Merle is a color pattern rather than a coat color formed by a solid base color (usually red/brown or black) with lighter blue/gray or reddish patches, which gives an uneven, marbled effect.
Merle Blue Dogs
Blue border collie
Photo: Robert Churchill
The merle pattern may be a typical breed characteristic such as in the Catahoula leopard dog (hence its name) and the Australian shepherd dog or a coat variety, which may or may not be recognized.


Merle appears in the Australian Shepherd dog, Shetland sheepdog and Beaceron merle, but also in various Collies, the Koolie, the Welsh Corgi (Cardigan), the Pyrenean Shepherd, the Bergamasco Sheepdog, and the Old English Sheepdog. In Dachshunds the merle marking is known as "dapple". It is also present in the Pomeranian. The merle gene also plays a part in producing harlequin Great Danes. Hence, why merle Beaucerons are sometimes also referred to as Harlequin Beaucerons.

Blue merle as a recognized color variety

Australian Shepherd Dog
Basque Shepherd
Border Collie
Rough Collie
Shetland Sheepdog
Smooth Collie
The Canine Information Library 2003-2008 © All rights reserved by 
Dog Breeds of the World
Dog Breeds Home > Dog coat colors > Merle Blue dogs
Guard dogs
American bulldog
Bulldog breeds
Olde English Bulldogge
Tosa inu
Molosser dogs
Dogo argentino
Most Popular Pages
Recommended Books for Dog Owners
| Cute puppies | Dog articles | Dog Magazines |
Related Pages
Dog Breeds of the World
Bulldog breeds
Dog breeds A to Z
Molosser breeds
Guard dogs
Japanese dogs
Best dogs for families with children
More dog breeds
Bull and Terriers
Sled dogs
Hairless dogs
Toy dogs
| More Dog breedsSitemap |
Recommended Reading
Unusual dog breeds
Primitive dogs
Toy dogs
The Canine Information Library
Bulldog Information
The Canine Information Library 2003-2008 © All rights reserved. Photo © Giovanni Rinaldi (Newfoundland); Jan Paul Schrage (Black Labrador); Karen Libby (Duck hunting photos).
Original idea, design and development by C. Marien-de Luca. No part of may be copied, distributed, printed or reproduced on another website without the owner's written permission. Please feel free to link from your site to any of the pages on this website in a non-frame presentation only.
Subsections: Guard dogs | Bull and Terriers | Livestock guard dogs | Terriers
More Dog Breeds: Bulldog breeds | Molosser dogs | Dog breeds A to Z
About Sitemap | About us | Copyright | Contact