Sunday, July 3, 2011

Guess the Genotype #5

Anyone want to guess this dog's genotype or breed? This one should be easy.

 Image is copyright free from Wikimedia Commons

As usual, click "read more" for my answer.

This is a red merle American cocker spaniel named Angel. Those striking blue eyes and the patched quality to his coloring gave him away. Merle cockers are fairly unusual and it is not an accepted color according to the breed standard. They don't appear to even be registrable by the AKC. The American Spaniel Club also seriously discourages the breeding of any merle dogs because of the health risks associated with the gene.

Cockers that are the red "buff" color are usually recessive red, and those that are in fact sable usually have a lot of black in their coat. Angel has none, and thus he must be ee recessive red.

Angel, as I already said, is also a merle. This can clearly be seen on his face. His left eye has a prominent darker red patch and the eyes themselves are blue. He is mostly likely a Mm merle because of the nature of his white markings. Homozygous dominant merles will nearly always have white on their faces.

This dog clearly has white, but the question is in what form? He looks as though he is Irish white, but looks can be deceiving. Since he has no white on his face, and matings between parti-color (piebald) cockers and black or ASCOB cockers often produce this amount of white, it can safely be assumed he is Ssp solid carrying piebald.

Angel also has ticking, as can be seen on his chest. Since the ticking is not very dense and American cockers do not often have ticking, he is most likely Tt ticked.

So, that's ee Mm Ssp Tt or merled recessive red Irish with ticking.


  1. You can register them with AKC but evidently people are instructed to register them as roan. Not a terribly good idea from a pedigree integrity POV, especially as merle can be cryptic.

  2. The breed club is really against the color, and I understand why. However, if it exists in the breed there should be a way to register it as the color it really is.

    Whoever said register them as roan upsets me.