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This post has gone to the dogs!

I thought it might be fun to explore coat patterns in dogs, mainly my favorite of all patterns… The MERLE! 

If asked my favorite color for dogs I say Blue! If asked my favorite coat pattern it has got to be the merle. I love unusual things. From flowers to clouds… 

I have collected some photographs of dogs with this type of coat pattern, starting with my Maggie Mae RIP. She brought me 22 years of pure joy. 

She was an Australian Shepherd mixed with a Shiba Inu. This made her the perfect mini aussie, before there was even such a thing. 

#1 She collected all these golf balls!

During one of our hikes we picked this shady tree to have lunch, and Maggie kept coming back with balls. The coyotes here steal golf balls from the nearby golf course. She found their stash. 

    • She was due to be euthanized the day I took her home. They said she was unadoptable, but I worked for the Humane Society at the time, and they knew I had training experience. They let me take her home. One month later, she had no fear or aggression. The best dog Ive ever had.

#6 The Pembroke Welsh Corgi and a genetics lesson.

The merle pattern is produced when a dog has a single copy of the M< allele. All merle dogs have the genotype Mm — meaning they have one allele for merle and one allele for non-merle. All non-merles are mm. If you breed a merle (Mm) to a non-merle (mm) you will on average produce a litter in which a half of the puppies get the M allele so are Mm (merle) and half get the non-merle allele so are mm.

But if you breed two merles together (Mm X Mm) you will produce on average a quarter mm (non-merle), a half Mm (merle) and a quarter MM (double-merle; also called double-dapple). And double merles don’t look like merles. Instead, they’re mostly white with merle patches. But the main reason you want to avoid producing MM dogs is that they often have visual and auditory problems.

Was that confusing enough?!! 

  1. I ended up with one double dapple when I was breeding mini-dachshunds. She was deaf, but I found a wonderful lady with experience with deaf dogs to take her.

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    • I used to bred Manx cats a long long time ago. We had to really watch out that two manx didnt breed, the backbone gets affected. Good to hear you found a home for her. My Maggie Mae was totally deaf by the time she passed. Just from old age though.

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Written by Kim_Johnson

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