Is This Unusual Coat Color On My Australian Shepherd A Form Of Merle?

by Melanie
(Indianapolis)

My girl is about 6 months old. She is papered from show stock. I fell in love with her unusual markings. She came from two tri parents with a red in her grandparents.

As she’s grown, more and more of these freckle type spots have appeared in what was once solid white. The large black spots down her back and her face were clear from the start.

Is this a form of merle? Should I have her genetics tested before breeding down the road?

Comments for Is This Unusual Coat Color On My Australian Shepherd A Form Of Merle?

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Unique!
by: Anonymous

She’s beautiful!!!

merle
by: jcrply

Could be. It's hard to tell from the photos, but that could be merling on her nose area. I would look closely at that.

Unusual color
by: Anonymous

I'm no expert but to me, this dog is not a pure Australian Shepherd. Maybe part Australian Cattledog with the coloration. Hopefully, a breeder will step forward and weigh in on this dog.

Neat pattern
by: Anonymous

It is not a merle color pattern, I believe it’s a form of pie-bald genetics but I could be wrong. Genetically it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with her; however, that color pattern is not what should be selected for breeding stock if you plan to breed her. Given I have one that also looks similar, it doesn’t make them any less of a great of a dog, it’s just not what is desired to maintain the integrity of the breed.

Not unusual
by: Alias Aussies

Piebald. Not unusual, no longer common as this color is bred away from.

Yes
by: Anonymous

My merle male looks just like that, but many more spots. He is mostly black and white with black speckles and a few brown markings. Due to his coloring, we named him MooKow.

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