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  #61  
Old 02-17-2012, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by elegy View Post
What I can't get past in all of this is that it's being done for a COLOR. Why on earth is there so much emphasis on merle when a merle dog is not going to be better or healthier or anything else vs a non-merle? Because it wins in the show ring? Because it's "prettier" and flashier?

Just one more illustration of what is wrong with the dog fancy these days. For too many people it has become not breeding toward a better dog but breeding toward what will win or what is the current fad or what is the most unique. Far too often to the detriment of the dogs.
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by elegy View Post
What I can't get past in all of this is that it's being done for a COLOR. Why on earth is there so much emphasis on merle when a merle dog is not going to be better or healthier or anything else vs a non-merle? Because it wins in the show ring? Because it's "prettier" and flashier?
Well it's not always being done for "pretty color" since it is done in working breeds. I very much doubt the influential working Aussie litters that came from merle x merle breedings had anything to do with color at all. It could be that some breeders truly feel that is the bets match. Not everyone breeds generation to generation, some people are aiming for what they will do in the future and how the current generation can benefit the future generations. I can't really guess why this specific merle x merle breeding was done (the WKC BOB's sire) but it is not always about looks across the board.

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Originally Posted by Dekka View Post
This is interesting. Deafness is an issue with JRTs. Most will not breed a known uni as a rule.
It is my understanding is that in breeds prone to deafness, it is rather random and depends on how the pigment happens to fall.

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Originally Posted by OutlineACDs View Post
Yes our gene pool is small. A lot of breeders neutered/spayed a large percentage of dogs when the genetic test for PRA came out. If a dog was rated a C (affected), the majority of breeders assumed no one would ever want to breed to it and went ahead an neutered them. We lost a lot of dogs when that happened.
It seems that happened in multiple breeds when genetic testing became available for different issues. That sort of thing really has done a lot of harm to a lot of breeds. It seems sometimes choices made by people trying to be ultra responsible end up being really bad choices long term.
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  #63  
Old 02-17-2012, 05:10 PM
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Lethal White Overo in horses is linked to the white colour though; but my understanding is it's a development in parallel with the colour. The syndrome has deafness, and intestinal issues noted in horses and similar syndromes with similar affectations are found in rats and humans.

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The migration of nerve- and melanocyte-precursors from the top of the embryo to their eventual destinations is carefully controlled by regulatory genes.[9]

Such regulatory genes include endothelin receptor type B (EDNRB). A mutation in the middle of the EDNRB gene, Ile118Lys, causes lethal white syndrome.[4][10] In this mutation, a "typo" in the DNA mistakes isoleucine for lysine.[10] The resulting EDNRB protein is unable to fulfill its role in the development of the embryo, limiting the migration of the melanocyte and enteric neuron precursors.

In the case of LWS, a single copy of the EDNRB mutation, the heterozygous state, produces an identifiable trait, but with a very different outcome from the homozygous state.
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  #64  
Old 02-17-2012, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by elegy View Post
What I can't get past in all of this is that it's being done for a COLOR. Why on earth is there so much emphasis on merle when a merle dog is not going to be better or healthier or anything else vs a non-merle? Because it wins in the show ring? Because it's "prettier" and flashier?
THIS!

Yes, breeding dogs means taking risks. We all know that.

but it all depends on what you are willing to take risks FOR. Good breeders breeding quality puppies and honestly feel they are creating dogs they feel better the breed (improving health and temperament or work ability or dogs that exemplify the breed through shows, have the drive for agility, the temperament for SD work etc.. or some other kind of quality through their breeding program )
but to risk it all.. for something as totally pointless as COLOR is more telling than anything else.

To put health on the line for coat color doesn't sit well with me. at all.

It's COLOR. It literally means NOTHING. Coat quality, texture, amount of coat, there are uses, work qualities, etc.. but to risk the health of even ONE puppy, and to put those odds on a litter just to breed a coat color considered more pleasing to the eye is just wrong.

