If you’re thinking of bringing a new furry family member into your home, it’s essential to do your research. That way, you can ensure that the breed or type of dog you choose is a good fit for you, your lifestyle, your home, and your family. So, if you’re considering adopting or rehoming a blue merle Australian Shepherd, what should you expect, and what do you need to know?
Rather than being a particular breed, the blue merle is a specific color type of the Australian Shepherd. You might also hear them referred to as blue merle Aussies or blue merle Aussie Shepherds. So, what are the characteristics of these beautiful dogs? You can find more information below and check these interesting facts about Australian Shepherds.
If you welcome a blue merle Australian Shepherd into your family, you can expect them to live to around twelve and sixteen years of age. Like any dog, this is a commitment that shouldn’t be taken lightly, but it does mean years of fun, love, and companionship.
An adult Australian Shepherd may grow to between eighteen and twenty-three inches in height and weigh between forty and sixty-five pounds. Remember, male dogs are likely to be taller and heavier than bitches, and early neutering may also affect the adult size.
Australian Shepherds are a medium to large breed with a long, double coat. They’re fit dogs with a lean, athletic build, furry, floppy ears, and a beautiful bushy tail. Blue merle Australian Shepherds have a multicolored coat, usually with mixtures of grey, white, black, and tan or red. The exact pattern is individual to each dog, but they often have a white bib and muzzle, with colored patches around one or both eyes. The eye color of a blue merle can be blue, amber, or brown, and it’s not uncommon for them to have eyes of different colors.
Australian Shepherd dogs are a high-energy, active breed with matching intelligence levels. Therefore, they are well suited to be working dogs and are often used for herding livestock. Their keenness to please, combined with their cognitive ability, means they are also very easy to train. The downside is they can be unruly or destructive if they are not given sufficient mental and physical stimulation. Although they are pretty playful, they’re not excessively affectionate and unlikely to bound up to strangers or other dogs without a second thought. On the other hand, they’re a reasonably friendly breed and are considered generally good with children.
The primary health condition to be aware of in blue merle Australian Shepherds is congenital deafness. A link has been suggested between the genetics that causes their coat coloring and being deaf. However, Australian Shepherds are also predisposed to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, cataracts, epilepsy, and an eye condition called Progressive Retinal Atrophy. Thankfully, many breeders will test for health conditions in their dogs before breeding them.
An Australian Shepherd, while striking-looking and intelligent, isn’t a dog for an inexperienced owner. They’re best suited to an active home, ideally as a working dog. Here’s what you need to know about caring for them:
Thankfully, Australian Shepherds don’t shed too much hair unless it’s shedding season. However, regular brushing, at least every week, is necessary. If your Australian Shepherd is shedding, you should use a specific undercoat brush to remove the dead hair to prevent mats or skin infections.
Australian Shepherds need lots of exercise. If you intend to get an Australian Shepherd as a working dog, rest assured they’ll have the stamina and focus for it. However, if you’re considering getting one as a pet, make sure you can commit to walking them for at least an hour a day and give them plenty of toys and activities.
Because they are such a busy, active breed, Australian Shepherds need good quality dog food. It should contain good quality protein and carbohydrate sources, and choosing one designed for working dogs may suit best. However, every dog is different, and without the right balance of food and exercise, any dog can gain weight. On the other hand, you might be worried that you’re not feeding your dog enough food, and you can find more information about underfeeding here. If you have concerns about whether you’re feeding your dog the right amount, speak to your veterinarian or veterinary technician for advice.
Both Australian Shepherds and Border Collies can have blue merle coloring. However, blue merle seems comparatively more common in Australian Shepherds, with black and white being the most common Border Collie color. Both are high-energy, intelligent breeds that are easily trained and need mental and physical stimulation. So, what are the differences between these breeds?
In terms of build, Australian Shepherds tend to be slightly larger compared to the very lean physique of a Border Collie. Another difference is that Border Collies tend to have more upright ears compared to the Aussie’s floppy ones. Border Collies also have a slightly higher maintenance coat, needing brushing twice a week or more. So you might prefer an Aussie if you want to spend less time on grooming duties.
Choosing a new canine companion is a big decision. Suppose you are an experienced dog owner with lots of land and an active lifestyle. In that case, an Australian Shepherd might be a good choice. If you decide there’s a place in your heart and your home for an Aussie, why not choose a blue merle? They’re beautiful to look at, and as long as you choose a responsible breeder, you should be able to avoid most of their health issues.
The price of puppies is on the up, but currently, a blue merle Australian Shepherd could cost anything from $300 to $2000. The exact price you pay will depend on the breeder’s reputation, as well as any health screens performed and vaccinations given. It’s always worth checking with the breeder whether they routinely provide the puppies with parasite treatment and microchips. That way, you can know what you are paying for and what costs you will need to cover yourself.
While blue merle Australian Shepherds are undoubtedly beautiful, they’re not particularly rare. The blue merle color pattern is surprisingly common in this breed, being more frequent than the red merle. However, even if their color isn’t unique, their markings and personality will certainly be one-of-a-kind!
Australian Shepherds can be in various colors, including black, red, tricolor, red merle, and blue merle. Blue merle Australian Shepherds have grey, black, tan, and white fur, often in a piebald pattern.
Blue merle is a particular color type of some Australian Shepherd dogs. However, not all Australian Shepherds have blue merle coloring. They might also be black, red, tricolor, or red merle.