Understanding Wobbledog Genetics

Understanding Wobbledog Genetics

The Genetic Breakdown Screen

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If you've never seen it before, you can access the Genetic Breakdown screen by opening the Dogs menu (the little doghouse icon in the upper left corner of the main gameplay screen), selecting a dog, and clicking that little DNA icon next to its portrait.

After doing so, you'll find yourself on the Genetic Breakdown screen:

The big blue box on the top right shows in-depth information about your dog's physical properties: the sizes of various parts of its body, its number of heads/tails/legs/wings, etc. These are all properties that can change when a dog pupates, and are pretty self-explanatory. I won't be covering them here.

What I am going to cover in this guide are the two green boxes below that. The bottom one displays all of the traits that CAN'T change when a dog pupates - things like what type of eyes or ears it has, what its voice sounds like, and whether or not it has a tail, wings, horns, or a pattern. These traits can only be affected through breeding, and they are determined by the long string of A's and a's in the middle box. That middle box is the key to understanding how to breed the dog you want - but to make use of it, you first have to know a little bit about Mendelian genetics.

Basic Wobbledog Genetics

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Breeding in Wobbledogs actually involves a very accurate simulation of Mendelian genetics; that is, a dog's traits are determined by alleles (those A's and a's), which can be either dominant (A) or recessive (a). Alleles come in pairs; when you breed two dogs together, every pair of alleles in the resulting puppy's genetic code will include one allele from each parent, chosen at random from the same pair of alleles in the parent's genetic code. The two alleles within a pair together determine the dog's visible traits, with dominant alleles taking priority (at least in MOST cases; I'll get into that later).

As an example, let's look at the Ear Curl gene, which is probably the easiest part of the Wobbledog genome to understand. It controls whether your dog's ears curl symmetrically or asymmetrically. (Note that the Capsule and Tilted ear types cannot visibly curl, so you may not be able to see the effect of this gene on your dog if it has one of those ear types.) Hovering your mouse over "Ear Curl" in the Genetic Breakdown screen will highlight the alleles responsible for that trait, like this:

Here, you can see that ear curl is controlled by just two alleles. Now, imagine you're breeding the dog in the picture (it's Randy again) with another dog whose Ear Curl gene is "Aa." When you breed an "AA" dog like Randy with an "Aa" dog...

Randy will pass on a dominant allele ("A") to every puppy, because both of his alleles are dominant, but...

The other parent will have a 50% chance to pass down its dominant allele ("A") and a 50% chance to pass down its recessive allele ("a").This means that about half of the resulting litter of puppies will have their Ear Curl gene as "AA", and the other half will have theirs as "Aa." All of the dogs up to this point - parents and puppies - will have synced ear curl (their ears will be symmetrical), because that is the dominant phenotype (physical presentation) of the Ear Curl gene - if a dominant allele is present, it overrides the effect of any recessive allele it's paired with, so the dominant trait is all you see on the surface.

But, if you then take two of those "Aa" dogs and breed them together, each of the puppies in the new generation has a 50% chance of inheriting either a dominant OR recessive allele from BOTH parents! This means that in the new litter:

1 in 4 puppies will have their Ear Curl gene as "AA"

2 in 4 puppies will have their Ear Curl gene as either "Aa" or "aA" (which are completely interchangeable - order does not matter within a pair!)

1 in 4 puppies will have their Earl Curl gene as "aa"The first two groups of puppies will have synced ear curl just like their parents and grandparents, but that last group - the "aa" puppies - will have their ear curl desynced (their ears will be asymmetrical, at least if they have an ear type that is capable of curling).

Desynced ear curl is a recessive trait - it needs 2 recessive alleles in order to show up.

Other terminology you'll see me use here:

When both alleles in a pair are the same, that pair is homozygous. "AA" would be called "homozygous dominant," while "aa" is "homozygous recessive."

When the two alleles in a pair are different ("Aa" or "aA"), that pair is heterozygous.

Now that you have a basic understanding of Wobbledogs' version of Mendelian genetics, I can get into the nitty-gritty of how some of the other genes in the Wobbledog genome work.

