This page was last updated on: March 30, 2010
                 The Truth About Merles As I See It
If you are here reading this you probably have read many pros and cons on the merle Chihuahua already. Quite truthfully when I first saw a merle colored pup I didn't like the color. But a breeder I knew kept sending me pictures and her enthusiasim for this color rubbed off on me. Since then she has turned completely against the merles and anyone who is breeding them. So being the curious person I am I wanted to know the truth about merle Chihuahuas health wise.

I joined merle boards. I talked to Sheltie breeders who had first hand knowlege of merle Shelties. I talked to Austie breeders. I am going to share with you what I have learned after I added common sense to the picture.

I don't have first hand knowlege about breeding merle to merle and getting the white factor which CAN be deaf or blind. I know this to be true in German Shepherds and Dalmations which have NO merle color in the breed. I have heard it can happen in the Sheltie and Collie. In those breeds it is recommended not to breed to those dogs that have more then 50% white on them "unless you are a knowlegable breeder".

I have heard a lot about hidden or cryptic merles which makes no sense to me. If they come in fawns and reds wouldn't blacks be more apt to be that way? Common sense tells me you sure couldn't see black merle pattern on black. In the Sheltie and Collie the black and tan or tri color are not dominate colors but are in the Chihuahua. I can see getting very few merles in future generations but lots of black and tans or tri-colored. According to this Sheltie book there are no hidden merles they are either merles or they aren't.

I personally have never had an all white Chihuahua born here but to be on the safe side I will not breed merles to spotted or those with a lot of white. I prefer the merle pattern all over the body and not in just a few spots anyway. I have learned the merle pattern works on the color on the dog. In other words if a black dog get the merle gene it makes the black a lighter color-blue in splashes or freckles or both. When merle is bred to merle it CAN hit the very same places that are diluted already. Diluted blue becomes white. If the double merle hits the ears or eyes then and only then will you have a problem. There is a 25% chance of that happening in a litter.  

I have heard a few horror stories of merle Chi's bred to merle Chi's. I dug a little deeper. The problems were severe health problems that crop up in all colors. In other word if you were to breed lines loaded with say asthma on both sides and then inbreed-father daughter-breeding. Can you guess what all the pups would have? Right! They would all have severe asthma. You need to know your lines. If you check your pedigrees you will find most of the merles go back to the same dog.

Some Anti-merle people are saying the merle was introduced by the Dachshund. Think about it. Though we have seen a few merle Chi's with short legs all have ears up. Take a good hard look at most merles and their resemblence to a Dachshund-it is not there,

I took two lines (not merle) where sire and mom had good bites. I got 4 pups. Two had bad over-bites and two with severe parrot mouth.  One had puppy strangles and one more had a severe flea allergy. Now both these lines do very good if you stay in their lines but outcrossed to one another it was a disaster. I could have been saved this heartache, and the suffering of the puppies, had the breeders been honest with me and told me of the faults behind their lines. 
Now back to the merle to merle breeding. According to the genetic experts on merles the only defect color produces is deaf, blind, or dead and the pups would be white. BEFORE ANY LINE OR INBREEDING YOU SHOULD KNOW YOUR LINES PERIOD! Until we have more information on the merles in Chi's listen to the experts and no merle to merle.

In conclusion let me end with this. Those of you who are against merles you don't need to email me as I won't answer you anyway. I can not change your mind no matter how much proof I would have. You are entitled to you opinion. This is America. Don't buy them. Don't raise them. This is YOUR choice. It is your right. You do NOT have the right to stop me or anyone else from raising and enjoying them.
To those of you who love the merle-do your best with them. Enjoy them. That is your right.
So far in my first year of merle litters I have not lost one pup or had defective litters. I am very pleased with the health, soundness, and temperament of my merles and their off spring. If there are health issues I have not run into it in my lines. 
I wrote this mainly for those of you who are undecided. Use common sense when making up your mind about this wonderful color in our favorite breed.  I love the color and the temperament. God willing I will never be without a merle Chi again. God Bless and have a good day.
PS The Chihuahua Club of America has approved the merles and given us a color with AKC. Merle Statement
The merle color have NOT been disqualified from showing as of 4-1-08.
                  As of 4-15-08 CCA voted to NOT DQ the merle pattern!
This is one of my merle females. She is truly a blessing from God. I haven't named her for sure yet but I am thinking of  YESHUA'S DAWN OF BLESSINGS-L
As you can see  YESHUA'S DAWN OF BLESSINGS-L  has blue eyes.  She is home.  Thank You Lord for such a beautiful blessing!! The lastest pictures of her were taken 12-4-04.  She was 19 weeks old.  As you can see she has a beautiful body. She is turning out very nice. Dawn loves playing outside with her friend Dot. The picture of her standing up was taken 1-11-05.
As you can see  YESHUA'S EVERLASTING JOY-L  is anothr nice looking merle. I have found the merle temperaments to be just a little softer then most of my other Chi's. I have grown to love the color and personalities of these darling Chi's. God willing,  I hope to produce some show quality merles next year. Here she is playing on the bed with Carmel. Joy has been sold and is in a new home now.
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As you can see  YESHUA'S DAWN OF BLESSINGS-L  has blue eyes.  She is home.  Thank You Lord for such a beautiful blessing!! The lastest pictures of her were taken 12-4-04.  She was 19 weeks old.  As you can see she has a beautiful body. She is turning out very nice. Dawn loves playing outside with her friend Dot. The picture of her standing up was taken 1-11-05.
This is YESHUA'S WHISTLIN DIXIE-S. She is blue with blue merle markings.  She has been easy to train and has grown up very nicely. We have run out of tricks to teach her.  I can not wait to see her first litter.
This is YESHUA'S PITTER PAT HER-S. She is a very light chocolate. She got her name because she pats me she as I walk by her.
This is YESHUA'S HOLLY GOLLY-L is a beautiful little merle female. Her sire is HALLMAN'S LIL SAINT NIKK-L. Her mom is YESHUA'S WHISTLIN' DIXIE-S She is as sweet as she is pretty. Her whole litter had beautiful heads. There were 6 pups in her litter and 4 of them were show quality. She is 5 months old here. The second picture she is with her mom.
This is WEAVER'S COOKIE MONSTER OF YEAHUA She is out of my Weaver champion and Dawn. Here she is saying hi to Holly and Priness. Blue on blue is her main color though like most of her sires blue pups the pictures look more like a black. She has been sold to a wonderful family in California.  

The Merle has NOT been disqualified from showing in AKC shows. The revisted Chihuahua Standard includes all colors and patterns. This can not be voted on for another 5 years!! This vote was taken 4/15/08

I will continue to improve my merles until I get the type and quality it takes to make finished champions in the AKC show ring. I want to thank everyone who helped win this fight to keep the merle pattern part of the Chihuahua Standard.
To go to Melinda's Merles click logo below.