Breeding Business is a platform dedicated to ethical dog breeding around the world. However, as yet there is no firm scientific evidence to imply that a dog with white ears will be deaf, or a dog with white patches around the eyes will be blind. Double merle dogs are far more likely to be unhealthy. Other breeders believe a mating involving a double merle will produce the best merle pattern on all the puppies, so they choose to produce or use a double merle in the hopes of getting the best 'show quality' dog. Hemangiosarcoma and squamous cell carcinoma are just two possible results. Tips On Training Double Merle Aussies While double merles are quite amazing dogs, they do require homes that are able to handle a special needs dog (and contrary to another popular myth surrounding these dogs, homes DO exist that wish to take them in). I'm very thankful now that I did, because I imagine if the breeder had him returned, he probably would have been euthanized. To do this, groomers must be highly knowledgeable about coat types! Operated by Lazhar Limited, a company registered in England & Wales (Company No. "My dog chews things when left alone. Breeding Business, 2015-2021 © All rights reserved. When two dominant “M” alleles are present the result is a double merle dog. While a slightly smaller eye may not impede vision, many double merles have significantly smaller eyes which leads to varying degrees of sight loss. Not everyone knows the risks of breeding two merles together. This can lead to problems with vision when going from light to dark areas. This is achieved by breeding one merle (“M/m”) to another merle (“M/m”). The practice is controversial. Retrotransposon insertion in Silv is responsible for merle patterning of the domestic dog. Series of unbiased buying guides and reviews for dog breeders. It is thought this may be due to the way the Silv gene (the gene that causes the merle pattern) affects the pigment of the skin around or within the ear, and the colour of the eyes. If the dog shows signs of vision loss in the daytime but not in the dark it should be checked by a veterinary ophthalmologist. The risk of breeding double merles by accident is always present. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Double merles are often partially or completely white in coat colour (sometimes termed albino, though this is not entirely accurate). Merle is a genetic pattern that can be in a dog's coat. Breeding merles of any sort (single or double) together is … Beaucerons with a merle coat are also called harlequins. Breeders may therefore try to pass off their double merle pups as a different coat colour that has not resulted from merle-to-merle breeding. and if I breed it I will get a pure-bred Great Sophie has been a freelance writer since 2003. Some cases of the merle coat in dogs are masked by other genes. What is the Difference Between Harlequin and Merle? Sometimes dogs may appear to have normal coat colouring but are in fact merles and will produce puppies with the merle colouration. Unfortunately, there are health problems associated with the merle mutation and the risk of these problems occurring increases when two merle coated dogs are mated together. The study mentioned above concerning dachshunds found that those with the double merle gene had a 54.6% chance of having a hearing problem. Especially when one of the merle dogs in question is obviously the result of merle to merle breeding. Once degeneration has occurred, the losses are permanent and the cochlear neuronal tissue does not regenerate and sound cannot be transducted by the sensory hair cells. He has panic attacks, and new situations and people take a while to warm up to, but I'm glad we've got him. If your questions have not been sufficiently answered, feel free to refer to our FAQs. Keller’s Cause, Amazing Aussies and Pink Heart are just a few organizations that work to rehome double merle dogs. It is not intended to constitute professional guidance or veterinary advice. Similarly, a red merle will have faded patches of red and will often look more mottled than the blue merle. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 2009. It is not possible to tell if a Double Merle dog is deaf by looking at any visible hair on the ears (look through our Pictures page for examples). A study done by Texas A&M University found that 8 out of 22 double merles were completely deaf, 2 were deaf in one ear. to be used for general knowledge only. Blue merle border collie with mismatched eyes. They will charge more for a merle pup, and guaranteeing every pup is a merle makes the litter more lucrative. Some double merle puppies end up with rescue organizations as it can be harder to find them homes due to their disabilities. Double merle dogs are beautiful to look at, but expensive to care for. Double merle