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Border Collie Blue Merles: 13 Things You Need To Know

Border Collies are one of the most adorable dogs that you’ll come across. They are best known for their intelligence, loyalty, and strong work ethic.

You’ll find Border Collies in an array of colors, but one of the most captivating coat patterns and colors has to be the blue merle. With their cute snouts and mesmerizing blue eyes, Border Collie blue merles are some of the most beautiful dogs that you’ll encounter.

Border Collies are exceptional herders. Although they were bred to herd sheep, they make excellent family pets as well. These loyal companions love to keep busy and help their owners. You’ll also find them in many competitions, from obedience to obstacles.

If you are interested in welcoming a blue merle Border Collie to your family, there are a few things you need to know about this cute canine. To help you decide whether it is the perfect pup for you, you can find some fascinating facts about the blue merle Border Collie below.

border collie blue merles full grown

13 Things to Know about The Blue Merle Border Collie

Blue merle Border Collies are admired for their striking appearance, strong work ethic, and overall adorable behavior. Here are a few things to know about these merle-coated pups.

1. Origin

The origin of the Border Collie dog breed can be traced back to around 300 years ago. They originate from the Anglo-Scottish border region – which separates Scotland and England. The primary aim of breeding these precious pups was to gather and control livestock, especially sheep.

It’s easy to see why Border Collies are excellent working and herding dogs. The name of this breed comes from the probable place of origin, Scotland. The word “collie” is a Scottish word that describes sheepdogs.

Border Collies are purebred dogs. However, you might find them at animal shelters and rescue groups. Like all border collies, the blue merle Border Collie is a purebred pup.

The blue merle Border Collie was recognized in the early 2000s. However, this pattern was observed in other breeds for many years. You can find the remarkable merle color pattern in dogs like Shetland Sheepdogs, Great Danes, Australian Shepherds, Dachshunds, and Cardigan Welsh Corgis.

border collie blue merles in back of car

Border Collies have a broad range of color combinations, from red merle to chocolate sable. But, the blue merle is certainly one of the rarest Border Collie coats.

2. The Merle Gene

The term “merle” refers to the diluted nature of the eye-catching coat color that leaves striking streaks, splotches, and patches – giving off a ‘bluish’ appearance. Let’s have a look at how the blue merle Border Collie gets its rare coat pattern. But don’t worry, we won’t bore you with a long science lesson. Simply put, they get their unique pattern from the merle gene.

Generally, a dog gets its coat color from two base colors. These base colors come from a dominant and recessive gene from the pup’s parents.

The merle gene is an incomplete, dominant gene that creates the merle pattern. It takes the other dominant gene (like black) and dilutes it – resulting in a coat of bluish or grayish shades with splotchy or swirly patterns.

One of the parent dogs needs to be carrying the merle gene to get a blue merle puppy. As previously mentioned, this coat color is rare as the merle gene is infrequently found in Border Collies.

Without the merle gene, this dazzling blue merle coat won’t just happen. On the other hand, it is also not guaranteed that a blue merle Border Collie parent will have a litter with the same color pattern. You may find only one puppy with a merle coat in the litter.

border collie blue merles being scratched

3. Appearance

Much like other Border Collies, the blue merle Border Collie is a pup with unique coat colors. They boast a white chest and blue or grey-colored fur on their back, tail, ears, and face.

Aside from their distinctive coat, blue merle Border Collies have an athletic appearance with short ears that stand straight or fold forward like other Border Collies. All Border Collies are not hypoallergenic, but they are still exceptional pets to have around.

Blue merle Border Collies have many eye shades like light green, faded amber, or pale blue with an intense and thoughtful gaze. You’ll also find some of these pups with heterochromia or mismatching eyes.

The blue merle Border Collies are medium-sized dogs with long tails and noses. They tend to have pink or partially pink snouts when they are born. But, pigments usually appear on their noses as they grow to make it black.

Their height ranges between 18 to 22 inches. Blue merle Border Collies weigh between 33 to 55 pounds – females are typically smaller and lighter than males.

border collie blue merles against white background

These short-haired pups have two coat types: smooth and rough. Rough-coated pups have medium to long coats. While smooth-coated pooches are characterized by short and thick coats.

Both the smooth and rough coats are double-layered and protect them from extreme weather conditions. Unlike other dogs that don’t shed, both types of coats shed throughout the year.

Blue merle Border Collies shed their furry winter coats during spring – as they get their summer bodies ready. So, it’s best to have some good grooming tools on hand during shedding season.

4. Personality and Temperament

Blue merle Border Collies are lovable family dogs with an excellent overall temperament. Their coat color does not influence their behavior. When it comes to their personality, all patterns and colors of the Border Collie breed have the same good-natured traits.

