Blue Merle Tricolor Australian Shepherd: A Complete Guide

The Blue Merle tricolor Australian Shepherd is one of the tricolor Australian Shepherd coat colors, which have a stunning color combination.

So, what makes a Blue Merle tricolor Australian Shepherd? What are the pros and cons of this coat color?

Read on to learn more about what makes a Blue Merle tricolor Australian Shepherd, its appearance, temperament, health concerns, price, and where to get them.

A Blue Merle tricolor Australian Shepherd has a combination of Blue Merle, copper, and white coat colors, which makes it a three-colored Australian Shepherd. The base coat color is Blue Merle, a gray coat with black spots, which is overlapped with white and tan markings on the face, chest, belly, and legs.

Blue Merle tricolor Australian Shepherd

What Does The Blue Merle Tricolor Australian Shepherd Look Like?

The Blue Merle tricolor Australian Shepherd is an Australian Shepherd and has the breed’s physical features. The only difference is its different coat color.

The Blue Merle tri Australian Shepherd or Blue Merle tri Aussie as commonly referred to is a medium-sized dog with an athletic build, a medium-sized head, muzzle, and triangular ears with rounded tips that stand upright or bend forward.

They have a short natural tail that is sometimes docked. 

Their coat is a double coat with straight or slightly wavy fur. The chest, legs, and tail have slightly longer fur than the rest of the body.

The eye color of the Blue Merle tricolor Australian Shepherd is brown, blue, or both having one brown eye and one blue eye.

Male Blue Merle tri Aussies are 20 to 23 inches in height with a weight ranging between 50 – 65 pounds while the female dogs’ height is 18 to 21 inches high with a weight of 40 – 55 pounds.

Male dogs are usually slightly taller and heavier than female dogs.

The coat of a Blue Merle tricolor Australian Shepherd is a stunning feature of the dog by having three colors, which are blue merle, white, and copper (tan).

Blue Merle is the base color of the coat and is predominant. Blue Merle is a coat color that has black spots on a gray background.

The black spots distributed on the gray base color vary in size and shape. 

On top of the Blue Merle base coat color, white and copper markings appear on the face, chest, belly, and legs of the dog.

White markings commonly occur on the chest, muzzle, belly, and legs while copper / tan markings appear on the cheeks, ears, and legs.

Does the American Kennel Club recognize the Blue Merle Tricolor Australian Shepherd?

blue merle tricolor Australian Shepherd

The Blue Merle tricolor Australian Shepherd is recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as one of the 14 official Australian Shepherd coat colors.

There are 4 recognized Australian Shepherd colors. These coat colors are Black, Blue Merle, Red, and Red Merle. 

Coat color variations and combinations in each group of the four colors make up the 14 recognized colors. The tricolor Australian Shepherds are among these colors.

Tricolor Australian Shepherds are three colored Aussies. There are 4 tricolor Australian Shepherd coat varieties, which include:

Related: Black tri Australian Shepherd: A Comprehensive Guide

The Genetics Of The Blue Merle Tricolor Australian Shepherd

So, how does a Blue Merle tri Aussie come about? Let’s dive into how their beautiful coat color is acquired.

The coat base color of all dog breeds starts with two primary pigments, that is, a black pigment (eumelanin) and a red pigment (phaeomelanin). 

These two basic colors determine the coat color of dogs. 

The different coat color combinations and patterns are based on the genes a puppy receives from both its parents. The resulting gene interaction determines the expression of the two base pigments.

A Merle Australian Shepherd describes a coat color of the Australian Shepherd that has a gray base color covered with black patches or spots.

The genes that produce the Merle coat color pattern include a dominant merle allele (M) and a non-merle allele (m), which is represented as the (Mm) gene.

A puppy must receive the dominant merle allele and a non-merle allele to have the merle coat color. 

A Blue Merle tricolor Australian Shepherd puppy receives one copy of the dominant Merle allele from one of its parents, two copies of the recessive dilute gene (dd) from each parent, and one copy of the dominant Agouti gene from one of its parents.

The dilute gene reduces the coat’s black pigment color (eumelanin) of the Merle coat pattern by diluting the black pigment to blue which is a subtle gray. This results in the Blue Merle coat color.

The dominant Agouti gene results in the copper (tan) markings on the coat.

White markings on the coat of a Blue Merle tri Aussie are due to the genes on the S (spotting) locus of the genetic sequence. 

The genes at the S locus inhibit the production of skin pigment in certain areas which results in the appearance of white areas on the coat.

This genetic makeup produces the stunning Blue Merle tricolor Australian Shepherd.

In addition to altering the base coat color of an Australian Shepherd, the merle gene is also responsible for the Blue Merle Australian Shepherd’s blue eye color. 

The eye color can be blue, brown, or two different colored eyes, that is, one brown eye and one blue eye. 

Are Blue Merle Tricolor Australian Shepherds rare?

Blue Merle tricolor Australian Shepherds are not rare. They are a common tricolor Australian Shepherd together with the Black tri Australian Shepherd.

The Blue Merle tri-color Australian Shepherds is sought after making them a very popular Aussie color.

