American Spaniel Club's Solution to the Merle Issuekers
Updated March 26, 2011
NOTE TO ALL BREEDS WHO HAVE MERLE and to AKC:
IS this newest statement from the President of ASC something you
also feel about in YOUR breed about merle?
... Speaking as a member and not as an officer
It appears to me that if merle is such a "horrible disease" as the ASC president has repeatedly said over and over on the ASC list and in the ASC Bulletin as well as the ASC website, you would think that they would WANT the merle cocker to be registered with OR without the Z designation.
But NO, it's either THEIR way or no way.
It's not about caring about the dogs it's all about control and private agendas.
This website is copyrighted. Any comments you wish to use in a forum, website, etc..are fine to use AS LONG AS CREDIT is given back to this website.
page was created as an update on the merle cocker issue.
The merle is finally making an impact with Cocker breeders in the show community.
It's out in the open and ASC is trying to figure out what to do about it.
This is the latest message
from Charles Born , the current ASC President. This was written (in black)
in the June 2010 issue of the Bulletin, published on the ASC website.
President’s Message-June 2010 ASC Bulletin:
In my report at the January Annual ASC meeting, I expressed to you my concern about the damage the merle color can have on our breed. As you are most likely aware, the merle color gene is a dilution to lighten whatever color would otherwise have been expressed, the lightened effect is not spread evenly over the coat and produces patches of undiluted color scattered over the dog’s body. It began to appear in our breed in the late 80’s. WRONG! Proven Merle cockers were traced down as far as 1981. There are also cases where in the old AKC stud books, that some cockers (show lines)were registered with what looked like merle markings..this was even before Am cockers split from the English cockers. Additionally, there are several reports from just the publc stating they saw or owned a merle cocker back in the 1950's. A noted AKC judge who has been involved in the fancy for decades, has also stated that merles have always been around but were "bucketed" much like the chocolates many years ago.
. In the view of the American Spaniel Club this is NOT a normal spaniel color and we feel there is no debate about this. But, by far the most worrisome issue is that accompanying the merle pattern are significant health risks. A report by Scot E. Dowd Ph.D., (A microbiologist who is anti merle and owns Pit Bulls and reads genetic studies like the rest of us do) compiled for AKC, indicates that deafness, eye defects, immune system defects and night blindness, are just a few of the issues that are resulting when breeding this color gene. True, just like EVERY other cocker whether merle or not. BTW, it's NOT a COLOR gene, it's a PATTERN.
by ASC members discovered that most cockers
that had the merle color pattern could be traced back to a buff dog named
Rusty Butch who was mated to two buff bitches in March, 1988. Timberline’s
Betty produced a merle dog named Rog’s Snuffy, and Penny Locks produced
a merle bitch named Carrie’s Muffin II. These breedings occurred in a USDA
facility in Missouri which housed cocker spaniels and Shetland sheepdogs,
Whether a genetic mutation or something else, dogs from these litters have consistently produced merle cocker spaniels. In the view of the American Spaniel Club, breeders of this coat pattern that know of these health issues are breeding without concern for the genetic negatives this gene carries with it. This is NOT true. A merle cocker carries 1/2 (one half---50%) of the lethal gene. It takes 2 to create the lethal gene. Most who have any sense know not to breed 2 merles together in ANY breed. In cases that 2 merles have been bred together, in several incidences, nothing was wrong with any of the offspring. When a pup has the lethal gene, it is known almost immediately after birth. Not a few years later, like all the other problems cockers have. Yes, the merle can create too much white when 2 merles are bred together and can cause deafness. This is also true for the parti gene.(Extreme piebald)
This comment from the President of ASC appears to state that ASC feels that ANY person who breeds the merle pattern is breeding without concern about the genetic negatives. So in other words, Charles Born and the ASC Board feel that all breeders who breed the merle pattern are what, unethical? irresponsible? I'm quite sure the people in all the other breeds where merle is a allowed pattern will be very impressed by this scathing statement.
