Australain Shepherd colors;bi-colored merles?


Prairie Wolf Farm Asylum
10 Years
Feb 12, 2009
NE Kansas
I took in a 'dump' a month ago, who is clearly part Australian Shepherd, but mixed with something else. My question, is, can you have a mixed merle color? He looks blue, but upon closer inspection, he's got tan points, and his blue almost has a brown cast to it. I realize his being a mix is probably muddling things, but, what color should I call him?
And he is now fully vaccinated, neutered, and on heartworm preventative. His name is Vega

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He's beautiful! Good for you for taking him in - he looks smart. I'm pretty sure tan points are common in blue merles. Either way, he sure looks like a keeper!
Thanks for replying! So would you just call him a blue merle, then?
And yea, he learns very fast (stubborn, though!)
I'm not sure I would call him a blue merle. At first, I thought he looks part ACD (Austrailian cattle dog) as well as ausie but then noticed he has a redish nose. He's a cutie for sure.

Here is a picture of my two blue merles and one red merle.

From left to right - Roofus red heeler/shihtzu mix, Marli ACD, Missy ausie
Your kids are cute! I love ACD's, too, and have a rescue that is either an ACD or Catahoula mix. I'd call her a red merle
He's a tanpoint blue merle with extensive white markings and ticking or possibly roaning in his white markings.
Ticking and roaning are what causes cattle dogs' coloration; you also see ticking a lot in bird dogs and border collies. As to your original question, there are bi-blue merles with just black and gray, but with those tan points he is definitely not one. The tan you see outside his tan points is a normal effect of the merled fur bleaching in the sun. It's considered a bad thing in show dogs, but obviously that's not an issue here. The slate color of his nose indicates he's a recessive blue on top of the merle, which might also explain why he doesn't have very many dark spots. I bet if you stood him next to a dog with true black spots on it, you'd see that his dark spots are a dark blue instead of black.

He's a really neat looking dog! I'd second the guess that he's some mix of Aussie and ACD (it's a fairly common working cross), though that wouldn't support the dilute blue theory very well. What does he act like?
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Wow, Pardygwyn, thanks!
I didn't think he was an ACD/Aussie because he's so small and lightweight,but the color thing does support that mix. Someone also suggested he might be part Brittany? I'm usually pretty good at picking out breeds in mystery dogs, but all I truly see is Aussie,then I get stumped.
So that liver/reddish color nose is called slate?
Personality wise, he's super sweet, friendly, smart, pushy when he wants something (like attention), very affectionate, and picks things up quickly (that smart thing). ENDLESS energy, loves to wrestle with my pit, and tolerates ear chewing from my Terv. Nice little dog with high energy. Really need to start working on obedience and manners to teach him the 'off' and 'leave it' commands. You know, he can be a pain, but not enough in my opinion to dump him. But then 2 of my other dogs were also dumps, and are two of the best dogs ever.
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Not bi-blues. This is a specific color terminology thing we're running into.
Bi-merle literally means there are only two colors, which in a blue dog would be blue and black. Here is a bi-blue sheltie:

A red bi-merle would be light and dark red with no tan points. Your dog and Kansaseq's are tanpoint blue merles.
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