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  #41  
Old 02-17-2012, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by OutlineACDs View Post
So, its not ok for two fully health tested merles to be bred but its ok for Jim and Bob down the street to breed their untested dogs? What if Jim and Bob don't know that both of their dogs have a thyroid problem? Still ok? I mean really.
To turn that around, why isn't it ok for Jim and Bob down the street to breed their untested dogs or two dogs that have thyroid problems if it is ok to knowingly breed two merles together?

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Originally Posted by Aleron View Post
FWIW There were some influential workingAussies that resulted from merle x merle breedings.
So what? It's ok because people have done it before and because the dogs were working dogs? "Honey, I know I had an affair, but JFK did it AND HE WAS THE PRESIDENT!!!!!". Yea, that works. People used to do and do all kinds of things but that doesn't automatically make it ok, a la the old parents' standby "if all your friends jumped off the Empire State Building, would you?"


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FWIW I'm not saying I think it's a great idea to breed merle to merle in Collies or Shelties or breeds at a high risk for blind/deaf double merles. But this sort of thing has been done throughout the history of the breed and the only reason it's being discussed now by people who have no involvement or interest in the breed is due to an article written by someone who seems to think breeding any merle or any Collie for that matter is questionable ethics.
I call BS. I've seen (sometimes heated) discussions about double merle breedings long before this on various forums. And besides, so what if that really is the reason? You're not allowed to care about the issue because you just learned about it?
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  #42  
Old 02-17-2012, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
I would personally like to see further research done on breeds like collies and shelties versus koolies and catahoulas. I looked into koolies probably almost 5 years ago and noticed the vast amounts of merle x merle breedings and breeders stating they would never cross to a solid colored dog and it shocked me. But they swear up and down they have no issues like they do in shelties. In shelties merle x merle is just not a good idea due to the deformities. Anyways, I'd like to see how and why there seems to be a difference between breeds.

I think the ethics of doing a scientific study of these things is a little iffy but I think doing some completely documented merle x merle crosses where we know people aren't behind the scenes euthanizing deformed pups could only benefit dogs as a whole.
Me too. It's a little off topic but as you all know I have a dog from a merle to merle breeding and plan on getting another from a merle to merle breeding.

I've often wondered about merle and how breeding merle to merle is gone about differently in different breeds. Many of the show merle breeds breed for Irish markings with a pretty decent amount of white (including near and around the head). They breed for the "pretty merle" that doesn't have the larger splotches of solid color.

Koolie breeders breed the merles with little to no white and prefer dogs with larger solid splotches. They still get double merle puppies no doubt, but it seems to me the incident of double merles with perfect hearing and sight seem to be much more common.

They are another breed that I would love to have tested to see how many of the "solids" being used are actually solid.

And I will stop going way off topic.
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  #43  
Old 02-17-2012, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by OutlineACDs View Post
You can bash AKC all you want, and thats fine. I bash them too on occasion. They do a lot of things that seem silly to me. As long as I retain my rights to breed and raise and sell my dogs the way I feel is right, I'm ok by that.
It wasn't a bash.. I would think the AKC officials would be annoyed at being called 'just a registry'. Do I think they could do things better. That is not a 'bash' just an honest critism. In my research on the whippet stuff I have found they will unregister dogs many dogs if things aren't to their liking (yet leave others..) why not implement things like no carrier to carrier, no merle to merle breedings (in breeds where it is known to cause serious issues)? No registry for you.

Outside of the KC many registries require more than just two purebred parents for full registry. Or have big shows have basic requirements like health clearances for what the breed club determines is the main issues? There are many things that can be done. Sticking one's head in the sand and saying anyone who criticizes anything about a KC is 'bashing' it is not going to help solve anything.

To those who say that the dog's know no different. Thats no excuse. Dogs born with pain also know no different. I don't see how producing (intentionally) blind and deaf dogs so breeders can have more prettier (not healthier, better tempered, better structured) by puppy buyer standards is at all in the best interest of dogs.
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  #44  
Old 02-17-2012, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Linds View Post
Me too. It's a little off topic but as you all know I have a dog from a merle to merle breeding and plan on getting another from a merle to merle breeding.

