Last Updated on July 4, 2023
Australian Shepherd red merle has inherited a particularly unique and beautiful colour pattern. In this article, we will see the fun facts about the Australian Shepherd red merle dogs, What makes this colour pattern look more beautiful and why people prefer this colour pattern over others.
Every Australian Shepherd red merle dog has unique colour patterns; you will not find the exact red merle colour pattern dogs. Check this article, If you are curious about Australian Shepherd colour.
What is an Australian Shepherd Red Merle?
Did you know the Australian Shepherd Red Merle doesn’t have a RED colour pattern? Often people are misguided by the name RED on this dog breed. It is common for you to imagine a RED colour dog when you hear the name Red Merle, but this means different.
The Australian Shepherd Red Merle comes from a very light cinnamon or champagne colour to a strawberry blonde shade and also copper, sienna, rust or other shades of brown with black brown with red.
Sometimes breeders refer to the red colour in Australian Shepherds as red merle, red spectrum etc., instead of just saying the red because it is easier to identify the actual birth colour as Australian Shepherd coats often darken when the dogs grow older.
Australian Shepherd Breed Standard colours
The Australian Shepherd red merle is just one of four recognised colours for the breed. The official Australian Shepherd dog breed standard specifies that these colours are solid black, solid red (also called liver), red merle and blue merle.
Additionally, you will also find all four colours may also include white or tan (copper) markings (points or ticking). The Australian Shepherd Red merle coloured dogs have red lips, eye rims and red noses, whereas black-coloured and Blue merle coloured dogs have black lips, black noses, and eye rims.
When the Australian Shepherd red merle dog grows, you may likely see the red ed (liver) spectrum, copper (tan) spectrum and white spectrum markings develop in the coat, as well as black markings on occasion, or the Australian Shepherd red merle will most likely also have a liver (red) spectrum nose, lips and eye rims.
Australian Shepherd Colour Vs Pattern
Usually, Australian Shepherds are inherited in either red or blue colours. The merle is a pattern rather than a dog colour, and both two colours can be either solid or merle. So, you can have a blue merle Australian Shepherd or a solid blue Australian Shepherd, or you can have them both solid or plain in red.
A single litter of Australian Shepherd dogs can even have different colour patterns; a merle colour can even show up with incredible variety from puppy to puppy. The solid or self-coat colour pattern of the Australian Shepherd will express as one single coat colour.
Double Merle Australian Shepherd – The Serious issues
White Australian Shepherd with or at least one minimal colour is often the result of the double merles (also known as lethal whites) gene that can cause severe damage to a puppy’s eyes and ears.
Breeders have confirmed that mating a merle to merle dogs always creates health issues in the puppies. Australian Shepherd double merle puppies might even suffer from total blindness and deafness. Because of these reasons, responsible breeders never breed two merle dogs together.
Australian Shepherd Merle Puppy’s Changing Coat
Australian Shepherd dog breeders can predict types of changes in advance boils down to the difference between the dog’s phenotype (appearance) and genotype (genetics); the reason for the change is when puppies grow older, the colour gets darker.
Bi-colour or Merle Australian Shepherd puppies are likely to get tri-colour when they grow older, and the light coat colour puppies get darker and more affluent. The ticking and markings begin to appear throughout the coat, while white markings in puppies shrink in size on the adult coat.
The eyes lighten or darken in adulthood, and the nose, lip, eyelid and paw pad colours are also likely to change when the puppies grow.
Australian Shepherd Red Merle Health
As we have already seen, the double merle colour pattern dogs create various potential health issues, like ear and eye problems and even blindness and deafness. However, single-merle dogs have less risk and suffering than double-merle dogs.
Australian Shepherd Red merle or double red merle dogs inherit blue eyes and a predominantly white spectrum colour coat and can also be more sensitive to sunlight. These dogs have a higher risk for eye and skin damage, sunburn, and exposure-related cancer.
Having an Australian Shepherd Red Merle dog can be a great experience; you will be amazed to enjoy their intelligence, energy and good-looking appearance. Considering the health issues covered in this article while adopting or buying an Australian Shepherd dog, check the parent’s colour coat pattern and health issues.