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So, you THINK you might have a "Pit Bull"? Genotype vs Phenotype!

Discussion in 'General Dog Discussions' started by DieselDawg, May 28, 2009.

  1. DieselDawg

    DieselDawg Good Dog

    So, you THINK you might have a "Pit Bull"? Genotype vs Phenotype!

    ***This is going to be a fairly simplistic model skewed toward "Pit Bulls" in general***

    You see a dog and you immediately say...Look at that beautiful "Pit Bull"! ... or... you are walking your dog and someone approaches and asks...Is that a "Pit Bull"?

    Well in either case you/they could be WRONG or you/they could be RIGHT...or...you/they could be HALF RIGHT!

    When it comes to genetics and what we see, there are two major things in play. 1) The GENOTYPE which is made up of the building blocks of life...the GENES. The genes are the keepers of the internal code that dictates what direction a cell takes.***This is the "germline cell" or gametes from spermatozoa and ova that form the zygote or embryo*** 2) The PHENOTYPE on the other hand is the "visible expression" of the Genotype plus Enviroment factors. This includes all traits that are visible to the naked eye, other attributes that can be tested for (such as blood types) and lastly hidden subtleties such as behaviors exhibited. ***This process is an effect of the "somatic cells" which translates to the "body cells" or what you "see"***

    What does all this mean when it comes to our dogs? A few or more important things come to mind.

    First, most here understand that to have an APBT (for instance) you must start with two purebred APBTs (Genotypes). The result will genetically BE more APBT's that are also Genotype APBT that can be registered as such.

    Second, most here know from first hand experience that some dogs of unknown parentage can also "look like" an APBT. For instance, the mother is known to be an APBT or AST but the sire is unknown.

    Third, in a litter of a cross between say an APBT and AST you can end up with a variety of "looks". You might even get a couple that look just like an APBT in structure...a couple that look like an AST...and others that appear to be a melting pot of the two.

    Finally, you can have a dog that exhibits the visual traits of an APBT and have no genetic material from an APBT from either parent.

    All of the above explains to a degree why there is so much confusion about our breeds...and some arguements. Here is the possible "rub" that might upset some...

    You can for all practical purposes have a PHENOTYPE APBT that exhibits all the physical and behavioral traits of a purebred APBT.

    There, I said it...but don't let it go to your head. You still do not have an GENOTYPE APBT. In subsequent breedings of that dog in BOLD above, you would most likely not get consistent results and might never get another dog of that caliber (also a bit of an explaination of scatterbreeding). This could also relate to some dogs of the past that could not consitently produce champions even tho they themselves were...Now for another shocker...

    You "could" end up with a GENOTYPE APBT from a breeding of the above BOLD dog and another GENOTYPE APBT.

    Damn, I did it again! If the dog above in BOLD that is a PHENOTYPE APBT was so because one parent of that dog was a GENOTYPE APBT...it is plausible (although highly improbable) that in subsequent breedings the genes passed could be 100% APBT from each parent. Remember that the GENOTYPE of the dog in BOLD might contain APBT on 1/2 of his/her DNA strand APBT and could easily pass those exact genes on. That mating could produce a 100% genetically pure ABPT.

    All this can be taken any way you wish. It can make things interesting when reading up on the history of dogs from the past. It can also enlighten the changes in dogs of the present because PHENOTYPE VARIATION "could" lead to evolution by natural selection over a long period of time. A simple example is a seed dropped on fertile dirt and a similiar seed dropped on rocky ground. Both may grow but because of environmental differences, the resulting plants might have different physical characteristics. That difference can actually "alter or change" the effect of genes on subsequent generations. This could be one possible explaination of the developmental path of the AmBully over many generations.

    Just food for thought...like a simple hot dog on a bun!

    ***This thread is for fun and to give another take on "Do I have a Pit Bull?" It is not by any measures a complete discussion on genetics, evolution, breeding or pedigrees.***
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2009
  2. mandreweav

    mandreweav Good Dog

    thanks for this, it was very interesting
  3. DieselDawg

    DieselDawg Good Dog

    Thanx...I probably need to add that this in no way means you should use "trial and error" to breed a dog of unknown parentage. Even having dogs of known heritage does not mean they should be bred. It actually points to the fact that breeding should be taken very seriously by people who understand Homozygous/Heterozygous traits and the such. Let the EXPERTS do it...lol
  4. Miakoda

    Miakoda GRCH Dog

    I love your posts, DD. :D
  5. DieselDawg

    DieselDawg Good Dog

    I love your new Avatar...it makes me smile everytime!:D
  6. Miakoda

    Miakoda GRCH Dog

    Me, too. LOL

    Genetics is such a "dirty passion" for me and although I'm not well versed by any means, I love any and all issues on the subject.
  7. molsie

    molsie Big Dog

    That was really concise and easy to understand – thank you!

