Here is a photo of a sheltie/cocker cross
How many breedings would it take for this to look like todays Cocker?
I have been reading your letter concerning the merle gene in Chihuahuas.It was your opinion that the merle gene was introduced by another breed. In my research, I have read every available resource on color genetics in canines. I am a professional breeder of American Cocker Spaniels and my breed seems to be undergoing the same situation- the appearance of a merle Cocker in 1981. I have gone over many merle
Cocker pedigrees and they all go back to a dog named Rusty Butch, registered as a buff. Both sire and dam are buffs, as are the 5 preceding generations (as far back as I went but could go further). It is the opinion of the merle breeders that this is a gene mutation. I opine a dapple Dachshund in the mix a much more likely scenario than a gene mutation. After all, there is no record of any merle in AKC history since the first one registered in 1857. My concern has nothing to do with color because we already have a firestorm with the sables, but a health issue since AKC does not have a pattern listing for merle, only roan.
I have run across several breeders that can't tell the difference between a merle and a roan and do merle to merle breedings. There have been
instances of sudden death at 2 to 3 years of age in several merles. Perhaps related to the merle gene but perhaps not, I'm not sure in addition to the usual double merle issues.
One thing I AM sure of, our breed is already is a serious health crisis without adding merle into the gene pool. No other Spaniel breed carries a merle gene. Could there be any other explanation other than a cross with another breed that does carry merle? I would like to have all the facts
available to make a proposal to ASC, our National breed club, at least to have a "Z" list for the merle pattern for the future of our breed.
Any insight you could give me would be greatly appreciated by the entire Cocker fancy that is dedicated to the health and well-being of the
breed we love dearly.
The reason I got "involved" was to find out the "background" on the merle cocker. Believe me I think the color is pretty (although the blue eyes are kind of spooky).
However, I am one that believes that for me to support the gene that it must be proven that it is a valid gene in spaniels.
That is why I was asking for all the pedigrees. To see if we could trace it back, knowing all the resources we had.
The sable supporters went back years and had a genetics guru on our side and ASC would still not accept the sable. Right now we have no proof that the gene is any older than the 1980's. And I still don't have a valid reason to breed a color with a gene that has problems.
YOU, might be a responsible
breeder. But honestly, tell me, how many people breeding merles out
it's not like AKC is
accepting the merle color. They are accepting the fact that the dogs
being registered as roans.
They produced a very nice litter. One of the pups of that litter was sold to a "supposedly" good show/breeder couple.
That male dog is now the father of a "merle" litter.
So my bloodline will now be in Merle pedigrees.
This is not something I, nor the breeder I originally sold the dog to would ever want.
She sold the pup in good conscience to a show/breeder that was going to show him...then they got "bit" by the "color" bug.
It shows that you never know where you bloodlines can end up.
No matter what bitch he is bred to he produces a blue merle. Now in reading genetics..this is what I find..
order for an offspring
to be a merle, even if hidden, ONE OF ITS PARENTS MUST BE A MERLE.
I've also included the pedigrees of dogs behind "Rusty Butch", they show a fairly dominant buff gene pool, no merles, or even parti's or roans.
Most of the bitches that were bred to Rusty Butch were also buffs.
So I think someone might need to talk to the breeder of Rusty Butch...I think an Australian Shepard might be in the works somewhere..it would only take two generations of breeding to have a dog that looked like a cocker again.
I agree that after 5
generations they are considered pure bred ...however...this to me is
that merle is not a gene that has been with the
Another term I have to say I dislike is rare color. This color in my opinion is not rare. Does rare mean we don't see it often or does it mean we chose not to breed this color? It is definitely different in any way we look at it but not rare. I have been to many kennels over many years from the state of the art facilities to serious puppy mill horrors. And my view is that many people who chose to bred these colors due so financial gain. There are some that are curious about the color and want to do some of what I call investigative breeding. But the majority want something that is not main stream to make a profit off the backs of the animals. If we continue to call them rare they will continue to have a higher price tag for a less quality dog as I have seen many times. If they were any other commonly seen color such as buff or black with the same conformation you could not give them away!
I am a hobby
breeder of Parti and ASCOB cockers mostly show.. I dont just
breed for pets. I dont breed to simply have a pup for sale. I don't use
my boys at public stud and if I did let someone twist my
bitch must be CERF'd OFA'd and I must see the pedigree and have
of some of the dogs in the first few generations or FORGET IT. We are
for what WE do.....why breed your dog to another dog just to get
there enough dogs out there?