Blue Merle Australian Shepherd: Major Health Issues (2023)

Who doesn’t love dogs? Dogs are cute, cuddly, and very loyal. And while all dogs are cute, you can’t help but agree there’s something quite special about Australian Shepherds.

Australian Shepherds are easily one of the prettiest dog breeds; they are fluffy, have hair that flows downward like a river, and their smiles can light up the whole world. But if we’re talking about the cutest dog breed, it has to be the Blue Merle Australian Shepherd.

Blue Merle Australian Shepherds are gorgeous; their sparkling blue eyes and shiny coat can be too cute to handle. And if you’re looking to adopt an Aussie shepherd, you’ve probably got your eyes on the Blue Merle Australian Shepherd.

Everything About Blue Merle Australian Shepherd!

After all, dogs are pretty hard to resist, and when you’ve got a breed as beautiful as the Blue Merle Australian Shepherd, you can’t help but fall for it.

Most people want to adopt the Blue Merle Australian Shepherd because of its beautiful looks.

But in their hurry to include Merle Australian Shepherd into their homes, people tend to forget that Blue Merle Australian Shepherds are a unique variation of Australian Shepherds and need special care and protection.

If you’re hoping to adopt a Blue Australian Shepherd, you need to know more about the cute puppers. Here’s a little guide that will tell you precisely what is up.

Blue Merle Australian Shepherd: From Where Did They Come?

You can immediately tell that the Blue Merle Australian Shepherd stands out from the Australian Shepherd the minute you get a glimpse. You’ll look into the curious eyes of the Blue Merle Australian Shepherd and wonder, from where on earth is this cute dog breed?

You might be surprised to hear this, but the Blue Merle Australian Shepherd originates from Basque, Europe. Yes, that’s right, these cute Australian Shepherd puppers hail from one of the most beautiful regions in the world.

But even in Europe, how did such beautiful doggies come into existence?

As history tells it, the Blue Merle Australian Shepherd is a descendant of the Pyrenean Shepherd dogs. But who are the Pyrenean Shepherds? Pyreneans were protective sheepdogs frequently seen herding sheep in France centuries ago.

Pyrenean sheepdogs were very popular in France; they were strong, cute, and ferocious when required. Pyreneans were loved because of their protective personality, and in the 17th century, when their owners had to relocate to Australia, they brought their dogs with them.

In Australia, French Pyreneans bred with Border Collies, and Blue Merle Australian Shepherds were born before you know it.

What Do I Call A Blue Merle Australian Shepherd?

Blue Merle Australian Shepherd have distinct features that get them many names. Because of their black coat, which appears bluish or has a dark blue tint, these dogs have the name Blue Merle Australian Shepherd. But what other names can you call them?

People call the Blue Merle Australian Shepherd the Blue Merle, Merle, Aussie, and Double Merle.

Of course, you can always resort to the cuter nicknames like hotdogs, fluffers, puppykins, pupcorn, and pumpkins, among many other dog names you like.

50 Shades of Blue Merle Australian Shepherd

You think the dogs are blue from the name Blue Merle Australian Shepherd. But that’s not the case; with these cute Australian Shepherd puppers, you should expect a lot more variety.

Where Do They Get the Coat Color?

Before we talk about the colors of the Blue Merle Australian Shepherd, let’s stop and think about how did the Blue Merle Australian Shepherd get their color?

If you look at the hair coat of the Merle Australian Shepherd, you’ll see a particular pattern going on. A marble-like, dotty coat covers the Merle Australian Shepherd, and while this may look cute, some people don’t know that the pattern is a gene mutation.

This gene mutation in the Australian Shepherd makes patterns on the Australian Shepherd, and as with gene mutations, every Australian Shepherd’s coat has a unique and specific design.

With the Merle Australian Shepherd, it’s not just the coat that is unique; Merle Australian Shepherd also has stunning eyes, which can either be brown, blue, or both. Impressive right?