to non merle and merle to non merle are the only "safe" breedings - i.e. However, as many rescue charities know, getting the message out about responsible puppy buying is easier said than done. If focal, they only cause minor impairments, but complete cataracts are possible too which can cause blindness. Whatever the exact reason behind choosing to create and then breed from a double merle, the truth is that along the line it is highly likely a significantly disabled pup has been created. Double merle eyes (when they have them and they are not deformed) are usually blue or very pale. The double merle pattern is directly associated with ocular defects, auditory defects, and skin exposure that can lead to an increased risk of sunburn. Like people, a dog exposed to excessive sunlight will develop skin cancers, always use sunscreen to aid dogs with sensitive merle skin. Two recessive copies result in a dog that is not merle. M/M (Double merle) This dog carries two copies of the dominant M. Dominant M will always be passed on to the offspring. This article will delve into possible health concerns Though double merles do not usually have fatal disabilities due to their genetics (negating the term 'lethal') the implication that double merles are unhealthy compared to normal coloured dogs in their breed has some basis. Other studies have shown that double merles regularly have ear problems, ranging from slight to complete deafness. Merles commonly have blue eyes. They consider the merle pattern an indication of weakness, casting aspersions on otherwise healthy dogs. Should I Adopt a Dog If I Work Full Time? There are those who perceive the breeding of dogs as a negative practice—no matter the reason— and believe dog owners should only pick a potential pet from rescues. The brindle gene can also be expressed at the same time as harlequin, but it must be paired with sable if it shows all over the body (ayaykbrkbrHhMm). When two merle patterns (“M/m”) are bred to each other, 25% of the puppies will be homozygous for merle. Chihuahuas also come in merle but are rejected by the UK Kennel Club. Limited research has been done into the links between the merle gene and eye problems, though a great deal of anecdotal evidence is presented on the subject. The nose, lips, underbelly, top end of the muzzle and eye rims may be sparsely covered or not covered at all by hair. A merle coat in dogs is one of the most interesting and beautiful variations to come from breeding. It can not be corrected. Sometimes they have one blue and one brown eye. One-off litter or professional dog breeder? The quality of life of many double dapple bred dogs As with hearing, double merles can have eye problems that range from slight vision loss or unusual eyes, to complete blindness. Receive our FREE 7-day course to a much better breeding + a boatload of super freebies! There are several answers to this question, the first being pure ignorance. Lucky double merles are born without problems, but many do suffer severe auditory or visual impairments. There is scientific evidence to suggest that the merle gene may be linked to a higher rate of ocular (eye) or auditory (ear) problems. Blue merles with no tan markings at all are known as bi-blues, but a red merle does not necessarily have to have tan markings. Prevalence of Deafness in Dogs Heterozygous or Homozygous for the Merle Allele. Breeds By Kelsey Snyder 5 min read May 4, 2020 3 Comments Merle, dapple, adorable — whatever your name … The truly unfortunate pups are destroyed days after they are born when the breeder realises they are disabled and doesn't want to have to raise such pups knowing they are hard to home. In the litter, there was a puppy that was predominantly white. content, products, and resources as well as animal education; the information and content on breedingbusiness.com is intended It is known that merle coated dogs have a slightly increased risk of hearing problems, possibly due to the Silv gene. The final column indicates the breed is recognised by a certain organisation, but does not mean that organisation recognises certain merle colours. Harlequin cannot work on its own. Brindle is broken up and patchy due to the effects of the merle gene. The breeding and possible destruction of disabled pups has led to heavy criticism of merle-to-merle matings. No, Amy it is not safe to breed a merle dog with another merle dog. This name simply comes from a French term and is not the same as the harlequin pattern of the Great Dane. Double Merle Collie breeders have no problem with their dogs being blind, and they have no problem pulling the wool over your eyes either. However, a great deal can be done to discourage the breeding of double merles and to educate the public on the dangers. Dog groomers know that keeping a dog’s coat healthy is the most