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Discussion Starter #1
Can anyone help to explain what the terms "Merle" and "Merle-Free" actually mean? I see them pop up on breeder websites (mostly the "Merle-Free" one) and take it to be some sort of genetic trait but I'm not quite sure what the term is describing. Thanks for any insights.
 

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As I understand it (hopefully someone more experienced will correct me if I go wrong) Merle is a colouration gene, it reults in a kind of speckled/marbled effect coat and often blue eyes. If you are in the UK then the reason you see 'Merle-Free' is because Merle is banned by the Kennel Club due to associated genetic defects.
 

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This is merle:




Very beautiful but the merle gene, as I understand it, carries some serious health problems in chi's which is why it is banned here in the UK.
 
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