Is My Australian Shepherd Puppy A Tri Or A Merle?

by Amanda

Her ears are definitely the merled look

Her ears are definitely the merled look

My pup is 8 weeks old. She has five different colors in her coat (brown, white, light brown, gray and copper). The breeder says shes a tri but vet tech called her a merle. So is she a merle or a tri? Her ears definitely have the merle look to them, and face is getting three large dark spots.

But before I register her, I need to know if she is tri or merle.

Please help. Thanks!

Comments for Is My Australian Shepherd Puppy A Tri Or A Merle?

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Tri or Merle
by: Anonymous

A Merle! Congratulations!

tri or merle
by: jcrply

If there is even just one spot of merle, then the pup is genetically a merle. My own black tri has turned out to be a "phantom merle". She had no merle when I got her at 8 weeks, but as she matured it became apparent that she had some areas of merle, most of which you do not see unless the hair is brushed backward. This is important primarily for breeding since a merle should never be bred to a merle, and that includes phantom merles.

by: Anonymous

Do you know what the parents were? It looks tri but may be a mismarked.

Puppy a Tri or Merle
by: Angie

It seems to me the breeder should be the expert on what the puppy is and I agree w/the breeder. She looks like a tri. I have a red tri and I previously had a black tri and your pup resembles what both of mine look like. A merle to me is very distinct w/the multi spots. Hope this helps.

Is My Puppy a tri or a merle?
by: Anne

Did you breed this puppy? If not there should be the color on the paperwork, as to what color.
Your puppy looks like a dilute Red Merle, but hard to tell because of the lighting. A better picture of the color would be an outside photo.
There is a merle gene test if you want to be absolutely sure of the puppy's color.

Here is one link on Phantom Merles

Here is the link for gene testing

I hope this helps. If you have further questions, I'd be glad to help and point you in the right direction.

Anne Calmes
Gold Ring Aussies
Louisiana, USA

Phantom or Cryptic Merle
by: Anonymous

If there are any Merle spot's on the dog at all it is a merle and should never ever be bred to another Merle as there is a great risk of producing double merle pup's which are referred to a Lethal White's and the name should say it all and be avoided at any and all cost's as it's considered Puppy roulette. and not the good kind!!!

by: Anonymous

Looks like a merle to me as well. Were either of the parents a merle?

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