Brindle German Shepherd Dog - Page 2

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by vonissk on 16 October 2012 - 02:10

She is a beautiful girl. No I see no signs of brindle markings.

My Sister dog, who is a wolf gray sable, will be 5 in Feb. That spring when she was such a baby, I noticed dark streaks in the tawney color that some (most) sable pups are. I posted it on here and several people commented on the brindle like marfkings and maybe it wasn't a lost color after all. But a little later when she started getting her true colors in, those markings disappeared................I didn't think it was genetically possible but I did think the markings were strange...................


by Elkoorr on 16 October 2012 - 02:10

Yeah, vonissk, maybe its attached to a locus somewhere in the sables. The markings were defenitely there and not just a fluke of light reflecting between ribs. Who knows :)
GSD Lineage

by GSD Lineage on 16 October 2012 - 02:10

Recent genetics have changed the way we understand color.
All Sables Bicolor solids and saddles are "Black" dogs. 
the agouti series decides the pattern.

Solid, saddle, Bi color and Sable are actually patterns. :-)

White GSDs are actually pale reds. For this reason the white shepherd will become it's own seperate population unless they desire to look more cream or red like Golden retriebers or Setters.

by BlackthornGSD on 16 October 2012 - 03:10

OK. I'll explain. Brindle and dominant black are ruled by the K locus. On that locus, Kb is the notation for solid black, which is dominant to Kbr (the notation for brindle). In order for the agouti locus to factor into the appearance of the dog, the K locus is Ky --the notation that indicates that the phaelomelanin expresses itself. All GSDs are thought to be Ky on the K allele because otherwise, the agouti locus wouldn't come into play.

However, one thing that I don't see addressed is how we would see a black and tan dog with brindle on the tan points. There *must* be something else going on there. In horses, brindle colorate is caused by "chimeras" -- horses that carry 2 sets of DNA--so perhaps all brindle GSDs are really chimeras?. It's also possible that some sort of mutation(s) on some modifier genes is responsible for the brindle legs on a black/tan dog. It's also possible--even likely, according to the article linked--that there's some additional genes/loci at play, too,so that the explanation doesn't neatly fit into our simpified locus/allele "shorthand" understanding.

So, either there is no brindle in GSDs... or there's some mutation that occasionally causes/allows brindle "striping" on the tan portions. The page on brindle actually gives an example of a black/tan dog with tan points brindled, but it doesn't explain how it's possible. It sounds like there must be some modifiers or mutations (which again makes some sense according to the research article linked) that occasionally allow the tanpoint pattern to show up on a brindle dog.

In rare cases the brindle stripes are confined to the areas that would typically be tan in a black-and-tan dog. This Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Taisto, is such a dog. Taisto was mated to a fawn/red female who was ay/ay and therefore they had some pups that were "full body" brindle not just brindle on the tan points, at being recessive to ay.

To get back to the initial premise proposed--does recessive black "hide" brindle? The answer is no. A black dog with the gene for brindle is generally a "black brindle" where all of the black areas are brindled. A dominant black dog can be KbKb or KbKbr -- so it could appear black but produce brindles.

And the other problem with the idea of brindle "hiding" under recessive black is that the agouti allele heirarchy in GSDs is sable/tanpoint/black. So, why would recessive black hide the brindle color but sable and tanpoint wouldn't? How would that work? Are you proposing that there is a brindle pattern on the agouti allele?

GSD Lineage

by GSD Lineage on 16 October 2012 - 04:10

I honestly have to read that article carefully. I don't know much about brindle as it is not a color in the GSD at the moment, I'm planning on reading up tonight as a treat because I enjoy the color stuff. What I can't understand is why people are calling black dominant or ressevive. All black is dominant to red/buff/cream/silver. agouti and maybe also other loci like k affect if black is reduced or localized to areas by some sort of pattern. Fun Stuff....
I have seen the brindle with black saddle on the dutch shepherd.

Also, Many of the Fawns in the Boxer are actually light sable dogs (Black base coat) ... the black mask is the give away. You never see a black mask on a yellow lab, Irish setter, buff cocker white shepherd those are true reds. Chocolate labs and reb dobes are diluted blacks not true reds (Liver).

Have you all seen the new pedigree picture feature on the first page of pedigree database?
That is fun, it lets you see how the patterns and colors are passed down in a variery of breeds.

by BlackthornGSD on 16 October 2012 - 05:10

GSDs are unusual in that they are one of the few breeds that gets its solid black coloring through the agouti allele. Most solid black dogs are going to be Kb on the K locus ("dominant black"). A solid black GSD would be KyKy and would have the overal black pattern controlled by the agouti allele (recessive black because the pattern is recessive to wolf-sable and tanpoint).


by jaggirl47 on 16 October 2012 - 05:10

This is a place that does actual coat color genetic testing.

by GSDlovergirl on 16 October 2012 - 11:10

I'll admit I thought of chimeras as it's hard to prove genetics with the old, old photos as there's hardly any remaining
is the great, great - and so forth grandson of

Both brindled, one slightly more than the other.

Does anyone know if either's bloodline carried over to modern times. It'd be interesting to see if there's some sporatic "brindle" there.


I also think it exists but possibly lost due to miscommunication between different countries and nationalities. The AKC lists gray and sable for colors on a GSD... unless I am mistaken are those not the same thing?

