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Cocker Spaniel Coat Color Inheritance

Roan versus Merle

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Coat Color Sections:
K Gene Dominant Black BlackBrown RecessiveBlack BlackTanSable Sable bred Buff Blue Buff Chinchilla Parti Roan Progression of Roan Ticking Inheritance Interactive Genes All-White Spots
Roan and Merle inheritance compared
ROAN INHERITANCE:
roan is an autosomal polygenic dominant:
i.e. it is a simple dominant, but needs other color genes (white(parti/piebaald) to be visibly expressed 

INHERITANCE PREDICTABILITY:
the odds of producing roan puppies in any particular breeding assuming one parent carries one roan gene (typical) and both parents are piebald (parti/spotted) :
50% of the litter will be roan but,
the odds of any single puppy in a litter being roan is also 50%
which translates into:
all,  none or any percentage in between of the puppies in a specific litter can be roan
not every typical roan breeding will produce a specific number of roan puppies
the chance of any individual pup being roan is the equivalent of a flip of a coin heads/tails=yes/no=roan/no-roan=50/50 chance

Roans are not always born roan, some are and some are not.
Those roan pups born with little or no roaning, almost seem to oxidize before your eyes. Changing from no or vary little roan, to obvious within hours or less. 
The first places to look for roaning are the muzzle and the pads.
Buff/red roans may take weeks to tell for sure, check the belly for mottling. The roan will probably show there first, on light colors.(assuming the belly has white)

  1. A roan cocker is a roan cocker
  2. Is not a ticked cocker. 
  3. Is not a brown cocker.
  4. Is not a sable cocker.
  5. Is not a buff cocker.
  6. Is not a merle cocker. 
  7. Is not a silver cocker.. 
  8. Is not a blue cocker. 
  9. Roan does not grade into any other color or pattern. 
  10. Roan is not another form of ticking gene, if it is, its one hair at a time not in clumps/spots. Roan becomes more prevalent as the dog matures and can vary seasonaly/yearly. (ticking is another topic for a different time)
  11. Roan is inherited independently.
  12. A roan cocker can also be ticked,brown,sable,buff,merle,silver,blue,ect.or any possible combination.
To describe the roan gene in action, it is like painting the whole dog with a dilute form of the base color/colors and adding another light coat every day until maturity. See the roan in action from day one  "Progression of Roan in Pictures"
MERLE INHERITANCE:
merle is a simple/autosomal dominant:
i.e. it is a simple dominant that doesn't need other color genes to be expressed
( although merle is considered an incomplete dominant ( homozygote has a double dose of white ), creating homozygous puppies may produce undesirable effects (search google for double merle )

INHERITANCE PREDICTABILITY:
the odds of producing merle puppies in any particular breeding
assuming one parent carries one merle gene (typical) and both parents can be any color :
50% of the litter will be merle but,
the odds of any single puppy in a litter being merle is also 50%
which translates into:
all,  none or any percentage in between of the puppies in a specific litter can be merle
not every typical merle breeding will produce a specific number of merle puppies
the chance of any individual pup being merle is the equivalent of a flip of a coin heads/tails=yes/no=merle/no-merle=50/50 chance

Merle is not roan!

To describe the merle gene in action, it is like panting the whole dog with a white camouflage that can be quite variable, merles are born merle and don't really change.
 

If you are breeding merle and/or roan cockers?
Learn what they are, before putting any information on the web
If you use any of this information
rewrite it in your own words or
if you copy all or part of this info at least give credit
otherwise its just plagiarism and it is your creditability at risk.

gary

scenarios are typical

visit website dedicated to exploring merle cocker color
 http://www.merlecockers.com

 
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This page was last modified on: Friday, 14-Mar-2008 21:05:35 PDT.