The Missing Legs Gene

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Mousing over "Missing Legs" on the Genetic Breakdown screen will highlight the alleles responsible for missing legs, like so:

As you can see, there are 8 alleles in the Missing Legs gene - the first 8 alleles in the whole genome, in fact. They are divided into 4 pairs, each of which corresponds to one of a dog's 4 legs, in this order: 1) front left leg; 2) front right leg; 3) back left leg; 4) back right leg.

A missing leg is a simple recessive trait, just like desynced ear curl in the example above. If any one of those pairs in the Missing Legs gene is homozygous recessive ("aa"), the dog will not have the corresponding leg - and if all 4 pairs are homozygous recessive, the dog will have no legs at all!

A couple examples:

A dog whose Missing Legs gene is "aAAAAAAA" or "AaAAAAAA" will have all of its legs, but may be able to have puppies (or more likely grand-puppies) who are missing their front left leg. If you're trying to get the achievement "A Bit More Wobbly," look through your dog collection for one with this genotype.

A dog with "AAAAaaAa" will be missing its back left leg, and can have puppies or grand-puppies that are missing EITHER back leg (especially if it's bred with another dog that has recessive alleles in one or both of its back leg pairs).

The Voice Gene

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The Voice gene controls what your dog sounds like when it barks, howls, etc. There are actually two different components to a dog's voice: its pitch (Standard, High, or Low) and whether it is hoarse or not. (Dogs with hoarse voices kind of sound like they're coughing when they bark, which can be either funny or annoying depending on your sense of humor.)

If you mouse over "Voice" on the Genetic Breakdown screen, you'll see that 3 pairs of alleles get highlighted:

The Voice gene is a little more complicated than the previous two genes we've discussed. This time, each pair of alleles doesn't just do its own thing - two of them actually interact with one another.

The first two pairs work together to determine pitch:

If both those pairs contain dominant alleles ("AAAA" or "AaaA," for example), OR if both pairs are homozygous recessive ("aaaa"), the dog's voice will be Standard

If the first pair is homozygous recessive and the second pair contains at least one dominant allele ("aaAA," "aaAa," or "aaaA"), the dog's voice will be High Pitch

If the first pair contains at least one dominant allele and the second pair is homozygous recessive ("AAaa", "Aaaa," or "aAaa") the dog's voice will be Low PitchThe third pair of alleles determines whether or not the dog's voice is hoarse, with hoarseness behaving like a simple recessive trait (if both alleles are recessive, the dog's voice will be hoarse; otherwise, it will be normal).

The Wings Gene

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This one is even MORE complicated. I will freely admit that I got all the information about wing types from this Reddit post (which is what inspired me to start fiddling with doggy genetics in the first place); however, I eventually figured out that their interpretation of the first part of the Wings gene (the part that determines whether a dog actually has wings or not) is slightly inaccurate.

First off, if you mouse over "Wings" in the Genetic Breakdown screen, you'll see that 2 groups of 4 alleles get highlighted. The highlight is actually WRONG this time:

That 2nd highlighted pair (the one I crossed out in the above image) is actually part of the Missing Wings gene, and should be highlighted when you mouse over THAT instead. There are really only 3 pairs of alleles in the Wings gene: the first one, and the two in the second highlighted group.

The first pair is what determines whether your dog has wings or not. Wings are a simple recessive trait: if both alleles in that pair are recessive ("aa"), the dog will have wings; if one or both alleles are dominant ("Aa," "aA," or "AA"), the dog will not have wings.

The two pairs of alleles in the second group are what determine the type of wings your dog has (or what type of wings it WOULD have had, if it doesn't have any). That Reddit post I mentioned explained this part in great detail, but I'll summarize it here:

If both pairs contain at least one dominant allele ("AAAA," "AaAa," etc.), the dog's wings will be the Insect type.

If the first pair is homozygous recessive but the second pair contains at least one dominant allele ("aaAA," "aaAa," or "aaaA"), the dog's wings will be the Bat type.

