Find Out The Truth About Merle Pomeranians: What’s a Merle Pomeranian?

Last Updated on April 11, 2024 by Denise Leo

Merle Pomeranians’ distinctive coat patterns and unique colors, including the eye-catching blue eyes of blue merle poms or the gorgeous light of chocolate merle, represent a very interesting color pattern in the Pomeranian breed.

This splashed color pattern, ranging from white and tan markings to dilute black, showcases many possible combinations, making each Merle Pomeranian a standout. However, responsible breeding practices are crucial, especially in merle breedings, to prevent health issues like eye problems, which are more prevalent in double merles due to their diluted genes.

Merle is classified as a gene modifier that alters the colour pattern of a dog’s coat through his pigmentation. His eyes might also change to blue. A blue-eyed Pomeranian usually has a merle Pomeranian parent.

Merle Pomeranians Australia
Merle Pomeranian Dog

Fast Facts about Merle Pomeranians

  •  Price tag – $2,000 – $10,000 just for the purchase.
  • Then, a lifetime of everyday expenses and all the extras to look after possible multiple, severe health conditions.
  •  ANKC does not recognise the merle colour in the Pomeranian breed standard.
  •  Merle Poms are not classed as purebred in Australia and may have a different temperament from the average Pomeranian.
  •  They may be partly/completely deaf and/or blind from birth or become that way at an early age.
  •  Because they have been possibly crossbred, they can be bigger than a traditional purebred Pomeranian. They lack the correct double coat and have a long muzzle, flat feet, and largish ears.
  •  Their pigment may be modified, and there may be changes to the eye color (usually blue) and coat color.
  •  Merle is a dominant gene, not one that’s recessive.
  •  A phantom merle has the Merle gene without signs of being a Merle.

Other dog breeds with the Merle gene include Collies, Dachshunds, American Pit Bull Terriers, Great Danes, and many others.

Particular specialty colours that may be mixed with Merle are black and white parti Pomeranians and brindle Pomeranians.

Registering a Merle Pomeranian with the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) bodies here in Australia is impossible because it’s not recognised as an official Pomeranian colour pattern. Because of this, the Merle Pomeranian is often bred due to unethical breeding practises.

Pomeranians and all other breeds with this specific merle gene tend to stand out because their coats can have some incredible colours, spots, and blotches all over and often appeal to a buyer wanting something unusual. In the previous two decades, Pomeranians have become vastly more popular, partly because of the unique qualities and colours of their coats.

Studies have revealed that Pomeranians with a Merle coat have existed for a very short period. The Merle gene was not part of the genetic makeup of the original Pomeranian.

As the Merle gene is a dominant gene, unlike a recessive gene, it cannot be dormant for many generations and turn up. A merle Pomeranian MUST have one merle parent.  As the Merle gene was not originally part of the Pomeranian and did not initially occur in the Pomeranian breed, doubts exist about the purity of these lines.

The ANKC, the English Kennel Club, and the FCI have all taken positions against Merle Pomeranians by not permitting such dogs to be registered. This joint undertaking is laudable, considering the number of potential risks to the Pomeranian breed’s health and doubts about their parentage.

Merle Pomeranian Health Problems

All merle dogs are subject to serious health controversy, so no owner should consider them lightly. Any dog with merle attributes has an extremely high potential of being blind and/or deaf when first born.

Others might not be born with such isolating conditions but may face these down the track. A blue merle Pomeranian can also have reproductive problems and heart and skeletal troubles.

All reputable breeders know they should never, under any circumstances, breed two Merle parents together because the puppies born to such parents face an enormous probability of suffering severe health issues.

Merle Pomeranians Australia
Orange and Merle Pomeranians

In fact, the English Kennel Club has banned Merle Pomeranians completely. We strongly advise against breeding Merle Pom parents because we don’t want to jeopardise the lives of any Pomeranian puppy litter in this way.

Numerous breeders have suggested that if you breed a Merle and a Pomeranian with a solid colour, their lives would be safe. However, studies have revealed that even if you breed this way, puppies may be born with significant health challenges.

Not every Merle Pomeranian will be forced to endure the problems already mentioned…some will enjoy a healthy, full life with none of these particular symptoms at all.

However, there are also plenty of dog owners/lovers who love owning and looking after dogs that are considered to be disabled. My faith in the human race is restored when I see different people sharing videos or photos of themselves demonstrating love for their blind, deaf, or otherwise disabled dogs.

Phantom Merle Pomeranians

A phantom Merle (a cryptic Merle) is a legitimate Pomeranian with the Merle gene. However, he shows no signs of being a Merle.

The identifying coat and eye colours might not be visible. The scientific name of a phantom merle is the “atypical merle,” and it may still produce merle puppies.

We recommend testing your Pomeranian if you breed to ensure he has no hidden phantom Merle gene.

