Coat Color Variations and Tameness in English Shepherds: A Hypothesis on the Role of Pleiotropy in Domestication


In English Shepherds, coat color changes could be a result of selection for tameness through a process similar to the one observed in Belyaev’s silver fox experiment. The underlying genetic mechanism may involve pleiotropic effects, where certain genes influence both tameness and coat color.

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Coat Color Transformations and Tameness: Unraveling the Genetic Link Through Selective Breeding in Silver Foxes

Dmitry Belyaev, a Russian geneticist, conducted a long-term experiment on the domestication of silver foxes (Vulpes vulpes) that demonstrated how selecting for tameness could result in a number of correlated changes, including coat color changes. Starting in the late 1950s, Belyaev and his team selectively bred silver foxes, choosing only the tamest individuals to … Read more