Aussies: Coats of Many Colors


The striking coat patterns and colors of Australian Shepherds seem to draw folks in like bees to honey. Colors range from black to red to grey (called "blue" in the dog world) with black or red mottling called "merle."


The Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA) recognizes solid black, solid liver (red), blue merle, and red merle. All of these colors may or may not feature tan accents and/or white markings.


The black and red coat combinations have names like Black Tri, Black Bi, Red Tri, Red Bi. And, the merles are most commonly known as either Blue Merle or Red Merle. "Tri" means the dog has three colors, while "Bi" means the pup sports two colors.


Have you noticed some Aussies have a red nose and lips while others have a black nose and lips? The black or red pigment of the nose, lips, and eye rims depends on the coat's color. Red coats have red noses, while blue and black coats have black noses.


Did you know that the variety of Aussie coats are all particular genetic traits and that it's essential for breeders to understand how those characteristics are passed to future generations?


We've done a great deal of research into the genetics of our dogs to produce the healthiest, most beautiful Doodle pups. Knowledgeable breeders can broadly plan a litter of puppies who will tend to look a certain way. For instance, a red dog bred with another red dog will usually make red puppies; however, a black dog may have either black or red puppies if it carries the red gene.


Breeding merles is especially difficult and should only be done so with great knowledge and care. Breeding dogs that each have a merle gene can result in puppies with severe eye defects and deafness.


We take pride in making sure our Australian Shepherds and our Poodles have the best genes for our particular flavor of Doodle—the Aussiedoodle!


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