The following is from  Der Deutsch Kurzhaar, The German Shorthaired Pointer” by Georgina M. Byrne.   This is probably the premier of all GSP books and a must for any GSP breeder.

 

GENE LOCI FOR COAT COLOUR AND PATTERN

Georgina Byrne

 

1.   Gene locus “A” (agouti):

 

The alleles at the “A” locus are as follows:

 

A

All the individual coloured (non-white) hairs are the same colour without shading or lighter variations

 

ag

“Agouti”.  Each hair is “shaded” i.e. banded with lighter/darker colour as in such animals as wild rabbits

 

ay

Sable and tan as in German Shepherds and Collies.  The main colour is a mixture of different colours and shadings.

 

at

Tan points, as in such breeds as the Dobermann and the Rottweiler.  Dark saddle with tan markings as in such breeds as the German Shepherd or the Beagle

 

This gene deals with the amount of colour in the individual coloured (not white) hairs and where they are distributed on the body.  Since GSPs have normally only one colour which is not shaded, they are most likely to be “AA”, having gained “A” from each parent.

 

It should be noted, however, that the German GSP Standard allows for the “gelber brand”, which has been translated as “a slight tendency to sandy colour around the muzzle or feet”.  There is some documentation of tricoloured GSPs described (Burns, 1952) as having markings “a la Dachshund”.  Presumably, such dogs were “atat”, and their normal-coloured parents were both “Aat”.

 

In addition, I have seen many GSPs with a band of lighter coloured hairs near the ends of their (docked) tails.  These hairs are shaded, agouti fashion, leading me to speculate that such animals are exhibiting one of the “A” series recessives.

 

 

2.  Gene Locus “B” (black):

 

There are only two alleles at the “B” locus:

 

B

Black

 

b

Liver

 

The black allele “B” is a simple dominant over “b” (liver).  There are no intermediate colours.  The GSP can be “BB” (homozygous black), “Bb” (heterozygous black) or “bb” (liver) (Figure 12.1).

 

 

3.  Gene locus “C” (colour versus colour paling):

 

There appear to be four alleles at this locus.  They are:

 

C

Colour, allowing full expression of the inherited colour

 

ca

Albinism (complete).  No colour.

 

cch

“Chinchilla” or partial albinism.  This allele has little or no influence on black but liver animals may show direct influence by being paler in colour. Dr. Little uses the example of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, but the same variation in depth of colour could apply to the GSP.

 

cd

White coat, with dark eyes and nose as in the Samoyed.

 

The GSP is likely to be “CC”, but one could speculate on the possibility of some very light liver animals being “Ccch” or even “cch,cch” (Figure 12.2).

 

Figure 12.2

TWELVE OF THE MYRIAD POSSIBLE PHENOTYPE/GENOTYPES

FOR COAT COLOUR AND PATTERNING IN THE GSP

12.2a

AABBCCDDEEggSSRR

12.2b

AABbCCDDEEggSSRR

12.2c  AAbbCCDDEEggSSRR

12.2d

AAbbCCDD

12.2e

AAbbCcchDD

12.2f

AAbbcchcchDD

12.2g

AAbbCCDDEEggSsrtrt

12.2h

AABBCCDDEEggsisiRR

12.2i

AAbbCCDDEEggswswrtrt

12.2j

AAbbCCDDEEggsisirtr

12.2k

AAbbcCDDEEggswswRrt

12.2l

AABBCCDDEEggswswrtrt

12.2a  Solid black

12.2g  Solid liver, carrying non-solid (“ticking”)

12.2b  Solid black, carrying liver

12.2h  Irish” pattern (“saddle type” markings), black colour, roaning in the white areas.

12.2c  Solid liver

12.2i  “Irish” pattern, liver colour, ticking in the white areas

12.2d  Normal (dark) solid liver

12.2j  “Irish” pattern, liver colour, white areas almost clear

12.2e  Light solid liver

12.2k  “Extreme white piebald” pattern (coloured patches on head, body white), liver colour, ticking and roaning in the white areas

12.2f  Extremely pale solid liver

12.2l  “Extreme white piebald” pattern, black colour, ticking in the white areas

 

 

 

4.  Gene locus “D” (dilution):

 

The two alleles at this locus are:

 

D

Dense pigment, as in black or liver coloured dogs.

 

d

Dilute, as in blues and greys.

 

Since the effect of “dd” on liver is to cause the grey of the Weimaraner, and the effect on black is to cause blue, then it appears that the GSP has only “D” in its makeup, and is normally “DD”.  I was interested to note in an American magazine that some Weimaraner fanciers were attempting to gain recognition for “blues” as well as greys.  One wonders at the veracity of the pedigrees of such dogs, for to have obtained blue coat colour, black must have been used.

 

5.  Gene locus “E” (extension):

 

There are four alleles at the “E” locus.  These are:

 

Em

masking”, as in the black face mask found in such breeds as the Boxer or the Great Dane.

 

E

Dark pigment over the whole coat colour without “masking”.

 

ebr

Brindle

 

e

Red or yellow

 

It appears that the GSP carries only the “E” allele of this series.  It is, however, of interest to remember that early breed history describes the original breed colours as including red.  Acceptance of the Schweisshund as being an ancestor would support this, since the Schweisshund varieties include both red and brindle dogs.  It is surprising, therefore, that reds or brindles do not appear in GSP litters even if only on very rare occasions.

