Merle Bully – Is Merle color Acceptable in American Bully?

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If you’re a dog lover, then you’ve probably heard of the American Bully breed. But have you heard of the Merle Bully? This unique coat pattern has caused quite a bit of controversy in the dog breeding world, and there’s a lot to know about this fascinating breed.

In short, the Merle color is not acceptable in the American Bully, as it can cause severe health issues.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Merle Bullies – from what causes their distinctive coat pattern to the pros and cons of owning one.

We’ll also explore some controversies surrounding this breed and compare it to other dog breeds that have similar coats.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a deeper understanding of Merle American Bullies and whether they might be the right fit for your family. So let’s jump in!

What Is A Merle?

Imagine holding a gorgeous and unique dog with a coat that looks like swirling smoke or an abstract painting. That’s what a Merle bully looks like.

The term ‘merle’ refers to the gene responsible for this special coat pattern in dogs. Merle isn’t a specific dog breed, but rather a genetic trait found in various breeds, including bulldogs.

Merle bullies come in different colors like blue, red, chocolate, and black merle. They have patches of darker colors on their coats, giving them a marbled look.

However, it’s important to know that, while the Merle pattern is beautiful, it can also bring potential health issues like hearing or vision problems.

So, if you’re thinking about getting a Merle bully as a pet, make sure to research reputable breeders who prioritize their dogs’ health above everything else.

Is A Merle Coat Acceptable In an American Bully Breed?

The acceptability of a coat with merle coloring in the American Bully breed is a topic of discussion. While some breeders may argue that it’s acceptable, others firmly believe that it goes against the breed standard and should be avoided.

According to the American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC), merle coloring is not recognized as an acceptable color for the American Bully.

One reason why merle coats are discouraged in American Bullies is because they can be associated with genetic health concerns. 

Merle is a dominant gene that affects pigmentation and can cause hearing and vision problems in dogs, such as blindness or deafness.

It’s important for breeders to prioritize the health of their dogs over creating a unique coat color.

However, despite the negative aspects associated with Merle coats, some people still find them attractive and desirable.

If you’re looking to adopt an American Bully with a merle coat, make sure to do your research on reputable breeders who prioritize health testing and breeding standards.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether or not a merle-colored American Bully is right for you and your family.

What Causes The American Bully To Have Merle Coat?

Understanding the genetic factors behind the distinctive coat of an American Bully with merle coloring can shed light on potential health concerns and inform responsible breeding practices.

Merle is a dominant gene that affects the way pigmentation appears in a dog’s fur, causing patches or spots of lighter color to appear against a darker base. This pattern may be seen in many breeds, including Australian Shepherds and Catahoula Leopard Dogs.

When an American bully with the Merle gene is bred with the American bully without the Merle gene the offspring can be both Merle or non-Merle.

But when Both the American bully with the Merle gene are bred then the typical result is that several pups will be Merle and some will be “double merle”(we will go into depth later) 

Overview Of The Merle American Bully

These dogs are known for their unique and striking coats that feature a swirled, marbled pattern of two or more colors.

The merle gene is a dominant trait that can be passed down to offspring, but it’s important to note that certain breeding practices can increase the risk of health issues in these dogs.

Aside from their beautiful coats, Merle American Bullies share many traits with other members of the breed.

They tend to be loyal and affectionate towards their owners, while also being protective and wary of strangers.

They have strong muscles and athletic builds and require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy.

However, it’s crucial to understand that responsible breeding practices are essential when it comes to producing healthy Merle American Bullies.

Breeding two merles together increases the likelihood of genetic abnormalities such as deafness, blindness, or other health problems.

It’s important to work with reputable breeders who understand how to responsibly breed these dogs to ensure their well-being for years to come.

Types Of Merle American Bully

Let’s take a closer look at the different varieties of this stunning breed to see what makes each one so special and lovable.

In Merle American Bullies there are typically three colors  – Blue, Red, and Cryptic

Blue Merle-

blue merle bully

An interesting fact about Blue Merle is that the color is not blue it’s grey.  Blue Merle actually has a grey color base with black patches over the body.

The intensity of the color may vary. This type of Merle Bully is the most common and is highly popular among breeders and owners. 

It is important to understand that Blue Merle without tan points is considered a bicolor American bully and not blue merle.

Red Merle-

red merle american bully

Red merles have a mottled pattern with black and tan colors, and can have either dark or pale patches of color. 

