Australian Shepherd Color Genetics
by PawVillage.com staff
How do the Aussie coloring genetics work?
That can be simplified to two seperate questions, whether the puppy is black or red,
and whether it is merle or solid. All of the four combinations may or may not have
white and copper markings.
For black vs. red, the black gene is dominant. For merle vs. solid, the
merle gene is an incomplete dominant gene. The diagrams below show how a dog
will look with each of the possible gene combinations:
A dog with a double merle gene (homozygous merle) will often be excessively white and will usually develop health problems, for example deafness and blindness.
This picture shows the four different combinations.
Clockwise from top left: Black, Red, Red Merle, and Blue Merle.
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