Examples of Merle Border Collies (BCs)
These photos are provided by and used with permission of
Companion Kennel  ,     G Force Border Collies
Liliac merle photo's provided by Karianne H, Brindle merle by Elise Murphy
pictures of the double merle Betty are provided by Dillon Photography
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copyright companion kennel
copyright companion kennel
These three dogs are
Blue Merle Border Collies.

Blue Merle Border Collies
can also  have tan points

Blue Merle Border Collies
are registered as
Blue Merle & White
or Blue Merle & White with
tan points

Sometimes the tan points
can be hard to see on some
Examples of Blue Merle Border Collie puppies  
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copyright companion kennel
Newborn Blue Merle Border Collie
Blue Merle Border Collie Puppy
about 8 weeks old
Slate Merle
Border Collie's also come in a color called Blue. Blue is dilute of black. Blue Border
Collies have grey (sometimes it is really dark) nose, eye rims, & paw pads
When this color is combined with the merle pattern it is called Slate Merle.
Cryptic Merles
Any merle BC can also be so shaded with black that it looks to be a solid or non-merle
color. These dogs are called Cryptic Merles.
To avoid accidentally breeding two merles together any dog with a merle parent
should have a CERF exam (all merles have some flecking in the eye) and/or a DNA
test to confirm that the dog is or is not a merle

We are looking for a good picture that shows these two colors and patterns well. If you have one you would
like to share please
Contact Me
full credit and copyright will be listed to the owner of the photo
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 Red Merle.
Red Merles like the dog to the left have self colored
noses, eye rims, paw pads.

Some red merles are lighter or darker than others.
Many people refer to the darker versions of red
merle as Chocolate Merle.

Red merles may or may not have tan points

Like any other merle patterned dog Cryptic Merles
can occur in this color also.  
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Sable Merle

Sable Merle Border Collies
have black noses, eye rims
and paw pads

Some Sable Merle's become
so shaded as adults that the
merle pattern can be hard to

The dog to the right and the
puppy below are the same

Sable merles can vary greatly
in shade and some can be
Cryptic merle.

Blue Sable Merle

Unlike Shelties and Collies
Sable BCs can come in
Blue Sable.
The hair tips of a Blue Sable
grey instead of black.

This combination can also
exist with a sable merle and
this would be called a
Blue Sable Merle
Lilac Merle

Lilac is a dilute of Chocolate/Red These dogs can
look like a pale grey color with a purplish cast.
They have self colored noses, eye rims & paw
Colin Ace is a Lilac Merle. He is the only one of
his color in  Norway

Thank you to owner Karianne H for allowing us to
use these photos
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Double Merle
(Double Dilute)

Double Merle Border
Collies can occur in any
of the above mentioned
colors. They are the result
of breeding TWO merles.

Double Merle puppies can
be deaf, blind or both.
Their eyes are almost
always blue (lacking in
pigment) and small.

Betty pictured here can
see but is nearly
completely deaf. She has
two deaf siblings and one
sibling that is deaf and
mostly blind.

Double Merle pups are
not always mostly white
(please see
Hope's page)
Double Merles lack
pigment around the eyes
and ears.

The life for a handicap
dog is hard and most do
not have happy endings.
Please avoid creating a
double merle.
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Merle Eyes

Regardless of color, all merles can have blue eyes,
marbled eyes, dark eyes, or one brown and one blue

Even merles with very dark eyes have some flecking
that can be seen during a CERF exam and any dog
with a merle parent should have at least one CERF
exam to assist in ruling it out as being a Cryptic Merle
Thanks to the many DNA advances DNA tests are
available to identify Cryptic Merles also.
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Color Headed White

A Color Headed White is a pattern that is often
confused with Double Merle.
Color Headed Whites are not Double Merles
and do not result from breeding two merle
Color Headed Whites (CHW) are produced
when two dogs that are white factored are
bred or when a CHW is bred to a white
factored dog. This pattern can occur with any
color or pattern of Border Collie including

Color Headed Whites have normally marked
heads and pigment around their eyes and
ears. They have normal sight and hearing.

At this time CHWs are not shown in the AKC
conformation ring.
Dogs over 50% white are considered a fault
are not shown.
However, CHWs are healthy and normal in
every way and make great pets, performance
dogs or go on to produce Champion offspring
such as this dog to the left who is the dam of
multiple AKC conformation Champions and
has performance titled offspring also.
I hope this page has been helpful to anyone interested in understanding merle Border
Collies and what they look like
I would love to add more pictures I especially need a good example of a adult merle
with tan points.
I will be happy to answer any further questions about merle Border Collies and if I
can't help you I will try to find someone who can.
For more info or to submit a merle BC picture please
Contact Me
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copyright dillon photography
copyrighted gforcebordercollies
copyrighted gforcebordercollies
Gold Merle
Gold (sometimes also called Aussie Red) can vary
in shade from a pale yellow to a deep copper color.
They may or may not have self colored noses, eye
rims and paw pads.

Like sable merles it may sometimes be hard,
visally, to see the merle markings in a gold merle.
This is the case with this dog,
Arnpriors For GForce "Trip"

Trip has produced merle puppies in
every litter he has sired thus
confirming he is indeed a gold

Thank you to
G Force Border Collies
for permission
to use these photos   
copyright Karianne H
copyright Elise Murphy
copyright Elise Murphy
copyright Elise Murphy
Brindle Merle
I think this is one of the must unusual
Border Collies I've ever seen
Keiten is a Brindle merle Border Collie. His
dam is a brindle and his sire was a blue
I think the correct way to describe this dog
is that he has two color patterns brindle
and merle. I know that brindle like merle
acts on colors  but I am not sure what
color of brindle this dog is since I am not
very familar with brindle but I have seen
blue, black and red brindle dogs of other
breeds. Perhaps someone can enlighten
me on this subject.
Thank you to owner Elise Murphy for
sharing these photos
copyrighted Karianne H
copyright Karianne H