 

 

6.  Gene locus “G” (greying):

 

There appear to be two alleles at the “G” locus:

 

G

Greying, where the coat becomes progressively lighter, with maturity, as in such breeds as the Poodle or the Kerry Blue Terrier, where a black (or liver) baby coat is, on maturity, blue (or chocolate fawn).

 

g

Normal, no greying.

         

This effect must not be confused with “greying” associated with age, or the paling described earlier.  GSPs appear to be only “gg” (normal).

 

 

7.  Gene locus “S” (spotting…i.e. patching):

 

There are four alleles at the “S” locus.  These are:

 

S

Self (solid) coloured.  Small amounts of white on chest, toes, and/or tail-tip can be present.

 

si

“Irish” spotting.  White markings on the extremities, i.e. legs, neck, tail.  This pattern is commonly seen in such breeds as the Basenji and the Boxer.

 

sp

Piebald spotting.  Patches of solid colour on the head and body, as in the Pointer and most spaniel breeds.

 

sw

Extreme-white piebald.  Solid colour is present only on the head and/or the base of the tail.

 

The GSP appears to have all four alleles (Figure 12.3).   It can have combinations of these, too numerous to mention.  The overlap which occurs can make it difficult to decide which alleles are present, particularly in the case of a solid with very long “socks” and a great deal of white underneath, versus a very heavily marked “Irish spotted” animal.

 

Figure 12.3

THE DISTRIBUTION OF COLOUR VERSUS WHITE AREAS

12.3a    SS or Ss

12.3b   sisi

12.3c    spsp

12.3d    swsw

12.3a  S… self (solid) coloured.  White, if present, only on the chest and feet or lower legs. 

12.3c   sp… “Piebald spotted”.  Patches of colour on the head and body.

12.3b  si… “Irish spotted”.  White on legs, chest and neck.

12.3d  sw… “Extreme white piebald”.  Coloured areas confined to the head and base of tail.

 

It is important not to confuse the term “extreme-white piebald” with those GSPs which do not have ticking in their white areas.  The “S” gene controls the size and location of those areas of (solid) colour which are present at birth, and not those which appear later.

 

 

8.  Gene locus “T” or “R” (ticking or roaning):

 

The inheritance of these factors is not as well documented as are those already mentioned.  Dr. Little postulates two alleles at the “T” locus.  These are:

 

T

Ticking

 

T

No ticking, i.e., clear white

 

This simple explanation makes no allowance for the enormous variation in the amount and distribution of coloured hairs which appear in the white areas of dogs carrying genes for ticking or roaning.  Such breeds include Dalmatians, Coon Hounds and Australian Cattle dogs as well as GSPs whose coat can be as lightly marked as the former or as heavily as the latter breed.  Although the English (and Australian) GSP standard considers ticking and roaning to be variations of the same phenomenon, Dr. Little distinguishes between them as follows:

 

“Ticking”

Pigmented flecks on a white background

 

“Roan”

A mixture of coloured and white hairs resembling the type of coat colouring described as “silvering” in rodents

 

Dr. Little queries the existence of a separate gene for roaning, but has no proof of such.  From my experience of breeding and observing GSPs, I believe that, rather than a “T” locus for ticking, there is an “R” locus, with three alleles as follows (Figure 12.4):

 

R

Roaning.  This is incompletely dominant to and can be found in combination with:

 

rt

Ticking or spotting (as in the Dalmatian, or lightly marked GSPs)

 

r

Clear white

 

Figure 12.4

HYPOTHETICAL INHERITANCE PATTERNS

FOR TICKING AND ROANING

12.4e  RR

12.4f  Rrt

12.4g  rtrt

12.4h  rrt

12.4e  RR… Heavily roaned.  Only a few white hairs remain on a basically “self” coloured dog.

12.4g  rtrt… Ticking only.  Coloured spots, well distributed on a white background.

12.4f  Rrt… A combination of roaning and ticking in the white areas.  This is probably the most commonly seen type of colour distribution in the non-solid areas.

12.4h  rrt… Clear white, with only an occasional spot.  Those dogs with no coloured hairs in their white areas could be “rr”.

 

The majority of “ticked” GSPs show a combination of ticking and roaning and could therefore be “Rr”.  “White” GSPs with extremely sparse ticking could be “rtr”.  It is interesting that in the GSP as in many breeds of dog, there is a common tendency to have the greatest density of colour on the back and upper body, with more white to be found on the extremities. 

 

A further gene series, involving Merle, a colour/pattern found in Collies and Harlequin Great Danes, is of no consequence to GSP breeders, since it is not present in the breed.  I have not included it in this series for that reason.

 

 

 

Next Section:  OUTCOMES OF MATINGS, IN REGARD TO COLOUR AND PATTERN (BLACK versus LIVER AND SOLID versus NON-SOLID (“TICKED”))

 

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Copyright  2002 Georgina M. Byrne.  All rights reserved.   The book in its entirety may be ordered by contacting Mrs.  G. M. Byrne, Lot 31 Clayton Rd, Helena Valley, Western Australia 6056 (Fax 09-294-1404) or Maria Bein, 1 Bittersweet Lane, Granby, Massachusetts USA.

NOTE:  This book is no longer in print and is not easy to find.  Mrs. Byrne has several copies remaining and additional copies may be found on ebay periodically.