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A list of words, phrases and terms... all related to dogs.

There are 288 entries in the dog dictionary.
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Term Definition

Dogs, like humans, are diploid meaning that they have a complete set of genes from each parent. At a given location on the chromosome, there will be one gene from the mother and one gene from the father to determine the trait. Alleles are alternate forms for a gene. One of the genes may be dominant over the other gene and will pass the trait on to the offspring. The dominant allele is represented with a capital letter. The non-expressed gene is recessive to the dominant gene and represented by a lower case letter. A simple example is eye color in humans. Assume that brown eye color is dominant over blue eye color. If there is a gene for brown eyes (B) from one parent and a gene for blue eyes (b) from the other parent, the offspring (Bb) will have brown eyes. This combination of genes is said to be heterozygous because there are 2 different alleles for a given gene. If there is a gene for blue eye color (b) from each parent, the offspring (bb) will have blue eyes. This combination is called homozygous because both alleles for a given gene are the same. A Homozygous pair of recessive genes is the only way a recessive trait can be passed to the offspring since there is not a dominant gene in the mix. Within a population there are many different alleles for a gene and many possible combinations. All the genes in a given population at a given time is called the gene pool. In dogs, many desireable traits as defined by the breed standard, are more readily achieved with greater certainty through Homozygous pairings. B + B = BB. Inbreeding practices have created the breeds as we know them today. Homozygous pairings of recessive genes also are the result of inbreeding and can result in less desireable recessive traits that can affect the health and well being of offspring. Inbreeding also diminishes the gene pool resulting in the loss of varied genetic information.

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