And because merle is not an allowable color (IT IS NOT a color..it is a PATTERN) for our breed, the breeders of these animals have registered the offspring as a parti-color – we believe generally as a roan in one form or another (or some other color pattern). Yes they have... many register the dog as the COLOR it actually is; which can be any color or variety. The AKC told the breeders to register them as roan. This was not the breeders ideas, it was AKC, because there is no merle pattern marking to check.
This lethal gene thus
has the potential to disrupt legitimate parti-color breeding programs.
A few years back, the
ASC board approved research in the form of DNA testing for
the merle gene marker along with micro-chipping 4 dogs believed to
be merle. These animals were taken by an ASC member to a vet
to be micro-chipped, photographed and DNA tested.
Their pedigrees were obtained. The DNA materials
were sent to Genmark with testing results
indicating that three of the four dogs
were merle. It so happens, they were registered as Brown Tan and
Under the current registration options, there is no way to identify merle cocker spaniels or carriers of this gene. Cockers do NOT CARRY for the merle gene. It is NOT recessive. Either the dog is merle or it isn't. One of the parents to a merle cocker HAS to be merle. It cannot be carried down in a pedigree and produced, nor are any of the non merle littermates in a merle litter merle "carriers.". The non merle littermates cannot produce merle. If a dog is not merle, it cannot produce merle.
Thus breeders suffer the possibility of introducing significant health problems unintentionally. Only if you breed merle to merle. Why is it that merle breeders in other breeds have been breeding and producing merles that are healthy and doing this responsibly and successfully for over 100 years? Why is it ok for cocker breeders to continue to breed known cataract, PRA & epilepsy producers and that is ok, but not ok to breed merle that is safe unless you breed it to another merle. If this is the reason, then ASC should ban breeding known carriers of health problems.
The American Spaniel Club Board of Directors in a unanimous vote asked that we talk to the AKC about this issue and what we might do. There are some options which for the short term would perhaps not stop these questionable breedings from occurring or having them registered – but would at least identify the offspring so as to not poison the legitimate gene pool. This sounds like ignorance at its best.. There is no poisoning the gene pool..at least any worse than it already is.
This suggestion is what
is called a Z registration…it was used in Dobermans
in the past to identify white Dobermans which had the same issues
for that breed as merle has for cockers. ASC
had spoken to AKC about the Z-List over 5 years ago, and was told then,
they would not do this. There is no funding or way or interest to go back
into thousands of cockers who have come down from these 2 known merle breedings.
Some of these dogs are not merle and pose no issue at all. This is 30 years
of breeding, no DNA to prove whether these early breedings were pure or
not. How is this any worse than the Norbill kennel breeding poodle into
their cocker lines which was well known back then...
This would require the Board of the American Kennel Club to add merle as a color choice on the registration certificate while identifying it with a Z registration number. We are awaiting their input. Without this….Merles cannot be identified… quantified….. tracked…. tested…. and future decisions made on what further actions to take. Merles are already being identified, pedigrees online to trace to, many breeders are putting merle or elrem in the dog's registered name. These merle owners and breeders want to be able to register merles correctly. Why is there an interest to test, track etc? They are cockers, considered pure bred and many are as nice if not nicer conformationally than what you see winning in the ring. Of course there will be poorly bred merle cockers as well as normal colored/patterned cockers not bred with the standard in mind, but you see this in ALL breeds and all colors and varieties of cockers.This is nothing new.
Again – same objectives as the white Doberman issue. As we just submitted this request to AKC – I do not have any feedback at this time…but will keep the membership informed.
I do not think
the Board of the ASC believes this to be a perfect
solution….it may be distasteful for many
Bottom line - after years
of inaction– we can’t let the problem continue
without some plan of attack. ATTACK?
Like merle is a monster?
And, most importantly – a Z registration allows any breeder to make informed decisions on breeding stock.
