Would you like to breed Australian border collies to get gold and red puppies? Are you curious about the genetics of color in the Australian border collies particularly red and gold shades? Read our article for facts and information...
Australian border collies are popular for their variety of colors; even though most people assume that the breed is only available in black or white; actually, there is an assortment of coat colors. The traditional markings on the body of the animal include a white blaze on the face, white chest with the color going down to the forelegs, a white collar that encircles the neck, white tail tip and white hind feet. These markings are known as Irish spots and they can be on any base coat color, however, the white should not be dominant.
There are several dominant and recessive genes that are responsible for the coat color of a puppy; these genes are inherited from both parents and crossing a male and female Australian border collie of specific colors can get you puppies in the shade that you want. Like in all mammals, the offspring inherits a gene from each parent; however, the distribution of these genes vary among each offspring, so lets talk about how you can get an Australian border collie puppy of a specific color
It may also be worthwhile to remember that black and white are the dominant genes and in order to change the color, a modifying gene will have to be present in the genetic makeup. For instance, in order to produce black tricolors, you will need to mate a tricolor dam and sire; this is because the tricolor is a recessive gene which has to be present in both parents for the trait to be transferred to the offspring.
The merle is another modifying gene that creates a patchy pigmentation; the color is popular because dogs with the merle gene also have odd colored eyes. Since the merle gene is dominant, only one parent with the gene is enough to produce some merle offspring, so even if you were to mate a merle with another color you would get at least half the puppies in the litter with merle coloring.
However, you should avoid mating two merles because puppies born from such unions are known to have serious health issues such as poor eye sight, deafness and other developmental issues.
You need to be particularly careful with what is known as the ghost merle; this dog has the merle gene code; however, it does not display the physical traits associated with it. Generally, such dogs are black and have the other marking associated with black Australian border collies; however, when mated with a merle, the puppies can have several serious health problems.