Merle Aussiedoodles: All About This Rare Colored Designer Dog

A Merle Aussiedoodle

Aussiedoodle, also commonly referred to as Aussiepoo and Aussiepoodle, is a designer breed resulting from a cross between the Australian Shepherd and Poodle. The Aussiedoodles’ breeding history dates back to the early 2000s, where breeders wanted to combine the intelligence of the Australian Shepherd and the hypoallergenic coats of the Poodle to create a low-shedding breed that could be potentially good for people with allergies. 

To better understand the Aussiedoodle character, it is also essential to understand the nature of its parents. The Australian Shepherd is an active, loyal, friendly, and playful dog breed originally bred to herd livestock. 

Australian Shepherds are canine primo athletes that will enjoy agility-based sports and require a lot of space to play and an owner with an active lifestyle. 

However, one of the challenges in raising an Australian Shepherd is the shedding. They shed all year round, and the shedding will increase during springtime to remove their winter coats.

Poodles are known for being athletic, intelligent, and easy to train. They excel in various canine sports and are fun dogs to have. 

But the best thing about the Poodle is its hypoallergenic coat, making them an excellent choice for those with mild allergies.

The Aussiedoodle can be bred to three sizes depending on the type of Poodle used – toy, miniature, or standard.

Apart from their cute appearance, Aussiedoodles inherited some of the best characters from their parents. Aussiedoodles are also often called canine Einsteins because of their prominently intelligent nature.

Inheriting the character of both parents, the Aussiedoodles are active dogs with a moderate to high activity level. They will fit in a house containing lots of toys that allow them to be active and exercise. 

Aussiedoodles enjoy human attention and affection, and they form strong bonds quickly with humans. As a result, they make excellent therapy or emotional support dogs.

What Are Merle Aussiedoodles?

Merle is often mistaken for color but refers to a pattern on a dog’s coat. It is produced by a gene that alters the pigmentation of a dog’s coat and a dilution gene that lightens the actual coat color. 

The gene also impacts the eyes, nose, and paw pads, lightening them. 

The merle coat pattern is characterized by irregularly shaped patches of diluted pigment color and other patches of full pigment color, creating a beautiful mottling or speckling pattern.  

Here are the most common and favorite colors of the merle Aussiedoodle:

Blue Merle Aussiedoodles

The Blue Merle color is usually obtained from a crossbreeding of a blue merle Australian Shepherd and a solid-colored Poodle

Using specific Poodle colors like gray, cream, and white will increase the chances of the puppies being born merle. 

Blue Merle from the Australian Shepherd is the dominant color and can negate the color genes of its Poodle partner.

Blue Merle Aussiedoodles have a color combination of blue, gray, white, and tan. The color combination appears in mottled patches across the dog’s coat. 

Phantom Blue Merle 

Phantoms are characterized by solid base color and have an apparent second color above both eyes. The second color with clear markings also appears on the sides of the snout, chest, under the tail, and on all four legs. 

Red Merle

This red merle is usually the result of crossbreeding between a red merle Australian Shepherd and a light-colored Poodle. Poodle color recommendations as a crossbreeding partner are cream, white, or apricot. 

The red merle of the Australian Shepherd is dominant and usually trumps the light color of the Poodle. The color combinations on the red merle Aussiedoodles are white, red, and tan. Red merle is one of the rarest and most expensive colors.

Chocolate Merle

This color is one of the most popular colors for merle Aussiedoodles. The dominant color is chocolate, with other color combinations, namely white or tan, is spread on their face, chin, tail, and chest.

Which Is the Rarest Color of an Aussiedoodle?

In addition to red merle as mentioned above, some of the rarest colors are: 

Red phantom – Rare and characterized by red as the dominant color. It is followed by a copper or tan color that highlights the face, chest, and legs. The paws or chest may have a hint of white.

Red tri-color: The characteristics of this three-color combination are the white color on the legs, chest, muzzle. There is a slight touch of tan color, usually on the sides of the face, eyebrows, and feet. Tri means a combination of three colors: tan, red, and white.

Red Tuxedo: A red Aussie doodle with white patches on the neck and chest, forming a pattern that looks like a tuxedo.

Black Tuxedo: Same as red tuxedo, but the dominant color is black, with white patches on the chest and neck that form the tuxedo-like pattern.

Black Phantom: The dominant color is black, characterized by lots of copper on the face, chest, abdomen, and legs.

Teddy Color: Usually, the color of the coat is black with a mixture of phantom tan and white. In addition, the color of the collar is white or tan. The neck and chest are the colored areas.

How Much Do Merle Aussiedoodles Cost?

Compared to Aussiedoodles with other coat patterns, Merle Aussiedoodles are the most expensive. The base price for Merle Aussiedoodle puppies is $2000-$2900

However, the price also varies depending on the color’s rarity. A solid red or blue merle would cost you at least around $3,000, while rarer colors like tri-colored merle can cost $4,500 and up.

The price varies according to the size, whether mini, toy, or standard. 

The mini is the most expensive due to its rarity and difficulty in crossbreeding. If you want to have a mini Merle Aussiedoodle, you should be prepared to spend several hundred dollars more. 