Nothing to be informed of. If the dog they are buying is not a merle, then they will never produce merle, unless they breed it to a merle. You can have a half dozen merles back in a pedigree but if the end result is not a merle, you have lost the gene and you will not produce it. It's gone.
Finally – I think the Board will need to make some decisions on public education. How in the world can the ASC Board provide ANY kind of public education when they don't understand the merle gene or anything about it themselves? Talk about the blind leading the blind. Or are they planning on putting up another picture of a merle dog again on their website stating if your cocker is this color,it isn't purebred. That stunt went over quite well, and it's amazing ASC wasn't sued over this intelligent statement they pulled.
There are over 50,000 URL listings for Merle cockers on the web if you do a search. The innocent buying public should not be subjected to these issues.
board: You are slamming ALL people who own a merle dog, by these statements
you put in the Bulletin.
I normally don't get involved in this type of discussion but here goes, foot in mouth. This history of merles is nothing but a big fable and not true. Not one dog can be traced back to this so called start of merles. Merles have been around in many breeds for hundreds of years but the breeders drowned the puppies at birth. The exact same way we did with chocolate cockers not so many years ago. This fable is very similar to the lies XXXXXXX harped on when she told everyone that sable cockers were the result of mixing a beagle with a cocker. Very shortly (this ages me) before I started in cockers, breeders "bucketed" tri colors as they were undesirable. All dogs originate from the same beginning, hundreds, thousands of years ago. A recessive gene can exist for many, many generations. Francis Greer, of cocker genetic fame, was my mentor in cockers. My first cocker, XXXXXXX produced chocolate. There was no chocolate behind him so, of course, something must be mixed in. Francis did a 25 generation pedigree and found dozens of crosses to chocolates, and dogs known to have produced chocolate. It only takes the right gene combination and you will have any color. When I was breeding, I could produce sable in any litter if the unsable parent carried the tan points. Over the past 45 years, I have watched breeder after breeder euthanize (a more politically correct now that "bucket) the unusual and undesirable colors. Now, all these colors are the "rare" colors and worth lots of money, lol. ................................................
the ASC Board Minutes from April 2008, Zone V commented that they were
still discussing merles.*NOTE See
ASC Board Minutes page on the merle issue
It seems VERY simple to most
of us, doesn't it?
May 5, 2008
The Summer Nationals are getting ready to start soon, in OKC, and the ASC meeting will be held there as well.
Of course much of the meeting will probably be about their latest embezzlement fiasco, but they are also supposed to be deciding on what to do about the merle cocker.
At their last ASC board meeting, it was written in their Minutes that "The ideal goal is to eradicate merle gene from the cocker spaniel gene pool. "(1-2007 Board Meeting)*NOTE See ASC Board Minutes page on the merle issue
it's a little too late for that since merles have been bred for going on
20 years at least.
This program is now up and running.
It's called Conditional Registration
it says in short, is that AKC will register a dog from an unknown parent,
who appears to be purebred and had full AKC registration and the same breed
as the other parent.
means ASC cannot get out of this now.
next 2 or 3 weeks may prove interesting, and I know that AKC wants to wrap
this matter up. Let's hope ASC gets off their duffs and does something
this is a large article and there are many comments as well as an interview
with the company, this will be on a new web
I am doing a private study
along with 3 others, 2 who own merles, on any health issues with merles.
especially double merles or dogs from double merles.
This is merle basics and a FYI for those who don't have the time to read through this site.
We have spoken with several merle breeders both in Cockers and in other breeds who have had merle and have bred them successfully for years.
Recently, we invited a guest speaker on the ShowCockers list who raises and shows merle Border Collies to try and dispel rumors and educate the fancy on merle.
To read the transcript, click here. It will download in MS Word format.
Inheritance of the Merle Gene It is only recently that
More info out there..just Google it.
FYI on Merle
1. A cocker who has 1 merle
parent and one regular parent..Does not have any problem of being defective
other than the normal negative health genes afflicting our breed.
