Welcome to the world of breeding in Petz! This guide will serve as an overview of the game's mechanics regarding breeding as well as techniques you can use to get started breeding your own personal lines. Let's begin.
Let's start from the beginning. In Petz, male and female adult pets are able to fall in love and produce offspring. With Nicholas Sherlock's PetzA utility, users can skip the "fall in love" part and breed on command. Pets of the same breed will produce purebred offspring, while pets of different breeds will produce mixed breed offspring. In addition, the offspring may have mutations, allowing for many different color combinations outside of the standard Adoption Center (AC) variations! Once you start mixing breeds, the possibilities are virtually endless.
There's also a fun little glitch where, on rare occasions, a pet's gender can be something other than male (0) or female (1), and that pet will appear as female but have the ability to breed with female pets.
PETZ GENETICS 101
The most crucial mechanic to understand in Petz breeding is, without a doubt, genetics. Each pet, whether it's from the AC or was bred, carries two sets of appearance genetics. Let's call them Set 1 and Set 2. You can view these sets via my GenePoolz utility, available on my Downloads page.
You may think that these would correspond to "dominant" and "recessive" genes, but P.F. Magic must've thought that was too logical, because a pet's LNZ code will often reflect a mix of traits from both sets. Take this 2nd-generation Sheepdog/Chihuahua mix, for example:
As you can see, Set 1 contains strictly sheepdog body parts, while Set 2 contains strictly chihuahua body parts. However, the dog's LNZ shows a mix of traits (sheepdog ears, chihuahua head, sheepdog body, chihuahua tail, sheepdog legs, chihuahua feet, and chihuahua coat).
In addition to body parts, there are also scales, markings, and colors. Let's go over these one by one.
These affect various sizes of your pet, and it's the mechanic behind so-called "shorties" (low leg extension) or "minis" (low default scales). This is also the reason that minis look so small -- a Chihuahua with a Default Scale of 100 will look fine, but a Dalmatian with that same scale will appear much smaller due to the fact that their LNZ was intended for a larger scale. Likewise, a Chihuahua with a Default Scale of 150 will appear huge and bug-eyed (like in the image above).
Each pet has two "slots" for potential markings. These include things such as dalmatian spots and mutt patches. The Marking Factor controls how much of the marking is showing (fun fact, you can put a [Marking Factor] section in a breedfile LNZ with a number between 0-100, and all pets that come out of the AC will have that marking factor). A low marking factor causes things like spotlacking dalmatians. Because there are only two slots, a dog CANNOT simultaneously display a combination such as mutt markings, dalmatian spots, and a dane face patch without brexing.
Pets carry five coat colors, one eye color, and one eyelid color per genetic set. The order of the coat colors dictates the order in which those colors will present themselves. For example, color 1 is the base coat color (cream on our chihuahua above), while color 2 is the color of the dog's halfie mark/poodle socks/etc. These correspond to the "FurColorTrait" values from the [Fur Color Areas] section in the breed's LNZ.
In addition, only certain colors can pass down for each color category.
A pet's coat, eyelid, and eye colors also have the ability to mutate. This is not a rare phenomenon, as there will usually be some mutation after breeding a few offspring. However, the mutation is random, so breeding for a specific color may prove tedious.
A rare glitch may cause your pet to display a color not found anywhere in its genome, so if a pet seems to absolutely refuse to pass down one of its physical colors, that may be why.
When a pet is generated via the AC, it comes with its own personal genetic thumbprint. This is a randomly generated number between 0 and 65,535 inclusive (though it cannot be 1) and it controls what combination of variations the pet has for its breed. For example, while a dalmatian can have many possible spots coded in the breedfile, this value controls which combination of spots an individual dalmatian will have. This allows the dalmatian to pass on its exact spot pattern genetically. The same rules apply to things like sheepdog tails, meaning the genetic thumbprint dictates whether a sheepdog will have a poof tail or a bob tail, and will only pass that variation on genetically. The downside is that a breed can only have a maximum of 65,535 different combinations of variations, so if your dream was to bring all 309 septillion possible dalmatians together for one big jamboree, I'm afraid that's not going to happen.
Not that it matters much, but because there are 65,535 different possible thumbprints, and they never mutate, you could potentially identify the original AC pet that passed down its trait(s) through the ages.
Want to breed your own lines but aren't sure where to start? This is the section for you. It's going to require time, patience, effort, and dedication, but the results will be your own personal line tailored to your exact liking.
CHOOSE A BREED
First, you're going to want to start off by selecting the breed your line will be. Technically, the breed is just the head shape, so a dalmatian head on a full sheepdog body is still a dalmatian. Simply adopt a pet of that breed from the AC. This is your starter.
CHOOSE STARTING TRAITS (OPTIONAL)
If there are any traits that you simply must have on most/all of your line's descendants (for example, mutt patches), this is the time to do it. The process is fairly simple.
Step 1: Adopt a pet from the AC with the desired trait(s). If the trait you want has many variations, this is your opportunity to customize them. For example, if you want a face patch and chest patch from the mutt, just keep bringing out mutts until you find one that suits your criteria. This is your auxiliary starter.
Step 2: Breed your starter with your auxiliary starter until you get an offspring with your starter's breed and your auxiliary's trait(s).
Step 3: Breed this offspring with your starter until you get another offspring with your starter's breed and your auxiliary's trait(s).
Step 4: Repeat step 3 as many times as necessary. The goal is to breed out unwanted body parts, etc. For example, if your starting breed is dalmatian and you want mutt markings, you'll want to keep breeding until the offspring's genome contains only dalmatian traits except for one of the marking slots, which should be mutt with a factor of 100. GenePoolz, available on my Downloads page, can assist you with this process.
Once you complete step 4, the resulting pet will be the founder of your line.
CHOOSE THE DESIRED TRAITS FROM DIFFERENT BREEDS
It may help to write these down for organization's sake. You're going to want to choose all the traits from different breeds that you want to incorporate into your line. Once you've done that, simply adopt a pet with that trait from the AC and breed it with your founder. The same technique as the previous section applies.
Some general ideas for different traits include:
You're going to want to have many different pets, each having one trait from another breed. So, for example, you have one dog with dane ears, another dog with scottie ears, another dog with a sheepdog tail, another dog with a poodle coat... etc. These will make up your breeding party.
THE FUN PART
Now that you have a breeding party, you can start having fun and mixing them together. Congratulations, you have your own personal breeding line!