I'm not saying that deaf/blind puppies have these horrible lives and bringing them into this world is wrong. Just like I'm not saying that my disability RUINS MY LIFE or that i'd rather be dead.
but if I found out my parents knowingly took the risk of placing the importance my hair color over me being born healthy.... I would hate them both.
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  #65  
Old 02-17-2012, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron View Post
Well it's not always being done for "pretty color" since it is done in working breeds. I very much doubt the influential working Aussie litters that came from merle x merle breedings had anything to do with color at all. It could be that some breeders truly feel that is the bets match. Not everyone breeds generation to generation, some people are aiming for what they will do in the future and how the current generation can benefit the future generations. I can't really guess why this specific merle x merle breeding was done (the WKC BOB's sire) but it is not always about looks across the board.
Well when I looked into koolies there was a large group with the prevailing thought that koolies had to be merle. I would not think color would matter at all in such a breed but it obviously did to some of the breed founders and even modern breeders. Why was there a push to breed toward a merle dog? I would bet because a breed founder or influential people of the past preferred the color.

I do think that working breeders (of all breeds) do pick for color sometimes. Stay on the BC boards long enough and there is a huge anti-merle feel to a lot of the breeders there. I am assuming a lot of that is just them being jaded by people wanting a fancy/flashy merle puppy that they just get annoyed. But there have been threads where people certainly do have preferences in color in working border collies for whatever reason.

I'm not saying they're choosing ONLY for color and no other factors but I definitely think there are enough people with preferences towards merle in some of these breeds that people were picking for the color at least to an extent.

Perhaps in historic breedings people just didn't understand the genetics behind the colors and why it was not a good idea to cross two merle dogs. I don't think that means it's okay to do those breedings now, though.
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  #66  
Old 02-17-2012, 06:09 PM
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I think this is interesting:

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It appears that all blue merles in the US (and probably in Great Britain) trace to blue merle Collies. The most important in this country was Monthlethen Blue Prince, now thought to be a purebred show Collie used with a pedigree "borrowed" from a registered Sheltie. He was siring in the late 20's and early 30's. He is the sire of the in utero import Ch Sheltieland Thistle, though most of his contribution to merle coloring in this country is through his great granddaughter, Peabody Silver Phantasy. His "official" pedigree is:
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Blue Floss of Houghton Hill was a small working Collie thought possibly to be of Sheltie stock. But since the then secretary of the English Shetland Sheepdog Club stated in an article published in 1917 that "blue merle is as yet unknown in the breed", Blue Floss must at least have had Collie crosses behind her to bring in the color. Blue Floss was registered as whelped in January 1922, and her offspring were whelped in 1924 and 1925. Her official pedigree is:

Rover
Blue Floss of Houghton Hill
Gypsy (Family 9 foundation)
The other two merle sources also "come out of nowhere" in a way that suggests Collie crosses were involved. Both Teena and Chestnut Sweet Lady were mentioned as having a good deal of blue merle breeding behind them, and at least some of the Collie crosses seem to have been made as much with the goal of bringing the blue merle color into the Sheltie breed as to improve type.
Only sort of related, I suppose but it seemed related at the time.

http://bowlingsite.mcf.com/Colliecross.html
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  #67  
Old 02-17-2012, 06:17 PM
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Working breeds are not at all immune from 'pretty'. It just has to be functional first pretty second. The working breeder Seren came from breeds the most freakin adorable JRTs, but they are workers first and foremost.

If you have a working dog and actually work with it day in day out you might as well pick one you find pleasing to the eye (all other things being equal) Just look at how many riders have a colour preference in horses.. has nothing to do with the athleticism of the horse or ridability.. just personal preference. (I for one do not like palamino yet many people breed for it) There is one breeder in Ontario who breeds high quality hunters in fun colours. She gets top dollar and has exported horses to Europe and Australia due to quality with colour.

So I strongly disagree that people who want an animal for work won't care about colour. IMO they just care about it less. If it isn't going to work it doesn't matter how pretty it is its not worth it.
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  #68  
Old 02-17-2012, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by OutlineACDs View Post
The big "scary" danger to collie/sheltie people is the controversy with color-headed whites. The argument is that you can't tell the difference between a color-headed white and a healthy double dilute. So a novice breeder could breed a sable or tri color-headed white to a merle a have a whole litter of double dilutes. The issue here being that the dog they thought was a color headed white is really a dilute. IMO that person shouldn't be breeding anyway because all it takes is a little pedigree research to see that its obviously not a color headed white.
It may just be that I JUST got home from work and I'm so tired I could just pass out on the floor right now, but I'm not sure I'm following this...