2. ONLY MERLE to MERLE breeding
can bring out potential lethal genes, and some, even all in the litter
not be afflicted with anything.
3. The "lethal" gene associated
with the merle pattern CANNOT be passed down in a pedigree. It HAS to be
a merle to merle breeding.
4.Merle is an incomplete
dominant gene..if the parents are not merle you won't have merle, one of
the parents has to be a merle in order to produce merle
5.I've been researching the
merles for a few years now, and from what I can gather, no one has reported
that there has
6. Yes merle has been bred successfully for many many years in other breeds and they all say that if you do not breed merle to merle you should not have any problems.
I know some do not wish to look at other breeds, but by investigating merle in other breeds, we can learn about it and apply that knowledge to our breed.
Merle cockers are not going
to go away, so we need to learn as much about this as we can. Screaming
at each other, pointing fingers,
Merle does need to be identified
and allowed to be listed with AKC or there very well could be some real
Many breeds have faced similar issues and they do choose to ignore them or hope they resolve themselves. Many breed clubs are facing color issues and many web sites are informative as to why certain colors are not shown. Many breeds have colors available to register within the breed but do not allow the color to be shown. For example a white Doberman, a flowered Shar Pei, or a merle Dane the list is rather long. In all the national breed sites you don't see the cry/banner/attitude these dogs are not pure breed and the papers were issued by AKC based on lies. But you read genuine concern and guidance for those who own a dog of the undesirable color. If you go to the parent clubs web sites nearly all educate breeders, they warn buyers, they are aggressive in trying to halt the progress of colors they deem detrimental to their breed.. none take the position they are mutts and have invalid papers, they are not our problem, they are on their own. These clubs say with all the class and professionalism that these colors are not correct, desirable, preferred but if you buy one you should know this. More flies with honey theory at its best.
Obviously many breeds have merles and continue to thrive despite the merle genes because their breeders are educated. Pet breeders in all merle breeds continue to raise deaf, blind or have dead litters. But then many non merle puppies have whelped with the same problems. You cannot be responsible for them all but you can step up and say if you have a merle please use caution, identify your dog and educate your buyers. AKC can and will continue to register them and will eventually persuade ASC to come to terms with the issue. Many have already been DNA tested. ASC can try and publicly wage a war with AKC and tell the public that AKC is registering dogs that are not purebred based on a improbable result of a mating that took place 25 years ago and take on the PR nightmare and backlash it will cause. Some where a merle breeder will find a lawyer and sue ASC for claiming that AKC issued a false registration paper and ASC has destroyed the value of their paperwork. Look at any stud book in the last two years and those aren't all roans being whelped or the hundreds of puppies on numerous classified web pages. And there is no way to tell how many breeders are using other colors to identify their merles. AKC is often the deciding factor in how to register the color, breeders send in photos and AKC registers the animal to the closest color. Which by the way is what each one of us does. As I wrote before, many cockers are not registered properly.
Reds that are no where near red, Silvers not even close. Black/tans as blacks. Black and whites that are tris or even clear sables. Brown sable and whites as just sable and white. And how do you register a brown and tan roan? And what about a sable roan or what about a dilute red/white. a red/tan or a blue and tan or blue and white or blue tri ????? Face it, the current list leaves many colors some of which CAN be shown to register to the closest color. And as to the breeder who registers a dog not approved in the standard or a color not on the list as being liars I take great offense to that statement. I am aware sables are not approved to be shown but they do and have existed for a long time and so have other colors in spaniel stud books that are not mentioned in the standard. MERLE IS A COLOR NEVER FOUND IN ANY SPANIEL/SPORTING GROUP STUD BOOK
but comments like those made by some are sure to offend many who have sables, brown/tan roans, blues and dilutes Some of the very people who
are the most vocal against merles have these colors themselves. You can't say if you register OR BREED a color not within the standard you are
unethical. Somehow that isn't really logical given our choices.
The list of champion bloodlines now behind merles being whelped in August 2006 are mind blowing. Do your own web search and look at the pedigrees see first hand. It doesn't matter solid, buff, parti, brown or sable nearly every bloodline with any success is now in a merle pedigree somewhere. I haven't bred a litter in 15 years and it didn't take long to find a merle pedigree that went back to one of my old pedigrees. They have had a good 10-15 years to get the PEDIGREES there and it only takes one generation and one breeding to get the color. So breed a merle to a champion and then her puppy to a champion and that puppy to a well bred dog and it takes maybe 6 years at that. By the way XXXX is not the only person on this list breeding merles just the only one to come out to take the heat.
A Z list was possible 15
years ago when ASC was first alerted but in my telephone discussion
with AKC I have been lead to believe that the sheer number
of dogs now descending from Rusty Butch is in the thousands and far
too expensive to go back and issue Z list additions. Plus Rusty Butch was
not the source himself only his name was used it seems and DNA testing
is not possible. AKC would need some genetic research to back the
theory up. The bigger issue is those breeders who are breeding sables
to merles and roans and buffs all of which HIDE and distort the pattern.
Making double merle breeding more likely not less likely. This
is just setting the stage for problems. Having thousands of puppies
registered as roans is not an answer either but now maybe a third
of the merles are not even partis. Many of the ones being bred now
are solid merles or sable merles. Obviously not acknowledging the
problem has in no way slowed the progress of the merles. The breed
has a few choices let the situation continue as is and watch the genes
spread unchecked, identify them as merles on registration paperwork and
aggressively educate the public to the dangers, or raise funds ourselves
and force AKC to dig through 25 years of paperwork and Z list all
descendents of Rusty Butch which I could never get a clear answer
on if that would even be acceptable to AKC. But it will be VERY expensive.
Would that money be better spent on researching health issues?
One further note as show
breeders we should feel a responsibility to the whole breed
not just show dogs. Taking part in rescue, public education,
I wish that we could be more appreciative of the fact that there are AKC breeds that accept merle, consequences and all, BECAUSE
attitudes which portray using merles as irresponsible or always unhealthy will alienate all the breeds that do accept merle.
I am not on one side or the
other as far as merles, although I can appreciate the ability to register
the color in order to identify
I understand that some people
can't handle the idea of a merle and that's okay, I personally don't care.
I wouldn't have sables because
As far as lying on a pedigree
goes, if the color is not represented on the registration form (which obviously
occurs in both acceptable
There have been no health studies done with merle Cockers and there is no scientific data to back-up allegations that merles are unhealthy or that they have a lethal gene. As another pointed out, the issues that are considered "lethal" in merle to merle breedings in other breeds generally occur in utero or at birth and in no way affect the pet buying public. Nor do the puppies suffer as those in question are stillborn and were never alive outside of the womb. Additionally, how can anyone claim to know why a puppy is stillborn or why a litter is smaller? I've had stillborn puppies in MANY non-merle litters as well as small litters from bitches that threw large litters previously. Saying that these problems are related to the merle gene is difficult if not impossible to substantiate as care and condition of the bitch (different food, injury, extreme heat or cold - and any number of health issues - viral or bacterial infection, disease, medications, etc. - can and do affect the health and size of a litter.
While anyone has the right to make an ass of themselves, those that do so by spouting half-truths and hysterical gibberish are not helping our breed. Anyone that wants to help our breed should realize that alienating a large part of the rest of the purebred dog community (by disparaging all merle dogs and all merle breeders) is NOT going to help anyone. The fact of the matter is, any number of other breeds have the merle pattern, these dogs are healthy and the breeds are thriving (the pattern is obviously NOT a detriment to their breeds) and the merle breeders that are involved in these breeds are responsible, caring breeders who produce quality, healthy, happy puppies. These breeds focus on educating their breeders and the pet buying public and have made great strides in minimizing any risk associated with merle breedings. Making poorly researched, unsubstantiated statements that paint all merle breeders (of any breed) as uncaring, money hungry, puppy-killers is detrimental to purebred dogs as a whole. This type of attitude only serves to further split the ranks of dog breeders and to fuel the public's belief that show breeders are selling unhealthy, inbred and over-priced dogs.
