Pam Crump    Shih Tzu

 

Breeding for Rare Colors

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AKC recognizes for the Shih Tzu two colors that come from recessive genes:

          Blue and Liver

 

Breeders add to this list, the color Chocolate, which is just a darker shade of the Liver color.

 

Also the tan markings (that are located similarly to the markings of a Doberman Pinscher) comes from recessive genes.  This marking is referred to by breeders as the “Dobie” marking.

 

These colors and marking are relatively rare since they come from recessive genes, meaning that both parents of a puppy must “carry” that recessive gene for the puppy to have that color or marking.

 

The color of the hair is not crucial to classifying a dog as Blue or Liver color.  More significant would be the color of the “points” (eyes, nose, lips, paw pads) and skin.  If these features are Liver rather than Black (except for the skin) then the dog is Liver.  If these features are Blue, then the dog is Blue, regardless of what the hair color may appear.  Conversely, if these features are Black (except for the skin), then the dog is not Blue or Liver even if the hair appears to be Blue or Liver.

 

One of the breeding objectives of some breeders is to produce the rare colors and marking, since there is generally more demand than supply.  Knowledge of color genetics is vital to success in these breeding plans.  The following summary should give a working understanding of recessive gene genetics.

 

For this analysis, all Shih Tzu will be classified as to color (or marking) as one of the following:

1.     Recessive COLOR (and thus a recessive gene carrier)

2.     Recessive gene CARRIER (but not a recessive color)

3.     Recessive gene NON-CARRIER (and thus not a recessive color)

 

All possible combinations of two parents are presented in the table below, which shows the recessive gene results of the breeding.

 

Parent # 1

Parent # 2

Puppies

COLOR

COLOR

COLOR

100 %

COLOR

CARRIER

COLOR

CARRIER

50 %

50 %

COLOR

NON-CARRIER

CARRIER

100 %

CARRIER

CARRIER

COLOR

CARRIER

NON-CARRIER

25 %

50 %

25 %

CARRIER

NON-CARRIER

CARRIER

NON-CARRIER

50 %

50 %

NON-CARRIER

NON-CARRIER

NON-CARRIER

100 %