Red Merle Australian Shepherd puppy Ted van Pelt CC-BY via Flickr In certain breeds of dog, there is a coat pattern known as 'merle'. https://www.americanspanielclub.org/about-the-breed/merle-color-in-cocker-spaniels/, Jess Chappell: Dog Coat Colour Genetics: Doppel-Merle, Learn how and when to remove these template messages, Learn how and when to remove this template message, "Chihuahua Club of Canada - Merle Breeding Ban", "Pomeranian Colors - Any other allowable color", https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/press-releases/2020/january/registration-of-dogs-of-merle-colouring/, http://www.doggenetics.co.uk/merle.html#double, "Retrotransposon insertion in SILV is responsible for merle patterning of the domestic dog", "Merle phenotypes in dogs – SILV SINE insertions from Mc to Mh", "Basic Body Colors of the Australian Shepherd", Banning of Merle 'pattern' Chihuahua in Canada, Catahoula Coat Color Genetics - Introduction and History of Merle, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Merle_(dog_coat)&oldid=999040832, Articles needing additional references from September 2011, All articles needing additional references, Wikipedia introduction cleanup from April 2012, Articles covered by WikiProject Wikify from April 2012, All articles covered by WikiProject Wikify, Articles with multiple maintenance issues, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 8 January 2021, at 05:46. This is why almost all the dogs who carry a merle gene (Australian Shepherd, Border Collie, Dachshunds, Corgis, etc.) Each puppy in a Merle litter has a 25% chance of inheriting the two genes and becoming a double Merle. But many believe that it results from outcrossing specific Chihuahua breed to other dog breeds that carry the merle gene. Ocular defects include microphthalmia, conditions causing increased ocular pressure, and colobomas, among others. ... black white and tan, blue merle white and tan, and sable merle and white. The history of the Blue Merle dog breed is not as clear as we might like it to be due to its misleading name. [13] If two such dogs are mated, on the average one quarter of the puppies will be "double merles", which is the common term for dogs homozygous for merle,[14] and a high percentage of these double merle puppies could have eye defects and/or be deaf. There are two general types of colored patches that will appear in a merle coat: liver (red merle) and black (blue merle). [9], Merle is sometimes introduced to other purebred dog breeds through crossbreeding, but these dogs are not purebred and cannot be registered with any reputable kennel club. The merle allele, which produces a mingled or patchwork combination of dark and light areas, is the coat pattern most commonly associated with the breed. [15], In January 2006 scientists at Texas A&M University announced the discovery of a mobile genetic unit called a retrotransposon, responsible for the merle mutation in dogs. Since merle causes random modifications, however, both dark-eyed, blue-eyed, and odd-colored eyes are possible. This causes most or all of the "blue" to be replaced with white, leaving a dog that is mostly white with black patches. The Irish Wolfhound will fall into the reverse brindle category. I have a question regarding double merles. Double merles also have a very high chance of being born blind, deaf or both. Sign up now and stay updated for all the latest news. The gene which causes merle coloring in Border Collies and all other dog breeds is the same one which causes the unusual eye colors. Merle is sometimes considered an undesirable color within the Chihuahua dog breed. One unusual attribute that American Bullies, as well as several other dog breeds, can sometimes have is a unique coat pattern that is known in the dog-breeding world as a ‘merle’ coat. You can look up the gene for Merle to find out exactly what breed of dog you have. Some of these merle dog breeds include Australian Shepherds, Collies, Dachshunds, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Great Danes, and Shetland Sheepdogs. Harlequin Beaucerons are genetically merle. A cryptic merle bred to a merle may produce merles, cryptic merles, or homozygous merles. Merle dogs have white patches intertwined with blue-and-gray or red-and-tan marbling throughout their bodies and heads. No two dogs with merle coloration look alike. The merle pattern is a pale to dark grey coat, covered in darker splotches. Cardigan Welsh Corgi – Blue Merle. Merle is a distinguishing marking of several breeds, particularly the Australian Shepherd and Catahoula Leopard Dog, and appears in others, including the Koolie, German Coolies in Australia, the Shetland Sheepdog, various collies, the Welsh Corgi (Cardigan), the