I've often wondered about merle and how breeding merle to merle is gone about differently in different breeds. Many of the show merle breeds breed for Irish markings with a pretty decent amount of white (including near and around the head). They breed for the "pretty merle" that doesn't have the larger splotches of solid color.

Koolie breeders breed the merles with little to no white and prefer dogs with larger solid splotches. They still get double merle puppies no doubt, but it seems to me the incident of double merles with perfect hearing and sight seem to be much more common.

They are another breed that I would love to have tested to see how many of the "solids" being used are actually solid.

And I will stop going way off topic.
Not arguing here as I think we have a lot to learn from the breedings done in koolies/catahoulas that are merle x merle.

I was under the impression that there is very little health testing done in these breeds. So, are you just assuming that the merle x merle puppies have good hearing and eyesight, or are they being CERF'ed/BAER tested before going to their new homes?

Like I said, we BAER test our puppies before they are ever sold. I know a good friend of mine (who breeds shelties) CERF's her puppies before they go to new homes since eye problems are so common in collies, which shelties were bred down from.

Just wondering since you said that there are relatively low instances of merle x merle koolie pups being blind or deaf. You can usually tell a totally blind/deaf pup, but not one with colobomas (sp?) or unilateral hearing etc.
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  #45  
Old 02-17-2012, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Dekka View Post
To those who say that the dog's know no different. Thats no excuse. Dogs born with pain also know no different. I don't see how producing (intentionally) blind and deaf dogs so breeders can have more prettier (not healthier, better tempered, better structured) by puppy buyer standards is at all in the best interest of dogs.
Yes, I think a better question than "would you rather be blind/deaf or dead?" is "would you rather be blind/deaf or not?" No, the puppies don't know any different, but why throw them under the bus in the name of... what? Titles? It's not like breeding double merles is going to cure cancer.


Also, deformities are not limited to blindness/deafness:

"In all breeds, the double merle genotype can be sublethal and is associated with multiple abnormalities of the skeletal, cardiac, and reproductive systems (3, 9, 10). For these reasons, merle-to-merle breedings are strongly discouraged (9)."

Another:

"Fetal death rate for MM dogs is reported by some to be as high as 50% and surviving pups generally do suffer from some form of sensory and other anomalies, with hearing and sight defects most common."
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:46 AM
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I like the idea that if you're doing to do merle x merle breedings you should participate in a study. I know they wouldn't all jump on that opportunity but it would be nice to have that data- how much white is on the parents, is the merle a darker type of merle or clearer, breed of parents, lines, etc.

I'm not sure how I feel about merle x merle across all breeds. I just don't think there's enough data out there for me to have much of an opinion. I couldn't (at this point) buy from a merle x merle breeding.

There is also the fact that you can get deaf dogs pretty easily from other breeds, particularly white spotted breeds. Dalmatians are another that comes to mind and a vet friend of mine has stated she thought the collie thing was overblown because you are more likely to breed a deaf dalmatian than a deaf collie from merle x merle. I am not sure how accurate that is but it was food for thought for me.

I know a white sheltie that is deaf. The dog is not double merle, it's a color headed white. White spotting in general can cause problems.
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  #47  
Old 02-17-2012, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by OutlineACDs View Post
Not arguing here as I think we have a lot to learn from the breedings done in koolies/catahoulas that are merle x merle.

I was under the impression that there is very little health testing done in these breeds. So, are you just assuming that the merle x merle puppies have good hearing and eyesight, or are they being CERF'ed/BAER tested before going to their new homes?

Like I said, we BAER test our puppies before they are ever sold. I know a good friend of mine (who breeds shelties) CERF's her puppies before they go to new homes since eye problems are so common in collies, which shelties were bred down from.

Just wondering since you said that there are relatively low instances of merle x merle koolie pups being blind or deaf. You can usually tell a totally blind/deaf pup, but not one with colobomas (sp?) or unilateral hearing etc.
No, you're right there is very little health testing. Some, though those breeders also tend to be the ones that lean towards the solid to merle breedings.

