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 Breed Discussion
 Hybrids/Crossbreds
 Variations within a litter
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John Savage

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 12/02/2013 :  11:25:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi. I'm looking for some insight into how two Alaskan pups from the same litter can be so different in appearance. I have a sibling pair from a respected breeder and they are grandfathered by a successful Iditarod dog. They share similar markings but other than that the differences are striking. Facial structure, body type, and disposition vary greatly, with the female retaining far more of what I would consider a Siberian appearance. The male is much more muscled and well built, with plenty of hound in his face/head.

I assume it's typical for these dogs, just not something I've noticed in other breeds.

OFDFhandler

USA
77 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2013 :  01:07:28 AM  Show Profile  Visit OFDFhandler's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Alaskans are traditionally mixed up anyway making them more likely to look different. As you breed within the same line then you'd be more likely to get a "typical" looking dog.

We have an AH female that threw 3 pups in her first litter and 8 in her second with the same stud. The first litter had a huge male (traditional black and tan)and 2 females (white with black and brown spots). The next litter had 2 females identical (literally clones)in build to the previous litter's females and white, 1 identical to the mother in color and build, 2 identical to mother's build but identical to mother's sister's color, 1 female that was small but colored like mom and 2 boys (one identical to dad and one to dad's brother).

I have 2 sibs from the same litter, one solid white horse and one petite colored one.
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John Savage

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2013 :  11:14:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That's interesting. Thanks for the reply.
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adios00

USA
35 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2013 :  11:22:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Not to sound too disparaging or irreverent, but the fact that these pups of yours are two generations away from a dog who's run the Iditarod means virtually nothing, as far as what to expect in that litter. Even within tight line breedings, Alaskan Huskies can sometimes throw a surprising amount of variation amongst litter mates. We are after all, talking about dogs bred for build and drive, rather than coat or eye color.

The individuals that were bred have a lot to do with what you see, as well (beyond the obvious, optimal, and often delusional "Punnett Square Scenario"). Take for instance that female whose traits - in your case referring to phenotype and/or potentially temperament - almost always seem to show up in her pups (dominant), regardless of the male that you have bred her to. The same can certainly be true of males, I guess, I just haven't noticed it nearly as much in the dog lots that I've worked in... maybe the old mitochondria debate..?

For example, I recently did a text book line breeding in which the female's grandmother also appeared in the pedigree as the stud dog's mother. Having run several generations of very similar breedings, it was relatively easy to hazard guesses regarding the variation in coat color of my litter.

I had three who I suspect may fall under ODFhandler's "traditional black and tan" description (traditional, eh?), two white, and two with the auburn/grey "husky markings" typical of this guy's lines.
The black and tan ones were patterned identically to what would most closely be called their great uncle, the white ones to their uncle, and the tan/grey ones to their grandmother.
What I so keenly observed was that all of those coat colors were essentially carried in the genetic code of one common ancestor (in this case Grandma...er...Great-Grandma...whatever).

That was way over the top...

The point is that knowing a bit about their pedigree will likely explain what you are seeing and aid in heritability estimations.

Genetics, especially as it applies to pups like yours who potentially possess such genetic diversity, can get murky and complicated. The whole line breeding thing tends to simplify the mysteries.

Edited by - adios00 on 06/18/2014 12:40:39 AM
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John Savage

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2013 :  3:09:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you for the thoughtful and in-depth reply. I have much to learn so I welcome the education.
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endurancekennels

USA
215 Posts

Posted - 06/18/2014 :  08:43:01 AM  Show Profile  Visit endurancekennels's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Depends if it's outcrossing, line breeding, or inbreeding. Sounds like you have an outcross which will also produce hybrid vigor.

Tone Coughlin
Endurance Kennels LLC - Hound Cross Sprint Racing Sled Dogs
Vice President - United States Federation of Sleddog Sports
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