rings is obtained, called sable (red fox, red huskies, Irish terriers, hounds).

Sometimes the yellow and white zones are very much narrowed, then it turns out to be almost black (black shepherd dogs or huskies). It is often very difficult to distinguish this color from one when the hair is completely black.

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