One of the features which gets affected to the maximum by genetic mutation is the color or complexion of the breed. The genes affecting color are most sensitive to cross-breeding for one, and the color is one of the most visible traits for another.
Some of the most dominant genes are as described below :
WOLF GRAY:- This is a wolf – like coat and the dog has long grey hair, a combination of black and red in color. The under coat is slightly lighter in color. The density of hair is small all over the body while the shade of the color changes from top of the back to the bottom under the mouth, from black to red. The belly is a tinge towards white. This hair grows more in winter to give the dog a shield from cold and is shed in summers accordingly.
WHITE SPOTS :- The dog has white spots all over the body. The body hair is generally grey or grayish brown in color. The dog looks naturally beautiful and the particular genes are predominant in breeds of dogs. The spots can range from only tail spots to only ear spots on just the feet or the belly. Alternatively the dog could have spots on the whole body. A grey dog with spots will have only one kind of gene in his body, the presence of which will produce, grey hair and the absence of which culminates into white hair.
There are various genes which might influence the complexion; from the ‘ones’ which represent dark shades like black, red, coarse blue etc.; to ‘these’ which change the black hair to a dark or light brown. All these genes can be modified by cross-breeding to being out the desired colors. But I seriously wonder that scientists produce hybrids just to get a particular color. There has to be something more practical than that as a reason for such a tedious task. And that probably is the inner qualities of strength, perseverance, obedience etc., For instance the task of converting the offspring of a very soft dog into a rough tough guard dog could be challenging as well as a rewarding task.
Outer appearance : – Various mutations can be done to alter the body form of a dog. This could include, reducing or increasing the size of legs, tail, ears, changing the weight, alterations in bone size etc., When a short legged dog is mated with a normal legged one, the hybrid is of intermediate-leg variety. There is another peculiar mutation commonly known as
‘bull dog‘ mutation. The name has gained acceptance since the mutation specifically affects the head. The hybrid has a short and flat snout, the jaw is basically under-shed in nature. On similar lines the cross between a normal and a bull dog produces an intermediate breed.
Behavioral Aspects :- This is a highly complex area to be ventured into by gene mutation therapists. It is complicated since each single behavioral trait is made up of a combination of two, three of more genes. For instance the temperament of sitting quietly in a crouching position depends on the presence of two traits. One is the particular posture itself and the other is the quality of keeping silent.
Consequently, it might take mating different breeds many times to arrive at a particular characteristic. If you breed superior dogs for a particular trait, they may also produce a much inferior offspring, increasing the probability of undesirable results in experiment. On the other hand, the successful offspring, if they emerge, is a result of a highly desirable progeny testing. The reason being is the dogs are very fertile and long lived.
If you wonder how two superior breeds can produce an inferior one, the reasoning goes like this. Every living creature has two kinds of genes – dominant and recessive. The visible traits are that of the dominant ones i.e. your dog displays those characteristics which are present in his dominant genes. You can assume that dominant genes are higher in number than the recessive ones.
Suppose 2 breeds mate, and both have recessive genes each for a particular inferior characteristic, say body weakness but since it is recessive it can’t be seen in any of the dogs.
Then the off-springs will display that gene as dominant since it is now abundant in number compared to his parents. Subsequently, the trait of body weakness will be visible in the offspring, which is an inferior trait and was not apparent in any of the parents. Hence the risk stands.
Moreover, the traits are not necessarily only inherited. So many are determined by various environmental factors as well. If everybody in your house is very quiet and polite, it is likely that even a very violent breed dog turns out to be a meek puppy once he stays with you.
The coat color of dogs can be changed due to variations in weather in the same way as the human complexion gets fairer in cold and darkens in hot countries.