    I just wish that the average BYBer (intentional or accidental) could realize what this means but sadly, genetics isn't exactly top-of-mind for people like that.
  8. Mollie's Nana

    Mollie's Nana Krypto Super Dog Staff Member Super Moderator

    Excellent Post DieselDawg!! :cowboyclap2:

    Very informative.... can I print that off and give it to everyone I encounter??? :lol:
    Problem is, most people around here only know the term "pit bull" not APBT, so sometimes, it's easier to just say pit bull.... plus, with my two dogs, it helps break that stereotypical image of what a pit bull is, because most see them as vicious baby killers, so them seeing Bella flop around on the floor at class, and wanting to play with every single dog there, helps break that image. :D
  9. DieselDawg

    DieselDawg Good Dog

    Very True. The old dogmen/women of the past used genetics in the anecdotal way...they tested. It just so happens that to pass that test a certain structure was usually a must to some degree. BYBs end up OVER PRODUCING dogs that do not measure up to the standard...but help thier pocketbooks and/or EGOS.
    BenderBoii likes this.
  10. analisaSATX

    analisaSATX Puppy

    I hope this isn't a post against the lovable pit-mutts adopted from rescues...Personally, I would never buy a dog from a breeder, there are just too many lives that could be saved. I absolutely respect the decisions of others to patronize breeders, especially for show dogs, obviously.

    I wonder how many posters here actually consider themselves "pit snobs,", or should I say "APBT snobs?" Hopefully we can all love these very special dogs equally, whether papered or rescued.
  11. mandreweav

    mandreweav Good Dog

    I didnt come to that conclusion at all, just an explanation in lamens terms of how it works.
  12. vdubbinya

    vdubbinya Little Dog

    nice post. kudo's of respect. ---shane
  13. molsie

    molsie Big Dog

    I didn't take the post to imply that at all and my dog of unknown lineage comes from a shelter. If I get another dog in the future, it will also most likely come from a shelter. :)

    I thought it was a very educational post and for me, scientific fuel against types of breeders that I think should not be breeding.
  14. DieselDawg

    DieselDawg Good Dog

    Actually, it could be viewed as the opposite...in some words it is saying your "mutt" could actually be for all practical purposes an APBT. The fact is my only dog at this moment is of unknown parentage...found throw out at Brakenridge Park by the Old Dog Pound...left there to fend for himself with the ferrel cats...AND FOUND luckily by ME!

    By your own statement of "there are just too many lives that could be saved", this post actually helps that cause. STOP breeding so many "Pit Bulls"... there are enough good breeders out there that know what they are doing. Mow your backyard...Don't Breed in it!

    I think it is a bit telling that you call out "APBT Snobs" as such after being here for 12 posts? Not very open minded IMO...
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2009
  15. jillibean87

    jillibean87 Good Dog

    I think PBC needs to make bumper stickers that say this:D

    I love your knowledge on genes, DD, very informative!
  16. DieselDawg

    DieselDawg Good Dog

    Well I just thought of it today...so we could make them...lol
  17. jillibean87

    jillibean87 Good Dog

    I love the idea! I would totally buy a couple, it'll go right next to my "punish the deed not the breed" bumper sticker and the "a dog is for life, not just for christmas" one!(Does that make me look like a crazy dog lady?:eek:)

    Quick! Someone with a little artistic talent, make a bumper sticker!:)
  18. mandreweav

    mandreweav Good Dog

    "a dog is for life, not just for christmas"

    thats a good one, that about sums it up
  19. analisaSATX

    analisaSATX Puppy

    Was that Brackenridge in San Antonio? I'm so glad you found him!

    I agree that this post could help the cause of getting these dogs adopted from rescues, though I did not see it that way at first read.

    I apologize to all who saw my "pit snob" comment as offensive. It was more an amused observation of some posts around the board here, not a blanket judgement of posters here. And Diesel, I am VERY open-minded...so much so that I have replaced my "pit snob" assessment with "PIT PRIDE!"

    I greatly appreciate the posters here & look forward to years of participation, as I have learned much in the few weeks since I found the site. You guys are GREAT!:sonn_u11:
  20. DieselDawg

    DieselDawg Good Dog

    It is the park here in San Antonio...right next to the BBQ place near the driving range.

    I think you will find that almost every member here has now or at some time in the past a "beautiful mutt" of thier own. That does not mean that they can't try to get people "in the know" about the true APBT. I know sometimes it might come off as being a "dog snob-APBT" but that is because ANY overbreeding of these dogs hurts all the ones that are already here. The more mistakes ( litter ooops ) that happen...the more mistakes ( loose, unsecured, improperly supervised dogs )happen to fuel BSL...and then those same dogs create more litters...and the cycle keeps growing.

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