In addition, you need to consider the possibility of other additional costs, such as pet insurance, microchips, and vaccinations. The puppy’s age also affects the price, older puppies that breeders didn’t sell can cost slightly less than their younger counterparts just leaving the litter. 

Are Merle Dogs Unhealthy?

No. Merle dogs can have the same health and life expectancy level as other dogs in general. As long as the breeding is carried out responsibly, the resulting offspring will be healthy and fine. 

The problems only happen when two merle dogs are intentionally or accidentally bred. Unethical breeders might try to breed two merle dogs in the hope of producing more merle puppies as they can charge a premium for this coat pattern. 

Merle mutations that occur by breeding two Merle dogs carry several health risks. The result of crossbreeding is most likely double merles or what is also called “lethal whites.” 

They have a very bright complexion and have lots of white all over their bodies. In addition, the lack of pigmentation also appears around their eyes and nose.

Double merle has very few or no pigment-producing cells or melanocytes. This condition can cause death in the nerve cells in the ear due to a lack of blood supply, causing deafness.

In addition, double merles also have a high potential for suffering from eye defects like limited vision or total blindness due to abnormal development of the iris and pupil. 

Total or partial blindness is a prevalent condition in double merles. Some of them can be born entirely blind or without eyes. All of these conditions can be present from birth, except cataracts.

There are also many cases where puppies are stillborn or die within a few weeks of being born. Some who reach adulthood have to grow up with congenital disabilities and can develop skin cancer due to a lack of pigment. 

One rare condition that can afflict double merles is microphthalmia, a condition in which the eyeballs grow much smaller than the standard size. Sometimes the size of the eyeballs in this condition is so small that they have to be removed.

Never breed double merles, and always check with your breeder to see the parents

Is Merle a Defect?

No. Merle is a recognized coat pattern and is considered the standard for specific breeds. It is normal if the dog has one merle gene from its parents, and problems only arise when it has two merle genes from both parents, resulting in a litter with double merle dogs. 

The health problems that arise from crossbreeding two merle dogs require a long commitment to caring. Some breeders even decide to euthanize double merles due to their health conditions and behavioral issues. Dogs who cannot see and hear will require extraordinary care and treatment. They will get scared if not approached the right way and may even attack when frightened.

How Do You Get a Merle Aussiedoodle?

Although Aussiedoodle is a designer breed, many end up in shelters or being cared for by animal rescue groups, so before you go breeder hunting, you can check with various rescue organizations or animal shelters across the country. 

In addition, you might be able to find them at animal rescue groups for specific breeds, such as designers dogs, hybrids, or Aussiedoodle-specific organizations. 

If you decide to get it through a breeder, make sure you find a responsible breeder that can provide a valid health certificate and papers for both parents. 

In addition, before you decide to get a dog, you should consider the environment in which it is raised and treated.

Do Merle Aussiedoodles Shed? Are They Hypoallergenic?

The amount of shedding depends on which parent breed the Aussiedoodle takes after. If it takes after the Poodle more, they’ll shed less and stand a chance of having a hypoallergenic coat. 

In addition, dander and their saliva tend to stay in the hair follicles and fall less around the house, making it safer for people with mild pet allergies.

However, how much they shed depends on the type of coat they inherit. First-generation (F1) Aussiedoodles is a 50/50 Australian Shepherd and Poodle mix. Both are purebred, and F1 is the healthiest generation by experts and breeders. They can have a curly or wavy coat from the coat type inherited.

The second-generation or the so-called F1b Aussiedoodles are descended from 75% of poodles and 25% of Australian Shepherds. The type of coat they inherited was most likely a curly coat.

F2 Aussiedoodle (second-generation) results from a cross between two Aussiedoodles. The result of this cross is an Aussiedoodle that sheds very little hair. Aussiedoodles who inherit more Poodle coats will have curly fur that doesn’t fall out easily. F1b and F2 are more suitable for those with mild pet allergies.

Do All Merle Aussiedoodles Have Blue Eyes?

The merle gene also affects the color of a dog’s iris. As the dappled effect does not spread evenly, it can affect the dog’s eye color. Color combinations can be seen in one or both eyes of merle dogs. 

Merle Aussiedoodles can be blue if they inherit the dominant merle gene from the Australian Shepherd. However, they can also have other eye colors such as amber, brown, marbled, green, and gray. 

Even more interesting, at merle dogs with heterochromatic eyes – one blue and one of another color. 

Final Thoughts

Merle Aussiedoodles are a family favorite. What’s there not to like? They are fluffy, cute, fun-loving dogs with a beautifully speckled coat. 

They will have relatively high energy levels and suit households with big yards and owners with an active lifestyle that can spare the time to give them the exercise and attention they need. 

Great care has to be taken into making sure your merle dog is a single merle and not a double merle. Thanks for reading, and all the best to your hunt for the perfect Aussiedoodle! 

Adeline Ee

Adeline Ee graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication and Marketing. Originally from Singapore, she now lives on the road after leaving a 15-year career in travel and hospitality. A fanatic dog-lover, scuba diver, rock climber, and outdoor person, she has a keen interest in environmental and marine conservation and continually strives to be friendlier to the planet.

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