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Breed Information

Merle Pomeranians Australia

What’s a Merle Pomeranian?

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 a blue. A blue eyed Pomeranian usually has a merle Pomeranian parent.

Merle Pomeranians Australia
Merle Pomeranians Australia

Fast Facts about Merle Pomeranians

    •  Price tag – $2,000 – $10,000 just for the purchase.
    • Then a lifetime of normal 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 to the normal 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. Lack the correct double coat, have a long muzzle, flat feet and largish ears.
    •  Their pigment may be modified, changes made to the eye colours (usually blue) and the coat colour.
    •  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 who also have the merle gene including: Collies, Dachshunds, American Pit Bull Terriers, Great Danes and plenty of other dog breeds.

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

It’s not possible to register a merle Pomeranian with the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) bodies here in Australia because it’s not recognised as an official Pomeranian colour pattern. Because of this, the merle Pomeranian is often bred as a result of 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, as well as 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 only a very short period of time. The merle gene was not in 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 just turn up. A merle Pomeranian MUST have one merle parent.  As the Merle gene was not originally part of the Pomeranian and did not originally 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 health of the Pomeranian breed as well as doubts about their parentage.

Potential Risks Facing Merle Poms

There’s a serious health controversy surrounding all merle dogs so it’s something no owner should consider lightly. Any dog that has 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 as well as 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 enormous probabilities of suffering severe health issues as a result.

Merle Pomeranians Australia
Merle Pomeranians Australia

In fact, merle Pomeranians have been banned by the English kennel club completely. We strongly advise against breeding merle Pom parents because we don’t want to jeopardise the lives of any Pomeranian puppy litters in this way.

It has been suggested by numerous breeders 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 do breed in this manner, there may be puppies 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 (also known as a cryptic merle), is a legitimate Pomeranian containing the merle gene. However, he shows no signs that he’s a merle. The identifying coat and eye colours might not be visible. The scientific name of a phantom merle is the “atypical merle,” and may still produce merle puppies.

If you breed, we recommend getting your Pomeranian tested to ensure he doesn’t possess a 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 just 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 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 completely lacking in Pomeranian breed type.  Person wanting to purchase a true to type Pomeranian should avoid the Australian merle Pomeranians.
That cute, blue merle Pomeranian puppy is not going to 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 the emphasis solely on an easily marketed colour pattern. All the merle Pomeranians in Australia originate from non-ANKC breeders.

The actual truth is that the cutest Pomeranian puppies are bred by active show Pomeranian breeders.

Merle Pomeranian Health Risks

It’s wise to ask about the parents of any puppy you’re interested in buying, to verify that both of the 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 a variety of 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.

Final Thoughts on Merle Pomeranians in Australia

There’s a powerfully moral reason for not permitting registration of Merle Pomeranians in Australia. Anyone purchasing a merle Pomeranian puppy bred here in Australia should be aware they are supporting and encouraging unethical breeding practices.

As the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) does not recognize the colour, Australian ethical preservation Pomeranian breeders do not breed merle Pomeranians. 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 “The Sportsman’s Cabinet”.
[7] E. Parker “The Popular Pomeranian”.
[8] Lilla Ives “Show Pomeranians”.

The Pomeranian Handbook by Denise Leo

( Printed and shipped in Australia).

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