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Well I think it's that there used to be no merle chi's (yes I'm old enough to remember that, LOL). Now there are and it had to come from somewhere so the assumption is that is was outsourced from some other breed. They are beautiful but they definitely can have health problems as can any merle dog.
 

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I probably shouldn't be talking because I did not read the above posted articles. I didn't read them because the controversy over merles annoys me and the health comments stress me out. That's not meant to offend anyone; just my way of avoiding the conflict and simply enjoying my pup.

According to an online vet and to Frasier's vet, merles have no more health problems than other chis except for one - because the merle gene can affect the pigmentation in their eyes in the same way it does the rest of their bodies, it can be harder to diagnose an eye problem if one occurs. (there are actually merles with one blue and one brown eye, or blue spots in their eyes) However, there is no more likely to be an eye problem than with any other chi.

Serious health problems like blindness and death, occur when an uneducated breeder breeds two merles together, or breeds a merle with a dog who appears to not be a merle but is actually carrying the merle gene. Either of those two situations guarantee halt problems, but I'd think the odds of buying a double merle or even seeing one would be rare since most die at birth or soon after.

Edited for spelling and to add: Sorry if this was mentioned in one of those articles - You can't currently AKC register a chi as a merle unless you are willing to fight/argue/demand/insist and send in multiple color photos showing all angles of the dog. Frasier is registered as simply blue with tan markings.
 

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Okay, I read the articles because that blanket comment about health problems got to me. There are no health problems mentioned other than what the vets I spoke with already told me about.

I agree with the title of this thread about people getting a life. If the authors of those articles are so worried about merles being around because they are not bred to improve the breed, then there are many other breeders they should be worried about too such as those who breed dogs over six pounds and those who expect litters from tiny little 2 lb dams.

I should have never gotten in to this discussion because I'm a very paranoid mom since I recently lost my last dog and the anti-merle crap is a hot button for me. But, I don't care if Frasier is part kangaroo :D (The way he jumps - he may be.) :lol: He's not for breeding or showing. And I wouldn't even care if he had no papers - he's just my baby, and thankfully he has no health problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Frasier's Mommy said:
Okay, I read the articles because that blanket comment about health problems got to me. There are no health problems mentioned other than what the vets I spoke with already told me about.

I agree with the title of this thread about people getting a life. If the authors of those articles are so worried about merles being around because they are not bred to improve the breed, then there are many other breeders they should be worried about too such as those who breed dogs over six pounds and those who expect litters from tiny little 2 lb dams.

I should have never gotten in to this discussion because I'm a very paranoid mom since I recently lost my last dog and the anti-merle crap is a hot button for me. But, I don't care if Frasier is part kangaroo :D (The way he jumps - he may be.) :lol: He's not for breeding or showing. And I wouldn't even care if he had no papers - he's just my baby, and thankfully he has no health problems.

and i'm head over heels for him too! so is chiwi, she just licked your siggy and she sits on the computer desk a lot looking at it and does that every so often. she has her mini crushes i guess :) it just made me mad when i read that just because of a color and "there weren't any blue merles way back when" that means something must have been added to the breeding pool... doesn't it take a long time to weed certain things out like if a dachshund was used then how would just the color come through and their longness not? or a sheltie, they are pretty big compared to the tiny chi? wouldn't it take many many years just to take one small aspect such as color?
 

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luvmypuppet said:
and i'm head over heels for him too! so is chiwi, she just licked your siggy and she sits on the computer desk a lot looking at it and does that every so often. she has her mini crushes i guess :) it just made me mad when i read that just because of a color and "there weren't any blue merles way back when" that means something must have been added to the breeding pool... doesn't it take a long time to weed certain things out like if a dachshund was used then how would just the color come through and their longness not? or a sheltie, they are pretty big compared to the tiny chi? wouldn't it take many many years just to take one small aspect such as color?
LOL @ Chiwi Frasier thinks she's a cutie too :wink:

The argument over coloring and pureness doesn't really upset me. It doesn't really apply since he's not showing or breeding. It's the health comments that get to me.

If I recall what I read correctly the author of the first article contradicted himself by saying the merle gene can not lie dormant; that one parent must be merle, then saying defects caused by merles can suddenly appear in the line.

One problem is that people misunderstand the word "mutation" when discussing genetics. Another problem is that people have some general knowledge of the 1 in 4 pups that may live from a double merle litter then they blanketly state that all merles have health problems.

