G E N E T I C S


Even if you do not intend to breed your Hovawart, do not skip this chapter, because breeeding is not only the domain of active breeders. After all, every Hovawart owner contributes to have in the future healthy, good mentally and beautiful Hovawarts. Only thanks to your information breeder will know how develops a puppy from his kennel, what advantages and disadvantages he has, what is dysplasia hips score result and participation in mental tests, only thanks to these datas he will be able to breed methodically. Because the success of mating one pair can be judged only on the basis of the offspring. It happens very often that outstanding dogs give average progeny, and vice versa, average dogs often give successful offspring in appropriate matings.

That what parents show is called professionally phenotype, and what heredity features they bear in, is their genotype. Only genotype determines what characteristics the animal may pass on and this one often manifests itself very clearly by phenotype. How does this happen?

The genes are located on chromosomes of fibers structure tangled in each nucleus cell. These chromosomes always occur in pairs, one half comes from the mother, the other from the father. Male sperm and female egg cells (ova) are the result of a special division called reductive (meiosis) and as a result contain reduced half number of chromosomes. At fertilization, the number of chromosomes doubles again. Reduction fission is necessary to maintain typical for given species number of chromosomes. In somatic cell (almost) every gene appears so in two copies (almost, because in the case of male genes located on the so-called sex chromosomes - X and Y are present in single copies). Each gene appears therefore doubly. Both variants of the gene ( alleles) may be the same, then we are talking about homozygotes or different - heterozygotes. And now, for example, if both parents are homozygous black, they can then transmit only black genes. In this case, their progeny will be black and this homozygous. Black puppies can also occur when one of the parents is blond and the other black, because black gene masks blond gene, because it is dominant . Blond genes are suppressed, e.i. they are recessive. Black puppies from such mating are heterozygous in terms of colour. If they are mated with the same heterozygous partner, it may happen that both pass on blond and then both black parents give blond colour offspring, which is in terms of colour again homozygous blond, because recessive trait may appear only when dog received two recessive genes from his parents. Which means that parents must be either homozygous for the recessive gene, or to be its carrier. From such mating (heterozygote x heterozygote) statistically 1/4 of puppies can be blond.

So blond Hovawarts are always homozygous for their colour, while dark, may be homo or heterozygotes. If there are from dark Hovawarts blond puppies, those parents are heterozygous for sure.

Possible colour schedule by Hovawarts in different matings in terms of colour.

Hovis occur in 3 colours: black, black & tan and blond. The possibilities of puppies colour in relation to parents:

  1. blond x blond: all puppies always blond (because homozygotes);

  2. black & tan x black & tan: puppies black & tan and blond, but it can happen, the whole litter will be only black & tan or just blond, if one parent is homozygous, the entire litter will be black and tan, if they are both heterozygous, the litter can be mixed (puppies blond and black and tan) or the entire litter blond (very rare);

  3. blond x black & tan, blond x black, black & tan x black, black x black: puppies can be in all 3 colours, but it can happen in each of these matings that the entire litter will be all blond, all black & tan or all black, another possibility is the appearance of only two colours, for example, only blond and black and tan, only blond and black, only black and tan and black; if one of the parents of a dark colour (i.e. black or black & tan) is homozygous, the entire litter will be dark (puppies only black or only black & tan or black and black & tan, but not blond), of course, when both dark parents are homozygous , the entire litter will consist of only dark puppies; but if both parents are heterozygous, then the colour schedule may be every possible.

Explaining appendix to point 3:
There are dark colour dogs, e.i. black and black & tan, which does not give blond (because they are homozygous), in each matching give only black and black & tan, or just black or just black & tan puppies.
There are also dogs of black and blond colour (from matings blond on black, blond on blond or black on black), which do not give the puppies with black and tan coat.

There are no other possibilities!

==> A very good study of the colour inheritance by Hovawarts (in German). On the left menu exact scheme to the colours.