Thursday, January 8, 2009

Pet Peeve Thursday

Super, super pet peeve of mine ---> Merle and ticking are not the same thing!

If you are "into" or a rescuer of Border Collies, Australian Shepherds or Australian Cattle Dogs you should know better and shame on you for getting it wrong so often!!

Lets look at the difference, shall we?

Merle dogs

Ticked dogs And of course, Miss Super Tick herself...

For more information, 'cause, you know, knowledge is power...

From White Aussies:

From Wikipedia:

From Canine Color Genetics:

Happy reading!


  1. Everyone always thinks my red merle BC is an aussie-duh-she has a tail, not to mention looks nothing like an aussie

  2. AMEN!! here's a great resource for border collie colors:

  3. I understand your irk here. Its like people telling me that a Border Collie and an Australian Shepherd are the same thing. XD Seriously.

  4. It drives me bananas as well. But whatever you do, do NOT post on a border collie themed board and tell someone that the ticked dog they just admired with the sentence "I just love merles!" is not a merle, because they always get huffy and respond with "Well whatever the dog's colour, I think it's beautiful and I hope it gets adopted. And isn't that the real point of this thread?"

    At which point you can then further incite their rage by explaining that merle is a PATTERN not a colour, but of course I do not recommend this either. Inevitably, you will get a bunch of their pals piping up to tell you how mean you are, and that it's easy to confuse the merle of the cattle dog with the merle of an Aussie.

    And then you should NEVER EVER point out that cattle dogs are not merles, they are ticked.

    Really, the possibilities are endless, but I DO NOT RECOMMEND ANY OF THEM of course. I'm no troublemaker!


  5. Here's the simplest description, I believe. The merle gene is a dilute gene. Red, black, purple, matter what the color. the merle gene DILUTES the color.

    With ticking or any other "pattern", the color is solid. It may be black hairs mixed in with white hairs, and it may appear to be "merle", but the individual shaft is solid, and therefore, it would be ticking. If you could examine the individual "merle" hair, you would find the color of the shaft to be actually a thinner version of the solid, as if it was mixed with water. Not milk. Water. Clear. A double merle (MM) very often has individual hairs that have no color whatsoever. If those hairs happen to be deep inside the ear canal, the dog will be deaf. People used to think that if the dog had white ears, it would be deaf. Not necessarily so. See Lacey, for instance. Perfect hearing. Blind as a bat. (another misnomer, but I won't go there). Unfortunately, I have found that some of the "information" at the "white aussies" site to be, um, less that factual...IMO. Oh, and while I"m on the subject of Aussies...tailed, or tail-less, or somewhere in between. Only thirty percent of Aussies are born "docked". If breeders would stop docking, you'd see LOT of Aussies with full and/or partial tails.

  6. I love all of the pictures of the dogs! Very cute :) thanks for the post