If the first pair is homozygous dominant and the second pair is homozygous recessive ("AAaa"), the dog's wings will be the Fluffy type.

If the first pair is hererozygous and the second pair is homozygous recessive ("Aaaa" or "aAaa"), the dog's wings will be the Paradise type.

If all 4 alleles are recessive ("aaaa"), the dog's wings will be the Vulture type.An interesting side note here: Because the Paradise wing type depends on that first pair being heterozygous, Paradise wings are "unstable" across generations: If you breed two Paradise-winged dogs together, only half their puppies will have Paradise wings! The other half will have an even mix of either Fluffy or Vulture wings. Keep that in mind if you're specifically trying to breed Paradise-winged dogs.

The Missing Wings Gene

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I told you before that the in-game highlight for Wings was incorrect, right? Well, part of the highlighted sequence for Wings properly belongs here. When you mouse over "Missing Wings" on the Genetic Breakdown screen, you'll see just one pair of alleles highlighted, but the pair right before it is also technically part of this gene and not the Wings gene. (Whether the devs will go back and fix any of these errors now that they've said they're done updating the game is anyone's guess.)

In order for your dog to have a missing wing, two things must be true: 1.) That first pair (the one accidentally included in the Wings gene) must be homozygous recessive ("aa"); and 2.) the second (highlighted) pair must NOT be heterozygous ("Aa" or "aA").

If the first (unhighlighted) pair is homozygous recessive and the second pair is homozygous dominant (so the whole group looks like "aaAA"), your dog will be missing its left wing; if both pairs are homozygous recessive ("aaaa"), your dog will be missing its right wing.

This means that if you breed a dog that is missing its left wing with a dog that is missing its right wing, ALL the puppies in the first generation will have 2 wings! To get missing wings to reappear, pick any two of those for crossbreeding: 50% of the next generation of puppies will have two wings, 25% will have only a left wing, and 25% will have only a right wing. (I figured this out while trying to breed an all-recessive dog; my efforts were repeatedly stymied by the reemergence of 2-winged puppies from 1-winged parents, until I figured out that having that second pair heterozygous would override the first pair being homozygous recessive.)

The Horn Style Gene

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The Horn Style gene doesn't determine whether a dog has horns, or what type of horns it has; its only function is to determine whether those horns are "Standard" style (one in front of each ear) or "Centered" style (a single horn on the forehead like a unicorn). (I actually haven't figured out the workings of the Horns gene yet, but will amend this guide if I ever manage it.)

This is another one where the mouseover highlight is misleading. When you mouse over "Horn Style," you'll see two separate pairs of alleles highlighted; the first pair is correct, but the second pair is part of the Horns gene (at least, I assume so; it gets highlighted when you mouse over "Horns" as well as "Horn Style," which was the big red flag that led me to question gene highlights in the first place).

The TRUE Horn Style gene is the first highlighted pair of alleles and the unhighlighted pair immediately after it. (In fact, that second pair is NEVER highlighted, no matter what gene you're attempting to view!)

These two pairs behave a bit oddly, and the readout on the Genetic Breakdown screen that describes the dog's horn style as "Standard" or "Centered" behaves oddly, too - it doesn't always reflect what the dog's horns actually look like! As far as I've been able to determine, the rules for this gene's behavior are thus:

The second, unhighlighted pair determines whether your dog's horns CAN be Centered. If it's homozygous recessive ("aa"), your dog is able to have a Centered horn, and the Genetic Breakdown screen will tell you that it does...even if your dog LOOKS like it has Standard-style horns. Weird, I know, but bear with me here.

The first pair (the leftmost one that gets highlighted when you mouse over "Horn Style") determines whether your dog's horns actually LOOK centered. Strangely, in order for your dog to visually have a centered horn, this pair has to be homozygous dominant ("AA"); if it contains even one recessive allele, the dog's horns will appear to be Standard-style (a horn in front of each ear), even if the Genetic Breakdown readout says "Horn Style: Centered."This gene represents one of two instances I've found in which recessive alleles can override dominant alleles. It's also the ONLY instance I've found in which the verbal description in the Genetic Breakdown screen doesn't necessarily match the visible traits of the dog.

