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Dr Linda
Dr Linda, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1184
Experience:  I am a practicing veterinarian with over 20 years experience in a mixed animal practice.
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My girlfriend and I picked out a pup this weekend. She will

Customer Question

My girlfriend and I picked out a pup this weekend. She will not come with us until next month.
The pups mother is a full yellow lab, the father is a lab/aussie shepard mix. The pup is "merle" colored, with blue eyes and a tan nose.
I have been doing reading on dogs that are breed where both parents have the merel gene. Typical they have pups with eye and ear problems (about 25% of the pups).
Can you help put my mind at ease. I would guess, given the mix of lab and aussie, we should not have any issues?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr Linda replied 1 year ago.

Hello, this is Dr. Linda. I hope I can help with your question today.

I really do not think you have anything to worry about with this puppy. In order to have any chance of a problem, you need to breed a merle ( Aussie, Great Dane, etc. ) to another merle. In other words, you need a homozygous combination of genes. The merle coat color is not present in the Labrador, so just because the coat pattern popped in this pup, there is almost a non-existent chance that any further defects will manifest in this puppy.

We do not fully understand all the particulars of this defect, but a coat pattern that results in a lethal combination will happen in other species, too, such as lethal white in horses & lethal trait A46 in black pied Danish cattle.

So, your pup has enough hybrid vigor to eliminate any chance of any of the unfortunate conditions associated with a homozygous merle coat.

I hope this makes sense & has addressed your question. Please, if you have any further concerns, or I can help in any way, do not hesitate to ask.

Thank you.