What is a Blue Merle Australian Shepherd?

What is a Blue Merle Australian Shepherd?

You are considering adding an Australian shepherd to your family and you want a breed that is absolutely unique and unlike no other. You have a blue merle Australian shepherd in mind but need more information on the color and the breed.

What exactly is a blue merle Australian shepherd? This canine is not an entirely different breed from the Australian shepherd, it is simply the coat color described as blue merle.

Usually, these pups have colorings that are grey and black with some whites dabbled into the mix.

This isn’t all it takes to create an Australian shepherd that is a blue merle. In the following post, I will give you some information on your heart’s desire, a blue merle Australian shepherd.

Blue Merle Australian Shepherd
Image by Pixabay.com

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What Makes a Blue Merle Australian Shepherd?

When considering which color to choose from in Australian shepherds, there are four different colors, but each one is distinct with a vast array of markings and none are identical.

The four colors are red, red merle, black and blue merle. No matter which you choose, they are all stellar canines that represent their breed well.

When an Australian shepherd is a merle, whether red or blue, it will have that mottled patchwork pattern.

A breeding pair both male and female will determine the base color coat of their puppies, which will either be red or black.

This mixture of genes from the male and female can lead to a wide variety and combination of colors for the coat of your Aussie.

If one or both parents carry the merle gene, then the pup will either be red merle or blue merle.

In inbreeding, however, is recommended that only one parent should carry the merle gene.

If both parents carry this gene it is known as “double merle,” and can cause defects such as eye problems or deafness.

Two breeding dogs should not both carry the merle gene and it’s the breeder’s responsibility to be aware of this by using DNA Genetic testing for their dogs.

To check your shepherds’ health status or their DNA checks, please visit the Embark vet website for all the help you may need.

Blue Merle Australian Shepherd
Image by nancy sticke from Pixabay

Australian Shepherd Blue Merle Variations

If you are seeking out an Australian shepherd that is a blue merle, keep in mind that these colors are not common shades for Aussies and many other people may also want a blue merle for their totally rare and diverse appearance as well.

It’s the story of supply and demand with supply low and demand high, therefore, you are going to pay more for a blue merle.

On average, an Australian shepherd may be bought for around $650 but a blue merle can be upwards of $1000.

There are four different combinations or variations of the blue merle Australian shepherd and each is distinct and out of the ordinary in its own way, some being easier to come by than others.

Australian Shepherd Blue Merle Variations
female blue merle by pixabay

Solid blue merle

These Aussies sport a grey base coat color with patches and spots of black. These can be anywhere on their body and in different sizes and shapes. A solid blue merle should have no other colors or markings.

Blue merle and white

This blue merle and white Aussie is by far the most striking of all four variations and quite popular. Their base coat color is that of the solid blue merle with only white markings displayed.

Blue merle and tan

If you are in awe of the Australian shepherd that is blue merle and tan, you may have a hard time locating one of these pups as they are the least common of all four combinations. They display their grey fur with black patches but also have smatterings of coppery tan markings.

Blue merle tri-colored

These canines also have a grey base coat with patches of black in different sizes but they are adorned with highlights of tan and white on their chest, legs, ears, and muzzle. Truly a stunning dog and the most common of the four, displaying an abundance of rich color.

Blue Merle Aussie Eyes

All Australian shepherds have wonderfully colored eyes and the blue merle is no exception.

Their eyes will be either blue or brown and many have flecks of other shades in their solid-colored eyes. Generally, blue eyes will have brown flecks, which is the most common, but some will have brown eyes with blue specks.

These are known as “marble eyes.” Australian shepherds are also known for sometimes having one blue eye and one brown eye is called heterochromia.

Australian Shepherd Blue Merle temperament

An Australian shepherd’s temperament is one of intelligence, loyalty, easily trainable, and high energy.

In studies, it is believed that there is no connection between coat color, temperament, and personality.

This means no correlation between coat color and your pup being smarter or friendlier or to the other extreme, less intelligent or aggressive.

Blue merles have the same wonderful temperament as any Australian shepherd. Any breed does, however, require training, socialization, good nutrition, wellness visits, and plenty of exercises.

Australian Shepherd Blue Merle temperament
Image by Pixabay

Health Australian shepherd Blue Merle

Coat color for your blue merle is not linked to temperament, however, it is connected to a few health problems.

The merle gene is tied to congenital deafness and those pups that display more white than other colors may be predisposed due to the lack of pigment. Breeders should be using Genetic testing on their breeding dogs to avoid this.

An eye condition that is found in Australian shepherds but more common in the merles is coloboma.

This affects the pup’s iris where it doesn’t develop fully, causing their eyes to be unable to dilate. This would make their eyes sensitive to sunlight on bright days.

All Australian shepherds are generally quite healthy and have an average life span of twelve to sixteen years.

A few health conditions that can plague your blue merle along with other Australian shepherds are:

  • Certain diseases of the eye
  • Epilepsy
  • Sensitivity to some drugs

To ensure a healthy blue merle Aussie, seek out a reputable breeder who not only specializes in blue merles but who breeds responsibly using DNA genetic testing.

Make sure your pup is also regularly screened for known conditions that are found in the breed.

If you really like the look of the blue merle Australian shepherd but are concerned that they will somehow be different, don’t be.

These dogs have the same wonderful temperament and personality as all Australian shepherds while displaying their own unique colors and individuality.