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Double Merle Border Collie Puppy, advice please!!!

Discussion in 'Dog Breeding' started by Magic_1983, Jul 6, 2017.


  1. Magic_1983

    Magic_1983 PetForums Newbie

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    Hello to everyone im a newbie
    Ok so I have a question for anyone regarding border collies and specifically blue merles.
    If a male blue merle border collie (possibly double merle) mates with a solid black and white female would this produce puppies with the double merle gene?
    The litter is all blue merles so not one is B+W so just curious as to whether this potentially means the puppies have inherited the double merle? I'm struggling to find any answers on Google on that obviously mating 2 merles is not best, but can't find what if a double merle mates with a non merle or even what if the B+W female has the merle gene but is masked?
    I don't know how to approach the subject with the seller of the puppies? Any advice/tips on what to look for would be very much appreciated!
    Thanks
     
  2. SingingWhippet

    SingingWhippet PetForums VIP

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    A puppy must inherit a merle gene from each parent to be merle so unless the female is some kind of atypical/cryptic/phantom merle then it's impossible for a merle to non-merle mating to produce double merle puppies.

    It's perfectly possible for a litter of puppies from one merle parent and one non-merle parent to be born merle as they each have a 50% chance of inheriting the single merle gene they need to express it. If one parent is double merle and the other non merle then all the puppies will be merle as they will inherit one of the merle genes rom the double merle parent.

    This page and this page explain how the genetics of merle work very well.
     
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  3. Magic_1983

    Magic_1983 PetForums Newbie

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    Thank-you so much for responding I thought that I had posted this in the wrong place or that no-one could see the post!
    Ok so double merle mating a none merle would produce a full litter of merle puppies but they *shouldn't* inherit a double merle gene? Hope I got that right from your response.
    I was doing some research before buying one and stumbled across double merling so wanted to get some facts together.
    Thank-you so much
     
  4. SingingWhippet

    SingingWhippet PetForums VIP

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    It's not "shouldn't" but "can't" in terms of a mating between a double merle and a true non-merle.

    There's no single "double merle gene", a double merle dog has inherited two copies of the merle gene, one from each parent. A puppy cannot inherit two copies of the merle gene from a single parent, so as long as one parent is non-merle (genetically non-merle, not just doesn't look merle as it can be "hidden" in some circumstances) the puppies cannot be double merle.

    If someone is breeding either merle or double merle dogs to non-merle dogs I would expect them to have had the non-merle colour tested (along with all the relevant health tests) just to be absolutely sure they're not running the risk of producing double merle puppies.
     
  5. elmthesofties

    elmthesofties PetForums Senior

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    The short answer is that if one parent is not a merle, then it is impossible for them to produce double merle puppies.
    However, if you believe one parent is a double merle, then it's probably not a breeder you want to go to anyway.

    Why do you wonder if one parent is double merle?
     
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  6. Magic_1983

    Magic_1983 PetForums Newbie

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    The reason I wonder if he is is because the link that SingingWhippet tagged on the above post describes what happens when 2 merles produce a litter being they are mainly white all over and only have a few patches of merle on their back and hind legs. The picture of the father looks exactly how this describes what a double merle would look like, I was just curious as to how the litter is all blue merle but the mother is B+W. The cost of these puppies is £600 so I'm just trying to do all research etc to understand blue merles.
    I've had 2 border collies before, 1 was B+W and the other was sable but sadly lost them both last year to old age :(
    Always wanted a blue merle but just getting all facts and as much knowledge as I can about them before committing.
    Hope this makes sense?
     
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  7. Magic_1983

    Magic_1983 PetForums Newbie

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    Ahhh I see thank-you for explaining.
     
  8. shadowmare

    shadowmare The dog doesn't bite, me on the other hand...

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    Merle collies are not a rarity. Frankly, if someone is breeding a double merle to begin with, I would be walking away without ever looking back.
     
