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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Marbled Eyes On Non-Merle Australian Shepherds?

by Elizabeth
(New York)


Hi! I couldn't upload a photo of my Aussie, but she is a red tri, with a marbled eye, and a blue eye. And I was wondering, does she have a hidden merle gene? Or is that something that you see occasionally on tris?

I've done some research and they kept saying that the ONLY way an Aussie can have marbled eyes is if they carry the merle gene. (She's a red tri, so she obviously doesn't carry the merle gene). Not to mention, every time I would lookup "red tris with marbled eyes" they would show me pictures of red merle Aussies with marbled eyes, which I know is not uncommon.

The interesting thing is, she came from a litter of six, none of them were merles, and two of her siblings also displayed marbled eyes! Her other siblings had solid colored eyes, (although her one brother I thought had a small streak of green in his blue eyes).

I got to meet the sire and he was a handsome dog, very friendly. Unfortunately, I didn't get to meet the dam, but she was on the property and available to meet, the breeder just said that she was shy, and I guess she passed that characteristic to her daughter! I did however get to see a picture of her and she was a beautiful black tri with arctic blue peepers! (I heard that solid blue eyes without the M gene is a recessive trait.) I guess her parents had very rare genes!

Anyway, I would like to hear others opinions, and please, if I'm wrong, I would like you to tell me so and bring facts so that I may continue my research! :)

Comments for Marbled Eyes On Non-Merle Australian Shepherds?

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Aussie eyes
by: Anonymous

I also have a red tri, who has hazel eyes, but his litter sister has one blue eye. As I understand that the merle gene can be recessive. But in any case, Aussies of any colour can have unusual eye colour.

What I meant
by: Elizabeth

(To Anonymous) Oh no! When I meant "marbled" I meant two colors in a single eye. Because my Aussie has amber, green, and blue in her left eye.

Eye color
by: Anonymous

It is possible for a genetically blue eyed tri/bi to have eyes that can look like a merle's marbled eyes, but the color splits will be rather geometric if you look, not the random flecking and splotching of a marbled merle's eyes. Though it is superficially similar in appearance, it is caused by totally different genes.

A dog that looks solid can genetically be a merle, known as a cryptic merle. If in doubt, the gene can be tested for.

To anonymous
by: Anonymous

Merle is dominant over solid. But it is variable in phenotypic expression.

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