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Hi there. This may seem like a really weird question but here goes. I really don't know anything about canine genetics and have always been curious about this topic. I have heard a few things about dog coat colour being related to temperament but is this true? I have just got an 8 week old puppy. The dam was a rottweiler and the sire was a bullmastiff x great dane. The pup has the markings of a rottie but with brindle where the tan would be. I just wondered if colouring is an indicator of what breed/s a dog will take after and if some breeds are more dominant or recessive than others or is it all random. Will a dogs breeds be equally represented or somewhere inbetween all the breeds or does it not matter? Thanks for any info and sorry if my question doesn't make sense!
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With mixed breeds you never know how one will turn out until it's grown. It may have a rotties shape and coloring but the mastiffs temperament, or vice versa. It may have very little of the mastiff or it may take after it. To make things even worse, unless a reputable breeder had an opps litter and the parent dogs were well bred with the true temperament of the breeds the parent dogs temperament may or may not have been good.

Another interesting thing about cross bred litters is that each of the puppies in the litter may be as different as can be and they will each have inherited different things from the parents.

Here's a pic of my dog so that you can see what I mean about how weird genetics are. He's a Chihuahua x Dachshund but you need to look carefully to see the Dachshund (mother was a pure bred one). The way he positions his legs, his muzzle, and chest are where you can see dach. Most people that guess his breed guess rat terrier. His personality is a weird mix of both breeds, but more Chi then Dach.
 

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The breed as a whole won't be recessive or dominant. Individual genes that the parent has are recessive or dominant. And not all genes are simply recessive or dominant, some traits have multiple genes that determine phenotype. It can be pretty complicated and I don't know a lot about dog genetics myself but you could probably do a google search to figure out which traits are dominant and which are recessive in dogs and in particular breeds.
 

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I agree its pretty complicated. Mixed breeds tend to come out so many different ways. My neighbor had a litter of boxer/shepherd mix puppies. A couple looked shepherd, a couple looked boxer, and some looked like mutts. You just never know.
I have noticed that some breeds tend to come out more strongly than others, but that's just from my perspective.
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I had a German Shepherd Dog x Golden Retriever and I met the woman who bred the litter. My dog looked like a mix of both and acted like a mix of both, but some of his littermates looked almost purely GR, some looked almost purely GSD. One of the ones that looked GR acted GSD, and one of the GSD looking ones acted GR. It was all very weird.
 

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Here is some fun pictures of a breeder I found who breeds working collies (both smooth and rough) and once in a great while they will breed a gsd/collie mix. (They have been doing it for a while, but it's rare.)

Some of these dogs that they posted of their puppies maybe a little more gsd or a little more collie depending on who they breed with. I will also post two pictures of half and half breed so you can see how it's different. (I believe these were two of the same litter.)

These two are half and half.


These are mixes of mixes of mixes of gsd/collie breeds.


Sometimes they will breed the mix of mixes back to the purebred collir or the purebred gsd.

but as you can see, each breed comes out different no matter if they are mixes of the two purebred equally or unequally.
 

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I don't know much about genetics, but have found that coat colour is not related to temperament.

Timber is a sable/tannish colour and is a very stable dog. He has a great disposition and I have no idea where he came from or what breeds his parents are. Dallas was also tan colour and he was not a stable dog. He was a bit skittish and its hard to really explain in words about his temperament without seeing it for yourself. He would let me do anything to him though (trim nails, clean ears, brush, bath, being manipulated to check for lumps/bumps, etc), but was iffy with strangers and became iffy with other dogs as he got older.

So in short, I don't believe coat colour is related to temperament.
 

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Coat color is fairly easy to understand genetically. With a certain combination of genes you know what the possible colors for the puppies may be. Some genes are dominant and some are recessive and it's pretty well understood.

Temperament is a whole different thing. There are may genes related to temperament and they interact in all sorts of ways that we don't understand at all. So as others mentioned, a GSD mixed with retriever can act all GSD, all retriever, or have traits of both.

The color that the dog inherits doesn't have anything to do with temperament. Let's say you have a black dog (maybe a black GSD) who has puppies with a golden dog (a golden retriever). The puppies are going to be black (since the golden color is recessive and let's say we know that the GSD does not carry the golden gene). But that doesn't mean they will all take after the GSD parent. It just means they happen to be black because black is dominant and that's how it worked out. But the temperaments will be all sorts of mixes of the two because temperament is so much more complicated.
 