Red merles are typically considered rarer than blue merles as the chances of producing pups with a red merle pattern are quite limited.

Red merles can have tan markings or not and still be considered a red merle

Cryptic Merle-

cryptic merle american bully

In cryptic Merle American bullies, the Merle gene is present but may not be immediately noticeable in their appearance.

Instead of displaying the typical mottled or marbled pattern associated with merle, these dogs may have a solid coat color or only very subtle merle markings.

Cryptic merle dogs can still pass on the merle gene to their offspring, which means that breeding two cryptic merles together can result in puppies that exhibit more pronounced merle patterns.

Health Problems Associated With The Merle Gene In American Bullies

It’s important to be aware of potential health problems that can arise from the Merle gene in American Bullies. While this genetic trait can create unique and stunning coat patterns, it also has the potential to cause health issues for these dogs.

Here are some of the health problems you should be aware of:

  • Blindness: The Merle gene can lead to degeneration of the retina and blindness in affected dogs.
  • Deafness: Dogs with two copies of the Merle gene have a higher risk of being born deaf or developing hearing loss later in life.
  • Skin and Coat Issues: Some Merle Bullies may experience skin sensitivity, hair loss, or other skin/coat irritations.

If you’re considering getting a Merle Bully, it’s crucial to work with a reputable breeder who prioritizes breeding for good health. They should carry out proper genetic testing on their breeding pair before mating them.

Additionally, regular vet checkups are essential for monitoring your dog’s overall health. As an owner of a Merle Bully, it’s your responsibility to provide them with proper care and attention. This includes regular grooming sessions and keeping an eye out for any signs of discomfort or illness.

By being proactive about their health needs, you can ensure that your furry friend leads a happy and healthy life.

Single Merle Vs Double Merle – The Difference

merle bully puppy

You might be hesitant to learn about the difference between a single Merle and double Merle, but understanding this distinction can help you make an informed decision when choosing a furry companion.

Single Merles have only one copy of the merle gene, while double Merles have two copies. This means that single Merles have a smaller chance of developing health problems associated with the gene.

On the other hand, double Merles are much more likely to experience issues such as deafness, blindness, and vision impairment. This is because having two copies of the merle gene can cause deformities in the inner ear and optic nerves.

It’s important to note that not all double Merles will develop these issues, but it’s still something to keep in mind when selecting a dog.

When deciding whether to adopt a single or double Merle Bully, it’s crucial to weigh both options carefully. While single Merles may be less prone to certain health problems, they still require proper care and attention just like any other pet.

Ultimately, what matters most is finding a furry friend who fits seamlessly into your lifestyle and brings joy into your life for years to come.

What Are The Controversies Associated With Merle Coat In American Bullies

If you’re considering a dog with a unique coat pattern, be aware of the controversies surrounding it and how it can affect your furry friend’s health. Merle coats in American Bullies have been the subject of debate among breeders and owners alike. Here are some of the most common controversies associated with this coat pattern:

  1. Health issues – Merle coats are caused by a genetic mutation that affects pigmentation in dogs. This can lead to various health problems such as deafness, blindness, and skin cancer. Double merles, which result from breeding two merle dogs together, are particularly susceptible to these issues.
  2. Ethical concerns – Some breeders intentionally breed for merle coats without regard for potential health problems or proper breeding practices. This has led to an increase in unethical breeding practices and puppy mills.
  3. Breed standard – The American Bully breed standard does not recognize merle as an acceptable color or pattern for show dogs. This has led to controversy over whether merle American Bullies should be bred at all.

Before deciding on a dog with a merle coat, it’s important to do your research and fully understand the potential risks and ethical considerations involved.

In conclusion, while merle coats may be visually striking, they come with their own set of controversies that must be considered before bringing home a new furry friend.

It’s crucial to prioritize responsible breeding practices and ensure that your dog’s health is not compromised for appearance alone. By making informed decisions about your pet’s well-being, you’ll provide them with the best possible life they deserve.

Other Dog Breeds With Merle Coat

other merle dog breeds

Take a look at some other dog breeds sporting the unique and eye-catching merle coat pattern. One such breed is the Australian Shepherd, which is known for its striking blue merle coat. This breed was originally bred as a herding dog, and the merle coat helped them blend in with their surroundings while working on ranches.