Australian Shepherd and Colors

Australian Shepherd come in various exciting coat colors; you have your Merle Australian Shepherd and the Tricolors.

Tricolors

Tricolor Australian Shepherds have a coat divided into three main portions. The coat can either be black and white or red and white.

Merle Australian Shepherd

The Merle Australian Shepherds are a breed of Australian Shepherd that has spotted or dotty fur coats and gorgeous blue/brown eyes.

There are several variations of the Merle Australian Shepherd. Merle Australian Shepherd has a combination of black, white, and tan hair or red, white, and tan hair.

Are Australian Shepherd and Blue Merle the Same?

Many people who see the Blue Merle Australian Shepherd for the first time will wonder whether it’s an Australian Shepherd.

Since the Blue Merle Australian Shepherd is a descendant of the Pyrenean Australian Shepherd, you can say that the Blue Merle Australian Shepherd and Australian Shepherd are the same, except for a few key differences.

So what are the differences between the Merle Blue Australian Shepherd and the Australian Shepherd?

For one, the Merle Blue Australian Shepherd is a variation of the Australian Shepherd itself. So you can say that they are the same.

But the coat is significantly different between the Merle Blue Australian Shepherd and the Australian Shepherd.

As you know, the Merle Blue Australian Shepherd is known for its distinctly patterned coat. The Merle Blue Australian Shepherd can have various patterns and different coat colors and even have different eye colors.

On the other hand, the Australian Shepherd can have a Merle coat, a tricolor coat, and a bicolor coat. And Aussie dogs have blue, brown, or both colored eyes too.

All in all, Australian Shepherd and Blue Merle are practically the same, especially since the latter is a direct type of the former.

Lab Reports and Blue Merle Australian Shepherd

We know that from afar, you’ll find the Blue Merle Australian Shepherd charming. But behind its cute coat, there lies a health concern. You see, most Blue Merle Australian Shepherd raised healthily will live a long and healthy life, but there are many health problems to which the Blue Merle Australian Shepherd are prone.

While your Blue Merle Australian Shepherd doesn’t need to fall prey to these health problems, if you adopt a Blue Merle Australian Shepherd, you will have to keep an eye out for these health issues:

Eye Diseases

Since the eye color of the Merle Blue Australian Shepherd is due to a genetic mutation, you should expect this mutation to cause some health problems. Blue Merle Australian Shepherd puppies are prone to eye diseases, and if you don’t provide a young pup with the proper care, its health will deteriorate.

Iris Coloboma

Iris Coloboma is a condition with a small hole or defect/abnormality in the eye’s iris. Since it is the function of the iris to help the dog see clearly, a fully developed iris coloboma will make it difficult for a Blue Merle Australian Shepherd to see.

Persistent Pupillary Membranes

Persistent Pupillary Membranes (PPM) is a complicated eye condition in sheets or strands developed in the eye. While PPMs do not directly affect a dog’s eyesight, they make it easier for cataracts and other eye defects to develop.

Hip Dysplasia

Dogs with the Merle gene are much more susceptible to hip dysplasia than dogs who don’t have the Merle gene. In hip dysplasia, the hip joint is dislocated. A dog with a partially or fully dislocated hip joint will have trouble moving and doing routine activities.

Most dogs with hip dysplasia are born with it, but this condition may not be apparent when the puppy is just a week or two old.

Elbow Dysplasia

Just like hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia is a condition in which the dog’s elbow joint is partially or fully dislocated. Blue Merle Aussies with elbow dysplasia have trouble moving and will be lame.

Epilepsy

The Merle gene might be responsible for epilepsy in Merle Aussies. Blue Australian Shepherd with epilepsy will frequently suffer from seizures. Because of epilepsy, Australian Shepherd Blue Merle will also be weaker than other dogs.