The Pattern Style Gene

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The Pattern Style gene determines whether your dog has a pattern, and what type of pattern it has.

This gene is short but confusing. The highlight is definitely correct this time, but there are so many freaking RULES to this one that I haven't quite worked out how to summarize it succinctly. Hopefully my description of it here will make sense.

There are only 3 pairs of alleles in the Pattern Style gene. The first two determine pattern type (Splotches, Stripes, or Repeating; the various subtypes of the Repeating pattern are not determined by the genetic code), but they also have a hand in determining whether or not the dog has a pattern at all, which is otherwise the job of the third pair.

The third pair is what I call the "pattern lockout" pair: if it's homozygous dominant ("AA"), your dog is "locked out" from having a pattern, no matter what the first two pairs are. Weirdly, the recessive alleles behave like dominant alleles here, because if even one recessive allele is present, your dog MAY have a pattern...if the first two pairs also allow it.

The first two pairs interact in baffling ways to determine not only what type of pattern your dog has, but also whether it actually DOES or not. The rules I've been able to determine thus far are:

For the Splotches pattern type, the second pair has to be heterozygous ("Aa" or "aA"). If it is, and the "pattern lockout" pair allows for a pattern, your dog WILL have the Splotches pattern, regardless of what the first pair looks like.

For the Stripes pattern type, the first pair has to be homozygous recessive ("aa"), and the second pair CANNOT be heterozygous (if it is, you end up with Splotches instead). "aaAA" and "aaaa" are the only two combinations that give Stripes.

For the Repeating pattern type, the first pair must contain at least one dominant allele (otherwise you get Stripes), and the second pair must be homozygous recessive. "AAaa," "Aaaa," and "aAaa" are the only combinations that give a Repeating pattern.

Anything that doesn't fit the above 3 rules will not have a pattern, even if its "pattern lockout" pair allows for one. "AAAA," "AaAA," and "aAAA" all result in no pattern, regardless of the third pair.I have yet to see a dog break one of the above rules, so I think I have it all figured out; the Pattern Style gene is just way more complicated than its 6 measly alleles would let on.

Side note: I mentioned that the Repeating pattern type has subtypes, right? There are 5 of them (the wiki[wobbledogs.fandom.com] calls them Spots, Circles, Hearts, Leopard, and Arcade), and which one your dog has isn't determined by its dominant/recessive alleles; in fact, it can actually change from one subtype to another when the dog pupates, which is something allele-based traits can't do. As far as I can tell, there's no way to control which Repeating subtype your dog will have as it grows; whether it changes seems like just a function of random mutations from gut flora and/or petting cocoons.

Other Genes

The remaining 6 genes in the Wobbledog genome (Eyes, Nose, Mouth, Ears, Horns, and Tail) are a bit too long and complex for me to easily figure out on my own. The only things I've managed to determine for sure are what phenotypes (physical traits) correspond to a fully dominant or fully recessive genotype (pattern of dominant and recessive alleles) for each of those genes - you will see those in the next section of this guide.

As for the rest, I've managed to form a few vague theories about specific bits, but nowhere near enough to make a comprehensive guide. A few examples of things I've noticed:

The "Tilted" ear type seems to depend on the first pair in the Ears gene (the isolated one on the upper line) being heterozygous

Having the first section of the Eyes gene start and end with homozygous recessive pairs may possibly cause your dog's eyes to be the "Double" type (at least, it definitely helps)

The "Hex" eye type seems to require at least one dominant allele in the fourth pair of the Eyes gene

The "Wedge" nose type seems to require at least one dominant allele in the last pair of the Nose gene

The "Flowy" tail type seems to require at least one dominant allele in the last pair of the Tail gene.Not much help, I know. These were just patterns I noticed while working on my greatest creations: a pair of very special dogs I call Yin and Yang. I'll give you their codes in the next section, so you can do some genetic experiments of your own!

