Bobbee Roos on the Sable Merle

Categories:The Sable Merle Collie

Quoting from page 132 of Collie Concept, 2nd edition, 1988

"It is important that we should be aware and understand that there is a variation in the genetic color inheritance factor in many breeds and other species.  When it is understood how the color pattern produces, then our tolerance level increases."

"A rare commodity is an open mind and the willingness to try the unfamiliar and take a calculated risk, if necessary, to produce quality if the virtues are present in the prospective pair, regardless of color.  Dedicated breeders who are interested in the welfare and progress of a breed do not want to see a radical, convulsive revolution; but I have never understood the stigma attached to sable/blue merle breeding or a blue to blue.  We are bridled and restrained by heresay, but years of experience and exposure encourages some fanciers to delve into the more mysterious unions that require depth of thought and planning.  A sable merle can unfold a prismatic combination, all in one package."

"If several daring breeders had not tried the unconventional unions decades ago, we would not have had some of the outstanding specimens.  It might have been many more years before we learned that a sable to blue merle breeding can produce an attractive silvery blue.  The gamble in the sable to blue merle breeding is that a sable merle can have blue eyes.  If (continued on page 133)"

"… you are and adventurous sort, ther is nothing in the Standard to prevent exhibition of a blue-eyed sable merle.  Your dog may be penalized and thusly top awards may be elusive, but there is no disqualification.  The only disqualifications are the American Kennel Club rules for all breeds for the presence of monorchidism or cryptorchidism."

"Many Fanciers have questioned whether the Standard could be changed to accept sable merles as an additonal color rather than reading as four colors, and to possibly allow blue eyes, eliminating any discrimination.  This could possibly come to pass within a few years."

"A few daring breeders have gambled and kept "defective whites" from a blue merle to blue merle union and learned, to the amazement of many, that they are NOT impaired in sight or hearing.  This courageous experiment by a few breeders had been a progressive step in several ways.  We have learned that not all white merles are "defective," having passed an ophthalmic examination, with sometimes, better visual acuity ratings than other colored members of the breed and the bonus is, blue merles have increased in popularity with exhibitors and the pet buying public.  For those wanting to increase the probable percentage of blue merles in a litter there are white merles of quality to incorporate into a color/breeding program.  An interesting side light to this color situation is that in some instances the sable/merles and white/merles are the select quality individuals in a litter.  Is nature conveying a subtle message to breeders?"

"The Standard explicitly allows four colors buy predjudice prevails.  It is a wise exhibitor who knows which judges to avoid and where to invest the entry fee when a particular color is the judge's favorite."

"True Collie expression is inevitable regardless of color or because of the head properties.  You should see and feel the same sense of awareness that the Collie has a unique countenance whether it is a tri, blue, sable or white."

Then there are photos on pages 134-135 of all colors, including sable merles …

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