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Merle Coloured Puppies

At the 2012 AGM we put a proposal forward to ask the KC not to register Merle coloured puppies. Puppies of this colour had been seen in a litter in Europe. Even though the colour can be very appealing and some peoples’ reaction is ‘Oh I would love one like that’. The Merle coloured gene goes hand in glove with deafness and blue eyes - this has been proven with the Dachshund breed and the colouring was refused registration.

Soon after the Staffordshire breeders followed suit and decided that they too would ban the registration of such a colour. No one yet knows for sure if there could be any other links to health problems with this gene.

We decided it was time to act before we were caught out, the proposal was accepted by the club and the other breed clubs were contacted for their support it was passed overwhelmingly and now the KC will not register such a colour. Many thanks for all your support.

We must always try to remember that once a bad gene enters the breed it might never be found until many dogs are carrying this hidden and begin to display the inherent problems of such a gene. People who breed for colour must always be vigilant about the tone of colour of the dog/bitch that is chosen for breeding. The thought in the scientific community is that poor colouring i.e. faded colours; could carry the possibility of hidden health problems. Who wants that in their litters?

The Melanin gene and the deafness gene are closely linked when the melanin gene dies in the hairs in the ear of puppy the hearing gene never connects and deafness soon follows. Colour and its relation to health issues has been proven beyond doubt in horses, fashionable colouring in animals can come at a cost to their health.

Thank you for all your support.

Let us keep our dogs healthy.

Lesley Lever

Lowisa Grieves

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