What is a Merle Labradoodle?

Georgia Premiere Merle Australian Labradoodle Breeder

Merle is a color pattern, not a color by itself. Merle Labradoodle dogs can come in a variety of colors, chocolate merle, blue merle, black merle, etc. A blue merle is a Labradoodle black dog with the black broken up into irregularly shaped patches by gray. Merle is the gray or lighter part of the coat's coloring, not the black patches. The lighter part of the coat can vary from a very light powder blue type coloring to very dark steel blue type coloring. Merles are also commonly red or brown and any merle dog may or may not have copper (tan) points and white trim. It is also possible to have other merle in other colors such as sable, fawn, yellow, and diluted reds, browns and blues.

Merle is a fascinating and varied coat pattern and there is not doubt that many of the merles are absolutely gorgeous, while also being unusual and rather exotic looking. The M locus is the home of the merle allele. Merle is dominant and so is denoted by the capital letter M. Non-merle is recessive, and denoted by m. All normal merles are heterozygous (Mm).

A homozygous merle is actually a double merle. The merle gene dilutes random sections of the coat to a lighter color, usually grey in a black pigmented dog, leaving patches of the original color remaining. The patches can be any size and can be located anywhere on the dog. Merle affects only eumelanin. This means that any black, liver, blue, or Isabella in the coat, eyes or nose will be merled, whether it's the whole of the body, a mask on a sable, shading, brindle stripes or even a saddle. Phaeomelanin (red) is not affected in general and should appear as normal.

We don't recommend the Double Merle, which is produced by 2 Merle dogs breeding to form an (MM) Double Merle puppy. Health issues can be found in Double Merles and for this reason, two merles should never be bred together.

At Lord and Lady, we only breed one Merle with a non- Merle mate, so only to produce a normal merle (Mm).

Merle Australian Labradoodle

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