Sensitivity to Drugs

While sensitivity to drugs won’t be an issue when your Blue Merle Australian Shepherd pup is small, as it grows old and needs medicine, taking care of a drug-sensitive dog will become troublesome.

In most cases, sensitivity to drugs in Australian Shepherd Blue Merle will be a problem in old age.

Built Different: Variations of Blue Merle Australian Shepherd

There are multiple variations of the Blue Merle Australian Shepherd and the Australian Shepherd:

Variations of the Australian Shepherd

Typically, an Australian Shepherd has three main variations; bicolors, tricolors, and Merle Australian Shepherd.

Tricolor Australian Shepherd

There are two main variations of the Tricolor Australian Shepherd:

Red Tricolor Australian Shepherd

The Red Tricolor Australian Shepherd has a red head and white neck, and the rest of the body is also red.

Black Tricolor Australian Shepherd

The black tricolor Australian Shepherd has a black fur coat on its head, white around its neck and shoulders, and then a black coat descends from its shoulder to its paws.

Merle Australian Shepherd

The Merle Australian Shepherd has these main variations:

Self-Blue Merle Australian Shepherd

Self-Blue Merle Australian Shepherds have a black Merle coat with no white pattern.

Blue Merle and Tan

Blue Merle and Tan are Blue Merle Australian Shepherd with a black and slightly tan coat pattern.

Blue Merle with White and Tan

Blue Merle Australian Shepherd has a black hair coat and patches of white and tan fur.

Self-Red Merle

Like the Self Blue Merle Australian Shepherd, the Self Red Merle Australian Shepherd has a complete red patterned coat.

Red Merle and Tan

The Red Merle and tan Australian Shepherds have red and tan fur coat.

Red Merle and White

The Red Merle and white Australian Shepherd has a furry red coat on its head and down from its shoulders to its paws, with a white patch in the middle.

Red Merle with White and Tan

The Red Merle Australian Shepherd with white and tan has a mixed coat of red, white, and tan patches.

Blue Merle Australian Shepherd Traits

Blue Merle Australian Shepherds are pretty clever and witty and have some fun traits we love and adore. Take a look at some of these:

Intelligence

Blue Merle Australian Shepherds are very intelligent. The intelligence of the Blue Merle Australian Shepherd takes them a long way; it is easy to train young Blue Merle Australian Shepherd because of their intelligence, and they can immediately recognize when someone is a friend or not.

Wit

Blue Merle Australian Shepherds are very witty; they love to mess with their owners. People who have Blue Merle Australian Shepherd as pets are in for a lot of fun; thanks to their wit, Merle Aussies know what their owners mean and are quick to follow commands.

Strength

We know that the Blue Merle Aussie is a descendant of the highly athletic Pyrenean Australian Shepherds, so it’s quite interesting to know that the Blue Merle Aussies have a similar build.

The strength of the Merle Blue Australian Shepherd is a lot more than their ancestors; Pyreneans were tough breeds, but the crossing of the Australian Shepherd with Border Collies has gifted the Blue Merle Australian Shepherd with a very strong and rugged build.

Thanks to their unique genetic combination, Merle Australian Shepherds are very strong and are perfect for people who want a watchdog or a protective dog.

Agility

Once again, owing to their muscular build, Blue Merle Australian Shepherd are agile and move quickly. Their agility is one of the few reasons you’ll see Blue Merle Australian Shepherd in dog shows.

Loyalty

Like all dogs, Australian Shepherd Blue Merle is very loyal. Once a Blue Merle Australian Shepherd takes to its owner, it’s pretty impossible to separate them.

Who Let the Dogs Out (of the Shelter)?

If you’re thinking of adopting a Blue Merle Australian Shepherd, there are some things you need to sort out. We don’t prefer adopting a Blue Merle Australian Shepherd or any other dog breed on a whim; unless you know what you are doing, not knowing how to take care of a dog will hurt it.

