Genetic References

My genetics pages are based on books, journal articles, personal observations and other web pages. Here are some of these references, first general mammalian genetics, then dogs, including a breakdown by breed, and finally references and web pages on other mammals. These are the refereces used in writing the pages on basic genetics, multiple-locus genetics, and canine color genes, as well as more pages to come.

General Genetics:

Searle, A. G., 1968: Comparative Genetics of Coat Colour in Mammals. Academic/Logos, 308 pp. Wonderful book if a little out of date. To the best of my knowledge, there is nothing else as wide-ranging.

Hutt, Frederick B. and Benjamin A. Rasmusen, 1982: Animal Genetics. Wiley, 582 pages. Basic textbook on animal genetics, including mammals and birds, with emphasis on farm animals.

UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Lab (off-site)

VetGen (off-site)

Genscope, a genetics teaching program (off-site)

The Canine Diversity Project, a discussion of diversity in purebred dogs. (off-site)

Genetics of Coat Color and Type in Dogs, by Dr. Sheila Schmutz, is an excellent site based on recent DNA research.

Dogs, general

Hutt, Frederick B. 1979: Genetics for Dog Breeders. Freeman, 245 pages.

Little, Clarence C., first published 1957: The Inheritance of Coat Color in Dogs. Howell 1971, 194 pages.

Battaglia, Carmelo L., 1978: Dog Genetics, How to breed better dogs. T.F.H., 192 pages. The color genetics are (to put it mildly) rudimentary.

Sponenberg, D. Philip, 1985: Inheritance of the harlequin color in Great Dane dogs. Journal of Heredity 76, pp 224-225. Will be summarized in the upcoming page on oddities regarding merle.

Sponenberg, D. Philip, 1984: Germinal reversion of the merle allele in Australian shepherd dogs. Journal of Heredity 75, p 78. Will be summarized in the upcoming page on oddities regarding merle.

Sponenberg, D. P. and M. Lynn Lamoreux, 1985: Inheritance of tweed, a modification of merle, in Australian shepherd dogs. Journal of Heredity 76, pp 303-304. Will be summarized in the upcoming page on oddities regarding merle.

Padgett,George A., 1998: Control of Canine Genetic Diseases. Howell, 1998, 264 pp

Newton, G. M., Alison L. Wilkie, Lin He, Slobhan A. Jordan, Danika L. Metullinos, Nigel G. Holmes , Ian J. Jackson and Gregory S. Barsh, 2000: Melanocortin 1 receptor variation in the domestic dog. Mammalian Genome 11, pp 24-30


Dogs, breed specific

These are mostly web sites, and are listed in order by breed. Some discuss genetics; others show the various colors occurring in the breed. This section will be added to as I have time to look at the sites and add a sentence or two of review. Thanks to Liisa Sarakontu for many of the sites.


Borzois have a good site on coat color genetics.

German Shepherd Dog:

German Shepherd Dog FAQ

Norfolk/Norwich Terrier

The Norfolk Terrier site has 5 photo galleries of dogs of this breed.

Shetland Sheepdog:

Index of color photos of Shelties on this site.
Time history of major Sheltie colors.
Summary of canine color genetics, this site.

Siberian Husky:

The Siberian Husky Club of America has a site on identifying colors.


Whippet Color Genetics. Primarily genetics, but includes some photos as a part of the breeding analyses.

Other Mammals


CFA cat breeds
Cat Color Genetics


The National Gerbil Society - Gerbil genetics

Guinea pigs:

The Guinea Pig: Biology, care, breeding etc.


Horse coat colors (UC Davis site)
Sponenberg, Philip, 2009: Equine Color Genetics, 3rd Edition. Wiley-Blackwell, 296 pp. I have the earlier editions, and plan to get this one.

Mice and rats:

AFRMA Fancy Rats and Mice


ABC (and D and E) of color Genetics


Genetics index page

updated March 8, 2010