Two Very Special Dog Codes (and One That's Not)

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At some point while I was doing the hard work of decoding the Wobbledog genome and figuring out the info in the above sections, I had a crazy idea: If I could somehow get my hands on a dog whose entire genome was all dominant alleles, and another dog whose entire genome was all recessive alleles, I could breed dogs with ANY possible trait in the game! And because I am an unemployed autistic woman with WAY too much time on my hands, I decided to actually try and create those two perfect dogs.

After wasting 3 weeks of my life (yes, really), I finally succeeded in fulfilling my dream! I present to you my magnum opus: Yin and Yang!

YangYang (age 35 minutes) looks a bit like Randy, apart from his pointy ears and lack of visible mouth. He was the easier of the pair to create, since default dogs start out with most of their alleles dominant. Yang is special: ALL 126 of his alleles are dominant! His Genetic Breakdown screen:

And his code:


YinYin took literally WEEKS of effort to breed. She's 35 minutes old just like Yang, but that's where the similarities end: she is a horned, striped, four-headed, four-tailed, six-legged, one-winged freak of nature, and ALL BUT 8 of her alleles are recessive. (Those 8 dominant alleles are in her Missing Legs gene, which is why she has all her legs. I had to raise over 100 dogs to breeding age to create Yin, and caring for legless dogs is obnoxious, so forgive me for not wanting to deal with dozens of them.)


Yin's code:


Breeding the above two dogs with each other will let you see any and all types of parts. Their puppies (actually their grand-puppies - you'll need to crossbreed at least once) can have ANY type of eyes, nose, ears, mouth, voice, pattern, tail, wings, or horns in the entire game! Never seen a dog with a unicorn horn? Try breeding Yin with Yang, and you probably will (though maybe not on the first try)! Want a dog with angel wings? Maybe you'll get one, maybe you won't! But you certainly could! With Yin and Yang as your starting parents, you'll never get the same puppy twice!

I think I might be the only person to have ever done this craziness. Enjoy the fruits of my labor!

...Oh, and if you really MUST have a dog with missing legs, you can have my original worm dog, Oleg:

His code:

F=9F<:;Ba4BBcUBa:b;91:a462029^9195BB^19.0Ba8335CC;<a^29F8ABE91e7lCCBFCA62c^C4332a2^1AD50a3:8939F2AAa9FC5Oa34F5F84B14C2d1aA;bF533=2:ED;;Ab1F7C<5CA2D<ld<3=cb1=23;b5C418a5c2BF1=^34;723D=4LTECC.F26FEFE430C6FCB81FFAFAFb:E86bA^11EFa^:D799<1^B0304814b8g8e^012180BFCDCC31F893AB00^BF9A6C6D;5A3B47BF56F17D07b;7b1F82A93AA1aAC7COleg is completely legless, though he DOES have wings, which makes him a bit more capable of moving around than most worm dogs. FYI, if you import him twice and breed the two copies together, you're guaranteed a litter of no-legged puppies! Because genetics!

Acknowledgements And Misc.

The vast majority of the above information is my own original work; as far as I know, I'm the only Wobbledogs player who has gone out of her way to really demystify the genetics aspect of the game.

I was inspired to do so after finding the Reddit post about wing genetics that I mentioned earlier - the post's author, Reddit user CrayZblu, gets the credit for working out how the last two pairs of the Wings gene function.

And more indirectly, I benefited from the hard work of others in the form of various guides and other sources of information scattered about the internet. Some of my most frequent references:

The Wobbledogs wiki[wobbledogs.fandom.com] , which contains all manner of useful info about every aspect of the game EXCEPT genetics.

This Steam guide by aran, and this other Steam guide by Destiny, which together helped me abuse the game's built-in command console to do things like calm down unpettable dogs, get loads of extra eggs for breeding, and instantly age my dogs up to their next pupation so that I could accomplish what I did in 3 weeks instead of 3 months.

Last but not least, I obviously have to thank Tom Astle and the other brilliant people who created Wobbledogs for making such a delightful game that I spent 160+ hours of my life doing basically the same thing over and over and still had a smile on my face the entire time.

Update History4/14/2024: Finished the first version of this guide.

Source: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=3221747228					

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