Border Collie Blue merle - Everything You Need to Know - Prefurred (2022)

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.

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Border Collies come with some other types of merle colorations, they include:

Table of Contents

Red Merle Border Collie

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Lilac Merle Border Collie

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Slate Merle Border Collie

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Sable Merle Border Collie

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Harlequin Merle Border Collie

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Border Collie Blue Merle Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Minimal grooming needsHighly energetic hence requires a lot of exercise
Easily trainableMay 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

FeaturesBorder CollieBlue Merle Border Collie
ImageBorder Collie Blue merle - Everything You Need to Know - Prefurred (7)Border Collie Blue merle - Everything You Need to Know - Prefurred (8)
OriginUnited Kingdom, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, EnglandUnited Kingdom, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, England
Height18 to 22 inches18 to 22 inches
Weight30 to 45 pounds30 to 45 pounds
SizeMediumMedium
GroupHerding Herding 
Children CompatibilityMedium to highMedium to high
Family CompatibilityHighHigh
Pets CompatibilityMediumMedium
Barking LevelLow to mediumLow to medium
Shedding LevelMediumMedium
HypoallergenicNoNo
Grooming NeedsMediumMedium
Overall HealthMedium to highMedium to high
EnergyHighHigh
Exercise NeedsHighHigh
TrainabilityMedium to highMedium to high
ActivitiesAgility, Conformation, Herding, Obedience, Rally Obedience, TrackingAgility, Conformation, Herding, Obedience, Rally Obedience, Tracking
Complication in Border Collie Blue MerleNoNo
Litter Size4 to 8 puppies4 to 8 puppies
Lifespan12 to 15 years12 to 15 years
Other NamesScottish Sheep Dog, English Sheep Dog, and Welsh SheepDogScottish 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.

Friendliness Overview

Affection levelMedium to high
Family-friendlyHigh
Kid-friendlyMedium to high
Pet-friendlyMedium
Stranger -friendlyHigh

Adaptability Overview

Good for apartment livingLow
Good to new ownersLow
Sensitivity levelHigh
Tolerates being aloneLow
Cold-toleranceMedium
Heat-toleranceMedium

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.

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Trainability Overview

Easy to trainHigh
IntelligenceHigh
Mouthiness tendenciesMedium
Barking and Howling tendenciesLow
Prey driveMedium
Wanderlust tendenciesMedium

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

Energy levelHigh
Exercise needsHigh
IntensityMedium
PlayfulnessHigh

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.

Nails

Trim your dog’s nails regularly to prevent splintering, which causes them great pain, especially during walking or running.

Teeth

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.

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Ears

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.

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Grooming Overview

Easy to groomMedium
Drooling tendencyLow
Amount of sheddingMedium

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.

Health Overview

Overall healthHigh
Weight gain tendenciesMedium
SizeMedium

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:

  • Injuries
  • 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:

  • pain
  • lameness

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:

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Symptoms of Epilepsy:

  • A stiffening of the neck and legs
  • Stumbling and falling over
  • Uncontrollable chewing
  • Drooling
  • Paddling of the limbs
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Defecating
  • Vocalizing
  • Violent shaking
  • Trembling

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:

  • Anxiety
  • Constant circling
  • Aggression
  • Compulsive behaviors
  • Loss of learned skills

Neurological symptoms include:

  • Tremors
  • 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.

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Border Collie Blue Merle

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Border Collie Blue Merle Images

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Blue Merle Border Collie

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FAQs

Is a blue merle Border Collie rare? ›

Border Collies have an extensive range of color combinations. They appear in blue, blue merle, blue and white, red, red merle, red and white, black and white, saddleback sable, sable merle, and many more! With that said, the merle pattern is the least common, which means they are quite rare.

Do Border Collies pick a favorite person? ›

Border Collies usually prefer to bond to one person. They have an inherited instinct to do so because they are designed to work with one person as a team. In family situations this can cause problems when the chosen leader is absent.