The production of a Blue Merle tricolor Australian Shepherd puppy requires that a puppy receives the Merle gene, the recessive dilute gene, a dominant Agouti gene, and genes that cause white markings on the coat.

Based on this genetic requirement, it seems like an uphill task in producing a Blue Merle tricolor Australian Shepherd puppy, however, it is possible through selective breeding.

Through deliberate and specific breeding, professional breeders can produce the Blue Merle tricolor Australian Shepherd puppies, therefore they are not hard to find.

An interesting fact is that this tricolor is also found in the mini Aussie as a Blue Merle tricolor mini Australian Shepherd.

Blue Merle Tricolor Australian Shepherd Shepherd Temperament

The Blue Merle tricolor Australian Shepherd has the personality of the Australian Shepherd dog breed.

The coat color of a particular dog breed does not influence its temperament. Science has also not shown a correlation between the two. 

Therefore the Blue Merle tricolor Australian Shepherd has the traits of an Aussie which is an intelligent, confident, very energetic, and loyal dog. 

Due to their intelligence, they can take direction quickly and are easy to train.

Good breeding, care, socialization, and training also play an important role in shaping a Blue Merle tricolor Australian Shepherd’s overall personality into a well-adjusted and behaved dog.

Blue Merle Tricolor Australian Shepherd Health Concerns

The Blue Merle tricolor Australian Shepherd is susceptible to certain health problems because of its coat color.

Unlike the personality of a dog, research studies have shown a correlation between a dog’s coat color with its susceptibility to certain health problems. 

Coat colors such as merle, white, roan, and piebald coat colors are prone to congenital deafness, and hearing problems. 

The Blue Merle tricolor Australian Shepherd has the merle gene therefore they are prone to these conditions compared to non-merle Aussies. 

In addition to these gene-related health problems, the Blue Merle tricolor Australian Shepherd is also prone to the Australian Shepherd breed’s common health problems, which include: 

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Cataracts
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Allergies

Although the Blue Merle tricolor Australian Shepherds are prone to the above conditions, this does not mean that they are unhealthy and that all are sickly. 

With a lifespan of 12 -16 years, they are generally healthy Aussies that live long. 

Blue Merle tricolor Australian Shepherd breeders also produce puppies that are less likely to have many health problems. This is an assurance that you receive a healthy puppy.

Therefore always talk to the breeder about the health status of their puppy, and the health checks that they have had.

Reputable breeders provide a puppy’s health certificate which verifies they have gone through the required checks.

It is important to know the possible health conditions of a dog breed that you are considering getting so that you know what to expect and how to take care of your dog.

In addition to good breeding practices, raising a healthy Blue Merle tricolor Australian Shepherd, requires good care, exercise, and a healthy balanced diet.

Related: Australian Shepherd throwing up: Why and when to worry

Blue Merle Tricolor Australian Shepherd Price

The Blue tricolor Australian Shepherd’s price ranges from $1000 to $2000, however, prices can be much higher. This tricolored merle Australian Shepherd is very popular and this raises their price. 

Therefore expect to pay a premium price for them. The price also depends on their availability at an individual breeder, the breeder’s set price, and their location.

Blue Merle tri Aussie puppies tend to be more expensive than older dogs and dogs.

Blue Merle tricolor Australian Shepherd for sale may be marketed as a rare color by unscrupulous puppy mills that sell them at high prices. Beware of this and do not buy your puppy from these backyard breeders.

Their puppies are unethically bred and you are highly likely to get a sickly puppy at a very high cost.

Where to Buy or Adopt a Blue Merle Tricolor Australian Shepherd

Blue Merle tricolor Australian Shepherds can be found at Australian Shepherd breeders, shelters, or rescue centers. 

If your heart is set on buying a Blue Merle tricolor Aussie puppy, make sure to purchase one from a reputable Australian Shepherd breeder. 

Blue Merle tricolor Australian Shepherd puppies from reputable breeders are ethically bred and they go through health checks. This ensures that their puppies are healthy.

The American Kennel Club’s marketplace is a reliable resource for certified Australian Shepherd breeders that you can contact to get a Blue Merle tri Aussie.

Australian Shepherd rescue centers are good resources for Blue Merle tricolor Australian Shepherd up for adoption.

A reputable rescue center for Australian Shepherds is the New Spirit 4 Aussie Rescue. 

National organizations for Australian Shepherds also provide information on breeders. This includes the United States Australian Shepherd Association and the Australian Shepherd Club of America. 

Summary: Blue Merle Tricolor Australian Shepherd

The Blue Merle tri Australian Shepherd has a breathtaking appearance as a three-colored Aussie. It’s not surprising why they are loved and sought after.

On top of this, they are intelligent, playful, and loyal dogs. As high-energy dogs, they thrive with activities and are a good fit for active lifestyle families.

Although they are susceptible to certain health conditions due to their coat color they are generally healthy dogs.

If you are considering getting a tricolored Aussie, the Blue Merle tricolor Australian Shepherd is an excellent choice.

Canines and Pups
Canines and Pups

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