Blue Merle Border Collie. The Call for Responsible Dog Ownership

border collieBorder Collies have seventeen different colors as recognized by the American Kennel Club’s (AKC). The Border collie coat colours are determined through the genetic variations in the genetic pool of the parents. For example, with the “normal” breeding of purebred Border collies, the parents will usually produce either bi-color or tri-color offspring. The usual colors of the dog’s coat are black/white combinations.

However among the existing gene pool of the Border Collies, there exists a gene called the Merle gene. The Merle gene gives unusual white patches on the dog’s coat. The Merle Border Collie mix puppies have variations recorded by the AKC which are the blue Merle Border Collie, red Merle, sable Merle, white and blue Merle, and white and red Merle.

The fur types of Border Collies are differentiated into smooth or rough double coats. The rough fur double coats have more prominently visible fur, like it was swept away by the wind while the smooth double coat has shorter fur than its other counterpart.

The several possible color combinations available, make this dog breed truly adorable. Its intelligence and amazing physique makes Border Collies a very desirable dog breed.

One of the unusual color combinations with this breed is due to a semi-dominant gene which is called the Merle gene. Among the Merle variants of the Border collie, the blue Merle Border Collie has become popular recently with dog owners. The peculiarity of the fur coloring of this type of dog is attractive due to its exquisiteness.

For a blue Merle Border collie to be produced, only one parent-carrier of the Merle gene is needed; but this gives a fifty percent chance of getting a blue merle because of the randomness of the genetic heritage. When both parents are carriers of the Merle gene, there is likely a 25 percent chance that one of the pups will inherit a double Merle gene, which is often referred to as homozygous Merle. However, this should be avoided at all costs as there are numerous health issues known to be associated with this double Merle Border Collie genetic combination.

Those puppies that have the genetic predisposition of the double Merle gene have higher risks of being blind, deaf, or both compared to other puppies that have no predisposition to the said gene, particularly a homozygous Merle Border Collie. If you wish to own a blue Merle Border collie, it is better that the puppy is only half-Merle so as to avoid promoting the in-breeding of homozygous Merle genes that are more prone to ailments.

Blue Merle border collies still possess the same temperament as with other border collies. They also have the same intelligence and physique, and still need the same amount of physical and mental stimulation as with other Border collie breeds.

Aside from the Merle gene carrier, Border collies also have the prediction of “white” fur coat in their gene pool. There has been a lot of predjudice against this breed variant in the past, for instance, the White Border collie has been judged to be less functional when it comes to herding. That is not true however as the white Border collie is still as powerful and intelligent as the other breed variations.

The only danger when breeding a Merle border collie is producing a homozygous Merle puppy. Breeders should be aware that only one parent-carrier is needed to produce a Merle Border collie puppy. This should therefore serve as a warning. Be a responsible dog owner and breeder at the same time (if you plan to do so). Be aware of the consequences of breeding two dogs with the Merle gene and take immediate action by spaying or neutering your dogs. Do not risk the health of the next generation by breeding to Merle-carrier adults.

Responsible dog ownership is not merely confined to dog grooming, feeding, and implementing proper training and obedience. It requires one to look beyond and think of the whole canine generation.

border collie

Leave a comment: