The Australian Shepherd is one of the cutest dogs on the planet, and also one of the most loyal and intelligent. These dogs can come in a number of different fur colors, including the rare red merle Australian Shepherd puppies.
The red merle Shepherd is a unique and beautiful animal. In addition to being rare, the merle coat is unique and means that, most likely, no two red merle dogs will ever look the same!
How Did Red Merle Australian Shepherd Puppies Appear?
The first thing you’re going to need to know about the term ‘red merle’ is that it’s probably not the type of red that you’re thinking of. In dogs, red can refer to a range of colors from a light toasty brown to dirty blonde. Copper and rust colors are also referred to as red.
Understanding Dog Genes
If you’re buying a new puppy, you might be surprised to learn that the adult dog might look a bit different. As your dog grows old, its fur will change. This is because of your dog’s genes.
When your dog matures into adulthood, some of its genes will express themselves differently. This can lead to changes in fur color, markings, and face masks appearing.
Aussie Base Coat Colors (including Red Merle)
According to the breed standard, there are four base coats that can the Shepherd can have. These are: blue merle, black, red merle, and red.
The breed standard goes on to state that each coat type can come with white markings and/or tan points. However, not all coats will have these features.
The Merle Pattern
Merle is a genetic pattern. It can be found in the coats of certain dogs, including the Australian shepherd. When a dog has the merle genes activated, their fur will have mottled patches of color in an otherwise solid coat.
There are two genes involved here. The first gene is what activates the dominant coat color, which is red. This is a recessive gene called B locus, expressed as bb. The second gene activates the merle coat pattern. This gene is called M locus and is expressed as MM.
There are a wide variety of different patterns that arise on dogs with merle coats. Even puppies born in the same litter can have starkly different coats!
The merle gene is also known to cause dogs to have blue or off-colored eyes. Their skin pigment may be affected as well.
It’s also possible for dogs to have the cryptic merle gene. When this gene is activated, dogs will have a very subtle set of merle markings. Unless you look closely it’s easy to mistake these markings as a single, solid color.
The red merle Australian Shepherd is one of the most beautiful dogs that you can find. The merle coat is the result of certain genes finding expression. However, that doesn’t make them any less beautiful than their counterparts such as the Brown Australian Shepherd!
If you’re looking for another unique animal to add to your companions, consider checking out the Corgi puppy. These cute little dogs will provide you with years of entertainment.