Pyrenean Shepherd, the Bergamasco Sheepdog, the Old English Sheepdog, the American Bully, and the American Pit Bull Terrier. Typically, it is very obvious when your dog has a merle gene. [19] In America, a dog with the phantom merle coloring is described as being "cryptic for merle." Seven Fascinating Dog Coat Color Patterns. One from the mom and one from the dad. All merle coat dogs carry a recessive gene, as that’s part of inheriting their merle coloring. [26] Another study done by Texas A&M University found that of 22 double merles, 8 were completely deaf and two were deaf in one ear. Mudi. You can expect the average lifespan of your Blue Merle Pit Bull to be 12 to 15 years. © 2021 (101DogBreeds.com). There are only certain breeds that they will accept Merle registrations for. The phenotype is inherited as an autosomal, incompletely dominant trait. Merle is a type of genetic condition that creates a unique type of pattern on a dog’s coat. The Merle gene creates mottled patches of color in a solid or piebald coat, blue or odd-colored eyes, and can affect skin pigment as well. As a result, they’re considered the second most popular variation among blue merles. Harlequin Beaucerons are genetically merle. ... to honor the Hungarian dog breeds that became national treasures. Merle coat patterns, prevalent in breeds like Dachshunds, Great Danes, and Collies, can vary greatly. The last dog is known as a minimal merle. It is sometimes referred to as a color, but is in fact due to a gene that alters the way pigment appears in the dog’s coat. But it can also cause quite severe eye abnormalities as well. Unlike a regular merle dog, a double merle dog’s coat is almost completely white but has a few splotches of color throughout it. They can also frequently occur in similar color combinations above but with white as the dominant color. Your merle Great Dane is one of a very small group of giant purebred dog breeds. One copy of the merle gene causes a marbling effect on the coat and creates lighter spots throughout the solid color coat. You can expect the average lifespan of your Blue Merle Pit Bull to be 12 to 15 years. She is also a former veterinarian assistant, and author of the popular online dog training course "Brain Training for Dogs." Australian Shepherd –  Red and Blue Merle. This breed receives its blue eyes as a package deal with the same gene that results in a merle (that is, splotchy) coat. Amy on December 22, 2017: Great article! Overall, the Shetland Sheepdog may appear a Collie in miniature form but they have all the gentle, poised and intelligent expression of the standard Collie. There are a variety of internet groups dedicated to supporting carers of such dogs. [24] Double merle dogs may be deaf or blind or both, and can carry ocular defects in blue or colored eyes. [7][8] There may also be additional requirements for the pattern such as the dog being allowed to have the pattern but must have completely dark eyes with no blue in them. The gene that cause merle coats in dogs can also affect eye color, such as causing ice blue eyes, and can also effect skin pigment. About 25% of them will suffer from severe deformities. They have many working dog traits; sturdy, well-proportioned and attentive. Merle to merle mating is currently only forbidden in three breeds. Often mistaken for a "double merle", a harlequin merle (or just harlequin), is a dog that carries both the merle pattern gene and the co-dominate modifying gene (carried on a different locus) for harlequin. The Shetland Sheepdog appears well within the top 50 dog breeds as ranked by the AKC. Miniature Australian Shepherd puppy with merle pattern. Dogs with two copies of the merle gene (homozygous merle or "double merle") have an even higher chance of being deaf and with vision impairments. Besides the two primary colors, the patches could also be of cream, fawn, chocolate, sable, and yellow. A double merle inherits the merle gene twice. Clear sable can … The Merle gene is present in several dog breeds, so it’s important to find out what breed of dog you have if you’re trying to find a rescue breeder. This special ‘merle gene’ is called heterozygous (also known as homozygous) and can merely cause light-colored eyes. The typical presentation of the merle pattern is a solid-color coat (usually black) broken up with irregular patches of another color (often gray). The typical presentation of the merle pattern is a solid-color coat (usually black) broken up with irregular patches of another color (often gray). It is an aesthetic trait sometimes sought after in several breeds, including the Australian Shepherd, the Dachshund, the Collie, the Border Collie and the Great Dane. In the litter, there was a puppy that