The Blue Merle coat color is sought after in many dog breeds with this coat. It is one of the many colors of the Mini Australian Shepherd.
So, what makes a Mini Blue Merle Australian Shepherd look this way? Are there advantages and disadvantages to this coat color over another colored Mini Australian Shepherd?
Read on to learn more about what makes a Mini Blue Merle Australian Shepherd, their appearance, temperament, associated health problems, price, and where to get them.
What Is A Mini Blue Merle Australian Shepherd?
A Mini Blue Merle Australian Shepherd is a mini Australian Shepherd with a subtle gray base coat with a blue hue covered with black markings. The blue merle coat is a variation of the Merle coat color pattern.
What Do Mini Blue Merle Australian Shepherds Look Like?
The Mini Australian Shepherd is a miniaturized version of the Australian Shepherd dog breed.
Mini Blue Merle Australian Shepherds look like mini Australian Shepherds except for their coat color.
The appearance of Mini Aussies usually depends on how they were bred. The miniature Australian Shepherd can be bred in three ways:
- Introduction of the dwarfism gene in the Australian Shepherd DNA through crossbreeding
- An Australian Shepherd mix breed (mix of a larger dog and a small dog)
- Breeding from runts of mini Australian Shepherd litters
Mini Aussies are also known as teacup Australian Shepherds or toy Australian Shepherds.
Mini Aussies that are bred from the dwarfism genes have oversize heads and shortened legs. Their physical appearance is not proportional compared to the standard Australian Shepherd.
The mini Aussie from an Australian Shepherd mix generally has a mixture of the traits of the parent breeds.
Puppies bred from the breeding of miniature Australian Shepherds have the appearance of the standard Australian Shepherd.
A Blue Merle Australian Shepherd’s coat appears as a gray, slate, or sliver color with a hue of blue dark marks. The black spots vary in size and shape.
Some may have white and/or tan markings on the face, chest, belly, and legs. More specifically the white color usually appears on the neck while the tan color appears on the cheeks, ears, and legs
The teacup Blue Merle Australian Shepherd’s eyes are either blue or brown and some may have both colors of eyes, that is, one blue eye and one brown eye.
The eyes may also have freckles of blue if the eye base color is blue or brown freckles if the eye base color is blue.
Mini-American Shepherds are also mistakenly and commonly referred to as mini Australian Shepherds and are likely to be sold as mini Australian Shepherds because of their similarities.
How Big Do Blue Merle Mini Aussies Get?
The Blue Merle mini Aussies generally grow to 13 to 18 inches tall with a weight of 20 – 40 pounds. The male dogs are usually bigger than the females.
The size of the dogs also varies depending on how they were created, that is, either from mixed breeding, the introduction of the dwarfism gene, or from repeated breeding of runts of mini Aussies.
The Genetics Of The Mini Blue Merle Australian Shepherd
The coat color of dogs is based on two primary pigments, the black pigment (eumelanin), and red pigment (pheomelanin).
Different genes inherited by a puppy from both its parents manipulate these two hair colors to produce the different coat colors and patterns.
The Merle gene produces the Merle coat color pattern which is a dark gray base coat with dark splotches which vary in size, shape, and distribution on the coat.
The Blue Merle is a variation of the Merle coat color and is due to a shorter merle gene.
The mini Blue Merle Australian Shepherd inherits one copy of the dominant Merle gene (M) from one of its parents, which is shorter than the standard merle gene.
This displays as a subtle gray coat with a blue effect having black markings distributed over the coat.
In addition to influencing the expression of the Merle coat color, the merle gene also influences the eye color of a mini Merle Australian Shepherd.
Mini Merle Australian Shepherds have blue or brown eyes with some having one of each.
Are Mini Blue Merle Australian Shepherds Rare?
The Mini Blue Merle Australian Shepherds are rare, however, they can be produced with selective breeding. Production of a Mini Blue Merle Aussie requires that only one of the parents passes down the dominant Merle allele (M) to have a Merle coat pattern and a shorter merle gene length to have a Blue Merle coat.
Mini Blue Merle Australian Shepherd puppies with only one copy of the merle gene can only develop the merle coat pattern if they do not inherit two dominant merle genes which creates offspring that are double merle.
The merle gene also has to be shorter than the standard merle gene length for a puppy to have a Blue Merle color.
Based on this genetic makeup requirement, it seems like an uphill task in producing a Mini Merle Australian Shepherd as well as a Blue Merle. However, it is still possible with genetic science.
