Jump to content
BC Boards

Recommended Posts


This is my first post here... probably with a really dumb question but I just want to make sure ;)


Our girl border collie had her first litter 2 nights ago, 6 beautiful puppies. There was a good deal of color variation in her litter; in particular there's one puppy we're not 100% sure what he is. We think he is a lilac merle?


In this photo here you can see him with some of his siblings and his mommy. The puppy in the upper left corner is a blue merle (who is showing great similarity to the sire and one of his litter mates when he was a puppy), and by contrast the puppy in the middle seems quite a different shade. Is that what's referred to as lilac merle?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the heads up! I took the link out.


I'm still not totally sure, but he does look more like some of the red merles in these pictures. Maybe it'll be easier to tell as he grows a little bit. Red would definitely be easier to explain because both the dam and sire have red in their genes (both parents have one red grandparent each). We weren't aware of any lilac relatives on either side, so we were kind of surprised as to where this color was coming from (although we find him to be super cute).

Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't see the picture since you've taken it down, but red merle is a possibility and probably more likely than lilac merle since lilac is pretty rare. Is this the only reddish merle puppy in the litter, or are you comparing him to another red merle pup?


However, it's important for you to know that both reds and lilacs are genetically red dogs. In a lilac the red has been diluted. It's analogous to blue, which is a dilution of black, though a dilute black merles are called slate merles.


Even when you're talking about merles, "merle" is not the color. The dogs are either black or red or whatever base color that's been modified by an allele (or variant) on the gene.


Another thing to remember is that merles tend to be lighter at birth and then darken up when they grow older, so your red puppy could look more like a lilac now but grow up to be a darker and more average red merle.


Hope you'll post some other pictures that you can leave up. ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites



According to this, it would be considered double dilute, red AND blue. Very rare.


No not red and blue. The blue is a dilution of the black dog. Lilac is a dilution of the red/chocolate gene. Not that color matters to the sheep.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not getting here often lately, but I think "double dilute" is a misnomer. Red is NOT a dilution of black, it's the ABSENCE of black (bb vs BB), which allows the underlying red to show through. So a red dog is not black (or blue); it's red (or chocolate/liver, depending on the terminology you use).


The dd on a different locus dilutes the base color. A black dog becomes blue/slate, and a red dog becomes lilac. But a lilac is NOT both red and blue. If the dog is red, it doesn't carry black and since blue is the dilution of black, a lilac dog cannot be blue, period.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...