These furry companions are highly intelligent, eager to please, and all-around energetic. They are very athletic pups with great agility. Border Collies are arguably the best herding dog and are always keen to round up the creatures around them.

Although they love being busy and helping out, blue merle Border Collies are affectionate and always ready for a cuddle. With their fun and playful nature, they are perfect furry friends for families with little ones.

They are loving and friendly dogs, but they might become shy and reserved around strangers. Blue merle Border Collies are well-behaved dogs, but it is vital to socialize them while they’re young to avoid stand-offish behavior.

5. Family Compatibility

Blue merle Border Collies are as sweet as they appear to be. They are very affectionate, loyal, and loving. These precious pups make excellent family companions.

Some dogs may be intimidating or confused by younger, energetic kids. But, this is more common with aggressive dogs like the tiny Chihuahua as they don’t respond well to rough play. On the other hand, all Border Collies have more than enough energy to keep little ones entertained.

border collie blue merles against fence

Blue merle Border Collies are playful and friendly pups with an abundance of energy. They do well with children and get along with other pets as well. As they were bred to herd sheep, they are very bright and love to be active.

Like most dogs, they have a strong instinct to protect their loved ones. These intelligent dogs also have an inherent ability to understand their owner’s mood and try to help out.

Although they are good-natured dogs, it’s vital to train and socialize your pup early on so that they can adapt accordingly. You can teach a Blue merle Border Collie to help with household chores as well. From taking out the garbage to sorting laundry, they’re always willing to offer a helping paw.

As these lively dogs have high energy levels, they are best suited for those who can provide them with daily exercise. The ideal environment for these pups would be a home with lots of open space.

Wondering whether these dazzling dogs would be a good fit for your family? Here are a few things to think about concerning the blue merle Border Collies’ physical and emotional needs:

  • Are you an active individual who enjoys physical activity?
  • Are you able to provide them with regular medical care?
  • Can you give them adequate attention and time that they need to thrive?
  • Do you have enough indoor and outdoor space for them to run around?

6. Grooming Needs

As most blue merle Border Collies have white fur on their faces, chest, and underbelly, they are prone to dirt stains. They are also heavy shedders and require regular grooming to keep their skin, coat, ears, and nails in shape.

Blue merle Border Collies have a double-layered coat that protects them from extreme cold and hot weather. You’ll need to maintain this thick coat by brushing your pup at least two to three times a week to keep their skin and coat healthy.

The light-colored parts of the pup’s hair are often prone to tear or dirt stains. To keep them fresh and glowing, you can bathe your dog once every three months or as necessary – like after a day of rolling on muddy grounds.

To maintain natural oils and a healthy coat, it is best to use a quality dog shampoo. After bath time, make sure that you dry your pup thoroughly to avoid moisture build-up.

You’ll need to clean their cute ears weekly to remove excess moisture and the build-up of wax and debris. You can use a cloth to clean their ears weekly. It is essential to ensure that their ears are properly dried to prevent ear infections, but be careful and avoid damaging the ear canal.

To keep your puppy’s nails from cracking or splitting, you’ll have to provide them with regular nail trimming. You can trim it using nail clippers or nail grinders, every two to three weeks. It is best to foster good grooming habits early on and make the most of the quality time with your pet.

It’s an excellent time to bond and check for medical conditions like infections. Keep an eye out for sore spots, abrasions, inflammation, redness, and discharge from their ears, eyes, or nostrils. If you are unable to provide your dog with the necessary grooming and have some cash to spare, consider hiring a grooming professional.

border collie blue merles in profile

7. Shedding Season

A blue merle Border Collie will have more grooming needs during their shedding season. Shedding season is a result of temperature change.

Dogs shed their old winter undercoats during warmer seasons to make way for lighter summer coats. This process is known as “blowing coat” as they prepare for the well awaited warm weather and beach days.

Double-coated dogs like the blue merle Border Collie typically blow their coats twice a year. It occurs in the fall and spring seasons and lasts about two to four weeks.

Like all Border Collies, the blue merle Border Collie is a heavy shedder throughout the year. But, you can expect excessive shedding during the shedding season. So, you’ll need to comb their hair every day.

border collie blue merles on beach

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8. Dietary Needs

A blue merle Border Collie’s diet is dependent on their age, size, and activity level. With their high energy levels, this medium-sized dog breed needs sufficient calories for support and nutrition.

If your dog has an active lifestyle with daily exercise, they need around 900 to 1,000 calories a day. A working or herding dog would require about 1,400 calories a day.

Since these canines are highly active, you should provide them with adequate amounts of clean water to keep them hydrated. The quality of the food is essential for a healthy and happy dog. There are also specific food requirements for the various life stages.

 It’s best to speak to your veterinarian to find out about your pup’s daily dietary needs – as this varies with different dog breeds and ages. For more information, check out our guide on the best dog foods for puppies.