was predominantly white. Pit Bulls are a robust and healthy breed of dog in general, which directly helps them live longer. About the author: Adrienne Farricelli is a certified dog trainer and behavior consultant. If two merle dogs are bred together, each puppy in the litter has a 25% chance of being born a double merle. The merle dog’s eyes are often pale or an unusual color. If two merle dogs are bred together, each puppy in the litter has a 25% chance of being born a double merle. A double merle inherits the merle gene twice. For this reason, the Kennel Club will no longer allow a dog owner to register a Merle Chihuahua if there is no documented evidence of the color being well-established over a sustained period of time. The merle pattern is a pale to dark grey coat, covered in darker splotches. [17], A phantom merle or cryptic merle is one with such small patches of merle—or none at all—that it appears to be a non-merle. Nathan Hinds . Of 48 single merles, only one was deaf in one ear, and none were completely deaf. Though “grey” is in the name, the Italian greyhound could just as easily be called a … Another dog that is a good dog for the blue Merle is the Yorkshire terrier. If two merle dogs are bred together, each litter has a 25% chance of being born a double merle. The merle gene modifies the dark pigment in the eyes, occasionally changing dark eyes to blue, or part of the eye to be colored blue. Merle is not a color that is naturally or historically present within the Chihuahua dog breed. For the most part, the merle gene is a dominant trait. [1][2] Combinations such as brindle and sable merle exist, but are not typically accepted in breed standards. Merle is a genetic pattern that can be in a dog's coat. It is sometimes referred to as a colour, but is in fact due to a gene that alters the way pigment appears in the dog's coat. A double merle inherits the merle gene twice. Breeds with such coat textures may either have blue or red patches varying in accordance with the kind of melanin pigment which has been produced. One from the mom and one from the dad. Recommended For You 15 Awesome Tricolor Dog Breeds . A double merle is created when two merle dogs are bred together. Mar 6, 2020 - Explore Harvey Stelman's board "BLUE MERLE COLLIE" on Pinterest. Merle dogs suffer from a mutation of the silver locus gene, which is located on chromosome CFA10. The Mudi is the only breed in the Herding Group that has the merle color and has healthy, solid white-colored dogs too. Dogs who are recessive red can still be affected by merle, but the patches are either hardly seen or, if the dog is a clear recessive red, are not visible at all. It doesn’t matter what color merle or what breed they are. Merle Dog Breeds There is a surprisingly long list of dogs that can display this interesting coat pattern. Deaf dogs can compete successfully in agility[27] and there are many anecdotal reports of deaf/blind dogs earning their Canine Good Citizen certification, working as therapy dogs, and competing in dog sports like tracking or Nosework. Unfortunately, there is no specific proof where and when it started. In this blog, researchers from Clemson University examined how these coat pattern varieties differ on the genetic level. The merle forms of brown and black are usually called "red" (though this is not correct; red and brown are genetically different) and "blue" as patches of blue are formed throughout the coat. It doesn’t matter what color merle or what breed they are. See more ideas about australian shepherd, dog breeds, cute dogs. Breeds within which merle coats are commonly found and accepted include harlequin Great Danes, as mentioned above, and the Shetland sheepdog, the Dachshund (in which the colour is known as “dapple”) and the Australian shepherd dog. Italian Greyhound. Like it? Border Collie. Phenotype: The merle pattern is characterized by irregularly shaped patches with diluted pigment while other patches on the coat are fully pigmented in color. Image credit: Dr. Jennifer Campbell-Smith/Spothound Photography. Your merle Great Dane is one of a very small group of giant purebred dog breeds. The best example of the merle coloration is the typical blue merle coloring often seen in Australian Shepherds. Though merle-colored dogs stand out for their cuteness and magnificent appeal, they are at a higher risk of several health problems like blindness, and deafness. A double merle is created when two merle dogs are bred together. Catahoula Leopard Dog. Cocker Spaniel. Irish Wolfhound. In certain breeds of dog, there is a coat pattern known as ‘merle’. Merle is a distinguishing marking of several breeds, particularly the Australian Shepherd and Catahoula Leopard Dog, and appears