This dog is a Finnish Lapphund but I'm using it as my example.
It's coloration [musta ruskein merkein] translated into english is more or less black & tan but look at the front legs on the last photo and I would say that that dog has brindle patterning to it.
One of the dog's black & tan offspring for comparison
The original dog's mother is like the original dog marked as black & tan but with is tan brindled like the previous dog

If these dogs were to be acknowledged as brindle it would simply say for color / Väri: as simply Brindle or raidallinen [stripped]

As for GSDs / dogs with brindle in their tan markings is do to the genetics at work

Ay [not available in GSDs] + kbr = full body brindle
aw + kbr = might be present however is hidden due to the fact that unless one goes through with a fine tooth comb the markings would kind of overlap
brindled Wolf sable pom = aw + kbr =

I say that agouti + brindle might be present given the original photo I posted of the litter pups. Sure the dog looks like a regular sable apparently now however if one knows about BCs for example it is almost impossible to tell "clear sable" [ay] dogs from recessive cream [ee] dogs at adulthood... the difference is generally only visible at or soon after birth. Is this a possibility of masked {brindle} genes with GSDs?

I am taking off the more modern genetics website - revised 2012

Brindle + awaw (agouti/wolf grey) - effect on dog is unknown. Would most likely appear to have brindle points, or brindle may not appear at all


by GSDlovergirl on 16 October 2012 - 11:10

Sorry for the double posting but the forum didn't seem to like the sheer extent of information.

I am taking off the more modern genetics website - revised 2012

Brindle + awaw (agouti/wolf grey) - effect on dog is unknown. Would most likely appear to have brindle points, or brindle may not appear at all

Brindle + asas (saddle) - dog will be black & tan with brindling to the tan

Brindle + atat (tan points) - dog will be black with brindle points

recessive black was the original GSD black - you would have to gene type a black GSD to see which type it carries as dominant K black is an introduced gene from other breeds.
Brindle + aa (recessive black) - dog will be solid black (recessive black does not allow the production of phaeomelanin in the coat)

The area entitled Brindle Tan Points and Saddle Markings shows you how readily brindle can be overlooked at a glance if merely passing by a dog. The two terriers look at their legs, you'll see.

Also for those wanting the difference between dominant and recessive black it's here

At a glance you can't tell unless you get the genetype or know the dog's pedigree.

Example - two bi-colors bred together had a black pup that would be recessive black
A black dog bred to a agout/sable with black pups in the litter would be dominant black

As for chimeras and odd mutations

And this Sarplaninac - in the countryside of europe - Serbia or somewhere similar so an old working line dog - shows how odd some colors can become.


by GSDlovergirl on 16 October 2012 - 13:10

 I had to find this and it took some digging - this is all the way back from 1915 for the GSD.

Color: Black, grizzle, reddish brown, either self colored or with tan, white ar white with large dark patches or brindle, with or without tan markings. White c the chest and legs is permissible, but not desirable. Height: 22 in. Weight: 55 lbs.
This is a medium sized dog, rather long in the body but well built, and is very game and intelligent. The head is lean, skull broad between the ears and long leaves muzzle. The ears are of medium size, carried erect, and pointed forward. The eye are almond shaped, dark in color, full of "fire" and intelligence, but often sour. The body is rather narrow, with deep chest, straight back and strong loins. The tail well coated, carried low when the dog is quiet and gaily but not over the back whe excited. There are three varieties as to coat: A. Smooth coated. Short dense are hard, round the neck the coat is longer and harder. B. Long haired, wavy and hard the hair on the head partially covering the eyes, and with well marked beard are moustaches and tail well feathered. C. Wire haired. Straight, hard and wiry, the on the head and legs being especially short and hard with beard and eyebrows we developed.

Read more:

Now the original FCI 1989 standard did state that:

a) The medium smooth coated German Shepherd Dog 
The outer coat should be as thick as possible. The individual hairs are straight, coarse and lying flat against the body. The coat is short on the head inclusive of the ears, the front of the legs, the feet and the toes but longer and thicker on the neck. The hair grows longer on the back of the fore- and hind legs as far down as the pastern and the hock joint, forming moderate breeching on the thighs. the length of the hair varies, and due to these differences in length, there are many intermediate forms. A too short or molelike coat is faulty.
b) The long smooth coated German Shepherd Dog
The individual hairs are longer, not always straight and above all not lying close to the body. The coat is considerably longer inside and behind the ears, on the back of the forearm and usually in the loin area. now and then there will be tufts in the ears and feathering from elbow to pastern. The breeching along the thigh is long and thick. The tail is bushy with slight feathering underneath. the long-smooth-coat is not as weatherproof as the medium-smooth-coat and is therefore undesirable; however, provided there is sufficient undercoat, it may be passed for breeding, as long as the breed regulations of the countr allow it.
 With the long smooth coated German Shepherd Dog, a narrow chest and narrow overstretched muzzle are frequently found.
c) The long coated German Shepherd Dog
The coat is considerably longer than that of the long-smooth-coat. It is generally very soft and forms a parting along the back. The udnercoat will be found in the region of the loins or will not be present at all. A long coat is greatly diminished in weatherproofing and utility and therefore is undesirable.
So the coat types were available and acknowledged as of 1989. I say this as some people have an annoying habit of saying long haired GSDs aren't pure.


The second photo, the facial markings are a tad odd

Melody out of

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