A mutation in the KIT-gene is associated with a white spotting pattern in German Shepherd Dogs, this pattern is also knopwn as Panda White Spotting. The mutation is very recent, it appeared spontaneously in a female born in 2000. The mutation in German Shepherds is in a different gene from the gene that causes white spotting in other breeds. This mutation should not be confused with the S Locus gene that causes white spotting in other breeds. The Panda Spotting mutation causes white markings on the the face, limbs, belly, neck, and the tip of the tail, with the white being concentrated toward the front of the dog. The amount of white can vary from one dog to another.
The trait of inheritance is autosomal dominant which means that one copy of the mutation is sufficient to cause the Panda White Spotting (N/P), however, it is important to note that dogs with two copies of the mutation (P/P) have not been found and are likley to die during gestation and will be reabsorped into the womb.
Carriers (N/P) (one copy of the mutation) have not expressed any health issues associated with the Panda pattern.
The mutation the causes the Panda White Spotting occurs in the KIT-gene. This gene has two alleles P and N. The P is dominant. One copy of the P allele results (N/P) in dogs with the Panda white pattern. Two copies of the P allele result in early embryonic death.