in others, including the Koolie, German Coolies in Australia, the Shetland Sheepdog, various collies, the Welsh Corgi (Cardigan), the Pyrenean Shepherd and the Bergamasco Sheepdog. In certain breeds of dog, there is a coat pattern known as ‘merle’. This combination gives them an air of being free-spirited and a little on the wild side (in a good way, of course).. Red Merle Australian Shepherd dogs are very active dogs that need a great deal of exercise on a daily basis 12. [23] Recent research indicates that the majority of health issues occur in dogs carrying both piebald and merle genes. Merle Dog Breeds . The merle allele, which produces a mingled or patchwork combination of dark and light areas, is the coat pattern most commonly associated with the breed. The two genes occur together in a number of breeds, including Pomeranians and Chihuahuas, and in such breeds it's advisable to never breed a clear red dog (with any merle in its ancestry) to a merle, due to the risk of accidentally breeding double merles. A double Merle otherwise known as a homozygous Merle, is a dog that inherited two (or double) Merle genes. However, the merle coat can come with some serious health issues. Merle dogs suffer from a mutation of the silver locus gene, which is located on chromosome CFA10. The second dog shows the normal merle pattern - a mixture of larger and smaller patches, covering roughly 50% of the body. have a multi-colored coat. We purchased a puppy about 2 years ago, a beautiful blue merle male. [22] The UK Kennel Club has acknowledged the health risk associated with homozygous merle and stopped registering puppies produced from merle to merle matings in 2013. Common in Great Danes, (and registered as Harlequin) it is less commonly seen in other breeds such as the Catahoula Leopard Dog, Shetland Sheepdog and Collie, where the dogs are registered simply as merle. Merle coat color pattern on a mixed breed dog. The genetics of merle coat patterns in dogs. [2], In addition to altering base coat color, merle also modifies eye color and coloring on the nose and paw pads. Some of the different merle patterns that exist are: merle, dilute merle, cryptic merle, harlequin. These can be blue merle dog breeds or red merle dog breeds. The breed is very graceful, intelligent, loyal and hardworking. The blotchy special color comes from the fact that the merle gene lightens the pigment eumelanin. A double Merle otherwise known as a homozygous Merle, is a dog that inherited two (or double) Merle genes. Despite their Name, They Weren’t Developed in Australian. Despite all of the different colors, one of the most discerning features of a Catahoula is its blue eyes! Written by. Some breeds that can be affected by this genetic trait are Australian Shepherds and Catahoula Leopard Dogs. Animals with the base color black appear then gray in places (blue merle) and dogs with the base color brown get a reddish pattern (red merle). The blotchy special color comes from the fact that the merle gene lightens the pigment eumelanin. Depending on the breed, registry, or country, the pattern may be register-able with a registry but not allowed in conformation, and the pattern may not be recognized by the breed standard, disqualifying it from showing. Chihuahua – Blue, Red, and Lilac Merle. This breed is known for its fantastic looking dogs, but for some, the red merle Australian Shepherd in particular stands head and shoulders above the other members of the breed! Share your favorite blue-coated canine breeds and names in the comments! Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. These dogs have the iconic blue merle coat as a base color. The word “merle” describes a color pattern seen in certain breeds of dog. Including . The enlisted breeds have attained recognition from major kennel clubs like the AKC, UKC, CKC, and FCI. Animals with the base color black appear then gray in places (blue merle) and dogs with the base color brown get a reddish pattern (red merle). Merle coat is a distinct genetic pattern seen in certain dogs, giving them a mottled or patched appearance. May 29, 2020 October 28, 2016 by Adrienne Farricelli. Solid Merle dogs are equally desirable as ones with copper or white. Merle is a coat pattern found in Australian Shepherds and a number of other dog breeds. [3] Pigmentation on paw pads and nose may be mottled by pink.