Blue Merle Border Collies are a popular variant of the black and white Border Collies. These canines are endowed with a distinct coat color that makes them stand out from the rest of the Border Collie colors. The extraordinary effect of their coat color is due to a dominant modifying gene inherited from a parent with the merle gene. This gene dilutes the dog’s coat color and adorns his body with patches of pigmentation. It also causes discoloration of his eyes and nose. As a result, the blue merles have a white or gray colored base coat with blue or black spots and patches. In addition, they may have different colored eyes called heterochromia and pink-shaded noses.
Border Collies come with some other types of merle colorations, they include:
Red Merle Border Collie
Lilac Merle Border Collie
Slate Merle Border Collie
Sable Merle Border Collie
Harlequin Merle Border Collie
Border Collie Blue Merle Pros and Cons
|Minimal grooming needs||Highly energetic hence requires a lot of exercise|
|Easily trainable||May suffer from genetic conditions.|
Border Collie Blue Merle Basic Information
- Name: Blue Merle Border Collie
- Height: Male: 19-22 inches, Female : 18-21 inches
- Weight: 30 – 55 pounds
- Coat: Double coat
- Color: White/gray base colored coat with black/blue patches and spots
- Energy: High
- Activities: Agility, conformation, herding, obedience, rally obedience, tracking
- Group: Herding
- Barking Level: Low to medium
- Shedding Level: Medium
- Hypoallergenic: No
- Litter Size: 4 to 8 puppies
- Life Span: 12 to 15 years
- Other names: Scottish Sheep Dog, English Sheep Dog, and Welsh SheepDog
Border Collie Vs Blue Merle Border Collie – A Comparison
|Features||Border Collie||Blue Merle Border Collie|
|Origin||United Kingdom, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, England||United Kingdom, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, England|
|Height||18 to 22 inches||18 to 22 inches|
|Weight||30 to 45 pounds||30 to 45 pounds|
|Children Compatibility||Medium to high||Medium to high|
|Barking Level||Low to medium||Low to medium|
|Overall Health||Medium to high||Medium to high|
|Trainability||Medium to high||Medium to high|
|Activities||Agility, Conformation, Herding, Obedience, Rally Obedience, Tracking||Agility, Conformation, Herding, Obedience, Rally Obedience, Tracking|
|Complication in Border Collie Blue Merle||No||No|
|Litter Size||4 to 8 puppies||4 to 8 puppies|
|Lifespan||12 to 15 years||12 to 15 years|
|Other Names||Scottish Sheep Dog, English Sheep Dog, and Welsh SheepDog||Scottish Sheep Dog, English Sheep Dog, and Welsh SheepDog|
Border Collie Blue Merle Personality
Border Collie Blue Merle is a graceful, muscular, medium-sized, athletic dog with a beautiful Blue Merle coat. His high intelligence is well-evident in his keen and alert expression. They have a moderately thick, flat skull with a length equivalent to their muzzle. Their strong muzzle and the sides of their heads lead to the nose. Their well-developed underjaw is populated with teeth that meet in a scissors bite.
The Blue Merles are endowed with a pair of medium-sized, oval-shaped dark eyes and a well-defined top. They have naturally upright ears that droop at the tip. In addition, these canines have a broad, white chest with a neck proportionate to their body length. The differentiating feature of this breed is their piercing gaze, also called the herding gaze. Their eyes are light colored and can be light green, pale blue, faded amber or sometimes merle eyes. Their body is adorned with a long double coat that is dense and weather-resistant with a medium-length, rough feathered coat, and a shorter smooth coat. They have a characteristic blue-grayish coat patterned with splotches, patching, and streaks. In addition, they are endowed with an effortless gait and powerful endurance.
|Affection level||Medium to high|
|Kid-friendly||Medium to high|
|Good for apartment living||Low|
|Good to new owners||Low|
|Tolerates being alone||Low|
Border Collie Blue Merle Temperament
The Blue Merle Border Collies are known for agility, high energy, and good nature. They are always keen, alert, and responsive, contributing to their strong herding and protective instincts. In addition, they are highly tractable working dogs who thrive with activity. They love playing outdoors all day long. Hence, you must mentally and physically stimulate them to avoid boredom and encourage positive behavior. They are lovely, caring, extremely loyal, and overprotective of their pet parents, making them excellent family pets. They also crave their pet parents’ presence and wish to be around them constantly. They are pretty good with children but are reserved for strangers.
Border Collie Blue Merle Training
Blue Merle Border Collies are intelligent and energetic. Consequently, they learn things pretty quickly. Due to their strong-minded and independent nature, you have to indulge them in exercise to prevent boredom and misbehavior. Border Collie Blue Merles are prone to nipping and herding, hence training is vital. If you want your dog to always be on his best behavior, you must start training him in early puppyhood at seven months of age. In addition, early socialization and obedience training ensures he is free from fear and shyness. You must train these canines with positive reinforcements as they are pretty sensitive and alert at picking up cues. It is safe to keep them away from small pets due to their moderate prey drive.
|Easy to train||High|
|Barking and Howling tendencies||Low|
Border Collie Blue Merle Exercise Needs
The Blue Merle Border Collies are zestful dogs who require an intense exercise routine for at least 60 minutes. For this purpose, they need ample space to expend their energy reserve and love for playing around. Hence, this breed is the most suitable for active pet parents with a larger area. You can also indulge them in canine activities like herding, obedience, agility, rally, and tracking to keep them busy. In addition, you can also put them through sports activities like flying discs and flyball.
