Alue Standard Poodles will not sell to merle breeders or those who support the breeding of merle mix Poodles

Merle Poodles are not Purebred Poodles

It is true that there have been merles for hundreds of years in central European herding dogs (from which they must have come to British herding breeds), some Central European hound breeds and the ancestors of Danes. Catahoula got merle from these breeds, and collie type herding breeds in other parts of the world got their merle from European herding dogs. Those are the original merle breeds/dog types. Other breeds and dog types did NOT have merle 100 years ago, and most didn't even 50 years ago. Chihuahua might have had merle over 50 years already, but this fad "look, there is merle in our breed too" started to happen only in 1970's or later, and we Europeans first heard of it around 1990's or even later (as it didn't start here, where most of these breeds originate, but mainly in US). ONLY "we didn't have merles and now we do" breed which can officially trace their first merle is Hungarian Mudi, aka they got it "legally". All the other breeds (American Cocker, Poodle, Frenchie, EB, Schnauzers etc) have gotten it by faked papers and some breed crossing. Well, in American Cockers it can be kind of traced back to certain dogs, but not properly explained how they just started getting merle offspring. Merle is such a complicated mutation that it doesn't happen again and again and always in just the same way, but merle is always introduced to a new population by using existing merle dogs from other breeds.”

Merle is a very complicated gene with different lengths, different modifiers, and can present as phantom merle, meaning the dog does not show any sign of the merle coat pattern but is genetically merle. 

Merle is naturally present in a surprisingly small number of breeds, mostly herding breeds along with Great Danes. It has been bred into breeds such the Chihuahua and Pomeranian as well.  

So what's the deal with merle and why are all the Poodle people losing their minds over it? Well, let me tell you. 

As I prefaced this with, merle is a complicated gene, but it's especially complicated when it gets bred into breeds of which it doesn't belong in. If it doesn't belong there, how did it get there? Well, while we will never know the absolute truth, what happens is a breeder will take a Poodle and breed it to a breed that produces merle, such as a herding breed like an Australian Shepherd. They will then lie on the litter registration and say Poodle A and Poodle B are the parents, when really it was Aussie A and Poodle B. This is referred to as paper hanging. Paper hanging is an issue for many reasons- the first being that someone lied and ethically that is wrong to do. Second, if you have someone that lied on a pedigree and someone unknowingly buys a puppy descended from that line who then wants to breed that dog, they have no idea what true health issues are behind their dog, which means they have no idea what issues their puppies could end up with. This kind of act causes issues for generations. 

Another issue with merle is, of course, how the genetics work themselves. Poodles who are white/cream/apricot/red are genetically "e", which means recessive red. That e gene will override merle, which is where phantom merle terminology comes into play. What that means is that you can have a dog that looks like a solid cream but is genetically a merle dog and that can cause big problems for that new owner. If the buyer wanted to breed that dog or had an oops litter with a merle dog, they just created double merles, which means they could produce some serious health issues. Parti can also break up the merle pattern, so if you do not know what you are looking at, you could easily be convinced you are looking at a weird clearing blue or black parti. 

The problem with merle Poodles is that they are not purebred and were made from deceit for money--bottom line, plain and simple. The breed now faces pedigrees that are lies.  We face health issues from herding breeds being bred into our genetic population, and we have people lying to the public saying that merle Poodles are purebred and we "just don't like them". That couldn't be further from the truth. Breeding these dogs comes down to being unethical as a breeder by lying to buyers saying they are buying a purebred Poodle and doing a massive disservice to the breed by breeding in health issues and coat traits none of us are prepared for or know how to work around.   

When we talk about breed testing, such as Embark, merle breeders point to the fact their dogs test as Poodle as the proof merle is a Poodle color. Embark only tests back 3-4 generations. So what does that mean? Well, if someone bred an Aussie to a Poodle 5 generations ago, Embark would not pick that up. If they bred an Aussiedoodle to a Poodle even three generations ago, Embark would not pick that up. Genetic breed testing is not sensitive enough to pick up generations past parents. People will also say, "if it's bred back to a Poodle enough times it becomes a Poodle". The fact of the matter is, someone introduced a non-Poodle into that line, and those progeny are mixes.  

Alue Standard Poodles will never sell to a breeder that breeds merles or supports merles.