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  #31  
Old 11-01-2008, 02:41 AM
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That is kind of how it is with dapple dachshunds. Breeding two dapples together ends in many problems, including being deaf, blind, and dogs with health issues. Know as Double dapple. Cartman is a dapple (Not hugely dappled, but you can see his spots and patches).

I love Merle Chihuahuas, but have yet to see one in a shelter near me, so therefore I wouldn't end up with one.
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  #32  
Old 11-01-2008, 08:19 AM
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You can end up with excessive white even in a merle to non-merle breeding, which can lead to similar problems as a merle-merle breeding. Typically this only happens when you're breeding a merle with lots of white to a non-merle with lots of white. I know a few people with EW Aussies that were from a merle-black tri breeding, but because they are show lines and concentrate heavily on the amount of "chrome", they ended up with a few with DQ'ing amounts of white. Most of the dogs have normal hearing/eyes though, thankfully.

I'm a sucker for blue merles (obviously, lol) but I haven't quite figured out how I feel about merle in Chi's.
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  #33  
Old 11-01-2008, 11:40 AM
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Thanks for the info guys. I still have a lot of research to do, but it seems like you can steer clear of any problems if you know what you are doing. I'd say the majority of breeders do not, and thats where the problems pop up. I think a lot of it has to do with accidentally breeding to a hidden merle. And producing hidden merles by breeding merles to dogs of a light color such as white and cream.

I am still baffled as to why the breeder in one of my links kept producing merle dogs that grew much larger than the non merle dogs.
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  #34  
Old 11-01-2008, 12:27 PM
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I expect the problems that come from a "merle to non-merle" breeding are actually because they are breeding a merle to a cryptic merle. I know when I was looking in to Koolies, that was something that one site discussed quite a bit. These are dogs that are genetically merle, but you can often only see very faint traces of the merling when they are extremely young. It would be very easy for someone to get one at 8 weeks and assume it is a non-merle.
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Old 11-01-2008, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonBanker View Post
I expect the problems that come from a "merle to non-merle" breeding are actually because they are breeding a merle to a cryptic merle. I know when I was looking in to Koolies, that was something that one site discussed quite a bit. These are dogs that are genetically merle, but you can often only see very faint traces of the merling when they are extremely young. It would be very easy for someone to get one at 8 weeks and assume it is a non-merle.
Yeah thats what I was thinking too, like in aussie's

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Here, finally, is a true cryptic merle! This puppy looks like a normal black tri, but his tail is blue! The only blue on his whole body is that tail. Once docked, visible blue is gone, and he looks like a regular black tri. But genetically he is a blue merle and should be registered as such. Areas on his sides that may appear bluish are just highlights from the flash. If he were bred to another merle, homozygous merles could be expected, despite his very dark coloring.

http://www.ashgi.org/color/Cryptic_Merles.html
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  #36  
Old 11-01-2008, 12:40 PM
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Ok, this is where my ignorance comes in at full force... hidden merles.

I know a hidden merle is a dog that has very very small merle markings, or markings that do not look merle at all. I've even heard that ONE hair on a dog could be merled in a hidden merle. You would never know he was a merle.

My question us... do merles have to have blue eyes? The ones I've seen always have blue eyes. And my next question is, if a chi does have blue eyes, is that a tell tale sign that he could be a hidden merle?

I've tried looking for information to answer these questions, but I cannot find anything. Pooey. I guess I should look harder, but I figured I would ask here as well... if anyone knows.

Say a dog is mostly white but has black on its head with blue eyes. Could he be a hidden merle. Shouldn't his black fur be diluted?
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  #37  
Old 11-01-2008, 12:48 PM
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In Koolies there's also the whole problem of certain people insisting that non merle is a throwback and should be bred out (which it really can't be).

