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ABK, merle may not have been a fad at that point, but is it possible that around that time is when it was introduced? If it was in the breed in, say, 1930, you'd think we'd be seeing it in AmStaffs, too. I'd be interested in knowing what bloodlines are producing merle and how wide-spread it is.
 

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I don't know if you'd see it in AmStaffs or not, I'm sure you've heard of the lady that claimed to have 2 merle ASTs. I don't know if they wwre ASTs or not, but she claimed they were. But if they selected against it as they do liver & B&T, it would be fairly easy to breed out I would think.

The gentleman who had the blue merle pop up in his litter had Nigerino dogs. But he never had a merle before or since. I owned a red merle from VA. that was Carver bred & my blue merle & chocolate merle were Blue Bully x Bullyson crosses. I know a lot of merles of all colors in the NC/SC area are coming down from the Man O' Steel line.
 

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Has anyone ever done DNA on solo merles to make sure they were from the same sire as the rest of the litter? I remember on another board someone was showing off these black-nosed brindle puppies that they swore came from two rednose parents. The more genetically-minded members challenged her to produce DNA on the puppies and she disappeared. Just thinking out loud...
 

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Ok merel fault or not, are you not breeding for color?
 

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Was that question directed at ABK? I think breeding to avoid a color that is proven to produce more than its share of defects and which is also discouraged in the standard is not breeding for color per se. I personally would not breed for the dilution gene either (ie, blue, blue fawn, etc). That's just choosing not to include colors that could come with baggage.
 

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How do merles just pop up if it is dominate.
 

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ive seen a whole litter for sale but all the stuff i read says merle is not possable in our breed
 

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I find this all very interesting! The genetics and all. Being a great dane enthusist for years and years I have seen my share of merle danes. Almost all had health problems and temperment issues. From what I connected the merles came from harlequin breedings (though beautiful dogs, the harlequins seem to have a rather shallow gene pool). Also where the mantle colors are bred from. I have seen mantle pattern dogs in members pits here, and now merles, are there any harlequin pitbulls??????
 

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Also where the mantle colors are bred from. I have seen mantle pattern dogs in members pits here, and now merles, are there any harlequin pitbulls??????
mantle and harlequin are not colors. They are the way the dog is marked.

APBTS are not defined by markings. A harlequin or mantle APBT would just be called black and white.
 

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FWIW, I've never seen the harlequin pattern in an APBT. I've always been curious about that pattern's relationship with merle.
 

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FWIW, I've never seen the harlequin pattern in an APBT. I've always been curious about that pattern's relationship with merle.
I would wonder that with danes to since they can be Harlequin with Merle patches.
 

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I get asked all the time what Lola (my mantle dane) is mixed with. Because she is a mantle and her ears are not cropped. Her mother was Harl and her father black. She was the only mantle of the litter. Lots of merles and harls..and harls with merle patches. Wasnt until a few years ago that the mantles were accepted by the AKC. You can reg. merles, but they are still undesirable. Just pointing out that most kennel clubs would reg. a rock if you sent the 40 bucks in for it. Certainly dosent constitute it being breed worthy. Just sayin....
 

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That makes a point to.

If kennel clubs are going to lose the money of registering merle dogs there has to be a good reason.

Such as the UKC and ADBA. Everyone knows registries are about money, no secret there, but if they are willing to lose out just to not register a color...............
 

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Hello all. I'm back.

Akasha: I am familiar with the ADBA's merle article & all it does in fact further the fact that merle is indeed a apttern that can be found naturally in the breed.

And yes, merle can be found with health problems. But as mentioned before (at least twice) so can other colors.

As for most KCs considering it a "weak" color I have found no evidence to support that. AKC accepts merle breeds. UKC accepts merle breeds. The KC of Britain accepts merle breeds. I will venture to say most KCs world wide accept merle breeds. So your statement of merle being weak & thus undesirable in KCs is not correct.
You may not have found edvience to support weakness, but look at the 3rd paragraph....

American Dog Breeders Association
 

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Hello all. I'm back again. I just haven't found time to be on the boards lately. In fact, I'm supposed to be cleaning the house right now, but I'm not (Shhhhhh!)

baha: No one (that I know of anyway) has done DNA on a mutation merle. There are only 2 I know of, the Boham case & the WYK case.

Boham's Venom, was a blacknosed chocolate merle (which means her base coat was seal). Her parents were both rednosed & the ADBA launched an investigation as a result. They said you can't get a blacknose out of 2 rednoses & wanted Mr. Boham to prove the dog was bred as papered, but he never got back in contact with the ADBA. The ADBA voided the papers on all Venom bred dogs as a result. But b/c of that, that was pretty much got rid of most merles since the man who owned Boham's Venom, H. Madson was pimping the tar out of her & her merle offspring. That man alone was likely responsible for 75% of the merles you see today.