Breeders can increase the chances of production of the Mini Blue Merle Aussie puppies when there is demand for them.
Also learn more on other Blue Merle dog breeds from our guides below. Mini Blue Merle Australian Shepherd is one of the many interesting Blue Merle dogs!
Mini Blue Merle Australian Shepherd Temperament
A Mini Blue Merle Australian Shepherd has the same personality as any other Australian Shepherd dog. The coat color does not influence their temperament.
Miniature Australian Shepherds are is friendly, affectionate, loyal, and intelligent with a strong work ethic. They are also easy to train and eager to please their owners.
In addition to this, a Mini Aussie’s personality is also shaped by socialization and training as well as good breeding practices.
Early socialization and training are essential in raising a well-rounded Blue Merle Mini Aussie to help instill desired behaviors and also be able to get along with people, and other pets.
Mini Blue Merle Australian Shepherd Health
Studies on dog coat color have shown that coat color influences a dog’s health and longevity. This means that coat certain coat colors have more health problems compared to other coat colors.
The genes that are responsible for merle, white, roan, and piebald, roan color have been linked to hearing problems and deafness.
Therefore the Mini Blue Merle Australian Shepherd is susceptible to deafness because of the merle gene.
The merle gene has also been linked to sun sensitivity and skin cancer. This also makes the Mini Blue Merle Aussie prone to sun sensitivity with a risk of developing skin cancer.
Generally, Mini Aussies are healthy dogs however like any other dog breed they are also susceptible to common health problems of the Australian Shepherd dog breed.
These health problems include epilepsy, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, degenerative eye disorder, cataracts, detached cornea, nasal solar dermatitis, allergies, cancer, MDR1 drug sensitivity, hypothyroidism, obesity, and blood clotting disorders.
A Miniature Blue Merle Australian Shepherd will not necessarily develop any or all of these conditions but it is important to be aware of these possible health conditions.
This helps you to know what to expect by owning a mini Blue Merle Australian Shepherd and the care they need to keep them healthy.
Australian Shepherd breeders also reduce the risk of occurrence of these conditions.
Therefore when your heart is set on purchasing a Mini Blue Merle Australian Shepherd puppy, make sure that you buy one from a reputable breeder to receive their health history.
Finally, with a good diet, care, and appropriate exercise the teacup Blue Merle Australian Shepherd has an average lifespan of 13 to 15 years.
Mini Blue Merle Australian Shepherd Price
On average, the Mini Blue Merle Australian Shepherd’s price is in the range of $2000 to $ 3000. The price tends to be high because this type of coat color for a mini Aussie is uncommon.
Therefore because of rarity and also high demand for the Blue Merle coat color, the dogs have a premium price.
Miniature Blue Merle Australian puppies are also more expensive compared to adult dogs and adoptable dogs.
The Blue Merle Mini Aussie price also widely varies and depends on the breeder, their location, and because of the high demand for miniature Aussies.
Where to Buy or Adopt a Mini Blue Merle Australian Shepherd
When considering purchasing a Mini Blue Merle Australian Shepherd puppy, always purchase from a reputable Australian Shepherd breeder to receive a healthy puppy.
Responsible breeders practicing ethical breeding practices increase the chances of having a healthy puppy or dog through responsible breeding.
They also share the health history of a puppy, therefore you are aware of what to expect from your puppy or dog and the care they need.
Also when purchasing a mini blue merle ask the breeder whether they are a mini Australian Shepherd or a Mini American Shepherd.
The American Shepherd looks mistaken for the mini Australian Shepherd and some breeders sometimes sell it as a mini Aussie.
Australian Shepherd breeders can also be found on the American Kennel Club’s marketplace which is a good resource for certified and approved breeders.
In Summary: Mini Blue Merle Australian Shepherd
The Mini Blue Merle Australian Shepherd is loved by Australian Shepherd owners because of its fascinating color. The coat color is a lovely subtle gray with dilute dark marks.
In addition to this fascinating coat color and adorable size, the Mini Blue Merle Australian Shepherd has a pleasant personality. They are a great companion.
Apart from the coat color and size, the miniature Australian Shepherd is no different from other Australian Shepherd colors
By being aware of their health and characteristics, you can be able to raise a healthy Mini Blue Merle Aussie.
Always remember when considering buying a Miniature Blue Merle Australian Shepherd puppy, buy them from ethical breeders to ensure you get a healthy pup.