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Blue Merle (pictured above) is a beautiful and highly sought after coat pattern in Cardigan Welsh Corgis.
In fact, it is a preferred color by many corgi puppy buyers.
However, prospective puppy buyers should be wary when they are looking for a blue merle corgi.
Because merle is a popular color, many unethical breeders breed merle colored corgi-mixes and sell them to undereducated puppy buyers.
These puppies can suffer from lifelong behavioral and/or health problems.
Furthermore, dogs carrying two copies of the blue merle gene can experience life-altering health problems.
So, if you are interested in buying a blue merle corgi, this is what you need to know.
What is Merle?
Merle is a unique coat pattern that can come in many variations.
The merle gene dilutes and lightens the color of random sections of the coat.
These sections can be any size or anywhere on the dog.
The diluted sections are usually gray (or blue) and may appear jagged and torn, leaving patches of the original underlying coat color visible.
While it is both beautiful and desirable, blue merle coats can come with additional health and breeding risks.
These risks should be taken into consideration by perspective pet owners.
Health Problems Associated With Blue Merle Corgis
The merle gene that gives dogs that fascinating coat pattern can cause a number of health problems.
Dogs who carry both copies of the merle gene (double merle) can experience a lack of pigment in certain vital areas of the dog.
These areas include the eyes and inner ears.
Areas lacking pigment can cause health problems such as deafness, blindness, sun sensitivity, and higher rates of skin cancer.
Thankfully, these conditions are rarely seen in dogs that carry a single copy of the merle gene.
They are more commonly seen in dogs that carry 2 copies of the gene.
This means that it is extremely important for breeders to track which of their dogs carry the merle gene.
Even if a dog does not outwardly appear merle, they can still carry the merle gene and pass it on to offspring.
Breeding two dogs that carry the merle gene together will likely result in some “double merle” puppies.
These puppies will lack pigment in many areas of their body, and are commonly blind and/or deaf.
Special care must be taken when breeding merles to avoid health problems.
So, merle is a color best left to experienced dog breeders.
Blue Merle Corgi Breeders
The priority for any ethical dog breeder must be health, temperament, and conformation.
You should avoid breeders who breed and market their dogs to puppy buyers based solely on rare or selective coat colors.
This trend is especially common with corgi-breed backyard breeders, who often breed for financial gain.
Since merle is such a popular color, backyard breeders can ask for higher prices for puppies with merle coloring.
In breeds such as Pembroke Welsh Corgis, backyard breeders will cross them with breeds that carry merle to produce merle-colored puppies.
Mixing dog breeds to produce unique coat colors is highly unethical and should be avoided.
Blue Merle In Pembroke Welsh Corgis
Pembroke Welsh corgis do not carry the merle gene.
This means that under no circumstances can a purebred Pembroke Welsh Corgi be merle.
If a Pembroke Welsh Corgi is being sold with a merle coat to create a merle Pembroke Welsh Corgi, backyard breeders will mix other breeds of dogs (Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Australian Shepherds, etc.) to introduce the merle gene into Pembrokes.
By breeding these dogs without prioritizing health, temperament, or conformation, these mixed-breed puppies often suffer from lifelong behavioral and/or health problems.
Backyard Breeder Red Flags
Backyard breeders can be hard to identify.
However, they often use similar marketing tactics to try and sell their unethically bred puppies to unexpecting buyers.
Some of these red flags include:
- Use phrases like “Triple Clear” or “Champion Lines.”
- Don’t do OFA hip or OFA Eye testing (CAER)
- Market rare coat colors to puppy buyers (Merle, Bluie, etc.)
It is in the best interest of you, and your future puppy, to avoid these breeders.
Finding An Ethical Corgi Breeder
If you are hoping to find a reputable and ethical corgi breeder, it is important to remember that blue merle coat colors can only be ethically produced in purebred Cardigan Welsh Corgis.
You will not find an ethical Pembroke Welsh Corgi breeder that produces merle puppies.
There are 3 qualities that make a Cardigan Welsh Corgi breeder ethical:
- The Abide by Their Breed Club’s Code of Ethics
- They complete all the health tests required by the Breed Club
- They can prove that an unbiased 3rd party considers their dogs to be temperamentally sound and within the breed standard.
Thankfully, the breed clubs maintain membership directories.
These directories offer a great resource for prospective puppy buyers to use when looking for a breeder.
You can also attend local dog shows and meet breeders/their dogs in person if you prefer.
It is important to note that most ethical breeders do not maintain a website because they don’t need them.
They often have a waitlist for their dogs and do not need to invest effort in marketing them.
Take all of these things into consideration when you are looking for an ethical corgi breeder to buy your next dog from.
Contacting A Breeder
If you intend to reach out to a reputable Cardigan Welsh Corgi breeder for a puppy, you should not prioritize asking for specific coat color.
A reputable breeder should try their best to match your personality and lifestyle to that of their available puppies.
Your first priority as a buyer should be the health of the puppy.
You should verify the appropriate health and genetic testing and that the breeder has taken the appropriate steps to set puppies up for success.
As you establish a relationship with your breeder, you may voice preferred coat color if you would like, but you should remain open minded to other coat colors.
Finding a healthy dog that fits your lifestyle and family should be your number 1 priority.
Coat color is just the wrapping paper.
The merle gene is responsible for an attractive and unique coloration found in Cardigan Welsh Corgis.
Many other breeds of dog’s also carry this gene, but Pembroke Welsh Corgis do not!
Unlike other coat colorings, the merle gene is also responsible for several serious health conditions, including deafness, blindness, and an increased risk of skin cancer.
If you are considering adopting a blue merle corgi, you should first consider other aspects before approaching a breeder.
First, it is crucial that you identify an ethical corgi breeder that has conducted all of the appropriate testing.
An ethical breeder will never breed two merles together, intentionally breed for color, mix breeds.
Next, you should communicate with your breeder about what type of puppy would be the best fit for your family’s lifestyle.
Lastly, should you have preference on gender or coat color, you can voice that to your breeder.