Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care
Guide To Australian Shepherd Training and Care

Mis-Marked Aussies

by Paula Maynard
(La Russell, Mo.)

How can I tell if my dog is mis-marked? I've just recently learned about it and I'm confused as how to tell. Thanks!

Comments for Mis-Marked Aussies

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Response
by: Ryan

"Incorrect" white markings
May include piebald or excessive white on the face

Sable
With or without merle or white markings

Yellow (recessive red)
With or without white markings, may hide merle

Brindle
With or without merle or white markings
May be in combination with the tan point gene

Double merle
Not allowed by standard mostly due to excessive white

Dilute
May be in combination with any of the previous colors

Reply
by: Paula Maynard

I understand all that what I'm really wondering is what exactly causes the white to be a mismark. I have a gorgeous Aussie stud and I saw a dog on google that looks just like him and is considered a mismark so now I'm curious.

Response
by: Ryan

White is probably the most problematic color (actually lack of pigment) in our breed. It is not the white coat itself that is unhealthy. White outside of the areas prescribed in the standard is a warning flag that there may be health problems related to lack of pigment or to homozygousity of the merle gene. White or excessively white Aussies can be produced by several mechanisms working singly or in combination. There is considerable visual overlap between homozygous merles and pattern whites. It's not always possible to be sure which a dog is without a DNA test for merle. As a generality, homozygous merles may have faded merling and lots of white, but in bloodlines where colors are typically dark and white markings are few, they may be dark with very little excess white. Among the defects commonly associated with excessive whiteness are deafness (full or partial in one or both ears) and vision problems and eye defects from mild to severe. There are several causes for whiteness, but the two most common are recessive pattern whites and the mating of two merles to produce a homozyous merle.
Also would you mind posting a picture of yours?

Mis-Marked Aussies
by: Anne

Is your Aussie from a merle to merle breeding or a tri to a merle breeding. DNA test, as was said in another reply is the best way to know.
If your dog is a true single gene for merle, than it is a mismark. If your dog is a double merle (both parents being merle) than your aussie is
not a mismark but a "lethal white". This is very involved and has to do with a lot of Genetics. There is not a "simple" answer. A photo would be nice to see your Stud Dog and his markings.
Hope that helps.

Anne Calmes
Gold Ring Aussies
Louisiana, USA
goldringkennel@aol.com

Reply
by: Paula Maynard

He is from a Merle to a tri breeding. [IMG]http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/princesspaola21/E95582FC-3F9B-44D1-A451-05C8429EF600-10259-000004C001A828F0.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/princesspaola21/D677FB00-FB57-437F-B0BE-D39BCF08ACE6-10259-000004C04636102B.jpg[/IMG]

I don't have many good pics of him because he's a mover lol. This was right after he got groomed last week. I do understand the concept of the mismark and I understand the genetics of Merle. My actual question is where the white is that makes a mismark. I know if half the face is white it's a mismark but what other white markings are wrong.

Mis marked Aussies
by: Anne

I don't see the photos, can you?


Note from Anton: Hi, they didn't work. But you can copy the link part and paste it into your browser to go to the images.

Curious also
by: Jackie

Our Aussie we adopted is almost this same coloring, I was also confused as to what makes white a mismark.

Red Merle
by: Anonymous

Your Aussie is a very nice red merle, and as far as I can see from the photos, there is no mis-mark white. Merles - blue and red - can have the merle patterning on their ears. He has plenty of pigment around his eyes and ears, and is not a double merle. I don't think you have anything to worry about.

Mismark only on this puppy?
by: Anonymous

We want to purchase a black tri female that is a mismark, with excess white/no markings above her left eye. Her right eye is brown with black masking above and around her eye and her left eye is blue and surrounded by white with no coloration or pigment above it.
Her mother is a red tri and her father is a Merle. The breeder says there should be no health issues (both her ears are black) and she is fourth generation of her lines. I just wanted to get a second opinion, since we plan to pick her up from the breeder tomorrow and add her to the family. I understand that the two black ears practically eliminate a chance of deafness, but could her lack of pigment above one eye potentially indicate eye problems or future blindness ? The breeder assured me that it’s just a mismark. Thanks in advance for your input!

Note from Anton: It sounds like it shouldn't be an issue. The problem arises with merle to merle breeding and and the pigment all the way around the eyes/ears is lacking. I'm gathering from what you said that there is pigment on both ears and right eye and that the white is around and above the left eye. Usually with homozygous merles the lack of pigment will be much more pronounced and the eyes might also be shrunken and/or starburst. You can find more info on homozygous or double merles here.

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