Saturday, May 16, 2009

Black Vs Liver Spots

One question we have been asked is: Will there be liver puppies available?" Unfortunately, no. Even though Maeve is a gorgeous liver color, this litter will be all black spotted puppies. How do we know? Because Corey had a DNA sample done that showed he does not carry the liver gene.

The black gene is dominant, the liver gene recessive. Since Corey does not have the liver gene, there can be no liver puppies. On the other hand, ALL the puppies will be liver factored. So, if any of them are subsequently bred to a liver dog or a black spotted dog with the liver gene, liver puppies are possible.

Interestingly, Corey's mother is also dominant for the black gene, and Corey's sire Ozzie was black spotted with the liver gene. Of the 5 pups from that litter that were DNA tested, Corey is the only one that does not have the liver gene.

And, why DNA for color? One reason is so that we can know ahead of time what to expect in the litter. Before DNA testing a black spotted dog would have been bred several times before it was known if they are dominant for black. And, there are other interesting color genes floating around out there. I know of at least 1 Champion female and 1 Champion male that carry the lemon gene. And then there are those even odder colors like liver tri-colors, and black tri-colors, not to mention long coat. No quality breeder wants one of those to show up in a litter!

Interested in more? Check out the color and coat pages at