Merle pugs have a distinctive coat pattern and color. In this breed, the merle color is due to a gene that causes speckled blue-grey or blueish patches across the dog’s coat. The same pattern can also appear on the pug’s skin. Merle pugs can have blue eyes but it is also possible for their eyes to be of 2 different colors.
Why the KC Won’t Accept Merle Pugs
The KC doesn’t acknowledge merle pugs because merle is a color that doesn’t naturally occur in this breed. This variation also suffers from several health problems associated with the merle gene which doesn’t only affect the color of a dog’s coat, but also increases the risk of impaired sight and hearing.
According to the KC, the acceptable colors for pugs are black, fawn, apricot and silver. Breeders can register pug puppies through the designation ‘color not recognized’. This allows breeders to register puppies whose colors are not included in the list of acceptable colors for pugs. They can get their pedigree paperwork and sell the pug puppies as registered pedigree dogs.
This option is perfect for breeders with white or brindle pugs. Merle pugs, however, can’t be registered using this designation.
Merle Pug Health Issues
Merle pugs can inherit the common health problems associated with this breed such as neurological and spinal issues. A merle pug can have hearing problems in either both or one ear. They may have partially impairedhearing or total deafness. Merle pugs may also have vision problems such as less acute vision and full blindness.
The merle coloration is due to poor production of melanin. As such, merle pugs are prone to developing sunlighthypersensitivity, sunburn and skin problems.
How Merle is Inherited
The merle coat color is achieved by outcrossing the pug breed with other breeds that carry the merle gene. Genetic mutations can happen, but this can cause conformation defects and health problems that can negatively affect the dog’s rate of survival and health. Detrimental genetic mutations may lead to a shortened lifespan or incapacity to reproduce.
The pug breed doesn’t naturally have the merle gene. This is a gene that has been introduced to the breed. However, there’s no guarantee that all pug pups in a litter will be merle. This means that a litter may have both non-merle and merle pugs. A pug with 2 merle parents will always have the merle coloring and this is called double merle.
If you cross 2 merle pugs, you might havedouble-merle dogs. However, this also increases the risk of the dogs inheriting various health problems.
How to Care for a Merle Pug
Merle pugs are sturdy, lively and playful. They benefit from moderate exercise such as play sessions or walks. Just remember that they are not good with hot weather due to their short face. As such, they should not do exhausting activities when it is humid or warm outside. Pugs can participate in some dog sports such as rallies, agility and obedience competitions.
This breed loves to please their humans, so they’re easy to train. Harsh training methods won’t work on them. They have an outgoing disposition and won’t be happy if they are frequently left alone forlong periods of time. You can enroll them in puppy training classes to get them used to other dogs and people.
Here are some tips on how to take care of your merle pug.
– Train your pug pup as early as possible as he learns a lot during the first 6 months of his life. You can use small treats to train your pet to obey commands such as come, sit and stay. Don’t forget to give him lots of praises. Pugs find it hard to focus for a long time, so a 5 to 10-minute training session will be enough.
– When potty training your pet, take him out for a potty break every 2 to 4 hours. Pugs will be able to control their bladder much better when they reach the age of six to seven months. This breed can be lazy and may want to see whether they can get away with relieving themselves inside the house. If you see him sneak behind the curtains or furniture to pee, say no and take him to his designated potty area.
– Put your pet on a leash when you take him outside for a walk. A harness is better for pugs because it won’t damage their windpipe.
Merle pugs should be fed premium dog food. This breed can gain weight easily, so you should watch his weight level and calorieconsumption. Don’t give your pug too many treats to prevent him from becoming obese. You can talk to your vet and ask for advice about your dog’s diet.
Three to six-month pups should be fed 3 times a day. Six-month to one-year old pugs can be given 2 meals every day.
Merle Pug Grooming
Merle pugs have a short, glossy coat that should be brushed two times a week using a medium-bristle brush. This will help minimize shedding. Give them a bath only when they’re really dirty or starting to smell. Don’t use your own shampoo because it will irritate their skin and damage their coat.
Trim their nails on a regular basis. Clean their facial wrinkles with a cotton swab dipped in warm water. Their folds collect dust, food and dirt that should be removed immediately. After cleaning the folds, run a cotton swab dipped in petroleum jellyinside theirfacial wrinkles to prevent infections. You can also use a cotton ball or soft tissue to clean the ears and a damp tissue to wipe their nose. If they start scratching their ears,shaking their head or a strong odor is coming from that area, you should take them to the vet because these are signs of an ear infection.
How Much Does a Merle Pug Cost?
Rare dogs like merle pugs are more expensive than other variations. A non-KC registered pug can cost £738, while a KC registered pug can cost £901. The prices for merle pugs can vary significantly. A merle pug can cost as much as a standard pug, over £2,000. The pup’s expenses, pedigree of its parents, cost of caring for the mother, location, market demand and supply and indirect cost of the breeder will affect the price of a merle pug.