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Blue and White but not a Merle?

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So I've been reading old topics on the boards lately and I came across a post where the author described her dog as being blue and white but not a merle. I thought this was odd because I thought all blue and white border collies were merles. I did a quick internet search and found some information on blue and white tri's, but I thought they were still merles.

 

I'm passingly familiar with genetics but not particularly when it comes to Border Collie colors. I know people have posted sites that have gone in depth about it. I couldn't seem to find any after a quick search of boards so if anyone could point me to one that would be great.

 

I guess I just assumed all blue and whites were merles. Is that not that case?

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My Nick is blue, not merle. He's a black & white dog with two copies of a recessive dilute gene. Essentially, he's a washed out standard-issue black & white dog. He's grayish-brown- people often think he's just extremely dusty :) His father is a tri, mother mostly black. Nick's grandfather sired one blue pup, but other than that, the lines haven't produced others, AFAIK. Nick is nothing but working lines, both his parents were talented trial & farm dogs.

 

The dilute gene is what causes bucksin, palomino, cremello, and perlino in horses. It's a color modifier.

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Is that Nick in your profile pic? Would love to see more shots of him, to see what a "blue not merle" dog looks like.

 

I saw what could best be described as a "blue" pit bull last week - simply stunning variation on the typical black and white version. I guess they would have called him "silver" - I've seen a silver Weimeraner of late - but it's gorgeous.

 

(Not that I think we should be breeding for it, of course.)

 

Mary

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The blue border collies I've seen are the same color (or close) to the blue pits. Very pretty!

 

This might not be the best representation, but here are a few pics. I recently helped get 3/4 of a border collie litter into rescue. The one left behind because the owners didn't want to surrender him, was a blue. (I know, I know...cue the backyard bred blue border collies later on...) He was the only blue out of the four and both parents were classic black and whites.

 

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Here he is next to one of his b/w brothers:

 

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Nick was quite grey as a pup. I've been told that blue dogs often have very fine, dense coats, which is definitely true in Nick's case. His coat is very soft- I could probably spin his undercoat into some pretty nice yarn. It also mats like crazy. The absurdly fluffy butt is an inherited trait, apparently- his father & brothers have it, too.

 

Here are a couple of photos I could find quickly, plus one of Hoot for comparison.

 

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Nick, looking handsome.

 

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Nick, looking like a dork.

 

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Hoot (barely-there tri), looking like he always does: crazy.

 

Hm. Guess my dogs have a thing for "sticks", ie, firewood they steal from the woodshed.

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Here's a photo of a "blue" and white Border collie I met in Prospect Park (Brooklyn) the Thanksgiving before last. I should have included Duncan in the photo for comparison. At first glance he looks black and white, but his eyes are *very* light, and next to a black-and-white Border collie you can see that his coat is a shade lighter. The owners told me they'd bought him from a breeder and that he was purebred. I didn't ask whether he was AKC or ABCA registered, as I've heard of several "blues" pop up in working bred litters (including Ben's Nick).

 

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(I know, I know...cue the backyard bred blue border collies later on...)

 

I hear ya... To the OP (and anyone else who hasn't already figured this out). The "dilute" gene that causes both the "blue" (dilute black) and "lilac" (dilute red) isn't something that reputable breeders would select for. It can show up from time to time in any litter because it's a recessive gene, so it's not a red flag in and of itself. But if you see that a breeder has "blue" or "lilac" dogs in their breeding stock - especially if there are no accomplishments listed that would justify their breeding of this dog - it's as big a red flag as they come.

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The blue border collies I've seen are the same color (or close) to the blue pits. Very pretty!

 

This might not be the best representation, but here are a few pics. I recently helped get 3/4 of a border collie litter into rescue. The one left behind because the owners didn't want to surrender him, was a blue. (I know, I know...cue the backyard bred blue border collies later on...) He was the only blue out of the four and both parents were classic black and whites.

Of course they kept the blue one. Hopefully they will give him a good home and he won't end up in rescue with his littermates if his coat darkens as he grows older.

 

Thank you Alchemist, that was exactly the link I was looking for. I'd seen it before but I couldn't find it again.

 

I'm aware of the blue in other breeds such as pits and weims.

 

Nick is beautiful. And, Alchemist, that photo is stunning. Those eye are just gorgeous.

 

I'd seen photos of dogs that color before, I just always thought of them as grey or seal. It's silly now that I didn't make the connection as that being blue and white but not merle.

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I met a woman who had paid $2000 for a blue and white BC. This was... late 90s? I was floored. The dog was clearly from Aussie/NZ show lines. I had my black tri with me. Her dog was standing right next to mine and really looked black and white, not blue and white. Either way, I think the woman was ripped off.

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I've seen a couple of puppies start out obviously blue and white when they're young, and by the time they reach adulthood it's very hard to tell they aren't just black and white.

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You can tell when they are standing next to a black and white.

 

Oh yes, you can, especially if you look at the undercoat. My post wasn't written to counter yours, if it came off like that.

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some blue dogs are very dark when older, look closely at the actual nose leather, it will be dark gray in a blue and white dog

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$2000 is insane. Especially just because it was for the color. I love to see dogs that are rare colors and I love learning about all the different combinations. If I had to pick a color that I would say I would like a dog it would red sable. But, that's not what it's all about and I would never choose a puppy, of any breed, just because it was a blue and white or any other color.

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I've seen several, but they all came from a sport breeder that has a thing for color.

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The link that Alchemist provided gives some really good examples of sables. From what I understand (and granted, my understanding is pretty basic) sable is any color with black tips. So most of the hairs start out as one color and have black tips on the end, the tips mostly show up around the shoulders and head and ears. So a red sable would be a red base coat with black tips. Each dog can have more or less black on them. Genetically, I'm not entirely sure how it happens, but it is rare.

 

I've never seen one in person but someone I'm in contact with through the internet has a red sable puppy. It's gorgeous.

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No, sable is a way of describing a pattern, not a color. (Like merle is a pattern, it affects color, but is not itself a color.) Sable animals have banded hairs. The gene that produces a red/brown/chocolate dog does affect color. It prevents the expression of black pigment. So, a red sable is a tri color dog whose hairs are banded brown and tan.

 

Imagine a black tri color dog. Now imagine a red tri color dog. Can you picture them? They are clearly different colors, but have the same pattern.

 

OK, now imagine a black sable dog (a saddle back sable to make the distinction really clear). Can you see that pattern? Now take that dog and imagine it being red anywhere that there are black hairs, but the white and tan hairs are in the same place as on the black sable dog.

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Is this a red sable? This is our old dog, Stinky, who died in '09. She had the tan tri marks, but they were very, very light, and the black tips/bands. She had a big "oil spot" of black banded hair on her tail that you can't see in the photos.

 

http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showtopic=24341&hl=stinky

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