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AUSSIE GENETICS

 

Charles O'Bryant III
456 Waynick Road
Reidsville, NC 27320

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Australian Shepherd Genetics

There are two basic coat colors of the Aussie - red & black. 

The base color of the Blue Merle is black and the base color of the Red Merle is red.

Genetically speaking, the blue merle is a black dog with a merle gene and the red merle is a red dog with a merle gene. 

The two coat patterns of the Australian Shepherd are merle & solid.

Black is the Dominant color gene; Red is the Recessive color gene. 

This means that if both the recessive gene and the dominant gene is present, the color Black will dominate - the red will be hidden.

The genes of the RED dog are denoted as rr

The genes of the BLACK dog are denoted as BB

The genes of a Black red factored dog are Br or rB

 r = recessive B = dominant

For an Aussie to be Red, it must carry two red genes because the color is recessive.

The Mendel's Charts are representations of the color possibilities of breeding the various color combinations. 

When you bred two animals, the resulting baby will inherit one gene from each parent for each characteristic involved.

All resulting pups from the RED x BLACK cross = BLACK (red factored)

All resulting pups from the BLACK x BLACK cross = BLACK

Resulting pups from the RED x BLACK (red factored) cross = 50% chance resulting pups = BLACK
50% chance resulting pups = RED
ALL pups that aren't RED = Red Factored

Resulting pups from the BLACK x BLACK (both red factored) cross = 75% chance resulting pups = BLACK
25% chance resulting pups = Red
Only the rB pups = Red Factored

ALL resulting pups from the RED x RED cross = RED


There are two basic patterns of the Australian Shepherd - Merle & Solid. 

If you breed Merle to Merle, you need to be aware of the Lethal White Merle gene.

Simply put - Lethal White is the presence of TWO merle genes, one obtained from each parent. 

If there is ONE merle area on the dog, no matter what size it is, the dog is a Merle.

Breeding merle to merle will present you with the possibility of having 25% of your litter carrying the Lethal Merle gene.

These pups will be (or soon become) blind and/or deaf. To be safe and not have to cull any pups - breed Merle to Solid.

To be considered sound:

  • Each eye must be surrounded with color other than white
  • Each ear must be covered with color other than white
  • No white on the body behind the shoulder
  • No white up the stifle on the hind leg into the body
 
A Merle x Solid breeding would result in
50% chance for Merle pups
50% chance for Solid pups

A Merle x Merle breeding would result in 25% chance pups will be SOLID
75% chance pups will be MERLE with a 25% chance of a Lethal Merle gene combination

A Solid x Solid breeding would result in all pups being SOLID

Mendel's Charts

The following chart show the breeding of a Red dog to a Black dog:

RED X BLACK

B B
r rB rB
r rB rB

The following chart show the breeding of a Black dog to a Black dog:

BLACK X BLACK
B B
B BB BB
B BB BB

The following chart show the breeding of a Red dog to a Black dog that carries a Red gene:

RED X BLACK (red factored)

r B
r rr rB
r rr rB

The following chart show the breeding of a Black dog that carries a Red gene to a Black dog that carries a Red gene

BLACK X BLACK (both red factored)

r B
r rr rB
B rB BB

The following chart show the breeding of a Red  dog to a Red dog:

RED X RED

r r
r rr rr
r rr rr

The following would be a cross between a merle dog and a solid dog:
MM = solid Mm = merle
MERLE X SOLID
M M
M MM MM
m mM mM
The following would be a cross between a merle dog and a merle dog:
MERLE X MERLE
M m
M MM Mm
m mM mm
MM = solid Mm = merle 
mm = lethal merle
The following would be a cross between a solid dog and a solid dog:
SOLID X SOLID
M M
M MM MM
M MM MM

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