WYK meanwhile was a honest dog man & was as baffled as I was when he came to me with his merle pup. He didn't DNA it, but I highly doubt he'd lie about it. Furthermore the pup died at a young age from unknown causes which further goes to support the idea the pup was the result of a mutation.

As to your question about harlequins, yes, APBTs can come in harlequin. I've had 2. They were littermates. Harlequin & "merlequin" occurs (in our breed anyway) when merle matches up with extreme white piebald, resulting in a dog who has either black & grey (for a harlequin) patches on a white background or any color merle (for a merlequin) patches on a white background instead of on a colored background. Sadly though both of mine died as pups. But you can see a picture of one on my website. It's been added to the "Merle in the APBT" article.

OFK: It depends on which KC you go to as to whether merle is a fault or not. ADBA & UKC, yes. Almost everyone else, no. But that goes for other colors as well. For example there is at least one KC who has made any shade of blue a specific fault.

As for breeding for color, I'm not. If I were breeding for color I wouldn't have a yard that is mostly brindle! I don't even like the color brindle! If I were breeding for color, I'd have a yard full of dogs that were colored I liked!

american_pit: Merles can just "pop up" via mutation or through one parent being a cryptic.

As for why UKC/ADBA chose to make merle a DQ, UKC I do not know. But ADBA I do know. The man mentioned above who owned Venom was selling merles by the basketful. He decided to try to produce more merles per litter by breeding merle x merle, which as most people know is a HUGE no-no. When I advised him against it, he told me he was just going to do it as an "experiment" & keep the resulting pups. Yeah right. He sold those pups like he did everything else.

Soon I began getting calls from disgrundled customers of his saying their dog had this defect or that defect & that HM wouldn't make it right. I told them there was nothing I could do about it & to call the ADBA. After several such calls & e-mails - all of which I directed to the ADBA - it wasn't long before ADBA launched their investigation on the Venom dog & voided the papers on all Venom bred animals.

Shortly thereafter all merles from 2005 forward were banned. I believe this was done to keep the defective Venom bred merles out of the gene pool b/c all HM &/or some of the people he sold to would have done was hung papers from another merle line on their defective Venom dogs & went on their way. But banning merle as a whole solves this problem. Not fair, not right, but effective.

And as a side note, please remember the ADBA hasn't completely disowned merles. Offspring from non-Venom bred merles can still be ADBA registered, so long as the pup itself is not merle.

gxkon: Please read the ADBA's website concerning merle. It not only says merle is possible in our breed, but it says merle has been in our breed since the ADBA's inception (1909!)

Akasha: Yes, I am well aware of what certain people say about the health of merle dogs. I wouldn't own one, let alone breed one without knowing this! The fact is a heterozygous merle is usually as healthy as most other colors.

OK, I have answered question upon question, now I have a question for all of you. Has ANYONE here heard of any other bull breeds used in the creation of the APBT? We all know the imported UK dogs were bred up by some people for use as farm dogs & the like. How were dogs who weighed in the high 20s - low 30s bred up to the standard of 50 lbs? Was it by breeding big dog to big dog or could have another bull breed been introduced? Your opinion & why.
 

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ABK, I don't know how far back we'd go, but I'd imagine there were other things used back in the day. No doubt along the way there've been some who've added a dash of this or that to try and hop on the whole hybrid vigor thing. I personally wouldn't speculate because I don't know if the size increase was selective breeding or crossing. I've always heard the argument not to hate on people breeding mutts in the present day because all dogs came from mutts, and its pure silliness to me. LOL!
 

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Old thread, didn't bother reading. Merle = more health problems, potential unstable temperament and mixed.
 

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I'm not a color genetics expert, but from what I've read and educated people I've spoken to the color pattern is not possible in our breed. I tend to believe them, so how many purebred have I seen, the answer is none for me, and I never will.
Yes, you are correct. Merle on pit bulls are a genetic abnormality. Dogs like Great Danes can be Merle but that is not a genetic abnormality for them. Merle pit bulls are the rarest color of pit bulls which makes them so unique and desirable. I think the Leopard Merle pitties are gorgeous! But I think all Merle pits are beautiful. Oh who am I kidding... all bully type dogs are beautiful! ♥
 

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Yes, you are correct. Merle on pit bulls are a genetic abnormality. Dogs like Great Danes can be Merle but that is not a genetic abnormality for them. Merle pit bulls are the rarest color of pit bulls which makes them so unique and desirable. I think the Leopard Merle pitties are gorgeous! But I think all Merle pits are beautiful. Oh who am I kidding... all bully type dogs are beautiful! ♥
APBTs do NOT come in merle. It's not rare, it's not a pit dog. It's a mix breed.
But I totally agree on all bull breeds being good looking dogs. For the most part anyways.
 
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