View Full Version : What color combinations produce what?

18th June 2011, 11:38 PM
First off I just want to clarify that this thread is not in anyway intended to promote, glorify, or talk about the act of breeding Cavaliers since I have absolutely no interest in this area and believe that it should only be done by experienced breeders who have done all of the recommended health tests, ect;

I'm a little paranoid about what is allowed on this board and what isn't. I don't want to offend anyone or post things that aren't allowed icon_blshing which is why I started with the above statement. Therefore if there is something in the content of this message that requires it be locked, I understand...

Back to the point. My best friend is currently in the research process of finding a reputable breeder to add a Cavalier to her family :) We've both been researching since as some of you have read before, even with what I thought was good research I still came across some very sketchy breeders. A lot of the breeders websites will say that they are expecting a litter of all ruby or all tri's... and I was just wondering how they know? Are there specific colors you breed together to get different litters? Are there specific colors you can't breed together? I know that my Lexie was from a litter of 4 that had a puppy of each color (her mom was blenheim and her dad was b&t). Sprinkles came from a Ruby mom and a Blenheim dad with 3 rubies in her litter and her being the only blenheim. We've researched but very little shows up when we google it and I knew someone on this board would have the answer. It's been an interesting but confusing thing to ponder LOL! Also... are there any colors that are more common than others?

She's looking specifically for a Ruby female and is willing to wait however long it takes to find one from a GREAT breeder. We were just weary of those insisting that they were having a litter of all rubies...

Thanks in advance to anyone who knows the answer.

19th June 2011, 12:58 AM
Perhaps someone with more knowledge will answer soon, but I would assume a good breeder would know what to expect from a breeding. Sometimes they are breeding a specific bitch to a male with hopes of getting a nice dog to keep themselves and colour is a huge part of that. Also if the bitch has been bred before, the breeder can assume what she will produce by past litters.

I also remember once seeing a colour chart for breeding but can't remember where. All colours can be bred to another...sometimes however breeding whole colour to parti colour can produce mismarked pups.

Jasper and Holly
19th June 2011, 02:46 AM
Holly's mum was a Tri and her dad a black and tan and the litter had 5 ruby's and one black and tan. The breeder was amazed. I know it doesn't answer you question but thought I'd share it anyway!

19th June 2011, 05:53 AM
There is a webpage that goes into this in detail, and has a wonderful table that gives a good visual guide as well. You can follow this link to it - http://cavalierkingcharles.org.uk/colour_inheritance.html

Anara Cavaliers also has a page on this topic that I find fairly easy to follow - http://www.anaracavaliers.com/kindergarten_genetics.htm

Some basics though:

Blenheim is the most recessive of the colors - pairing both the recessive red and the recessive piebald(white) spotting all in one dog.

Blenheim x Blenheim can therefore only produce Blenheim

Blenheim x Tricolor can produce Blenheim and Tricolor

Tricolor x Tricolor can produce Blenheim and Tricolor - depending on what the Tricolor parents carry

Introducing solids to the pairings:

Blenheim x Ruby can produce both Blenheim and Ruby

Ruby x Ruby can priduce both Ruby and Blenheim

Blenheim x Black and Tan can produce all four colors - depending on what the Black and Tan parent carries

Tricolor x Ruby can produce all four colors - depending on what each parent carries.

Tricolor x Black and Tan can produce all four colors - depending on what each parent carries.

Black and Tan x Black and Tan can produce all four colors - depending on what each parent carries.

I hope I didn't miss any but it is late so I might have.:)


19th June 2011, 01:41 PM
Thanks oreo. So I guess that's why one may see more blenheims. I don't know how one would know how many of what color BEFORE they were born? Seems to me like humans and eye color? Remembering high school science.

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19th June 2011, 02:45 PM
That's really interesting! Thanks oreo!

19th June 2011, 07:26 PM
I don't know how one would know how many of what color BEFORE they were born?
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Experienced breeders would probably know under certain circumstances because particular Cavalier colour combinations can only produce single colour litters, e.g. two Blenheim parents will only produce Blenheim pups, and they should also know the history and colours of ancestors which can affect what colour genes will have been passed on to the parents, in which case they would probably know, for example, which two rubies produced only ruby pups and which ones Blenheim and ruby, so in some cases such prediction is a no-brainer! They may well also have a pretty accurate "guesstimate" of how many pups there may be in they same way that we (usually) know how many babies a human mum may be expecting - like listening for heartbeats, or results of ultrasound scans, for example.

And LexieAndSprinkles, your friend should probably look for breeders who specialize in whole colours and check what colours the parents and grandparents are to maximize the chances of getting their ruby.

Maybe Margaret or Sue or Maggie or Flo could explain things in more detail for you, and correct me if I'm wrong!


19th June 2011, 11:24 PM
Remembering high school science.

I was thinking the same thing, back to genetics in Biology class. Really interesting, Oreo!

19th June 2011, 11:40 PM
Based on previous matings, knowing what parents have produced etc breeders can know what a given dog is carrying genetically -- eg what recessives. So you can have a pretty good idea of what you will get from a litter except in the case of the 'all four colours' (as it could be any or just one. Most likely you get a couple of colours; all four in a single litter is more unusual). I have heard it said that there have been (or used to be...) more health issues concentrated in wholecolours as they are less genetically diverse. Think now there's been a lot more mixing in of particolours for better genetic diversity now -- which is why you get white mismarkings very commonly on rubies and B&Ts. Personally I think just from anecdotal evidence that there's a higher incidence of epilepsy and episodic falling in rubies. I mentioned this to researcher Jacques Penderis... maybe it is entirely just a fluke but almost all the cavaliers I have known about with either condition were rubies.

The only reason blenheims are more common really, is that people generally prefer blenheims both for showing and for pet ownership. So breeders breed to meet a market. People like the particolours. I would think most show breeders will say it is easier to win with a blenheim then a tri; hardest with wholecolours. I know breeders can have a harder time selling wholecolours as well -- one emailed me privately some years back after breeding a litter of B&Ts and gradually getting more and more concerned as there was so little interest in them (this was a US breeder). So there's a reluctance for breeders to breed wholecolours generally I think for a range of reasons; thus they are a lot harder to find.

You'd still see far fewer wholecolours than particolours in the UK and Ireland. I got far fewer in rescue as well -- most rescues were blenheims. I think people like them as the colour mix is fairly unusual and quite 'flashy'. :)

I like all four colours, each in different ways.

Margaret C
20th June 2011, 12:14 AM
The chart at the bottom of this link may be helpful........