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Hi,

does anybody know, do blue merle tri border collies ever occur with the brown coloration appearing as extremely dark, as if they're blue merle and chocolate tri?

We have a blue merle puppy who is showing patches of black and patches that look much more chocolate than black. He did have a chocolate litter mate and the dam has chocolate genes. But all blue merle tris I've ever seen had a very light brown instead of the very dark. He has quite a few of these dark brown looking patches but overall he looks blue merl-y. Is there such a thing as blue-chocolate merles?

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If by patches you're not referring to the tan points, yes, blue merles can have patches of a brown color of various sizes throughout their base color. I've had a couple blue merles and both had those brown spots. It has nothiong to do with either parent carrying red (i.e. chocolate, but it's called red in border collies) nor is it a factor of being a tri. Both of mine were bis.

 

I remember seeing a name for it in the past, but unfortunately now I don't remember what it is.

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I just figured out how to add a profile picture, so I put my little guy as my profile pic. It's a bit small but maybe you can see the patches I'm referring to.

You're right, I did not mean tan points. You can see the patches especially around his left eye but kind of all over a little bit. I was also wondering if this is what's called Tweed?

 

Is there a certain percentage he has to have to be classified as a tri? My husband says if they have less than 25% of brown in them they're not a tri. I'd say Baloo has less than 25%, but the brown coloration is pretty noticeable all over his body, and if he takes after his dad and grandpa, the dark patches will grow in size by the time he is an adult...

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The picture doesn't really show enough, but from what I can see I can't tell one way or the other whether he's a tri or not. Tris have varying amounts of tan on the edges of the white markings on their faces and on their legs. It tends to develop as they mature and often the only place you can see it on a very young pup is under their tails. But, as I said in my earlier post, this has nothing to do with the brown patches on the body. Your pup may indeed be a tri-color, but all I can see right now is bi-blue merle with some spots of the brown color on his face.

 

I've never heard of tweed in reference to merle so I can't comment on that. I've also never heard of any percentages being applied to the amount of tan tri-colors must have in their points. Maybe these are ACK things? But 25% tan (the points are called tan, not brown) seems like an awful lot. Most tri border collies aren't nearly so clearly or intensely marked and tris in some other breeds. But if you haven't noticed, people on these Boards aren't big fans of artificial requirements like that that have no bearing on stock working ability.

 

White headed tris may have only very small amount of tan. I had a tri border collie X spitz-type mix with a mostly white head and white front. She had a tiny amount of tan on one cheek and on one of her back legs. Very little tan, you really had to look for it to see it, but she was still genetically tri-colored.

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Hi,

 

does anybody know, do blue merle tri border collies ever occur with the brown coloration appearing as extremely dark, as if they're blue merle and chocolate tri?

We have a blue merle puppy who is showing patches of black and patches that look much more chocolate than black. He did have a chocolate litter mate and the dam has chocolate genes. But all blue merle tris I've ever seen had a very light brown instead of the very dark. He has quite a few of these dark brown looking patches but overall he looks blue merl-y. Is there such a thing as blue-chocolate merles?

 

 

In the small photo it's hard to say but I've seen blue merle Aussies with some kind of brownish coloring in their dark patches. I don't know if there is any sort of name for that kind of coloration, though, as these boards are proponents of breeding border collies for work, rather than "candy" dogs who are bred just for looks and fancy colors. That seems like more of an AKC thing.

 

Cute pup, though! :)

 

~ Gloria

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Hello Kuroiobi20134,

 

Here is the link to the page of the Border Collie Museum's website about merle coloration:

 

http://www.bordercolliemuseum.org/BCLooks/Merle/Merle.html

 

Perhaps this information will help.

 

Regards,

nancy

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Thank you for the links and the information.

Just to clarify, we did not breed for any particular colors, we just bred the two healthy adults we have for their personalities and trainability. We were just wondering what to put on Baloo's registration papers, since he may one day breed, too.

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The tan points that make a dog "Tri" are only in very specific locations. Brown on other parts of the body do not constitute tri coloring. The BC museum site will help with that.

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Dean has some darker brown, although most of his brown is the lighter gold color.

 

If you click on his picture that I have attached, I think you can see it.

 

 

post-3980-0-60337800-1462886727_thumb.jpg

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"Just to clarify, we did not breed for any particular colors, we just bred the two healthy adults we have for their personalities and trainability."

 

Unless that "trainability" is herding ability, that's not considered a responsible criterion for breeding here. :blink:

 

Based on the link that Liz provided, I'd guess that maybe the brownish spots might fit the definition of tweed. It's not the term that I'd heard many years ago, but it might be the same.

