I was just looking at some American sheltie breeder sites and found one breeder that BREEDS double merles! This is horrible.
There are few reasons why a breeder should breed merle-to-merle (or in the case of dachshunds, dapple to dapple). A strikingly high number of the puppies are born deaf, blind, and/or with deformities. One of the main reasons breeders do this, however, is in hopes of producing a dog that, when bred to any colour, will produce only merles (dapples). It's been said on some sites and I firmly support this, the creation of one good stud dog is not worth the hundreds of other dogs that had to be put down because of health problems and deformities.
If anyone would like to find out more information on the merling gene, I rounded up some sites for you.
- Merle Genetics
- The Double Dapple
- Lethal Whites
(Rescue group for double merle aussies, but some information can be found here)
- The Trouble with Merle
- Sheltie Coat Color Genetics
- Genetic Nightmares
I will continue to look for more links in case some of you don't feel this is enough information.
And I would like to hear your opinions on merle-to-merle breeding, too.
NOTE: Double (Homozygous) Merles should not be confused with the Colour-Headed white, which is attained through different genes.
Anyone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the only breed that the standard ALLOWS double merles is in dachshunds. Australian Shepherds, Collies, Shetland Sheepdogs, and I believe Great Danes all disqualify the dog in the show ring if it is more than 50% white.