Merle Goldendoodle: All About This Rare Colored Hybrid Dog

Merle Goldendoodle

The Goldendoodle is the adorable designer dog breed cross of the Golden Retriever and the Toy, Miniature, or Standard Poodle. 

They are a popular dog breed because they are friendly, good with children, and easy to train. They come in various colors, including black, white, red, and merle. Goldendoodles are healthy, playful, and well-behaved canines that fit almost any family and lifestyle.

To understand the Goldendoodle, we first have to understand the characteristics of the two parent breeds. 

The Golden Retriever is a breed of dog that was initially developed in Scotland in the early 1800s. They are known for their friendly temperament and ability to retrieve game from water. Today, Golden Retrievers are popular pets and service dogs, and they have been used as guide dogs for the blind since the 1970s.

The Poodle is a breed of dog that was originally developed in Germany in the late 1700s. They are known for their intelligence and their ability to perform tricks. Poodles are also popular pets and service dogs, commonly trained as guide dogs for the blind. 

Goldendoodles are a relatively new breed of dog, a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle. 

In the early 1990s, some breeders began to cross Golden Retrievers with Poodles to create a dog that would have the best of both worlds – the intelligence and hypoallergenic coat of a Poodle and amicable, loving Golden Retriever. The result was the Goldendoodle.

Goldendoodles are popular pets because they are friendly, intelligent, and easy to train. They also have a low-shedding coat, which makes them a good choice for people with allergies.

Merle Goldendoodles are especially popular because of their unique coloring.

Aside from their unique mottling in their lovely coats, Merle Goldendoodles are like any other Goldendoodle. 

Merle Goldendoodles come in several sizes, depending on whether a Toy, Standard, or Miniature Poodle was used. Some common sizes are:

  • Standard (Height 21-24 inches Weight 45-75 pounds)
  • Medium (Height 16-20 inches Weight 30-45 pounds)
  • Mini (Height 12-15 inches Weight 15-30 pounds)
  • Toy (Height approx. 11 inches Weight: Under 15 pounds)

Merle is a gene that results in a mottled coat pattern. Dogs that carry the merle gene may have light and dark fur patches, often with a blue or gray hue. Merle dogs can come in any color combination but are most commonly seen in black and white, red and white, or blue and white.

You can only breed a merle dog with a non-merle. Never breed two merles. First, breeding two merles can result in many puppies being born with health problems. 

Second, breeding two merles can result in the puppies being deaf or blind. If you are considering finding a merle dog, do your research first and make sure one parent is a non-merle.

What Are Merle Goldendoodles?

Merle Goldendoodles are any Goldendoodles with a merle coat. Merle refers not to the color but the mottling or speckling pattern in a dog’s coat. 

Several dog breeds are commonly merle. Some of the most popular include the Irish Setter, the Australian Cattle Dog, the Welsh Corgi, and the Shetland Sheepdog.

The merle gene that causes this lovely pattern can be present in blue, black, chocolate, and red dogs. Some merles may have a primarily red coat, while others may have a mostly blue coat, depending on their base color. 

The F1 hybrid system is used in genetics and selective breeding. The number indicates the generation – for example, an F1 Goldendoodle is the first generation of the cross between a 100% pure Poodle and a 100% pure Golden Retriever.

Merle Goldendoodles are often bred over multiple generations to enhance their physical and temperamental qualities. 

Is Merle A Defect?

No. Merle dogs can have just as long and healthy lives as their solid-colored counterparts. The problem happens when two merle dogs are bred, resulting in a double merle. 

Merle is represented by one copy of the M or an “allele.” It occurs as the result of an incomplete dominant gene. 

Dogs with one merle parent are referred to as Mms, which means they have one merle allele and one non-merle allele. 

Merle Goldendoodles that mate have puppies that are double merles or MM puppies. There is a high possibility that puppies born to double merle parents will be born blind, deaf, or both. 

Two merles should never be bred.

Are Merle Goldendoodles Rare?

Yes. The merle coat is created by the heterozygote of an incomplete dominant gene. This gene is found in Poodles but never seen in Golden Retrievers. 

Only the Poodle parent can be a carrier of the merle gene, or you can breed a merle Goldendoodle to a solid color. Two merle Goldendoodles must never be bred. A puppy born to two merle parents can have severe health defects in addition to a high chance of being born blind, deaf, or both. 

Which Is The Rarest Color Of A Goldendoodle?

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Golden Retriever has three standard colors: dark golden, golden, and light golden.

The Poodle has seven officially recognized colors by the AKC: apricot, blue, brown, café-au-lait, cream, grey, and silver. 

Goldendoodles have many coat colors that can fade and lighten over time to another color in a process known as “clearing.” If your Goldendoodle puppy keeps the same colored coat into adulthood, this process is known as “holding. 