If you have not adopted a dog before or if this is your first rodeo, you will need a lot of guidance. Even if you are an experienced dog owner, a Blue Merle Australian Shepherd requires a caring and spacious home, so let’s look into the adoption process.

Things to Consider Before Adoption

Blue Merle Australian Shepherds are Not a Show Piece

Most people who want to adopt a Merle Australian Shepherd will do it because of its look. While having a cute and good-looking dog is a bonus, its health and care are far superior. If you’re only adopting the Blue Merle Australian Shepherd because of its look, you should reconsider.

Blue Australian Shepherd Rescues May Have Trouble Settling

Blue Merle Aussies have a lovely temperament, but rescues may present with some behavioral problems. Rescue Blue Merle Australian Shepherd can be aggressive, troublesome, and distant; owners who don’t know what they’re doing might have issues handling an Australian Shepherd Blue Merle rescue.

Australian Shepherd Merles Can be Expensive

Depending on the breed, keeping a dog may or may not be expensive. Since Blue Merle Australian Shepherds are a special breed, they are much more costly, even across their variations.

A Blue Merle Australian Shepherd can be $300-400 more expensive than other Australian Shepherd breeds, and it may be true vice versa too.

You might have to spend around $1200-2500 on adoption if you get a good breeder. Depending on your dog’s health and age, you will pay another $500-600 with annual maintenance of around $400-500.

Australian Shepherd Blue Merles are Strong Herders

Don’t be too startled when your Blue Merle Australian Shepherd begins to herd your other pets or children. Australian Shepherd Blue Merles have a strong herding instinct, which will drive them to move or herd anyone in sight, including your children!

While this herding instinct is a fun thing, people who have toddlers or people who have pets with PTSD or a traumatic background may not find the Blue Australian Shepherd suitable.

They are Excellent Aids

Their innate ability to protect and guide their owners makes Blue Merle Australian Shepherd excellent aids for the disabled.

They are Very Active

If you think getting a Merle Blue will be a smooth run, you’re in for a surprise. Australian Shepherd Blue Merle puppies are very hyper and will take some time adjusting to their new homes, which is why you need a lot of energy to look after them.

The Blue Merle Australian Shepherd might not be the right fit if you’re looking for calmer dogs. Even when they grow up, Australian Shepherd Blue Merles need a lot of care and activity from their owners.

How to Adopt a Healthy Blue Merle Australian Shepherd

As we have discussed, Blue Merle Australian Shepherd is prone to a few health problems. While not every Blue Merle Australian Shepherd will get sick, you need to know which signs to recognize if you’re looking for a healthy dog.

Medical Records

A good breeder will always keep track of medical check-ups and visits with the vet. If you’re adopting from someone who has no medical record to provide, it means that your pup might not have visited the vet at all.

Pup Lineage and Temperament Information

Experienced and trusted breeders know all about the lineage and temperament of their bred dogs. If your breeder doesn’t seem to know where the dog is from or provides vague information, then there’s a chance that the dog might not have come from a healthy background.

Physical Check-up

You can physically check the dog before adoption. If you don’t know how to tell a healthy dog from a sick dog, you can ask an experienced dog owner or a vet to confirm.

Everything About Blue Merle Australian Shepherd!

Avoiding Puppy Scams

Sometimes, people will kidnap puppies from the litter and sell them to unsuspecting people at a ridiculously high price. Additionally, puppy scammers will also try to sell people sick or unhealthy dogs, and while there’s nothing wrong with it, every dog owner needs to be in the loop before adoption.

To avoid puppy sales scams, you need to look for red and green flags in the breeder.

Red Flags

If you spot these signs when adopting, you should look for another breeder. Not all of these signs will be present, so keep a keen eye:

The Breeder is Vague

If your breeder doesn’t tell you much and does not disclose information about what you asked, then you might be talking to a scamming breeder.

Sometimes, breeders will give you an answer, but you’ll feel they’re not being honest.