The old time breeders for the most part breed merle to merle and very rarely health test. So, yes they could have impacted hearing or sight. That being said, those that have a dog that is pretty obviously double merle watch the dogs like a hawk for any sign whatsoever of deafness or trouble with sight. And because more times than not the double merles are higher white than preferred they don't get bred.

Again, doesn't mean it's not there but if it is it's subtle enough to be unnoticeable.

Honestly, I do wish more testing was done all around so I could say for certainty. But I doubt it's ever going to happen because as the older breeders retire and newer breeders take their places. So health testing will go up and merle to merle will go down.
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:49 AM
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Thank you, was getting ready to bring just that up. Double merle has a host of other issues attached to it. Many have other neurological issues.

For me, I think it is disgusting how many breeders choose to ignore the very BIG and very real risk. It runs rampant in danes, even with reputable breeders. Merles are not accepted so its not usually merle to merle...but harl is genetically the same as merle and harl to harl is pretty common

Qcumber is from a harl-harl breeding (momma was rescued already pregnant). She was too far along and not healthy enough to do a spay abort. Luckily, out of the 10 pups only one is deaf and none are blind...BUT, none have been tested either so there may be partial deafness and vision problems etc. Quke has starburst pupils.
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post

There is also the fact that you can get deaf dogs pretty easily from other breeds, particularly white spotted breeds. Dalmatians are another that comes to mind and a vet friend of mine has stated she thought the collie thing was overblown because you are more likely to breed a deaf dalmatian than a deaf collie from merle x merle. I am not sure how accurate that is but it was food for thought for me.
Seeing as ACD's get their deafness from dalamatians I'd say this is absolutely true.

There seems to be no rhyme or reason regarding the genetic component to deafness in these two breeds. Two 100% deaf dogs can produce an all hearing litter. It can come out the complete opposite as well.

As a rule breeders don't breed deaf puppies, but its not looked down upon to breed a uni.

I bred one litter from a unilateral bitch. She was my only dog at the time, and she was wonderful. She finished her AKC Ch quickly, had agility titles, rally titles, and herding instict out the wazoo. All of her other tests were normal, so I bred her to a full hearing male who's parents were also full hearing (both of her parents were full hearing too) I had a litter of 4, all of them were full hearing except the one I kept, who was also a unilaterally deaf girl.

I spent many long hours on the phone with different breeders agonizing over breeding that litter. I ended up with not a single deaf puppy.
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  #50  
Old 02-17-2012, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by OutlineACDs View Post
I'm always playing the devil's advocate on these things it seems. :P

The more chance there is of stubbing your toe, the more chance you have of stepping into success. ~Author Unknown

Everyone takes risks in breeding. You risk losing your bitch, you risk having a health problem crop up, you risk losing your entire litter, you risk producing puppies with horrible temperaments. It's all a risk and some people are only comfortable in taking small risks.

No one on this board would be discussing this double dilute dog had his offspring not been a top winning dog who has done well at a huge, televised show.

The breeder took a big risk and bred to a non-CERF'ed non-shown dog and got something worthwhile. Why knock this dog because of his father?

Why not breed to a non-tested farm dog because he compliments your bitch well and has working ability?

It's all about the risks you're willing to take.

(again, just playing devil's advocate)
Well, the breeding that produced the collie in question's sire produced a single double merle puppy.

Being a singleton, we have no idea what kind of quality any littermates could have been. He may be the lowest quality possible in the combination between the two. He may be a singleton because of the merle/merle breeding, as sometimes fetal double merles do not develop fully. Or maybe they're just claiming he's a singleton when they had to cull more seriously deformed siblings. I wonder what that breeding could have produced if the double M hadn't been mucking it up, if maybe one of the two parents had a quality sibling who wasn't merle that could have been used instead so that there would have been a wider spectrum of puppies to choose from.

I guess from my point of view, there are enough risks in breeding without unnecessarily throwing another in the mix. Especially when it's such a high risk.

And catahoulas are weird. They don't count. lol.
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