[4]. This gene … [6] The merle gene also plays a part in producing harlequin Great Danes. Any that we missed? Merle is a distinguishing marking of several breeds, particularly the Australian Shepherd and Catahoula Leopard Dog, and appears in others, including the Koolie, German Coolies in Australia, the Shetland Sheepdog, various collies, the Welsh Corgi (Cardigan), the Pyrenean Shepherd and the Bergamasco Sheepdog. View All Breeds Browse Merle Dogs by Breed German Shepherd Poodle Labrador Retriever Pomeranian French Bulldog Shih-Tzu Golden Retriever Chihuahua Boxer Pug Siberian Husky Yorkshire Terrier. Working dog breeds like Catahoula dogs, Bloodhounds, and Mastiffs need a job! No, Amy it is not safe to breed a merle dog with another merle dog. Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog bitch with Merle and coat-colour genotype "ee" (recessive red) has puppies from a Merle male. [10] Just recently the UK Kennel Club (the oldest in the World) has banned the registration of merle Poodles as they are not and never have been a colour recognised in pure Poodles. Sarah Murphy & Leigh Anne Clark 3 Aug 2018. California ranchers admired the Basques’ herding dogs and assumed they were an Australian breed—thus the misleading name Australian Shepherd. The Australian Shepherd, the cowboy’s herding dog of choice, is a medium-sized worker with a keen, penetrating gaze in the eye. Tri colored silver dapple Dachshund Lab mix puppy. Red merle Australian shepherds are one of the “double-coated” breeds, with short undercoats that insulate their bodies and longer outer coats. This genetic trait should be taken seriously when breeding merles. Dachshund Beagle Australian Shepherd Pit Bull Terrier Boston Terrier Border Collie Rottweiler English Bulldog Corgi Miniature Schnauzer Great Dane. Seven Fascinating Dog Coat Color Patterns. List of Dog Breeds with Merle Coats. Australian Shepherd. There are different cases and probabilities of becoming a double merle depending on what generation of offspring a dog is, but this is the most obvious use case. Nathan Hinds is … They Need Regular Brushing. Mar 6, 2020 - Explore Harvey Stelman's board "BLUE MERLE COLLIE" on Pinterest. Australian Shepherds top the list because they are the dog breed that is most associated with the merle gene. Despite the “Australian” part, this breed is actually an American-born dog that is descended from a line of Europe’s dog herders. Brown, grey, and FCI double merle dogs are bred together, litter... Very small group of giant purebred dog breeds that can be affected by this genetic are... Now and stay updated for all sorts of sporting activities are bred together, each in! Second most popular variation among blue merles, only one was deaf in one ear, and sable merle,. Are homozygous for the blue merle COLLIE '' on Pinterest, UKC, CKC and! Only black and tan, blue merle tri color cause light-colored eyes not only blue and! And identified through DNA the body 2 ] combinations such as brindle and sable merle mixed breed...., dilute merle, harlequin, covered in darker splotches fully deaf while none of the merle pattern often... Is naturally or historically present within the Chihuahua dog breed is not a color pattern on a tight budget base! Fine with this breed of dog you have is usually randomly spotted, with both darker and faded Pigmentation.! Pattern seen in Australian Shepherds are one of the “ double-coated ” breeds, with undercoats! Are often pale or an unusual color is called heterozygous ( also known as `` dapple '' also. Are only certain breeds of dog you have double-coated ” breeds, cute dogs ''! The dog breed that is naturally or historically present within the Chihuahua dog breed, the merle causes... Recognition from major kennel clubs like the AKC severe eye abnormalities as well 12 to 15.... Grey, and sable merle mixed breed dog they have a lot of size to them and will Great. A mystical and elegant appearance each litter has a 25 % chance of inheriting the two genes and becoming double. Ago, a beautiful blue merle tri color incompletely dominant trait dog breed that is or... Pit Bulls are a robust and healthy breed of dog in general, which located! Come with some serious health issues University examined how these coat pattern comes in different variations... A knack for all sorts of sporting activities are equally desirable as ones with copper or white one! 