Frequently asked questions about blue eyes,
merle coloring and deaf and blind dogs
We are interested in Aussie-doodle puppies but have heard Blue or Red Merles may be deaf or blind, is this true?
Yes and no. When a breeder is uneducated and breeds a merle dog to a merle dog the resulting litter will be ½ normal solid/tri color puppies, ¼ normal merles, and ¼ “double” merles. These “double” merles are receiving two copies of the merle gene and will be deaf and sometimes blind. These puppies are recognized by their white heads and white ears. We have many years experience breeding top quality dogs and have never produced a deaf or blind puppy and would NEVER breed merle to merle.
What about Blue eyes? Aren’t Blue eyed dogs blind or more prone to vision problems?
No, blue eyes are just the color of the dogs iris. Just like a blue eyed human they see completely normally as long the breeder has not bred merle to merle.
What is a Merle dog?
Merle is a color modifier. It changes black or red dogs’ coats to a pattern with solid colors as well as lighter shades of the same color mixed in. This can look like a patchwork quilt. Merles can have white markings on the face, collar area, legs, chest and belly. Sometimes the “parti” gene is included and the merles can have white body spots as well. As long as the entire head of the dog is not white these markings are all perfectly normal.
Do all Merle Aussie-doodles have Blue eyes?
No, they can have blue eyes, or one blue eye and one brown or marbled blue/brown. Or they can have both brown eyes, hazel or even green (more likely on a red merle). These are all completely normal for a merle dog of any breed.
Can solid or tri colored doodles have Blue eyes?
No, because the poodle does not carry the blue eyed gene needed for solid colors, therefore the F1 aussie doodle will only have blue eyes if he is a merle. The solid colors can have green or hazel eyes, more likely if they are red. A solid doodle can have very dark almost black eyes or a lighter warm brown.
Are your dogs tested for eye defects?
Yes, we test our breeding dogs for PRA which is a defect in both poodles and aussies. This is the only eye defect that crosses into both breeds therefore it is the only one necessary to test for. Because we never breed doodle to doodle or doodle to poodle we only need to test one parent for this.
What about the “parti” colored doodle, are they more prone to be deaf or blind?
No, the parti gene does not carry any defects. A parti marked poodle can be bred to a parti marked aussie with no problems even if all the puppies are parti marked. For clarification the parti markings is like pinto in a horse. It makes white body spots and can be in either solid/tri colored dogs or merles.