Sable and tri color headed whites will look NOTHING like a double merle. Now I could see how a extremly new novice (who shouldn't be breeding anyway) could MAYBE mistake a blue merle color headed white as a double merle, but even then it's a stretch because MOST of your color headed whites are going to have much more coloring to them than most double merles. Even a sable merle double merle I saw a picture of once, was pretty obvious a double merle, based on the lack of color on the head and the washed out color that was there.

Here is kind of an interesting article written for colliesonline a couple years ago http://www.colliesonline.com/may2009...any-colors.php





Quote:
Originally Posted by OutlineACDs View Post
The sable-merle is also a result of "duh" why didn't you know more about your dog?! As (I think) Romy said perviously sable merle is obvious at birth. It doesn't take a genious to see that if a sable dog has ANY blue in it's eyes it's a sable merle. Also, I'd just assume any sable puppy out of a merle x sable breeding carries the merle gene.
I certainly dont' find this to be true. That is like saying any tri puppy out of a blue x tri breeding carries the merle gene. I have done a few sable to blue merle breedings and actually have gotten very few sable merles. The first breeding I did resulted in 1 tri, 1 tri factored sable, 1 Blue merle and 1 sable merle (he had a blue eye).

The second blue to sable breeding I did resulted in NOT ONE sable merle. There was 1 blue bitch, 1 tri bitch, 1 tri dog, 1 sable dog and 1 sable bitch.... neither were sable merles, as was obvious at birth because they were such dark sables they were almost black (Mahogany).

Then when I bred Paris for the first time, my CH smooth tri-factored sable girl to a blue merle male and got 6 puppies.. none were sable merles... 4 tri factored sables, 2 blues. I might also add that Paris was the sable bitch from the first litter I mentioned above where I had I had 1 sable merle male, 1 sable, 1 tri and 1 blue in the litter. So Paris is from a blue x sable breeding.

Now the litter I had the most sable merles in was actually when I bred Paris to a tri-factored sable merle stud. Of 8 puppies in the litter, 4 were sable merles, 2 were blue merles, 1 was a tri-color and 1 was a regular sable.


The puppy whose head is being laid on by his brother, is the regular sable, probably pure for sable, but he is for sure not a sable merle. If I can find a better picture I will post it, but I lost alot of photos when my computer crashed a couple months ago.

I kept a sable merle bitch from this litter, who is just over 18 months old.. aside from her ears (and her blue eye) her body doesn't look sable merle at all anymore, her ears are still a little spotted though. I THNK She would be the one on the far left in this photo.

Also, IF I had to pick a favorite color, sable merles, or sables in general would certainly not be it, even though most of the collies I currently own are sables.. color is one of the last things I consider, 6 of the 8 dogs I own are sables...however I would LOVE to get another nice tri bitch, but that has yet to happen..lol
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  #69  
Old 02-17-2012, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by pitbullpony View Post
Lethal White Overo in horses is linked to the white colour though; but my understanding is it's a development in parallel with the colour. The syndrome has deafness, and intestinal issues noted in horses and similar syndromes with similar affectations are found in rats and humans.
Not really linked to white, but linked to overo. White horses thata re NOT homozygous overo are just fine (ie, white TBs) and you can breed white to white with no issues.
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  #70  
Old 02-17-2012, 07:08 PM
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It is linked to white in that its a different white than what you get with grey horses. The white you get with 'albino' horses, which are born white with blue eyes (but not true albinos) is different than horses with the greying gene.

For example this horse isn't white.. genetically she is chestnut with the epistatic greying gene.


this one I found interesting (he wasn't a great horse, but colour wise was neat) He is a grey pinto. Eventually he will end up all white. But if you get him wet you will always be able to see where his patches were (he was 3 or 4 in this pic)


The lethal white goes hand in hand with the white gene, but its not being white that causes the genetic lethality.
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