No one wants to hear that all (insert your type of pup's name here) have health problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
yeah i get it know. that pissed me off too cause it isn't "all" of anything... when i had freeze all i heard wa "all pit bulls are dangerous" when we had a white cat it was "all white cats will end up deaf and/or blind" it should be "it may cause such and such problems, or there's a chance of it doing this" sad thing is it's not like that just with animals.... it's people too. "all kids raised (here)_______ will turn out to be (what)________" the blanks could be filled in with so much, take your pick.
 

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Fraiser's Mom I agree with you I read that article and it p****d me off... That guy needs to get a life and reread his article. It makes me mad when people make statements like all ________ and ________ (fill in the blanks) it isn't all it could be some or might be some. But I have noticed in life there is never an all __________. I know a few chihuahuas and they are all different with all different health statuses. I know Gadget is not papered and I didn't get him to do anything with except love and be his mommy. I can feel your anger with this. It angers me when I read things about people with asthema(Amanda has asthema) every body thinks that because she has asthema she should always be sick and shouldn't do anything. She is healthly. She can do anything anybody else does. The only reason she has asthema is because she was born 3 months early and her lungs were smaller and weaker than normal ful term babies but over the years as she has grown I have mad her run and play just like the other kids. She has totally been off her meds for 3 years and she hasn't had an attack since is was 3 years old. If I would have listened to everybody she would have been the little sick girl they were talking about. But I got mad and stopped listening and took it apon myself to educate myself and figure out what would help her grow up to be healthly. Yes she will always have asthema and she could regress<SP> and get sick again and start having problems but I could walk across the street tomorrow and get hit by a car.. what kind of life would we have if we didn't live forourselves and love our babies(both 2 legged and 4 legged) I hope you don't listen to those people who say all the merles have health problems, because obviously they have it all wrong. your little fraiser is very healthly and happy.

luvmypuppet Thank you for pputting that URL up so that we could read it. That is good information. That is not to listen to. I haven't read the whole site but the part about the merle mad me mad and I don't even have a merle. It did make me wish I knew more about the genetics.
 

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Gadget's Mom said:
Thank you for pputting that URL up so that we could read it. That is good information. That is not to listen to.
I understand why the article upset you. Not all of it is fact, but there are certain parts of the article that are unquestionably fact and should be taken very seriously.

On average, if you breed Merle to Merle, 1/4 of your litter will be homozygous. These homozygous pups are usually, but not always, deaf and blind.

<u>A single Merle gene is usually harmless</u>, but Sable Merles are hard to recognize as Merles once they are adults. The "patches" fade as they become adults and they can be be mistaken for plain sable, fawn and white, red and white, etc., and if a Sable Merle is bred to another Merle, then you could end up with homozygous pups.

Here's a photo of a Sable Merle. He doesn't look like a Merle does he?
 

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This article doesn't p**ss me off in the least, Gloria Lambert is a very recognized breeder in the Chihuahua show world and an ethical responsible breeder. She is certainly not the only one that expressed this view. There is great division on this amoung breeders and yes, I don't believe blanket statments are correct, its the underlying fact that this gene whether it be recessive or not, can produce health concerns.

Think of it like a breeder would. They spend countless manhours and years trying to improve and perfect their lines to conform to the breed standard. When they need to outcross to add genetic diversity into their lines to get more desirable traits, what happens if they unknowingly introduce this gene into their own line. It can be devestating espcially if it only outwarding shows itself in several successive generations down the line. They would have to terminate breedings in that entire line.

The same issue has arisen lately with boston terriers. There are breeders who are knowingly reproducing pups that are red/sable/fawn or splash that look like boston terriers but don't adhere to the breed standard or type. Now, to do so they have introduce outside breeds such as the boxer or pitbull to get these color variations. Responsible breeders are furious that this is going on and even though this coloration is admired by some, it still is consider unethical to be breeding such a strain and has introduced new health concerns into the boston.

So, as a breeder whether you are line breeding or outcrossing, you are trying to produce the best of the best but occasionally the worst of the worst will show its ugly head in a litter. Thats the risk breeders take. I think by rejecting the continued breeding of dogs who are merle themselves or carry the gene, they can tip the scales in their favor that, thats one less thing they have to worry about in their lines, as if theirs not enough to worry about already.

Certainly not to offend anyone here (I am fond of the color myself) but if you'll notice that its not the responsible breeders who are introducing merles into the chihuahua community. Whether they be hobby breeders or unethical breeders, it is these people who are breeding merles without regard to the genetic consequences. "If" I were a breeder, I would want to error on the side of caution and not have this genetic factor in my line until it had been well proven if ever that there were not an increased risk of health issues in the dogs I were producing. IMHO
 
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