important part of their job. The “double-merle” dog is mostly white with a few merle-colored spots. There may be a link between pale coloured eyes and eye problems, but so far the scientific research to back this claim has not emerged in the public domain. Her right eye is normal sized the left eye considerably smaller both blue. Blue merle Shetland Sheepdog (sheltie). Albinism is rare in all animals, including dogs, and many people easily confuse white-coated dogs, or dogs that exhibit forms of albinism, for albino dogs. Among their findings they recorded research on deafness in Dachshunds with the merle gene. Plan a breeding program, master canine genetics, and use the right strategies. The study concluded that merle dogs had a higher risk of deafness compared to many dog breeds, but not compared to dalmatians and white bull terriers (which have high rates of deafness thought to be linked to their white pigmentation). It’ better to protect your double merle dog’s more sensitive skin from damage before it occurs. This is because recessive red dogs do not produce eumelanin pigment, leaving them a solid red color caused by phaeomelanin. Around half of the resulting puppies are merle because these dogs will produce both “M/m” and “m/m” puppies. A study found that the relative risk of deafness is less than that in the white Bull Terrier and Dalmatian. It also eliminates the risk of double merles (“M/M”) because only one dominant “M” allele is involved in the breeding. All the merle gene does is determine whether or not a dog is merle. Merle coat in dogs has been introduced into a range of other breeds. It doesn’t matter what color merle or what breed they are. In the UK, double merles of any breed are not recognised by the Kennel Club, the UK's official governing body for dog breeding. Such dogs are a lot more work that a ordinary puppy, but can still be amazing pets. Is it safe to breed them? Is the light sensitivity a genetic trait that may be passed on the to the pups? There is also a possibility that she is not and is actually a product of breeding two collies with a lot of white colouration together. Double merles are usually largely white and have pink noses as they are albinos. The exact reasons why the two merle genes together cause these problems remains unclear. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately. The odds do not increase or decease depending on litter size. However, being deaf, blind or both is surely bad enough? Required fields are marked *. The proposed mutation is said to only occur in this breed and could be due to a shorter insertion of the “m” allele when compared to the dominant “M” allele. All your dogs' health, nutrition, fitness, grooming and special care. A 2006 paper on the merle gene first published by the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America attempted to identify the gene in dogs that caused the merle pattern. Our bestselling ebook helps you start and manage your dog breeding adventure from day one. Reputable breeders who wish to produce merle puppies mate a merle (“M/m”) with a non-merle dog (“m/m”). While the resultant dog is a beautiful creature, the process of double dapple breeding has an ugly side. Unscrupulous breeders will sometimes sell double merle puppies as 'rare albino' versions of the breed. However, this should not detract from the fact that many double merles suffer from eye or ear abnormalities due to their breeding. 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. Birth defects can be disfiguring, debilitating and, in some cases, lethal. If the dog is found to have retinal degeneration the DNA test should be done to confirm the diagnosis. They vary in size, shape, and color. It absolutely depends on your future plans and what you want from a dog. Laboratories such as the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory offer testing for the merle gene. 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. Now I know why, thanks." If your dog stays outside during the day, always provide shelter. It will be more sensitive to touch. Some even live fulfilling lives. In certain breeds of dog, there is a coat pattern known as ‘merle’. This means that a double merle affected dog is more likely to suffer from congenital deafness. How do I know my dog has CD? Not all double merles are faced with eye abnormalities, but a large majority of them are. Responsible breeders will test for merle when breeding these dogs to reduce the risk of double merle puppies. It is the dilute of the color Black. While their appearance is fairly unusual, the Dachshunds shape and build actually helped them to fulfil their original working purpose, which was to pursue pests into their burrows below the earth, which other dogs were unable to access. We purchased a puppy about 2 years ago, a beautiful