Looking back on my posts I realized it sounds like merle is not good for anything, but what I was trying to say is there are potential problems when dealing with merle x merle breedings. Even though they are looked down upon, some people still try them. I know a sheltie breeder that is reputable that bred a double merle stud. Almost all white, but he can see and hear fine. I just keep wondering 'what if?, though. A lot of people do it to get full merle litters- any pups a double merle has will be merle. If it is bred responsibly, though, (and I don't believe breeding merle to merle is ever responsible) it poses no more problems than any other breeding. If someone bred a merle to a solid and had problems, then likely the solid is a cryptic merle. If you breed to a high white solid, some pups could look very similar to double merles, but they are not at risk for the sight/hearing problems.

The issue though to me seems mainly to be a purity issue, kind of like silver in labs. The only difference is silver is a recessive and merle is dominant.... it really has to come from somewhere unless it's not been recorded right for a LONG time. It is hard to keep merle hidden in a line. Even in shelties, though, where merle is widely accepted, it came about from crosses to collies early in the history. The original breed was almost all tricolor or black and white with other colors recorded but never merle. They liked to sneak show bred collies in the breed to fancy them up back then. I guess it depends on the breed club as to whether they decide to allow the color or not. You probably won't find a much more controversial color in dogs!
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  #38  
Old 11-01-2008, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reggin View Post
Ok, this is where my ignorance comes in at full force... hidden merles.

I know a hidden merle is a dog that has very very small merle markings, or markings that do not look merle at all. I've even heard that ONE hair on a dog could be merled in a hidden merle. You would never know he was a merle.

My question us... do merles have to have blue eyes? The ones I've seen always have blue eyes. And my next question is, if a chi does have blue eyes, is that a tell tale sign that he could be a hidden merle?

I've tried looking for information to answer these questions, but I cannot find anything. Pooey. I guess I should look harder, but I figured I would ask here as well... if anyone knows.

Say a dog is mostly white but has black on its head with blue eyes. Could he be a hidden merle. Shouldn't his black fur be diluted?
Merles can have brown or blue eyes, even amber depending on the color of merle (like red merle). It just depends on where the merle affects the color, really.

If a dog is black with blue eyes, he could be merle or not. Borders come in merle, but blacks often have blue eyes too. They have brown more often, but blue happens. In shelties, that isn't allowed, so the only dogs you really see with blue eyes are merles. You can probably find more basic information on the color in breeds where it's the norm. Another interesting read is danes and harlequin and merle. It gets even more complicated, lol!
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  #39  
Old 11-01-2008, 12:54 PM
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The link jess posted about cyptic merles answered my question about brown eyes being on a merle dog. I am guessing that cryptic merle is the same as hidden merle.

This is Pebbles dad. He is a 4 pound chihuahua. His eye on white is blue while his eye on black is brown. Obviously something has diluted his right eye, does that mean he is a hidden merle? You can also see white or gray coloring on his face. Doesnt look merle to me but its just something I noticed.

I've ALWAYS wondered if he was a hidden merle or not.

Any opinions??

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  #40  
Old 11-01-2008, 12:56 PM
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I know this site is about aussies but Im assuming it can mean the same for any breed (its a really neat site about colors and I love looking at it but anyhoo lol

Quote:
Our breed standard allows eyes of any color except pigmentless eyes typical of an albino. Aussie eyes have been seen that are golden, lemon yellow, amber, light brown, dark brown, green, orange, and blue. On very dark individuals they may even appear black. The iris can be monochromatic, have concentric rings of color, flecks of darker pigment, flecks of blue, or be split or marbled with blue. The two eyes of one dog are not always both the same color; one may be pigmented while the other eye is blue, or both may be pigmented but be of different colors. Blue eyes are not confined to merles; there is a recessive gene in the breed that produces blue or split blue eyes in solid colored dogs as well. There are probably multiple genes which together affect eye color and it is not possible to predict eye color from a planned breeding. As a generalization, brown eyes tend to dominate lighter eyes. There is probably some relationship between eye color and coat color as well, since black pups will tend to have slightly darker eyes than red pups in the same litter. Below are some examples of the extraordinary variety of eye color we find in this breed.

http://www.ashgi.org/color/aussie_eye_color.htm
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