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  9. Magic_1983

    Magic_1983 PetForums Newbie

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    I understand merle border collies are not a rarity, when I saw the father was purely all white with very few "merle" colouring my initial though was "I've never seen an all white border collie before" which has prompted me to Google and the scenario of "Double merle" I don't know for sure if he is a double merle I was just asking the question of what type of litter they produce as his in this case are all merles.
    I like to research and fully understand everything before committing to anything.
    Thanks for your reply though I am thinking maybe to leave this puppy where it is but it breaks my heart to think this pup may have problems hense why I was asking the question.
     
  10. shadowmare

    shadowmare The dog doesn't bite, me on the other hand...

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    Are you aware that a dog can have health problems due to too much white even if it is not a double merle? Again, I would be walking away from any breeder who uses a dog with too much white on it's head.
     
  11. Magic_1983

    Magic_1983 PetForums Newbie

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    No I wasn't aware of that
     
  12. Magic_1983

    Magic_1983 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi how do I pm you? Was going to send you some pictures of why I mean but didn't want to post public.
     
  13. shadowmare

    shadowmare The dog doesn't bite, me on the other hand...

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    You can't PM anyone as you're a new member and haven't been here long enough to start exchanging PM.
     
  14. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    Am sure if people looked hard enough...the litter can be viewed online anyway and can give their views on whether the dog is Merle or double Merle and whether you should walk away...
     
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  15. elmthesofties

    elmthesofties PetForums Senior

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    Fairly confident I've found the breeder... is it the one where the dad is lying on a beige sofa?
    If so, I wouldn't touch them with a barge pole to be honest. You're right that dad looks like a double merle, but it looks like a dodgy advert in general.
     
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  16. SingingWhippet

    SingingWhippet PetForums VIP

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    If the litter in question is for sale on Pets4Homes then I'm pretty sure I've found it. If that is the right litter then yes, the sire does look to be double merle.

    It looks like the breeders own both the sire and the dam. Given the colours involved it screams using that stud on that bitch purely to produce a fully merle litter as it's a desirable colour and the puppies probably sell for more than "boring" colours.

    I'm not necessarily against the careful use of a healthy double merle for breeding as long as they have enough going for them (working/sports ability, health/temperament testing, excellent conformation, etc.) but in the vast, vast majority of cases the only reason people use a double merle is to guarantee an all merle litter.

    There's no mention on the advert of any health testing, of which there is a fair amount that should be done on BCs before they're used for breeding. You can see all the available screening and DNA tests available for BCs here.

    The text of the advert is very much about colour, very little is said of any other merits either parent might have. Personally I would walk away and try reaching breeders through the breed club or start on a more reputable website like Champdogs. Champdogs also have a good little guide to buying a puppy which I'd recommend reading too.
     
  17. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    I wouldn't touch with a barge pole.

    Screams of someone breeding for "pretty colours" to me.

    There are plenty of Collies in rescue and good breeders producing healthy puppies, so no need to risk a byb in my opinion.

    If you're asking the question you have suspicions, so trust your instinct ;)
     
  18. Magic_1983

    Magic_1983 PetForums Newbie

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    Thank-you, you have been so helpful they have confirmed that the father's parents are merles. Yes you have found the correct advert. I'll look at champdogs and read about the testing aswel.
    You have been so helpful and I'm truly grateful.
     
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  19. Magic_1983

    Magic_1983 PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks to all that have replied I'm still getting used to how forums work.
    You have all been a great help, like I've said before I've never heard of "double merle" and the consequences.
    Like someone else had said it was a gut instinct telling me something wasn't quite right and I'm glad I have done some research and spoke to all you lovely people.
     
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  20. shadowmare

    shadowmare The dog doesn't bite, me on the other hand...

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    To me, it's not simply about someone using a double merle stud/bitch. The individual dog might be healthy, yes. But frankly, I don't know any ethical breeder who would happily take a double merle puppy for breeding purposes from someone who purposefully bred merle to merle. In my breed I have a couple of breeders who for me are on a black list of breeders I wouldn't go near simply because they are ok with such practice.
     
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