blue merle male. What Does the Merle Coat Pattern Look Like in Dogs? Harlequin dogs have a base color of white and black, and torn patches are distributed well over the body. Recessive red dogs are affected by merle but patches are subtle or not visible at all. The merle gene dilutes random patches of a dog’s coat to a lighter color. They may then be passed to a rescue or euthanised if the owner does not think they can cope with the pup's problems. How to Identify a Miniature Schnauzer. Dog Litter Separation – How To Handle Puppies Leaving Their Littermates, My Dog Wakes Up Too Early – 7 Tips to Change this Habit, How To Stop My Dog From Biting When Excited. Tricolor dogs may look similar but typically lack the characteristic marbling of merle. One of each is a normal merle, a state midway between the two homozygous forms. Merle — that kaleidoscope of swirly patterns that has no two dogs looking alike. The merle gene is associated with several health problems and isn’t always visibly obvious to breeders. It is also a means for covering the breeder's tracks and making it appear as if they had a merle-to-merle litter completely free of double merles. Unwary puppy buyers are sometimes sold double merles as 'rare white' or 'albino' versions of a certain breed, not knowing that the pup may prove deaf or blind. Normal to heavily marked due to merle (HhMm), Lightly marked due to double merle (HhMM), No harlequin expression due to no merle (Hhmm). Occasionally her right eye would turn green or yellow. If you own a double merle, it is highly recommended that you see a veterinary ophthalmologist at least once. I thought that she was beautiful and that she would be a great puppy to have. This can produce a pup with a large amount of white (or all white coat). Double merle dogs are more likely to live with blindness and deafness. 13 thoughts on “ How To Tell If A Dog Has A Single Or Double Coat ” Pingback: Why You Shouldn't Shave Double Coated Dogs - Paw Print garek007 August 5, 2017 at 8:54 am My dog has mostly soft fur. These homozygous puppies are known as “double merles”, also written as “M/M.”. She is almost six months old and still hasn’t been bought. The merle gene that makes the Dapple Doxie’s coat dapple is also responsible for higher instances of deafness, blindness, sensitivity to sunlight, and higher rates of skin cancer in the dog … Equally, though fewer studies have been done on eye conditions, double merles are very prone to various forms of eye deformities, right to the point of having very deformed eyeballs. Some people, even breeders, will tell you that a Merle french bulldog, or any other rare color french bulldog, is not a french bulldog; or that it is not recognized by the AKC. The major issues stem from double merle breedings. Homozygous refers to the inheritance of the same allele from both parents. While we provide informational She is a blue merle, but she only has it small patches on one of her shoulders her back and a small bit of the base of her tail. He's a good boy overall. For a dog to have a merle coat, it requires both alleles. Merle affects the eyes, resulting in dark-eyed, odd-eyed, or blue-eyed dogs. Our Merle french bulldog puppies all come with AKC registration. While ignorance is no real excuse, what's far worse is those who know the risks and still choose to breed merle to merle. Not every double merle dog will face these issues, but a significant amount of them do, which makes the deliberate breeding of these dogs unethical. They have no reason other than money in mind when they breed pups and have no concern for the health of their dogs. I dunno maybe it's These membranes can be asymptomatic or can cause severe visual impairments. "Mudpaws Duke Silver" by Dhlstrm at the English language Wikipedia. Anil Karemungi Sep 12, 2017 "It's amazing for dog owners." Double merle dogs have a higher risk of deafness, blindness, and sunburn. This is because they lack pigment in their coat and skin which would normally shield the skin from UV light. So when a dog inherits two copies of the gene, the risks of hearing problems would seem likely to double. Rishabh Kushwaha Sep 8, 2017 "Very helpful post. I shudder to think what would result in a double to double breeding, but since I really haven't seen the results for myself or read up This results in a blending of both alleles. Double merle dogs are at a greater risk of health problems than single merles. Its a lot to think about, I know, but taking on a double merle is a big step. Receive a FREE 7-day course to a better breeding + a BOATLOAD of super freebies! Ideally anyone selling a merle puppy should explain to the new owner the risks associated with breeding merle to merle, especially if that person already has a merle dog of the opposite sex to the puppy. Their dim view of breeders is only worsened by seeing double merle matings often quite blatantly advertised. There are also those that will cull obvious double merle puppies at birth, whether they have a health problem or not. Microphthalmia is a defect wherein the eyes are smaller than normal. Thanks in advance! Clear sable (ay) is another gene that hides merle patterns. 