Well the seminar was fantastic! Claudia Orlandi did a wonderful presentation, and hands on demonstration. I think Cheyenne was disappointed though, she had a different idea on how we should have spent our afternoon Winking smile 

Instead of just telling you about how good the seminar was I thought I would do a series on what I learned starting with the basics of genetics. I find the whole world of genes and how animals are put together absolutely fascinating, so here goes my first post of many, Genetics 101.

The father of genetics was Gregor Mendel through his work with plants and peas he discovered that traits don’t blend, you can find more information on him here.

Every dog has 78 chromosomes or 39 pairs in the cell of the nucleus, they are rod shaped structures. The 39th pair are the sex chromosomes and the other 38 pair are called autosomes; these determine things like the body structure and temperament. Along these chromosomes are the genes and they also come in pairs, one gene from each parent goes into making the puppy and the genes in each puppy of a litter are different.

Each pair of chromosomes are called homologous and the place a gene is located on the chromosome is called locus. There are dominant genes and recessive genes, when genes are the same either both dominant or both recessive they are called homozygous and are considered pure for a trait. Gene pairs that have one dominant and one recessive are called heterozygous, these are considered not pure. The dominant gene overrules the activity of the recessive gene.

Phenotype is the external appearance of the dog and genotype is the genetic make up of the dog. You can not tell by the phenotype what the genotype is because of the hidden recessive genes. So I will stop here  and show you a few pictures from our day…








                     Cheyenne being examined


Our friend Chemmy







Maybe the ducks are over there…what no ducks


Watching the dogs


                  Hey where did everyone go


Chemmy and her mom


              Cheyenne loves her Uncle Dave


So that’s it for today, stay tuned for more Genetics 101 in the weeks to come.

21 thoughts on “Genetics 101

  1. Sounds like a very interesting seminar! I don’t think I would have faired well with all the genetics stuff though. So much to learn. Great picture of Cheyenne with her Uncle Dave. 🙂


  2. Very interesting post. Homozygous and heterozygous are amazing words – I have never heard of them before.

    P.S. Tall person is always asking where his jeans are – after reading this post I will be able to tell him.


  3. Ohhhhh….I love learning about genetics, especially the color aspect! I have to admit though that I need to read it over and over again and sometimes write it out on paper and then sometimes it clicks!

    We are going to the Cobo show, are you going?


      1. I wanted to let you know, that Leroy will not be benched with the Newfs, he’ll be in the Muti-Breed benching area with his handler. I saw today that the Chessies show at 8:45 on Sunday, the Newfs show at 8:30 so I will do my best to make it over to see the Chessies! If not hopefully i will see you around!


  4. Ooooh this reminds me of Biology class, I used to know all of this stuff. My mom is quite good at the gene stuff as she breeds and shows canaries and has come up with her own interpretation of “type” that she breeds for and she pays attention to who caries what. pretty amazing considering she never cared about that stuff till canaries, and is an artist at heart.
    Looking forward to reading more about this, thanks for sharing.


      1. I have not in a long time. I am trying to talk my mom into setting up a cage that we can rig with my camera. But it is breeding season so the males are all buff and sleek so they won’t represent their true type as well, due to being so wacked out for the girls. So it may need to wait till after. But I will dig around. You can see some in an album I made for her to show clients of for sale birds.. they are old shots and nothing fancy but it gives you an idea of what she breeds color wise..

        I want to work on getting some in flight shots of the birds eventually.


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