So I am going to take this opportunity to recap on my current publications available on Amazon.. this post I want to talk about ‘Breeding Merles Responsibly’
As a life long dog breeder and exhibitor there were a few things that happened in the dog world – specifically the Chihuahua which had breed wide repercussions within the UK.
Back in the 80s imports stepped up a gear and became more popular – dogs started to arrive from the USA and one of note was a Chihuahua called Chocolate Chops Ahoy, a chocolate merle Chihuahua – on his wave of popularity and demand came the wake of cross-bred merles being passed off as pedigrees and coupled with the lack of knowledge of how the gene worked the Chihuahua Club of GB called for a ban on merle Chihuahuas being registered, using the cross breeding and a lethal gene as their leverage. This ban was later extended across the board to other breeds.
It became apparent that breeders really didn’t know what they were doing with the gene – I knew a bit about it but didn’t feel qualified enough to go public with my thoughts so I spent 3 yrs studying science papers – articles – researching the history of the American Merle Chihuahua and seeking evidence that the merle Chihuahua had been around much longer than the anti-propaganda was saying – I read all the scare-mongering and anti- propaganda posts I could find and I bred merles myself for 3 yrs recording every detail of each litter to see whether they were indeed really unhealthy sickly animals.
The end result of all that work was my book .. I devised a breeding program that would cause the minimum of issues and recommended health testing before letting pups go to new homes, as well as ensuring the new owner was given a break down of the merle gene and what it should and should not be bred to.
All these details are in the book for anyone to use as well as a break down of the gene and the various patterns that appear. Definitely a must-have for those serious about maintaining a good reputation as a Merle Breeder.