Goldendoodles tend to hold their puppy colors around their ears and muzzle. Typically, the final coat color of a Goldendoodle will settle and stay when they reach 4 to 6 months of age. 

Merle Goldendoodles typically will have base colors of blue or chocolate. When the merle gene affects a black coat, you’ll get a blue Goldendoodle, while you’ll get red if it affects a chocolate coat. 

Poodle experts believe that the merle gene in Poodles came from common merle breeds like the Shetland Sheepdog, Australian Shepherd, or the Border Collie. 

A blue merle Goldendoodle has a black, grey, and white marbled coat. The gene affects the black pigment throughout the pup’s body, including their eyes, nose, paw pads, and eye rims.

Similarly, we get a red or chocolate merle Goldendoodle if the base coat color is red or apricot. The nose, paw pads, eye rims, and lips of red merles are also brown.

How Much Do Merle Goldendoodles Cost?

How much do merle Goldendoodles cost? This is a question that is often asked by people who are interested in getting a merle dog. Due to their high demand and limited supply, merle Goldendoodles can cost between $2,000 and $3,500. 

The price of a merle dog can vary depending on the breeder, the location, and the dog’s age. 

Generally, the cost of a merle dog will be more than the cost of a non-merle dog. This is because there is a higher demand for merle dogs, and the gene that causes the merle coat pattern is recessive. 

This means that it is more challenging to breed merles and that there is a higher chance of genetic defects occurring in their offspring. For this reason, many breeders charge a higher price for merle dogs.

Although the cost of a merle dog may be higher than the cost of a non-merle dog, merles are often considered to be worth the extra money. They are beautiful dogs with unique coats, and they make great companions. 

Are Merle Dogs Unhealthy?

No. A merle dog can be as healthy and live as long a life as its solid-colored littermates. However, double merles are a whole different ball game.

If two merle Goldendoodles mate, it results in a double merle litter. A double merle litter is likely to have several puppies born with genetic defects such as having poor sight and deafness. 

The merle gene can weaken the bones and heart of a Goldendoodle, causing life-threatening conditions. 

While not strictly forbidden, the intentional breeding of two merle dogs with a higher chance of developing defects is undoubtedly unethical. 

The genetics of merle breeding are complicated and should be undertaken by professionals with vast experience with merles. Often, a merle dog is mistakenly identified as a non-merle, leading to disastrous consequences. 

Do Merle Goldendoodles Shed?

Because of the hypoallergenic nature of the Poodle’s coat, Goldendoodles can be low shedding. However, being a mixed breed dog, their coat can vary greatly. Golden Retrievers are double-coated dogs that shed a fair bit. 

It depends on which parent the Goldendoodle takes after. Some Goldendoodles may shed a lot, while others may not shed at all. If you’re concerned about whether or not a Goldendoodle will shed, be sure to ask the breeder about the dog’s shedding habits.

Are They Hypoallergenic?

Goldendoodles can be hypoallergenic if they take after their Poodle parent’s coat. If they take after their Golden Retriever parent’s coat, it is unlikely that they will be hypoallergenic. 

Alternatively, you can check if some breeders backcross their Goldendoodles back into the Poodle gene, increasing the amount of Poodle in their litters, and with it, the chance of a hypoallergenic coat. 

How Do You Get A Merle Goldendoodle?

The first thing to do is check local shelters. You never know, you might find a match made in heaven and your new best friend. And as a bonus, get to potentially save a life! 

However, if you want to buy, do some research online and read reviews to see what others are saying. You might also check your network to see if any of your friends or acquaintances have previously dealt with a reliable breeder in your area. 

Veterinarians or other professionals can also recommend a trustworthy merle Goldendoodle breeder in your area. 

If feasible, visit them and observe their facilities to see how clean and well-organized they are. It’s also crucial to meet your prospective merle Goldendoodle’s parents and ask to check their medical records to ensure that they appear healthy and well-cared for. 

Make sure you’re asking loads of questions along the process. It’s time to look for a new breeder if the breeder seems irritated by your questions or if you feel like they’re suppressing information.

Most responsible breeders will want to see you in person and have you sign a contract. If you cannot locate a trustworthy merle Goldendoodle breeder in your area, consider contacting local animal shelters or rescue organizations.

Final Thoughts On Merle Goldendoodles

Goldendoodles are a mix of the Golden Retriever and the Poodle. They come in three different colors- black, white, and brown. 

Goldendoodles make great family pets because they are intelligent, friendly, and loving. In addition, merle Goldendoodles have unique, speckled coats caused by the interaction of genes, creating a beautiful, mottled pattern that many merle lovers strive for. 

If you’re looking for a family dog that is low maintenance, doesn’t shed too much, and has a unique coat pattern, a merle Goldendoodle may be perfect for you!

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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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