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Characteristics

  • Despite being loud, alert and agile when on the chase, Lappies are calm, friendly and very submissive with people. Their gentle disposition makes them ideal dogs around small children and the elderly.

  • The Finnish Spitz, the national dog of Finland, loves to bark, and his barking talents are so valued that every year in Finland, officials select a King Barker. Maybe not the breed for peace-and-quiet lovers, the Finkie, as he is known to his friends, is nonetheless a playful and devoted companion.

  • For reasons that are difficult to explain, Flat-Coated Retrievers are not as common as pets as other retriever breeds, but it is said that once you live with a Flat-Coated Retriever, no other breed will do.

  • The Frenchie is a quiet but sociable dog who continues to love snoozing on human laps and otherwise cuddle at every opportunity.

  • Despite the huge variety in coat color, there are only two basic pigments that determine the color of canines: eumelanin (black) and phaeomelanin (red). All different variations in color are created by these two pigments, which are both forms of melanin. This handout discusses the details of genetics and coat color selection.

  • There are multiple methods of inheritance including autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive and sex-linked inheritance that determine which characteristics (or phenotypes) are displayed by the offspring. There are also many polygenic traits (i.e., associated with multiple genes) as well as environmental factors that make prediction of disease or likelihood of passing disease onto offspring much more complicated.

  • Mutations are errors made during DNA replication. Mutations can be acquired as cells divide within the body or can be inherited if the parent’s DNA contains a mutation. Acquired mutations can arise spontaneously or can be triggered by external factors. Effects of mutation depend on what area of the DNA has been altered and can range from no effect to severe effects such as cancer development. Genetic markers can be used to determine genetic heritage such as breed origins.

  • Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a long molecule that contains an animal’s entire genetic code. DNA is primarily located within the nucleus of each cell. In the nucleus, enzymes transcribe the DNA bases into a substance called RNA (ribonucleic acid), which serves as a messenger, taking the DNA message out into the cytoplasm of the cell where the RNA is translated into proteins. These proteins are responsible for a number of functions in the cell and throughout the body, primarily by acting as enzymes that regulate various cell reactions. DNA tests allow us to examine an animal’s DNA in order to see whether they carry certain genetic diseases. DNA testing can also be used to determine the ancestry of an animal.

  • This is a lively dog with a playful personality that demands to be with people and in the thick of things—and isn't above a bit of high-energy mischief.

  • Shepherds are intelligent and can learn almost any task. They have big hearts and often attempt to perform a request even if it's beyond their physical ability.