Exercise Needs Overview
Border Collie Blue Merle Grooming
The Blue Merle Border Collies are easy to groom as short-haired and shed less. Hence, you have to use a pin brush to groom them once or twice a week to keep their double-coat free from mats, tangles, dirt, and debris. However, you have to brush them daily during the shedding season to minimize shedding. In addition, you need to bathe them once every few months using a dog-friendly shampoo to prevent the skin from drying up. Additionally, once you bathe them, ensure to pat them dry to avoid moisture buildup that may lead to ear infections.
Trim your dog’s nails regularly to prevent splintering, which causes them great pain, especially during walking or running.
Regular brushing your dog’s teeth with a dog-formulated toothpaste is recommended to keep periodontal diseases at bay. Additionally, you can schedule an annual appointment with his veterinarian to rule out the emergence of any periodontal diseases.
Once a week, you have to remove any accumulated ear wax, dirt, and debris with the help of a cotton swab dipped in a pH-balanced ear cleaner. However, take not to damage his ear canal. In addition, you can rule out any signs of ear infection during the annual appointment with the vet.
|Easy to groom||Medium|
|Amount of shedding||Medium|
Border Collie Blue Merle Health
Although the presence of merle genes causes a captivating effect on their skin, it also comes with a price. The Merle effect also puts your pup at risk of developing congenital deafness. In addition, they may be prone to specific health conditions.
|Weight gain tendencies||Medium|
Hip Dysplasia: When the thigh bones do not fit into the pelvic socket of the hip joint of your pet, it results in hip dysplasia, which is a heritable condition.
Other Causes of Hip Dysplasia:
- Excessive weight gain
- Wrong exercises
Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia:
Some of the notable signs that may be present on one or both rear legs include:
Treatment: X-ray screening for hip dysplasia, medication, and hip replacement through surgeries may also be preferred. This condition, if ignored, can be life-threatening.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy: An eye disease that causes blindness from losing photoreceptors at the eye back. It can be diagnosed earlier. Dogs with this disorder can survive for many years since they have other senses to compensate.
The gradual deterioration of the eye’s retina marks the progression of this disease. Affected dogs exhibit symptoms of night-blindness which slowly progresses to complete loss of vision. Most of the affected dogs adapt well to their limited or lost vision if they continue to reside in the same environment when they had a vision.
Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome: A condition where white blood cells (WBC) are not released accurately from the bone marrow, preventing the dog’s immune system from opposing diseases. Most Collies generate symptoms of this at around seven months of age and can die soon after. A DNA swab can diagnose if they suffer from this syndrome early.
Collie Eye Anomaly: CEA is an inherited developmental condition usually seen in breeds like Australian shepherds, Border Collies, Shetland sheepdogs, etc. This disorder can lead a dog to blindness.
Deafness: While some dogs are born deaf, others may acquire it with age. While hereditary deafness is due to genetic defects, acquired deafness results from decreased blood supply to the cochlea of the inner ear resulting in the loss of hair cells necessary for sound transmission to occur. Deafness may present unilaterally (deafness in one ear) or bilaterally (deafness in both the ears). Bilaterally deaf dogs require some special considerations. To get to know your pet better, you can adopt a reliable scientific test called the BAER (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response), which helps you detect deafness in dogs.
Epilepsy: Border Collies fall under the category of dogs with a higher rate of epilepsy. Although the exact cause is unknown, a genetic base is often suspected. Epilepsy is a sudden spike in the brain’s electrical activity, which results in its malfunction. Some of the signs to look for include:
Symptoms of Epilepsy:
- A stiffening of the neck and legs
- Stumbling and falling over
- Uncontrollable chewing
- Paddling of the limbs
- Loss of bladder control
- Violent shaking
Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (NCL): Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) is a degenerative disease of the central nervous system. Dogs affected by this condition begin to show symptoms between one and two years of age. This disease exerts a significant impact on their behavior, and some of it includes:
- Constant circling
- Compulsive behaviors
- Loss of learned skills
Neurological symptoms include:
- Ataxia (lack of coordination)
- Localized and generalized seizures, and
- Visual impairment
Unfortunately, this disease has no cure, and dogs affected are often euthanized when they reach three years of life.
Border Collie Blue Merle Diet and Nutrition
A high-quality dry dog food is enough to satiate your medium-sized dog’s daily requirements. However, you need to verify with your vet if that is appropriate for your dog’s age. Borders require around 1 – 1.5 cups of dry dog food to meet their daily nutritional requirements. In addition, you need to ensure your dog doesn’t gain too much weight to prevent them from obesity. However, if your dog is obese, you will have to reduce their treats or substitute them with healthy snacks like carrots, apples, and chicken. Additionally, you need to slowly introduce them to new foods and treats as they are pretty finicky eaters.
Border Collie Blue Merle Living Condition
Blue Merle Border Collies are amicable and love to spend time with their family, other animals, and friends. Due to this reason, they love their trips to the dog park. However, they are pretty reserved with strangers. Additionally, they long for playing and require a lawn or spacious garden to expend their energy. Therefore, they cannot adapt to apartment life.
Furthermore, being lovely family pets, they are prone to separation anxiety when left alone. Hence, if you are a person who cannot spend a considerable amount of time at home, then this is not the right dog breed for you. In addition, Border Collies are short-haired, which makes them hotter during the summer months. Hence, ensure the availability of fresh water to prevent overheating.
Adding a Border Collie Blue Merle to Your Family
Things to Remember Before Adding a Border Collie Blue Merle to Your Family
When two Merle dogs mate, they give rise to double merle offspring. These pups have two merle genes which means they are prone to serious health complications. Hence it is best to avoid buying or breeding these pups.
Cost of a Border Collie Blue Merle Puppy
An adult merle Border Collie costs anywhere between $500-1000. However, if you wish to adopt a Border Collie Blue Merle puppy you have to pay around $300 .However, depending on the breeder’s reputation, the cost can go as high as $4500.