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I met a Border Collie x Golden Retriever at the dog park two weeks ago or so, and would never in a million years have picked out GR. She looked 100% BC and acted 100% BC, so you just never know.
 

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Personality also has a lot to do with temperament as well. Some puppies are more stubborn, more confident, some more fearful. I doubt looks has much of a relation, but who knows. My dog Tessa looks pretty much all lab like her purebred mom, short hair and all, but her daddy was a border collie/aussie mix (at least we think, I think he may have had GSD in there as well from the amount of chase prey drive she's developed int the last year).

She acts very border collie like and I would have to say very little retriever traits. She's not a huge fan of water, doesn't swim, doesn't retrieve at all, likes to herd things like her balls or geese, and has a little OCS when it comes to squeaky toys (she counts them, if one is missing she MUST find it before settling down).
 

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Wasn't there something like this in regards to personality/traits affectnig the coat of the animal?

I think it was 10 years of research that the fox farm in russia. they wanted foxes that were easier to handle and they brought in a specialist who took the all the pups who showed interested in the plastic hand or did not fear the plastic hand and bred them together and took the puppies of those foxes with the same curiousity or not afraid and bred them together and over the course of 10 years i think, foxes started to come out with different collar coats. Some of the physical traits such as ears and tail were either floppy, shortened or curled and the tails started to wag like dogs do. And they had started to even bark like a dog.

A silver fox had patches of white on the coat which was not what the fox farm wanted.

Here are a few pictures to look at of actual foxes from the fox farm in russia. (I believe some of the pups were bought and sent to go home with approved homes? But all of them were spayed/neutered upon going to a home.) Though don't quote me on that because the information was quiet a ways back. Infact I think it was posted one time on this forum.

https://www.pinterest.com/brandwald/pet-fox/

Anyways, I'm sure ifyou goggled tamed foxes, you will see vast amounts of pictures of foxes with different coat colors, ear sets, tail sets, and even eye color. And if you keep searching in google you will aventually come to how they came into being.
 
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Yes, some physical traits do go along with friendliness and domestication, but I don't think it's that simple especially when it comes down to dogs (who have been domesticated for a long time). A spotted dog with floppy ears is not going to necessarily be friendlier than a black or wolf sable dog with pricked ears. Color and temperament aren't that closely linked, especially because we have selectively bred dogs to have various physical traits and various temperaments based on what we want, rather than only breeding for one temperamental trait as they did with the foxes.
 
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Yes, some physical traits do go along with friendliness and domestication, but I don't think it's that simple especially when it comes down to dogs (who have been domesticated for a long time). A spotted dog with floppy ears is not going to necessarily be friendlier than a black or wolf sable dog with pricked ears. Color and temperament aren't that closely linked, especially because we have selectively bred dogs to have various physical traits and various temperaments based on what we want, rather than only breeding for one temperamental trait as they did with the foxes.
It's actually a little more complicated even than that.

People tend to think that all genes are neatly lined up by type, sort of like the supply closet at work: pens here, sticky notes there, paper clips on the bottom. Genes aren't like that, they're all mixed around. So the genes for coat color are all up and down the DNA strand and can be right next to the genes for temperament. Which means that affecting the genes for coat can affect the genes for temperament just on the basis of the genes being right next to each other.

That's an oversimplification, but it's why you see some clusters of seemingly unrelated traits in certain illnesses (in dogs and humans).
 

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It's actually a little more complicated even than that.

People tend to think that all genes are neatly lined up by type, sort of like the supply closet at work: pens here, sticky notes there, paper clips on the bottom. Genes aren't like that, they're all mixed around. So the genes for coat color are all up and down the DNA strand and can be right next to the genes for temperament. Which means that affecting the genes for coat can affect the genes for temperament just on the basis of the genes being right next to each other.

That's an oversimplification, but it's why you see some clusters of seemingly unrelated traits in certain illnesses (in dogs and humans).
Yep, absolutely!

And there is also the issue of chromosomes. Genes location near each other are often inherited together as a chunk of chromosome, even if they aren't related at all.
 

