Wednesday, April 15, 2015

WTH is Brockle and the Genetic Wheel of Fortune

I was asked in the comments - Why not do another test with a different company and compare?

My response was so long that I decided it was another post.

There are two short answers, and then there's the long one. I'll give you both.

1. Tests cost money.
2. I'm happy with the results.

Here comes the long one.

I have no desire to prove or disprove the accuracy of the Wisdom Panel test. What I read about the testing was enough for me to become curious. I believe the test comes as close as is currently possible.

We could go back and forth all day about whether the test is right or wrong. I can find great arguments on both sides and I'm sure you can too.

For me, this leads to unproductive and boring discussion. As you all know, when that happens around here,the conversation turns into an endless circle of argument. When I get bored I become snarky, then the trolls come slithering out and there we go.

What I got from this test went so much farther than the results. It launched me on a whole new learning extravaganza. I got the bare bones of dog DNA studies - and a brand new look at dog breeds.

I've gained insights on breeding, eugenics, form before function and vice versa, and it's leaked over to my horse world.

I've gone way deep into inherited behaviors. I've learned why a Chihuahua is almost the same dog as an Australian Shepherd.

I learned  way more than I ever wanted to about white-coated hairy dogs. I learned that the difference between masked white, extreme white, piebald, ticking and the Irish Spotting Gene. I know that one variation or the other of those white genes can be carried in every breed listed on Brockle's chart.

The study was fun. If he had come back as a beagle Bouvier mix it would still have been fun.

I'm guessing DNA tests will become more accurate as time goes on. When I can read about the increased accuracy of these tests, I might just do it again. That would be when I'd be interested in a comparison.

Wait! I just learned this one.

Both GSD and Keeshond can and often do carry the masking white gene. If two white carriers breed, even if they show no white, their litter can potentially be 25% white, 25% homozygous non-white and 50% heterozygous non-white.

The possibility is there for one of Brockle's parents to be white, and then all he would need is a white gene from the other side. I envision a back yard breeding of two dogs thought to be huskies, white shepherds, collies, wolf hybrids or some other thing.


redhorse said...

Why is a chihuahua almost the same as an Australian shepherd?

Anonymous said...


An awesome dog has an equally awesome owner !

zowned by a GSD

mugwump said...

Redhorse -

Looks like kissing cousins to me!

Pishkeen said...

I looked up Keeshond after the previous post and there was a note on the wiki article that sometimes the pups come out red or tawny (ok, I think they said orange) instead of grey. Non-grey pups can't be registered, but clearly there are other colours hanging out in their genes. That made me think of Brockle's super cute red coat.

The Dancing Donkey said...

Someone sent this to me and I immediately thought of you. I hope you get a chuckle out of it:)

mugwump said...

Yes, it is hilarious.

Austen Gage said...

Owning huskies and husky/shepherd mixes that are phenomenal dogs out of byb or puppy mill situations, it's weird what comes out of strangely bred lines.

Huskies have that spotted gene. I wonder where that came from, now. People rarely think of huskies as spotted, but many of them have big white patchy spots masked by their banded agouti type coats and masking patterns. Color is FASCINATING.

emma said...

i kinda love stuff like this - it's all way over my head, but interesting all the same. if you're interested in digging further into coat coloring genetics, you might check out - Lesli is an artist and author who writes extensively on this subject, mostly about horses but some dog stuff too

Anonymous said...

I had a lot of fun reading your WTH is Brockle posts. Thanks!

MichelleL said...

So you are complete with the results you obtained.


Skittle said...

I don't care what that national geographic link says, my Aussie is nothing like a Chihuahua, and you can't make me look. lol.

mugwump said...


Katharine Swan said...

What you said about GSDs sometimes carrying a white gene makes sense. After all, white shepherds come from the GSD line.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen the Panda German Shepherd? That would explain a lot.

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