Do merle dogs have more health issues? ›

An autosomal, incompletely dominant trait, merle coat coloring predisposes dogs to inherited deafness. When inherited in the homozygous state, the merle mutation causes dogs to be white and have an even greater incidence of deafness, blindness and sterility.

How much exercise does a blue merle need? ›

Blue Merle Border Collies need (at the very least!) 30-60 minutes every day of intense activity. They are most suited for those who can provide them with wide-open spaces and areas to run around.

How big do blue merles get? ›

Blue Merle Border Collie
Height:18-22 inches
Weight:30-45 pounds
Lifespan:12-15 years
Colors:White, blue
Suitable for:Active families with a large farm
1 more row

Why do border collies hug? ›

As we have seen, border collies hug for two reasons: mostly as a sign of dominance and sometimes because they are trained to do so as a trick or for affection.

How smart are border collies? ›

They Are Extremely Smart Dogs

Dog experts widely agree that the Border Collie is an intelligent workaholic. They are capable of learning a remarkable number of words and commands, and they are happiest when they are put to work every day.

Are border collies protective? ›

Protective. Similar to other herding and sheepdogs, Border Collies have a protective temperament and can be distrusting of strangers. Socializing them frequently at a young age will help prevent their protective nature from leading to excessive shyness or aggression around strangers.

Are Border Collies jealous dogs? ›

Border Collies also tend to get jealous and territorial towards their family. So that's something you'll have to manage with two dogs now. Border Collies are great dogs. They are loyal and protective.

Why do Border Collies stare at you? ›

A border collie will stare as a way to communicate with you. Staring is often used as a method to get something they want from you; such as some leftover food, to initiate play, or to get your attention. It is also used to study and better understand you, in an attempt to anticipate your next move.

Why do Border Collies put their paws on you? ›

While you may brush off this act as a mere annoyance, it's actually your pup's way of trying to communicate with you. And it can mean something really sweet. If your dog puts his paw on you, it can be his way of saying "I love you." We pet our pups to show our love and affection.

Are merle dogs deaf? ›

Results: Deafness prevalence in merles overall was 4.6% unilaterally deaf and 4.6% bilaterally deaf. There was a significant association between hearing status and heterozygous versus homozygous merle genotype. For single merles (Mm), 2.7% were unilaterally deaf and 0.9% were bilaterally deaf.

What is a ghost merle? ›

Dogs with cryptic merle (also called phantom or ghost merle) typically display little to no merle pattern and some may be misclassified as non-merles. The cryptic merle alleles occur in the lower end of the range (typically from 200-255, however, this range and designation varies by study).

Do Blue Merles get darker? ›

Many blue merles and red merles are born with their merle areas fairly light. As the years go by they darken until in old age blue merles can resemble black tris and red merles can resemble red tris (or bis, or selfs). Not all merles darken, but it is not at all uncommon.

How long can you leave a Border Collie alone? ›

While there is no cut-and-dried rule for the maximum amount of time you can leave your collie alone at home, you must not leave your dog for 10 or 12 hours. That duration is too long for a single stretch. Still, some people would insist that they have always left their collies that long without issues.

At what age does a Border Collie calm down? ›

When do Border Collies calm down? Border Collies are extremely intelligent and energetic dogs and usually continue to act like a puppies well into their adult years; generally, Border Collie owners see their dogs start to calm down at around 3 years old however this depends on your dog's personality.

How do you train a Border Collie to walk beside you? ›

Leash Training Hints

get your Border Collie's attention and when you get it, reward the behavior. tell your Border Collie to sit and reward it when it does. start walking backwards. do not let your Border Collie make decisions about where you are going.

What color eyes do Blue Merles have? ›

The solid eye colors of blue merles include either brown or blue. And in some instances, blue merles can have eyes with two different colors (one blue and one brown). If the base color of the eye is blue, then the are likely to have brown specks.

Why is blue merle popular? ›

A blue merle Australian Shepherd is one of the four recognized varieties of the breed. They are sought after because they aren't that common as compared to solid-coated Aussies. Their coat is a combination of white, black, gray, and blue hairs which creates an aesthetically pleasing effect.

