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Double Blue Merle
Don’t know if they are called Blue Merle Budgies, but I had one.
Like the world needs more unique dogs for unique people
To the novice “dog lover”, what a cute puppy. To a dog rescuer: How many things can you see wrong in this picture?
Each Canadian Pet Expo I attend, I learn something new. My latest wonder is learning what a Double Blue Merle is and what makes it unique and need rescuing? The person enlightening me on this new trend was telling me this because, of course, she is starting a rescue organization strictly to rescue these dogs in Canada. As usual when something gets popular, it then gets more desirable, which then leads to the “Carnies” (as I call them), which are people looking at this as an opportunity to make money on gullible people that want to be “unique” and are up on the latest fad. This special colored coat is appearing in more breeds every day, such as Corgis, Chihuahuas, Cockers, Collies, Dachshunds, Great Danes, OESD’s, and even Pomeranians. So lets put these uniquely colored dogs in the category of “Designer Dogs”. Which if you are a “real” dog person, is not good.
Now most of us know what a Blue Merle is, which is a Merle gene inherited that creates mottled patches of color in a solid or piebald coat, and has blue or odd-colored eyes.
But what is a “Double Merle”?
It’s created when two merle dogs are bred together. It doesn’t matter what color merle or what breed they are. If two merle dogs are bred together, each puppy in the litter has a 25% chance of being born a double merle. A double merle inherits the merle gene twice. One copy of the merle gene causes a marbling effect on the coat and creates lighter spots throughout the solid color coat. In a double merle, the marbling/lightening effect is doubled and the coat becomes predominantly white. Double merles also have a very high chance of being deaf, blind, or both because they lack pigment where it would normally be.
So what does this mean for the Double Merles?
The pups that do not inherit the gene twice are “normal” dogs or “Phantom Merles. Their coats are normally marked or should I say, “desirably” marked and they are not plagued with hearing or vision problems. These are the pups that a breeder wants, because they can profit from their pups. The double merles are often killed at birth just for being white, when it is still too early to tell if the dog will have any hearing or vision problems. They just assume it, and kill them because they know that no one is going to pay big bucks for a “defective” dog, and it also reflects poorly on their breeding program. If they aren’t killed, they are often sold as rare whites to unknowing people. Which I am sure they tout as being even more desirable, because they are so rare and unique. These pups generally end up in a shelter or used as bait dogs (google that) in dog fighting rings when the buyer finds out they can’t see, hear or both. Once in a shelter, they still face death because no one wants a “defective” dog.
Currently in the UK, merle-to-merle breeding is banned by their kennel club. This means that any puppies, merle, solid, or double merle, born from two merle parents cannot be registered. If the breeder cannot register its puppies, it is thought to discourage the actions because purebred “papered” puppies always sell for more. As far as Canada is concerned when I googled to get some info on the Canadian Kennel Club stand on such sad breeding practices, I found nothing. There was a petition started 3 years ago for them to address it, but it looks like it fell on deaf ears. I’d love to be proven wrong, but I doubt I will.
Why do I sound so cynical? Because I deal with the challenges that Rescue people have to face. They get so frustrated with well meaning “dog lovers”. If you’d tried to explain this trend to a Blue Merle owner, no matter how carefully you worded it, they would take it as a slight. They would think you don’t like their dog. I have had this experienced while talking to Spoodle owners, and all that come out of it, is I don’t like their dog. You really can’t win.
For more on my thoughts on people needing to be unique via their dog, click here: https://www.doncherryspetrescue.org/designer-vs-in-voguedogs/
Make no mistake about it, before I knew about the cost to dogs’ lives to get this unique color, I loved anything Blue Merle. I even had a budgy bird that color many years ago, that’s how much I loved the color. But it’s all about educating oneself about what you like and how things suffer to appeal to you.
For more info on what it costs dogs to be Blue Merle click here: https://www.doublemerles.info/