Worldwide Double Merle Awareness Day

worldwide double merle awareness day

Today is Worldwide Double Merle Awareness Day!

A number of rescues around the globe are working together to raise awareness and hopefully STOP Merle to Merle breeding from continuing.

Double Merle breeding and why it needs to STOP!

What is a Double Merle dog?

A double Merle is exactly what it sounds like. It is the puppy product of breeding a Merle, also known as marbled/harlequin/dapple, pattern dog to a Merle pattern dog.  They can be of any breed or cross, and any colour Merle pattern.

Why is breeding Merle to Merle bad?

Double Merle breeding is a genetic mess. An inheritance of the Merle gene from both parents results in a puppy that severely lacks pigment (responsible for colour). That lack of pigment produces a predominantly white coat and usually blue eyes, but it’s that same lack of pigment that is responsible for these dogs being Deaf, Blind or Both.  It is still common practice that breeders will euthanise Deaf and/or Blind puppies, some only on suspicion of being so. In Australia, we are also personally seeing an increase in neurological issues in Double Merle’s that we are further investigating.

Why do people breed Merle to Merle?

Intentionally breeding Merle to Merle dogs is incredibly irresponsible but we still see it happening.  It continues to happen because of:

  • Greed - Merle is a desirable colour = People pay more for Merle’s. 
  • Lack of education- ‘they’re so pretty’ Doubling a desirable colour increases your chances of adorable money making puppies right? ... Wrong.
  • Genuine accidents - it does happens. But if you own a Merle of any breed please be aware and avoid putting your dog in this situation.

Not every puppy from a Merle to Merle litter will have issue. Statistics say that 25% of a litter have issues. We’ve seen a lot of variance, usually higher percentages. We’ve personally even seen whole litters affected.

Are all white dogs Double Merle’s?

No.  There are a number of breeds with naturally white coats.  Double Merle’s are dogs who should have pigment but don’t. Naturally white dogs still have pigment where it needs to be (around the eyes, nose, mouth ect) It’s also worth noting that Double Merle’s, although predominantly white, are NOT Albino.

Are all Double Merle’s Deaf/Blind/Both?

No. It is possible for a Double Merle dog to not have hearing or vision issue but it is very uncommon.

Following are just a tiny handful of Double Merle’s that have come through Hear No Evil, Australian Deaf Dog Rescue and their issues.

Winnie - Dachshund. Deaf and Visually Impaired (microphthalmia - ‘small/undersized eyes’).

Odin - Great Dane mix. Deaf and Blind.

Harper - Catahoula x. Deaf and Vision Impaired. Anxiety. Harper is available for adoption for more info click here

Halo - Koolie x Border Collie. Deaf, visually impaired (microphthalmia- ‘small eyes’ enucleation(removal) required), Canine Cognitive Disorder.

Hear No Evil stands with other rescue groups to Stop Merle to Merle Breeding. We love our deaf & blind dogs, and they can live happy and fulfilled lives, but their issues are completely avoidable. #doublemerleawarenessday

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Cinnamon - Great Dane mix. Deaf and Blind (Microphthalmia - ‘small eyes’).

Bosco - Greyhound x Catahoula mix. Deaf and Blind. Bosco is available for adoption. For more info CLICK HERE

Brother & Sister: Norman. Great Dane mix. Deaf and Blind (microphthalmia - ‘small eyes’). Lacey. Great Dane mix. Blind (Anopthalmia - born with no eyes).

Shep - Aussie Shepherd, Deaf and Vision Impaired. (Micropthalmia - ‘small eyes’)

For more great information on Double Merle Awareness, check out www.dmawarenessday.com or contact us.

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1 comment
Priya Ghosh says July 16, 2018

Great message! I hope people become more aware of this problem and take proper action.

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