Merle breeders register their dogs as they have been instructed to do by AKC. Almost every merle breeder I have ever spoken to has tried to register at least one of their dogs as a merle. We have sent pictures, alternate codes, we have called, blah, blah, blah. AKC says "choose the color listed on the registration form that most closely describes your dog". And that is what we do.
AKC doesn't decide if pictures sent of a dog show that it is a "registerable" color. They look at the pictures and choose the color that they believe most closely describes the dog. If the AKC employee doing the registration sees a red/white, it's registered as a red/white. If the dog appears black/white or tri, the person working for AKC chooses black/white or tri. For merles that have the mottled coat pattern, AKC most often chooses ROAN! THE BREEDER DOESN'T MAKE THE CHOICE! Many of those arguing about merle registrations and complaining about merle breeders "lying" or doing something dishonest refuse to listen or absorb what we have said over and over again! AKC is often the one deciding how these dogs are registered!! Many of us have sent pictures to AKC trying to register our dogs correctly and AKC has chosen the color that is on our dogs' registrations. AKC chose to register my red/white sable merles as red/whites. AKC has chosen to register brown sable merles as browns, brown/tans and as sables. AKC has chosen to register merles as every other color that is listed as acceptable.
Additionally, for those that
don't think merle Cockers are entitled or deserving of registration privileges,
AKC plainly states on their web-site that they WILL NOT deny registration
of any dog due to color alone! Maybe some of the color Nazis ought
to rethink registering THEIR DOGS with AKC if they don't like the registry's
rules and regulations!
Having or not having these dogs within the breed is NO LONGER ACHOICE. We HAVE merles within our breed and we MUST deal with the situation
as it stands. This does not mean that you have to own or breed merles, but it does mean that for the health of the breed and the integrity of our
pedigrees, you and every other Cocker breeder and owner MUST insist that ASC allow the dogs to be correctly registered.
It doesn't matter whether
you personally think merles should have a placewithin the breed.
(You are entitled to your opinion, but your personal
BTW, there is no PROOF as
to where the merle gene did or did not come from.
Others also asked: "If they
are not a registered color, not a showable colorwhy breed them at all?
" Again, several people have already addressed this
First, while some purebred
dog owners choose to show their dogs, the majority of purebred dogs are
owned as pets and are never shown. Showing is
Second, there are numerous
colors in Cockers that are considered acceptable but which are not listed
as choices for registration. Additionally, there
I do not believe that this
color is going to go away or that we can bury our heads in the sand and
pretend that they don't affect us just because we
I think merles can also contribute
to the breed. My merles have excellentdispositions and exhibit correct
breed type. I believe that the merles I am
You also say. "There are
not that many pet family buyers out there."
This huge group of Cocker
owners and breeders are not freely allowed to joinASC (without sponsors
and being voted in), thus they are not allowed to
Another comment that I must
disagree with was: "it is not a issue worth
I also disagree with comments
that: "Many breeder are being hurt personally by their show stock being
bred to merle's against their
Someone somewhere is ALWAYS
going to disagree with what someone else does.
Another comment I'd like
to address is, where many have said: "Out of respect for those who paved
the road for us to own and show and with
I don't get why it's assumed that something 'must' have been mixed in. Some dog somewhere was the first right? Some dog somewhere at some point had the gene just 'pop up' in order for the first merle ever to be born. (whatever the breed) If it happened once, it can certainly happen at random down the road. Just like everything , it's a political control issue. ASC knows all of this, and unless it starts hitting them where it hurts (the pocket!) they're going to stay stubborn as mules.