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Not to mention crossing over of chromosomes results in lots of genetic diversity.
 

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I think it is a crapshoot as to what breeds will come out dominant. I know my girl is a certified mutt mixed w/ many breeds but she looks like an even mix of German Shorthaired Pointer and Pitbull. Only one other puppy of 6 in the litter looked like her, the rest looked much more like stereotypical Pit mixes, were shades of red as opposed to black/white ticked, and were much stockier and heavier built, and bigger all around of course as my girl was the runt of the litter but she is also super lean in build. The other more Pit looking puppies were also much more outgoing and less timid, this has carried over to my dog's behaviour w/ other dogs to this day, she still tends to be fearful, especially w/ larger dogs, though she is very confident and adaptable in new situations and around any people new or otherwise, it's just dogs that scare her.
 

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THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO DOG TRAINING: The Dominance Myth

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO DOG TRAINING (BOOK)
BY: TEOTI ANDERSON CPDT-KA, KPA-CTP

TAKEN RIGHT FROM THE BOOK!! NOT MY WORDS!




A common myth is that dogs misbehave because they are trying to be "dominant". It's as if your dog aspires to be the ruler of your household--the "alpha"--and make you and your family his royal subjects. The truth is that dogs aren't that complicated. They don't spend hours plotting intricate maneuvers to storm your castle. You know how your dog will be happily running to you one second and then get distracted by something in the dirt? How is that creature capable of masterminding a takeover?

Some of this myth stems from the early concepts that dog behavior was overly similar to wolf behavior. In a wolf pack, there is an alpha male and alpha female, who determine pack rules and responsibilities. Other wolves in the pack have varying ranks, and there can be jockeying for position at times. Popular myths of the alpha wolf have trickled down into our relationship with our domestic dogs, which are leagues away from their lupine cousins.

You may have heard that the alpha wolf always eats first, so, before feeding your dog, you should always eat something first, in front of him, to maintain your leadership position. This is simply not true. The alpha wolf in a pack does decide who gets to eat first, but it isn't always him. Alphas often let the youngsters eat first, out of practicality--young wolves need the nutrition to survive much more than their older relatives.

Your dog already knows that he can't eat without you. You control the food he eats, when he eats it, and where he eats it. Munching on a cracker in front of him right before you present his food bowl is irrelevant.

Dogs do not steal things, chew things, pee or poop on things, bite, pull on leash, bolt out the door first, or many other behaviors because they are dominant. The reason why they do those things is much simpler. They're dogs. These behaviors are rewarding to them. Dominance is also not a personality trait. A dog can be social, shy, or a goofball, but he can't be dominant as a personality descriptor.

So is there such a thing, then, as dominance aggression? Yes. Dominance is defined in animal behavior as a relationship between individuals that is established by force, aggression, and submission in order to determine who has priority access to resources such as food, preferred resting spots, and access to mates. If your dog is on his bed, and he growls at another dog that tries to lie down next to him, this is dominance. He is saying that the bed belongs to him, and he doesn't want another dog on it.

If your dog runs out the door ahead of you, however, what is the resource that he is challenging you for? The door? Access to outside? This makes no sense. He just wants to go outside because it's exciting out there, or maybe he really needs to eliminate.

Don't mistake normal puppy and dog play for dominance. Some dogs growl when they play tug-of-war, and they are not threatening you at all. They're playing. If your dog nabs a toy and runs off, looking over his shoulder for you to chase him, this is not dominance, either. He wants you to chase him and play. True instances of dominant aggression occur less frequently than common culture would have you think. So if your dog misbehaves, please don't assume that he's trying to outrank you!
 

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oh my lol. Are we talking about dominance in a pack or physical dominance in breeds who are mixed? If it's the domancne in pack then I'm way off what I thought it was. sorry about that. It just accurred to me that maybe this is about that. (Well, I hope you guys got a good laugh at my mistake. ^_^ )
 

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oh my lol. Are we talking about dominance in a pack or physical dominance in breeds who are mixed? If it's the domancne in pack then I'm way off what I thought it was. sorry about that. It just accurred to me that maybe this is about that. (Well, I hope you guys got a good laugh at my mistake. ^_^ )
Nah, you're correct, we're talking about genetic dominance. I think that other poster didn't read the original post.
 
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