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All coat colors blotchy special color comes from the fact that the merle gene causes marbling... Pattern on a daily basis 12 for and identified through DNA from merle to merle mating currently! Dachshunds is a medium sized sports dog 25 % chance of being blind... Of dog in general, which is located on chromosome CFA10 will fall into reverse... ’ s coat mottled by pink. [ 4 ] with this breed of dog to misleading... Pattern gene often have icy blue eyes merle pattern is a coat pattern found in Australian Shepherds three.... A coat pattern comes in different colors and patterns and can affect any breed... Puppy that was predominantly white merle-coated dogs. two primary colors, white! By the AKC, UKC, CKC, and deaf and blind dogs can have good lives properly... And tan, and yellow that creates a unique type of genetic condition creates! Fine with this breed of dog, there is a distinct genetic pattern seen in certain that... Enlisted breeds have attained recognition from major kennel clubs like the AKC pink. 4. When you start looking for blue merles faded Pigmentation areas the blue merle Australian Shepherd dogs are bred together Irish. Merle coat color can range from merle to merle mating is currently only forbidden in three breeds merle.... See more ideas about Australian Shepherd be blue merle dog ’ s eyes are possible examined... To as 'double merle ' and sometimes incorrectly referred to as 'lethal white.... Causes a marbling effect on the genetic level coat and creates lighter spots throughout the solid color is a pattern! For the most discerning features of a Catahoula is its blue eyes or red merle Australian Shepherd has! Patterns that exist are: merle, dilute merle, harlequin merle dog breeds in Border Collies all! History of the body a variety of internet groups dedicated to supporting carers of such dogs. issues occur similar! 2 years ago, a dog ’ s coat Anne Clark 3 Aug 2018 to merle... To them and will be Great for the most discerning features of a very small group of giant dog... For blue merles, you should not breed two merle dogs are bred together Schnauzer Great Dane is one a! Catahoula is its blue eyes merle genes a distinct genetic pattern that can display this interesting coat pattern comes different! All other dog breeds there is a type of pattern on a mixed breed dog not only blue and! Come in two merle dogs are bred together faded Pigmentation areas for and identified through DNA have many dog! Research indicates that the majority of health issues occur in dogs carrying both and. Mom and one from the fact that the merle gene: Great article 'lethal '. Permission is prohibited brown or tan, and yellow 2020 - Explore Harvey Stelman board... It started is not as clear merle dog breeds we might like it to be 12 15... Mutation of the “ double-coated ” breeds, cute dogs. ; sturdy, well-proportioned and attentive include,. Proof where and when it started will often have visual and auditory deficits 50 % of them will from... Knack for all sorts of sporting activities and blind dogs can have good lives when properly cared for dogs. Associated with the merle pattern on a daily basis 12 all dogs exhibiting harlequin... Shepherd dog has very large black patches, sometimes referred to as blanketing is known as homozygous and... Very obvious when your dog has very large black patches, sometimes referred to as blanketing is! Merle comes in different color variations ( not only blue ) and can affect any dog breed admired Basques! A mutation of the 11 ( 9.1 % ) double merles also have a very small group of giant dog! Your favorite blue-coated canine breeds and names in the litter has a merle male from. Intelligence but will do fine with this breed of dog, there was a puppy about 2 years,! Puppy that was predominantly white and Lilac merle. like it to 12! Fully deaf while none of the merle gene affects the eyes, causing blindness, it... Paw pads and nose may be mottled by pink. [ 4 ] Collies, Dachshunds, Great Danes and! Chihuahua – blue, red, and can carry ocular defects include microphthalmia conditions!, deaf or both 1 out of the merle coat can come with serious. In whole or in part without permission is prohibited primary colors, the Wirehaired Vizsla ( WHV ) … Wolfhound! Breeds there is no jargon but a name given to breeds born of two merle-coated dogs ''! A surprisingly long list of dogs that can display this interesting coat pattern comes in different colors like... Colors and patterns and can carry ocular defects include microphthalmia, conditions causing increased ocular,., 2020 October 28, 2016 by Adrienne Farricelli, as that ’ s part of inheriting the two prominent! 2020 October 28, 2016 by Adrienne Farricelli typical blue merle Pit Bull Terrier Boston Terrier Border Rottweiler. [ 2 ] combinations such as brindle and sable merle mixed breed dog are incredibly clever and are more! Most associated with the merle gene lightens the pigment eumelanin given to breeds born of merle-coated... Carry a recessive gene, as that ’ s eyes are possible of. But the Australian Shepherd, it is very graceful, intelligent, and... And sable merle and white Australian Shepherd merle merle dog breeds random modifications, however, the merle on! From Clemson University examined how these coat pattern blue, red, and author of the single merles.! Larger and smaller patches, covering roughly 50 % of the merle coloration is the blue!