Buying a Blue Merle Pomeranian in Australia

Despite the rarity, pitfalls, and controversy associated with this specific Pom colour, it will be expensive to buy your own Pomeranian. The price tag will generally be $2,000 – $10,000 to buy a Pomeranian.

Then, you also have all the other unanticipated health expenses to outlay. If you come across a Pom for only a couple of hundred dollars, you’re either very lucky, or that dog has something seriously wrong with him, or the advert is a scam, and the puppy does not exist.

Colours of Merle Pomeranians are Beautiful, and the Price is a Reflection of That

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for type. Most Merle Pomeranians here in Australia are entirely lacking in the Pomeranian breed type.  A person wanting to purchase a true-to-type Pomeranian should avoid the Australian Merle Pomeranians.

That cute, blue merle Pomeranian puppy will not develop into a show Pomeranian type as an adult. Small, cute, and fluffy with a double standoff coat does not describe the Merle Pomeranians bred in Australia.

The blue merle Pomeranians, produced here in Australia, are bred with an emphasis solely on an easily marketed colour pattern. All the Merle Pomeranians in Australia originate from non-ANKC breeders.

The truth is that active show Pomeranian breeders breed the cutest puppies.

Merle Pomeranian Health Risks

It’s wise to ask about the parents of any puppy you’re interested in buying to verify that both parents are NOT Merle because if they are, your puppies face a much higher risk of serious health problems.

Please understand that Merle Pomeranian puppies can suffer from various health challenges. If you make the buying decision, be prepared to look after him and the health challenges he might face to the best of your ability.

Merle Pomeranians in Australia

There’s a powerfully moral reason for not permitting the registration of Merle Pomeranians in Australia. Anyone purchasing a Merle Pomeranian puppy bred here in Australia should know they support and encourage unethical breeding practices.

The Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) does not recognize the colour, so Australian ethical preservation Pomeranian breeders do not breed merle Pomeranians.

Merle Pomeranians Conclusion

In wrapping up our discussion on Merle Pomeranians, it’s evident that this distinctive coat pattern, with its mesmerizing mix of merle colors, white markings, and possibly dark eyes or the shiny dark sapphire associated with certain variations, has captivated Pomeranian enthusiasts and pet owners across the United States and beyond.

The merle pattern, not just an overly common coloring but a testament to the breed’s vast palette, reflects a significant element of the Pomeranian’s appeal. Recognized by the American Kennel Club and the American Pomeranian Club, merle Pomeranians are celebrated for their unique beauty and the intricate genetic dance that creates their various colors and markings, including the merle parti and its solid base color enhanced by dark pigment.

Responsible breeders are the backbone of the continuation and health of these small dogs, underscoring the importance of genetic testing, regular brushing, and vigilance for potential skin irritation or other health concerns that can accompany the merle color pattern. This meticulous breeding, aimed at safeguarding the dogs’ well-being and upholding the breed’s integrity, is the optimal way to ensure that the Merle Pomeranian remains a cherished and healthy member of the popular dog breed.

From the royal courts, such as Queen Victoria of England, to the modern-day popularity on platforms like TikTok, Merle Pomeranians continue to make a significant impact. Their small size, fluffy coats, and the many possible combinations in their color breeding make each merle puppy a unique discovery.

However, the journey with a Merle Pomeranian doesn’t stop at their appearance; it extends to their well-being, highlighting the importance of positive reinforcement, regular health checks, and a loving environment. As we admire the beauty of Merle Pomeranians, let us remember the responsibility that comes with ownership and the commitment required to provide these adorable dogs with a life as vibrant as their coats.

For more details on Merle Pomeranians, visit the Pomeranian Headquarters website.

Copyright Pomeranians Australia.

References and Further Reading:
[1] Official Standard of the Pomeranian (AKC). American Kennel Club, 2011.
[2] English Kennel Club Pomeranian Breed Standard, 2017.
[3] Denise Leo, The Pomeranian Handbook.
[4] Milo G. Denlinger “The Complete Pomeranian.”
[5] Kimbering Pomeranians “1891-1991”.
[6] William Taplin’s “The Sportsman’s Cabinet.”
[7] E. Parker “The Popular Pomeranian.”
[8] Lilla Ives “Show Pomeranians.”

( Printed and shipped in Australia).

The Pomeranian Handbook by Denise Leo

Merle Pomeranians
Merle Pomeranians

Author

  • Dochlaggie

    Denise Leo ~Dochlaggie Pomeranians ~ Australia ~ Breeder of Best in Show winning Pomeranians. Celebrating nearly 50 years as a Pomeranian Exhibitor/Breeder. Becoming a member of Dogs Victoria (then known as the Kennel Control Council) in February, 1975. During this time, close to 100 of our Pomeranians have been titled in many parts of the World. I’m a Breeder/Exhibitor of many All Breeds and Specialty “Best in Show” winners. I breed high quality Pomeranians in most colours... white, wolf sable, cream sable, orange, orange sable, chocolate, beaver, parti colours, black & tan and black.

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