Do all Blue Merles have blue eyes? ›

All merles may have blue or partially blue eyes, and pink or partially pink noses. Merle can be completely hidden by recessive red, as recessive red dogs can't make eumelanin pigment and merle only affects eumelanin.

How much is a blue merle? ›

The quick answer is – somewhere between $800 and $2,000, with an average of $1,300. Where exactly your puppy falls in this range will depend on his breed, pedigree, health and other factors. Let's look at what determines the cost of a merle dog, and why they are so expensive!

How do you get a merle Border Collie? ›

Generally, to get merle in a border collie litter, a breeder has to breed for that color (which is fine, as long as it is not by breeding two merles together.)

What type of dog is a blue merle? ›

Merle is a distinguishing marking of several breeds, particularly the Australian Shepherd and Catahoula Leopard Dog, and appears in others, including the Koolie in Australia, the Shetland Sheepdog, various collie breeds, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, the Pyrenean Shepherd and the Bergamasco Shepherd.

How do you get a merle collie? ›

To breed a blue merle Border Collie, at least one of the parents should carry the merle gene, and the other one usually carries some other dominant color gene. Once the two genes combine, the merle gene will dilute the dominant color, creating that distinguishable merle pattern.

Are all merle dogs deaf? ›

Results: Deafness prevalence in merles overall was 4.6% unilaterally deaf and 4.6% bilaterally deaf. There was a significant association between hearing status and heterozygous versus homozygous merle genotype. For single merles (Mm), 2.7% were unilaterally deaf and 0.9% were bilaterally deaf.

What does a blue merle look like? ›

What Color is a Blue Merle? A blue merle is actually a black dog whose coloring has been genetically diluted. Parts of his black coat remain intact, while other parts take on a bluish-grey color. Patches of solid color are normally irregular in shape and are located anywhere on the dog's body.

Do merle puppies change color? ›

Merle coloring can become darker with age. So, be aware that those white areas on your merle puppy may start to look grayer as your dog ages. But other than that, a merle dog puppy will have all the attributes of an adult of the breed.

Why do border collies hug? ›

As we have seen, border collies hug for two reasons: mostly as a sign of dominance and sometimes because they are trained to do so as a trick or for affection.

Do blue merles have blue eyes? ›

While blue merle Australian Shepherds are often associated with blue eyes, not all have blue eyes. The mottled pattern and blue eyes are caused by a dilution gene that only affects their body in patches. If these patches do not fall over the eyes, the eyes will appear brown instead of blue.

Can border collies be left alone? ›

While there is no cut-and-dried rule for the maximum amount of time you can leave your collie alone at home, you must not leave your dog for 10 or 12 hours. That duration is too long for a single stretch. Still, some people would insist that they have always left their collies that long without issues.

What is the difference between merle and blue merle? ›

Blue merles can exhibit a range of coat markings. Some blue merle dogs will have a mostly gray-blue coat with a few small, black patches. The most common merle pattern and the one described in most breed standards is a coat that is approximately 50 percent merle, or gray-blue, and 50 percent black patches.

What is the difference between a merle and a blue merle? ›

The white and gray patterns that appear on a black make them appear to have a blueish cast. These are called blue merles. Merle is a color combination in dogs' coats. It is a solid base color (usually red/brown or black) with lighter blue/gray or reddish patches, which gives a mottled or uneven speckled effect.

Do Border Collies bark a lot? ›

The Border Collie is a barking breed. They are easily visually stimulated which is often why they bark so much. They will bark at anything that moves quickly, such as bikes, skate boards and the like.

Why do border collies sleep on their backs? ›

Border Collies sleep on their backs when they feel safe in their surroundings and when it's very warm. Not all Border Collies sleep on their backs, but many prefer this position because it's comfortable and helps them keep cool.

Do Border Collies keep their blue eyes? ›

Blue eyes are possible in border collies. While all dogs are born with blue eyes, only rarely are they kept after about 5 months. However, when a blue-eyed border collie has been bred to a recessive gene carrier, 50% of the puppies will end up with blue eyes staying with them for life.

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