If everyone that really wants
merles to be allowed as a pattern (and were also members of ASC),
dropped membership (stating clearly the reason WHY they dropped it, and
stating clearly that they will NOT re-join until this is accomplished
) ASC would get nervous. If everyone that wants merles allowed boycotted
AKC as well, and started registering with other groups (also stating in
writing publicly and privately to AKC the reason they stopped using them)
well then....AKC would get pushy with ASC and they would be hit from both
ends. Unfortunately both AKC and ASC have their members by the you know
what's, and to do any of this the individuals would suffer as well. No
AKC shows for one thing,,,,,harder puppy sales without AKC papers,,,,persecution
by other breeders that simply don't like/want merle cockers and on and
on. Maybe even a little public ridicule aimed at ASC/AKC??
Perhaps turning the tables on them by making it clear that the problems
that they associate with merles are cause by THEM and NOT by people who
breed them. There will always be breeders that just don't care, but the
majority of problems are caused by people who don't have a clue what they
have, which is a direct result of THEIR refusal to recognize merle, and
not a result of the breeding....and on and on..
.......you don't believe ASC is stupid, but I disagree. Merles are not going to go away and refusing to address the issue is a stupid and childish reaction. Merle breeders do not need ASC to "validate" our dogs. They are recognized and registered by AKC and as registered members of the breed they are entitled to inclusion within the breed. Period. End of story. Unless or until ASC or someone else PROVES these dogs are not purebred (and thus not eligible for AKC registration) then they are ENTITLED to inclusion within the breed. (Frankly, if I'd been an attorney and had some spare time and cash, I'd have sued the pants off of ASC when they posted the Sheltie or Border Collie or whatever it was on the ASC site and declared that "if your Cocker looks like this it is not a purebred Cocker Spaniel.")
Since merles are recognized and registered with AKC as American Cocker Spaniels, they need to be registered correctly to avoid health problems and to preserve the integrity of the stud books. As for the color registration chooses of merle breeders/owners, blaming merle breeders/owners for incorrect color registrations and claiming they should be excluded because they "lied" is ludicrous. ASC is responsible for the availability and/or lack of color choices breeders are given. (What about all those blues registered as blacks? Mis-marks registered as partis? Roans registered as black, brown or red/whites? Sables registered as buffs? Should we throw all of these dogs out as well?) How about the fact that AKC is often the one to decide how merles are registered? Is AKC "lying"?
AKC registration rules state that owners should choose the color that most CLOSELY resembles their dog. They also stipulate that NO dog will be refused registration based on color alone. Again, merle Cockers are duly registered members of the breed and are entitled to registration. Most merle breeders register their dogs as their base-coat color. This is the CORRECT way to register these dogs. The only thing that should be changed is that ASC should add merle as an acceptable marking for registration. .......
Why don't we open ASC up for anyone to join (no sponsors, voting or other BS), make it JUST for American Cocker Spaniels and then let the membership decide breed issues. Voting to acknowledge ALL known colors/patterns could be done on-line for next to nothing by using membership numbers. Instead of a politically corrupt, elitist country club, why don't we embrace a breed club that actually represents the ENTIRE breed, not just the 2-5 percent that show dogs? I bet this type of breed club could do more for the breed than a couple of shows a year that are tailored around a small minority!
In summation, merles and
many other colors/patterns exist within the breed and are not being registered
correctly. Yet ASC promotes the premise that ALL duly registered
members of the breed should be properly registered in regards to their
color/pattern. As the parent breed club for American Cocker Spaniels
and the entity responsible for providing color registration choices in
conjunction with AKC, ASC has a responsibility to ensure that correct color
choices are available to ALL American Cocker Spaniel breeders. This
includes ALL known colors/patterns outside of those presently listed as
appropriate for registration. Without definitive proof that
merles are not equal to and deserving of the same registration privledges
as presently accepted colors/patterns, there is no excuse for ASC to withhold
correct color registration. Instead of sponsoring another show, maybe
ASC should concentrate on cleaning up its act and doing something to actually
benefit the breed!