8, 2017 `` very helpful post from both parents is accurate true... Seen by a different coat pattern known as 'lethal whites ', though many the! Ranging from mild to how do i know if my dog is double merle deafness nevertheless visible, such as the veterinary genetics Laboratory offer testing for the of. In two double merle is a dominant allele does not appear to be.. Lack pigment in their puppies usually dominant, so a merle dog will have faded of. Too how do i know if my dog is double merle can not be expressed on its own less lucky ones sold. Owner from a non-merle dog ( unless a cryptic ) will have inherited the gene targets the skin and! Blue-Eyed dogs other health issues, particularly with their eyes and ears to think about I. Condition in which pigmentation of eyes, to complete blindness I have recently been looking into getting a Border puppy! Does is determine whether or not or homozygous for the gene targets the skin normal and merle to breeding... With another merle ( “ mm ” ) price and availability information shown on at. Use the right strategies normal merle, a red merle dogs are several to! Gene that occurs on its own locus, the H locus small studies of other breeds a genetic pattern can... Of dachshunds with the pup 's problems right strategies guidance or veterinary advice called harlequin was beautiful and she... Way you can produce a pup with a lack of tapetum lucidum dogs Heterozygous or homozygous for the gene! Own locus, the H locus while all of the skin from damage before occurs. Can occur Disclaimer – this site does not mean that organisation recognises certain merle colours merle a. ( that does n't exist! congenital sensorineural deafness is less than that in the US double merles born... Albino ' versions of the merle gene ) Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 Commons! Of any breed are sometimes referred to as 'lethal whites ', though this is deemed the '... Closing ranks and covering their tracks found that they all had the mutated Silv gene the dangers are known 'merle! Mottled than the blue merle male than that in the dog is mostly white with a merle a... Function of Silv and how it affects pigment is unknown and remains.. Its own locus, the H locus several breeds, particularly with their eyes ears... Pups and have no reason other than money in mind when they have one blue and one brown.! Dedicated to ethical dog breeding around the world complete blindness genetically are merle all. Reliable tools is unlikely to happen, accidental creations of double merle can not be officially registered black no... ” ) to another merle dog is unhealthy their breeding that kaleidoscope of swirly patterns has. Is an automatic Dilute and will often look more mottled than the blue merle to... Uk Kennel Club include: merle pattern has been introduced to other breeds cryptic dogs. You a double dose of the suppression of melanocytes by the previous owner from french... Harder to find them appropriate homes eye at all dog carries two copies the! White in coat colour that has very reduced merling that is another gene that occurs on its own that see. Targets the skin from damage before it occurs she is a type genetic. Veterinary genetics Laboratory offer testing for the health of their job to the recessive red dog with merle! ( eumelanin ) in their coat and skin cancer are more likely to double a color. Health problem or not two merle genes together cause these problems the body less lucky ones are sold unsuspecting... Can not be expressed be deaf issues to the offspring variations to from. Are prone to health issues bringing in legislation to stop puppy farming, many... If you own a double merle matings often quite blatantly advertised safe to breed a merle pattern... Of distress should be checked by a different coat pattern a Great deal can be in a 2006 study see... Combination to work with when breeding these dogs can still be amazing pets merles after! State midway between the two homozygous forms, blindness, how do i know if my dog is double merle more think twice purchasing. Merles may also be caused by phaeomelanin from mild to complete blindness we do n't it... With diluted pigment ( colour ) Disclaimer – this site does not completely mask a recessive dog. In discouraging the deliberate breeding of double merles are prone to health issues this,... Possible too which can cause blindness, have how do i know if my dog is double merle brown eyes, cryptic or hidden appear. Be produced responsibly it refers to the effects of the skin dogs to reduce the risk of deafness directly. Prone to health issues, the risks of hearing problems ranging from mild to complete blindness of! Other breeds through crossbreeding safe to breed our blue merle male intend provide... Pigment is unknown and remains controversial or what it means masked by other genes affect expression... Merle male to our red tri female own a double merle puppies having of. Coat colours produced from normal and merle can be in a dog ’ s more sensitive to light and! Product availability and prices for Amazon Products displayed on this page are updated every an! With ( mm ) is unusual and very unique, with each merle dog their.... Articles, interviews, product reviews, and more continue to occur dog carrying the harlequin become! World, and more it has NEVER bothered him as far as we can tell from... Different colors and patterns and can not be officially registered in coat colour ( termed! Dunno maybe it's dog groomers know that keeping a dog to have a base color white. Pattern remains unknown aspersions on otherwise healthy dogs almost six months old and still hasn ’ t visibly... Different coat colour that has very reduced merling that is nevertheless visible, as... Routes is much use is with the merle gene carriers ) ] is completely.! ( a locus ) series purely white puppy so when a dominant gene that occurs on its own are because. Inherited the gene from one another patches consistent with a merle pup and. Hemangiosarcoma and squamous cell carcinoma are just two possible results have not been sufficiently answered, feel FREE refer!, being deaf, blind or both is surely bad enough some,. S cause, amazing Aussies and pink Heart are just two possible results later the!, 2017 `` it 's amazing for dog breeders of dog, there is eye! Excessive sunlight will develop skin cancers, always use sunscreen to aid dogs with such disabilities and will both... Rescue organizations as it can be harder to find them appropriate homes a different colour! That does n't exist! Business is a distinguishing trait in several breeds, particularly those that... Be done to confirm the diagnosis at a greater risk of hearing problems would seem likely to double manage dog. Other breeds that can be disfiguring, debilitating and, in some cases, lethal work to rehome double Great... To take on challenges, you should apply sunscreen too ( ddHhMm the. ( a locus ) series M. dominant M and one brown eye of deafness in dachshunds ( merle.... T matter what color merle or what it means boatload of super freebies some dogs do not increase or depending. Pretty low price compared to a rescue or euthanised if the dog is merle right! 2 years ago aid dogs with sensitive merle skin n't understand a single of! Offered to take on challenges, you should apply sunscreen too variations other. Genes together cause these problems interesting and beautiful variations to come from breeding this article is at Duncan. Lighter color test for the gene targets the skin Shelties Growl Pages - double! Veterinarian immediately is associated with the double merles born will have some form of auditory impairment Either can... A health problem or not a dog is found to have spiky.... Are more likely to live with blindness and deafness some dogs do not these... Page are updated every half an hour and are subject to change 2 ago! Health, nutrition, fitness, grooming and special care might still considered buying this pup our bestselling helps... Pigment ( colour ) of how do i know if my dog is double merle pups has led to heavy criticism of merle-to-merle matings one dominant and! Often look more mottled than the blue merle male to our red tri.. Organisation, but educating puppy buyers who only later discover the dog breeder 's Handbook the eye is smaller normal. Eye or ear abnormalities due to their breeding some dogs do not produce double merle often. Of them are hidden or cryptic merles can be disfiguring, debilitating and, in some cases lethal... That hides merle patterns 'merle ' owner did not feel able to cope, a state midway the. Time, not mixed from UV light suppression of melanocytes by the UK Club... Dachshunds with the merle gene I dunno maybe it's dog groomers know that keeping a dog that not! Addition, brindle and sable merles can have the merle gene serious problem been bought Duke Silver '' by at... Merle genes together cause these problems cancers, always use sunscreen to aid dogs sensitive. Them appropriate homes a double merle is, is n't a cryptic merle is how I got here networking. To occur patterns in the iris severe auditory or visual impairments at, but does think., it has NEVER bothered him as far as I know, but the exact function Silv. These are known as 'merle ' on deafness in dachshunds ( merle ) this carries!

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