If you feel that your breeder is hiding things, steer clear.

You’re Buying from a Puppy Mill

Puppy mills don’t have good breeding conditions, and you’re more likely to get an unhealthy puppy from a mill than buying from a different breeder. Puppy mills also hide any health issues with their dogs, so it’s best to avoid buying a puppy from a puppy mill.

The Breeder isn’t Verified

The person or kennel you’re adopting/buying from must be registered as a breeder. If your breeder is not verified, skip and find someone who is.

There are no Medical Records

As mentioned before, a good breeder will keep track of all medical check-ups of a dog. If your Merle Aussie’s breeder has no medical records to show you, it’s a very suspicious thing.

The Environment of the Adoption Kennel is Suspicious

Sometimes, you’ll know when an adoption agency is not worth your effort. If the adoption kennels or places where you’re getting your puppy are dirty, cramped, don’t have toys or play areas for dogs, and have disturbing living conditions, you should switch to a better breeder.

Green Flags

Some signs will tell you that your breeder is trustworthy. Take a look:

Your Breeder is Informative

If your breeder is openly answering all questions you ask and is not hesitant to give away information, then you’re talking to a good breeder. Experienced and excellent breeders will know everything about their dog breeds, including their lineage and medical check-ups.

There is an Extensive Record

Good breeders know to keep all records, medical and others, compiled for owners. If your breeder is trustworthy, you’ll get a binder of paperwork related to your puppy.

The Dog is up to Date with Check-ups

Bad breeders or scammers don’t care whether the dogs they’re selling are healthy or not, so if you see a record of medical check-ups and vaccinations, you’re good to go. Excellent and trustworthy dog breeders will keep up with dog vaccinations, flea checks, health screenings, and more.

The Environment is Good

Does your breeder have lots of toys and playpens for the dogs? Are all dogs living in a spacious and breathable area? Are the food bowls and chew toys clean?

If the answer is yes, your breeder is reliable; if the answer is no, find a better breeder.

Final Words: Australian Shepherd Merle

Merle Shepherds are gorgeous, witty, and strong, so they’re a good fit for any home. There’s a lot to know prior to adopting a Merle Blue Shepherd, but as long as you’re caring and compassionate, your Merle Blue Australian Shepherd will be pleased.

Although they’re very handsome, Australian Shepherd Blue Merles are prone to health issues, including eye diseases, hip and elbow dysplasia, and epilepsy. However, with a good diet and the right vet, your Merle Blue Australian Shepherd will live a long and healthy life.

Everything About Blue Merle Australian Shepherd!

Frequently Asked Questions

Have some queries? Read on below to find answers to commonly asked questions:

What Does a Blue Merle Australian Shepherd Look Like?

Most Blue Merle Australian Shepherds have a spotted coat, angular and floppy ears and, a sturdy build. Blue Merle Australian Shepherds typically have striking blue eyes, but they can also have brown or both brown and blue eyes.

Are All Blue Merle Australian Shepherd Blue-eyed?

While Blue Merle Australian Shepherds are popular because of their blue eyes, not all Australian Shepherd Blue Merle will have blue eyes. Some Blue Merle Australian Shepherds have brown eyes; in rarer cases, a Blue Merle will have one blue and one brown eye.

Are Blue Merle Australian Shepherds Rare?

Blue Merle Australian Shepherd are rare when you compare them to tricolor and other Australian Shepherd; however, Blue Merle Australian Shepherds are not the rarest Australian Shepherd. The Red Merle Australian Shepherd is rarer than the Blue Merle Australian Shepherd.

What is the Rarest Blue Merle Australian Shepherd Color?

The rarest Blue Merle Australian Shepherd color is red.

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Jackob Evans

Hi, I’m Jacob. I’ve been a professional blogger for over six years, and in that time, I’ve written countless blogs that have helped millions of people worldwide. A DVM by profession, I have treated and cured thousands of dogs, if not millions.

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