Black Mask Genetics? - Page 1

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by khalirey on 24 February 2018 - 22:02

Lately I have been spending lots of time looking at GSD on this site in hopes of finding a puppy of my liking. I am drawn to the Black Mask type and was wondering if this is a genetic trait. When I look at the parents I don't see it on most of them. It would lead me to believe that it is either a Recessive or incomplete dominant trait. Any info to enlighten me would be greatly appreciated.

by Swarnendu on 24 February 2018 - 22:02


by Jenni78 on 25 February 2018 - 00:02

Can you post photos? I don't understand what you're talking about.

by Hundmutter on 25 February 2018 - 07:02

The (various breeds of) dogs in Swarn's link make me think the OP may be after one of those GSDs where the body colour is almost all tan (ie dark pigment on saddle etc has very much paled), and the dark brown / black muzzle therefore stands out more noticeably ? If so, that is really not a very correct example of the Breed, and its appearence is usually a product of 'backyard breeding'; not something a reputable breeder would be striving to produce.

Someone I met out dog-walking once tried to convince me he'd been sold his pup (in a pub !) by someone who assured him this was a valuable, and rare, 'Golden Shepherd'.

Therefore it would be difficult to recommend a bloodline. Unless the OP has something else in mind ?

by khalirey on 25 February 2018 - 13:02

These are some examples I am referring to. Thanks in advance.


by Jenni78 on 25 February 2018 - 14:02

They're just normal show line dogs.

Often, the mask fades with age. A lot of GSD puppies of black and red/tan coloration have a good mask in their youth but it fades. I wouldn't recommend buying a dog for a particular type mask, but if I were going to abandon common sense and do it anyway, I'd choose parents who displayed it at an advanced age as a potential/probable indication of the future coloration of my pup.

You also must understand that a large quantity of photos for black and red dogs are altered. Contrast upped, pigment enhanced, etc. It can make a more striking appearance and you might be falling for photoshop and not the dog him/herself ;)

by Dawulf on 25 February 2018 - 15:02

Where are you located? I have a friend in southern Kansas who has dogs who throw the dark masks, if you are looking. I agree with Jen, you shouldn't get a dog solely based on color, but if your dropping 1-2k on a companion for the next 15 years, you may as well like looking at him.

by Swarnendu on 25 February 2018 - 15:02

HM, I thought OP wanted to know the genetics behind melanistic mask.

OP, there isn't much research behind dog color genetics, as geneticists don't get enough fund allocated for dogs (rightly so, as cattle, poultry etc are more important), let alone the genetics behind their colors and patterns. Research on a dog's health and behaviour should get more importance.

However, the link I have provided earlier is so far the best source of free online information on dog color genetics. Go through it, and then we can discuss further.

Or, if you just need to buy a dog with melanisitic mask, there are others here who'll help you out.

by khalirey on 25 February 2018 - 16:02

Jenni78, I agree with you completely. It is a look I am really drawn to but definitely not something that will determine my buying decision. First and foremost is the health and structure based on pedigree.

I also agree when it comes to photos and how they are processed can be a huge determining factor in making a decision. Photoshop can make a very dull coloured dog look very intensely beautiful. I come from the reptile industry and upping the contrast can do amazing things. The reality is that when purchasing any pet on line you generally buy the picture and the animal comes with it. It is so easy to be swept away by a cute and cuddly pic these day so falling back on solid pedigree is a good thing.

Thanks for your input!

by Hundmutter on 25 February 2018 - 17:02

"The reality is that when purchasing any pet on line you generally buy the picture and the animal comes with it."

So DON'T ! Go and buy where you can see the creature for yourself. If that means you have to travel, then travel, If you can't do that, limit your shopping to nearer home. This is not an inanimate piece of camping equipment that you'll be buying. You can find out so much more, and risk getting scammed so much less, when you actually go and meet the litter, the mother, the other dogs and the breeder for yourself.

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