 

Too bad the pictures on that page are too small and not detailed enough to be helpful. :rolleyes:

 

As for what to put on Baloo's registration for color, is there tan under his tail near his anus? If not and if you're not seeing any tan where the colored areas meet the white on his face or on his legs (that should be starting to show by 8 weeks) then I'd just list him as blue merle. Again, the brownish color that shows up in the other areas of his coat don't count as tri-color, which is a different genetic trait altogether. My computer's acting up ATM so I can't copy and paste the link, but the Border Collie Museum page linked above has a link to a tricolor & black-and-tan page that details this.

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Thank you for the links and the information.

Just to clarify, we did not breed for any particular colors, we just bred the two healthy adults we have for their personalities and trainability. We were just wondering what to put on Baloo's registration papers, since he may one day breed, too.

 

I sincerely hope you have read the "Read this first" that is pinned at the top of the home page. It will explain the philosophy of these boards, particularly with regards to breeding.

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Oops, I said things I didn't mean to say, I'm on meds that are making me loopy. :)

 

I don't think the dog is slate. Maltese doesn't restrict itself to dilute dogs, it means that the dilute spots are dark in color and extremely profuse, such that it gives the dog of an appearance of being solid colored. If you imagine a merle dog where the silvery color is over the entire dog, you can see where it would appear to be blue or lilac.

 

I did actually mean to say tweed, which is what I believe this dog has. A picture would make it easy!

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Sorry you're not feeling well, Kingfisher. Med reactions can be the pits.

 

OK, so we agree that the pup in question has the tweed markings but doesn't appear to be slate. :)

 

I'm still confused (but not terribly worried) about the "Maltese" thing. This website, which was the only one I could find in a brief search, seems to be saying that Maltese by definition is dilute: http://www.lethalwhites.com/merle/diluteblue.html

 

I love merles, and though I may try to get another in the future it wouldn't be from anyone who's breeding with the need to understand those candy color distinctions. B)

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I'll post a few pictures of maltese merles. I do NOT own the pictures, I hope I don't get in trouble.

 

 

post-14480-0-29704100-1462980459_thumb.jpg

post-14480-0-03518900-1462980482_thumb.jpg

post-14480-0-34895300-1462980492_thumb.jpg

 

I hope you see what they mean when they say the dogs can appear to be slate, lilac, etc. They haven't yet identified the gene that causes this merle mutation.

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Interesting. They don't look slate at all to me. They look like the merle dilution is complete, not having the gaps where the base color shows through undiluted.

 

I wonder if it's a gene or just a modifier to the gene, like the merle "gene" itself is only a modifier on a gene, an allele.

 

Are these pictures and the info from a website or websites you'd be willing to share? My search engine obviously didn't pick it up, or if it did it was buried deeper than I followed.

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Well, GentleLake, we do want our dogs registered ABCA, and the ABCA does ask what color your dog is. Since we're intending to sell some of our dogs, it kind of makes sense to know if a dog is a merle or a tri merle. That does not make us candy color breeders, and just because some of our dogs are merles does not make them any less able as herding or working dogs. In fact, so far the few we have had have all displayed spectacular herding ability and instincts. I don't even know where you're getting that impression from that we breed for color (and yes, I am able to read forum disclaimers, thanks). My OQ was simply if the dark brown has anything to do with tri or not, to understand the genetics, and I understand from the info provided that it is a different thing.

 

Thank you for those who provided useful information, my question has definitely been answered. The pup is a blue merle, not tri.

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I'm glad you got your answer, OP!

 

GentleLake, those pictures were all on the facebook group Coat Color & Genetics. I just used the search function within the group to find maltese individuals. It's a pretty cool group! I know most of our dogs here are just B/W or tri, but I still like seeing all the potential genes in play.

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I never said you had any affiliation with ACK, only that the kinds of distinctions you were asking about are more likely to be ACK-type concerns than working bred.

 

However, if your dogs aren't proven working dogs, which means actually having proficiency working livestock in a trial or farm situations (and from the limited information you've provided I don't know if they are or not), then breeding for "personalities and trainability" other than on stock isn't considered responsible breeding here.

 

I'm sure your dogs are very nice, but in a breed that needs to be preserved for its working ability we need to keep the breeding more selective than that.

 

And just "instinct" and "herding" behaviors aren't enough either. They have to be able to channel that instinct into useful work, which will only ever be demonstrated by being trained for and used for that work.

 

I have a beautiful red male who has a wonderful personality and is very trainable. Would I ever breed him? Not on your life! because he really isn't very much interested in sheep. Wonderful, beautiful dream of a dog, but a lousy border collie.

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