As blue merle Border Collies are well-mannered and helpful, you may feel tempted to constantly reward them with dog treats which can be bad for their health. You should avoid overfeeding them with treats or table scraps as it can lead to health problems and weight gain. It is vital to develop good feeding habits to maintain their overall health.

9. Health Concerns

Blue merle Border Collies have an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years. It’s best to understand the possible health implications that they face in their life for a thriving and happy dog.

border collie blue merles white white mittens

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Dogs that are properly bred and cared for are generally healthy, but they often face potential genetic health problems. Blue merle Border Collies have a higher risk of developing hearing problems.

There are various causes of congenital or inherited deafness. Studies have indicated that the chances of having congenital deafness in the Border Collie dog breed are higher with dogs that have a merle coat, blue eyes, or a white head.

You’ll have to monitor this but remember that a hearing or visually impaired pup can get used to their situation with extra love and care. Other health issues to keep an eye out for include:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Collie eye anomaly
  • Trapped neutrophil syndrome
  • Progressive retinal atrophy

Additional health concerns arise in dogs with a double merle genotype. Double merle dogs result from both parents carrying the merle gene. How do you know if your pup has a double merle genotype? As the merle gene acts as bleach, double merles have excessive white markings on their heads and ears.

Double merle dogs have an increased risk of developing health issues. They are likely to suffer from vision or hearing impairments, and in severe cases, the pups are completely deaf or blind.

As breeding double merles are risky, double merle dogs can be spayed or neutered to stop the gene from passing. To keep your pup healthy, you should visit your vet regularly and monitor the signs of ailments and health concerns.

10. Puppy Training

The Border Collie breed is known for its superior intelligence. As such, blue merle Border Collies are some of the most trainable dogs. This adorable family pet needs to be socialized and trained early on to grow as well-behaved pups.

border collie blue merles at attention

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All Border Collies are prone to follow their instinct to herd and nip those around them. Therefore, good socialization and obedience training is necessary to stop them from rounding up younger kids and pets daily.

You can help them become familiar with their surroundings and others by introducing them to different people, noises, smells, and places. For more information about pet training, read our guide on the best dog training collars.

You can train them for various dog competitions that include intelligence, obstacles, and obedience. And to do household chores like sorting out laundry, loading a dishwasher, and clearing garbage.

Other fun tricks that you can teach your dog is to shake hands, bark on command, spin, and of course, fetch. As blue merle Border Collies are bright and energetic, they require consistent training and plenty of exercises to keep them entertained.

11. Exercise

Blue merle Border Collies need daily exercise and intense activity. If you leave these energetic pups without attention, they become bored and potentially depressed or destructive.

They require a 30 to 60-minute walk every day. Additionally, it’s best to provide them with wide-open spaces to run around and enjoy some bonding playtime. You can keep them occupied indoors by teaching them new tricks and investing in dog toys like chew toys and pet rope toys.

border collie blue merles with tail up

12. Cost of The Blue Merle Border Collie

The brilliant blue merle Border Collie is a rare and sought-after pup. The factors that add to their value and pricing include the dog’s pedigree and the breeder’s location.

On average, you can expect to pay around $600 to $1000 for a blue merle Border Collie. However, the cost can go up to $4,500 if you get your pup from an expensive or reputable breeder. You can also find them at adoption centers at $300 for maintenance before adoption.

When buying a blue merle Border Collie, it’s essential to check the medical records of their parents and the litter. These medical records will help you become aware of potential health issues.

13. Beware of Blue Merle Border Collie Breeders

If you’re planning to get your blue merle Border Collie through a breeder, there are a few things that you should know beforehand. Some breeders take advantage of the striking coat and rareness of the blue merle Border Collie and use it as an opportunity to overcharge.

two border collie blue merles

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Although blue merles look different from the traditional Border Collies, this does not mean that you have to break the bank to adopt one. If you feel that the breeder is charging an unreasonably high price for the pup, it’s best to look for another breeder.

A responsible breeder will provide reasonable prices and health certificates. The breeder should have their dogs tested and screened before you pick up the pup.

These records should include hip evaluations and ophthalmologist tests – to check for eye disorders or diseases.  If you’ve rescued your blue merle Border Collie, it is best to have them tested and screened to ensure that they’re in good health.

Final Thoughts on The Blue Merle Border Collie

Blue merle Border Collies are admirable pups with striking coats and good natures. They are energetic bundles of joy that will provide helping hands and warm your heart.

If you’re an active individual with a spacious backyard and a lot of love to give, they’re the perfect dog for you. And of course, if you’re looking for a herding helper, they are the best choice.

Are you ready to welcome a blue merle Border Collie, build unbreakable bonds, and have many memorable moments? To prepare your home for your furry friend, check out our guide on the best durable dog beds for a comfy stay.

white border collie blue merles

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