Another breed with a merle coat is the Catahoula Leopard Dog, also known as the Catahoula Cur. This breed has a wide range of colors and patterns in their coats, including blue merle, red merle, and brindle. They were originally used to hunt wild hogs and herd cattle in Louisiana.

Lastly, we have the Dachshund, which also comes in a beautiful chocolate-and-tan or black-and-tan merle pattern. These small dogs were originally bred for hunting badgers and other small animals underground. Their distinctive coats make them stand out from other breeds while on the hunt or just lounging around at home.

Overall, there are many different dog breeds that sport a stunning merle pattern in their coats. Whether you’re looking for an energetic herding dog like the Australian Shepherd or a loyal companion like the Dachshund, there’s sure to be a breed with this unique coat that fits your lifestyle.

Characteristics Of Merle American Bullies

The distinct characteristics of American Bullies with the merle coat pattern make them stand out from other breeds and add a unique flair to any dog lover’s collection. One of the most notable features is their eye-catching coat, which is a mix of different shades and patterns that can range from blue to black or tan. This makes each individual dog truly one-of-a-kind.

In addition to their striking appearance, merle American Bullies are known for their outgoing personalities and affectionate nature towards their owners. They’re loyal companions who thrive on human interaction and love nothing more than spending time with their families. Despite their muscular build, they have a gentle disposition that makes them great playmates for children.

However, it’s important to note that breeding for merle can come with some health concerns such as deafness or blindness in one or both eyes. It’s crucial to find a reputable breeder who prioritizes the health and well-being of their dogs above all else.

With proper care and attention, merle American Bullies can be wonderful pets who bring joy into any home they enter.

Pros And Cons Of Having Merle American Bullies

Having a dog with a distinctive coat pattern like the merle American Bully can add a fun and unique element to your life, but it’s important to consider the potential health concerns that may come with it.

Merle coloring is caused by a genetic mutation that can also lead to hearing and vision problems, as well as skin issues. If you’re considering getting a merle bully, make sure you do your research and find a reputable breeder who tests their dogs for these issues.

On the positive side, merle American Bullies are known for their striking appearance and friendly personalities.

They’re great family pets who love attention and thrive on human companionship.

Plus, they come in a variety of colors within the merle spectrum, so you can choose one that suits your style.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that owning any dog comes with responsibilities.

Merle American Bullies require regular exercise, training, and socialization to ensure they become well-behaved members of society. And because they have unique health considerations, you’ll need to be prepared for potential trips to the vet or specialized care if needed.

Overall, if you’re willing to put in the time and effort required for owning any pet, a merle American Bully can be an amazing addition to your life.


What are some other coat patterns that are popular in dog breeding besides Merle?

Other popular coat patterns in dog breeding include brindle, piebald, and tri-color. Breeders should prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs over trendy coat patterns that may lead to health problems and unethical breeding practices.

Is it possible for Merle dogs to have a completely normal and healthy life without any health complications?

Merle dogs can lead normal and healthy lives if they do not inherit the gene twice, their coats are typically marked, and neither their hearing nor their vision is compromised. However, breeding two Merle dogs can result in serious health problems, including hearing and vision impairment and skin cancer.

How do breeders determine if a Merle dog has inherited the gene twice and is at risk for health problems?

Breeders determine if a merle dog has inherited the gene twice and is at risk for health problems through genetic testing. Dogs with two copies of the gene are at higher risk for ocular and auditory problems, skeletal, cardiac, and reproductive abnormalities.

What steps can potential dog owners take to ensure they are not unknowingly supporting unethical Merle breeding practices?

Potential dog owners can avoid supporting unethical Merle breeding practices by researching breeders thoroughly, asking about health testing and breeding practices, and avoiding breeders who prioritize coat color over the health and well-being of their dogs.

What eye color is typically observed in American Bullies carrying the Merle gene?

Usually, Merle American Bullies have two blue eyes. Sometimes, they may have one blue eye and one brown eye. In rare scenarios, they can have two brown eyes.

Final Thoughts

So, now you know everything there is to know about the Merle American Bully. This breed has captured the hearts of many dog lovers around the world.

Despite some concerns about health issues associated with the Merle gene, these dogs make great companions and are highly sought after.

In fact, owning a Merle American Bully can be like having a work of art in your home – their stunning coat colors will certainly turn heads! But just like any other decision in life, there are pros and cons to consider before making your final choice.

Whether you decide to go for it or not, one thing is certain: the Merle American Bully is an impressive breed that deserves all our attention and admiration.

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