Colors of the Australian Shepherd
Australian Shepherd Blue Merle, ss you may already know, there are many, many colors of the Australian Shepherd. Some are more common than others, but all gorgeous and beautiful.
The four basic coat base colors of the Australian Shepherd includes:
Though we’re only going to be covering the blue merle in the article, the others are just as great. Keep in mind that these four colors are the colors officially recognized by the American Kennel Club. For more information, check out the AKC website and click “breed standard.”
There are many other colors for these dogs, such as sable, yellow, and other dilute colors. However, they’re extremely rare and aren’t considered completely ethical to breed.
Facts About Australian Shepherd Blue Merle
So, why get a Blue Merle Australian Shepherd? Whether you have a black-tri, red merle or blue merle Aussie, there really is no difference other than the “cosmetics” or appearance. They’re the same great dogs with fantastic work ethics. They’ll even love you the same as any other Aussie.
However, there are things to consider when debating on whether you want to get a blue merle.
The health of Blue Merles
In general, Australian Shepherds are relatively healthy dogs. This is especially true if they’re a pure Aussie from a reputable breeder. However, there are health issues that may arise that are much more common with blue merles.
For example, Coloboma is an eye condition that affects the Aussie’s iris. The dog’s iris doesn’t fully develop, so it doesn’t work as well as a normal Aussie eye.
In other words, the eyes of the dog won’t be able to dilate or contract properly. What this means for the blue merle is that they will be very sensitive in bright light, which can cause a lot of long-term discomfort for them.
This gene is not exclusive to merles. Even non-merle Aussies can carry this gene, though not as frequently observed. Always make sure to ask the breeder about eye conditions of the parents and lineage if you want to keep a Blue Merle Australian Shepherd.
Variations of Blue Merle Australian Shepherds
The blue merle is not one specific coat color. Rather, there are four distinct variations of the Blue Merle Aussie. Some are much more common than the others. However, all are beautiful and unique.
1. Solid Blue Merle Aussie
Despite these dogs being classified as “blue merle,” Solid Blue Merle Australian Shepherds are not as common as you think. Their coats have a base color of gray, with black spots or patches. The patches can appear all over the body and can be in many different shapes and sizes.
There should be no other color markings on a solid blue merle, including the popular white and copper/tan markings. In any case, these dogs are great and have an unusual appearance that makes for a good ice breaker or conversation starter.
2. Blue Merle & Tan Aussie
Although beautiful in their own right, the Blue Merle and Tan Australian Shepherd is not very common. These dogs come in a splendid blue merle (black patches on gray fur) with only tan/copper markings.
It’s a little hard to differentiate between the blue merle/tan versus the blue merle tricolor. The color difference between the white markings and gray fur of the blue merle isn’t always obvious.
Still, these dogs are seen from time to time. But if you’re looking specifically for a Blue Merle and Tan Australian Shepherd, you may have a difficult time doing so.
Blue Merle Australian Shepherd Eyes
A Blue Merle Australian Shepherd is much more than a uniquely colored coat. Even their eyes can be special in terms of coloring. Yes, it’s true that most blue merles have solid eye colors.
However, most of these dogs will have specks of colors on their colored eyes. We call these “marble eyes” and they’re amazing to look at.
The solid eye colors of blue merles include either brown or blue. And in some instances, blue merles can have eyes with two different colors (one blue and one brown).
Blue Merle Aussie: Temperament
Currently, there are no studies that show coat colors of Australian Shepherds affect temperament or personality. There are ongoing research studies, but still nothing as of yet.
With that said, the biggest influence on the temperaments of these dogs is in your hands. For instance, Australian Shepherds are hyperactive dogs that need to work.