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More info about cryptic blues?

Discussion in 'Sheltie Colors' started by Joanna, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. Joanna

    Joanna Forums Novice

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    Hi!
    I've been searching e v e r y w h e r e for more info on cryptic blue merle Shelties for a LONG time and for some reason there's nothing on the internet. I've read through all my Sheltie books over and over and there's nothing on cryptic blues. Is there a reason for this? Is there just nothing special about them?

    I was also wondering, since they have merling on them but they look like a bi-black do they reproduce as a bi-black or a blue?

    Thanks :)
     
  2. Calliesmom

    Calliesmom Moderator

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    cryptic just means that there's very little merling in the coat so it can be hard to tell if the dog is a merle. If it really is a merle, then it has the possibility of passing on the merle gene.
    People have concerns about cryptics because if you didn't realize that the dog was a merle, then you could accidentally produce double merle puppies if the dog was bred to another merle (obvious or not). double merles have the potential for a long list of health issues so most people try to avoid merle to merle breedings.
     
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  3. ghggp

    ghggp Moderator

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    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
    KarenCurtis likes this.
  4. corbinam

    corbinam Moderator

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    Cryptic Blue is actually a confusing name. For "lay-people", it does tend to mean dogs with a very small amount of visible merling. It might be a spot under the tail, or on an ear. My girl, Elise, is considered by this definition, to be a cryptic merle. At first glance she appears to be a tri, but she has some merling on her side (just a few hairs!), on her back, on a tiny spot on her back leg, and on her ear.

    However, the more scientific definition of Cryptic Blue is a dog that has NO visible merling, but produces like a merle (meaning when bred). So this means that they have the merle gene. Without getting too scientific, it has to do with the length of the gene. So sometimes the gene is SO short that it no longer has the ability to change the phenotype (visual appearance/color of the dog). What we currently consider "cryptic merle" (meaning very little visible merling) is actually called Minimal Merle.

    I am NOT a scientist, nor do I truly understand all of this. But, it is fascinating!

    The research being done does focus on Catahoulas, but the testing is applicable for shelties as well. More (confusing and scientific, lol) information found here:
    https://www.merle-sine-insertion-from-mc-mh.com/storyofmerle/
     
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  5. Calliesmom

    Calliesmom Moderator

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    Very cool- will need to read that later......
     
  6. Caro

    Caro Moderator

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    That's really interesting, thanks for that.

    So maybe that's what Deska is. He's a smerle for breeding purposes but is all sable with a tiny bit of merling on the back, which you'd never realise was merling unless you knew his pedigree.
     
  7. Calliesmom

    Calliesmom Moderator

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    that was a very interesting read.... explains a lot about merles.
    so the only really cryptic dog that I know is Justus- genetically he has to be a merle but no sign of it in his coat but if there are the different lengths which I think I read about somewhere else a while back- the gene expressed to a different degree so you needed to have so much to appear as a merle- the lengths of the Sines make that reasonable.
    very very cool. it's good to know that there is now a real test to tell if a dog has enough merle to produce a merle or show/not show the color pattern.
     
  8. 2GoodDogs

    2GoodDogs Forums Enthusiast

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    Waiting on a special deal to have Justus tested to see what type of merle he is. I don't care personally, as he's neutered and a very special dog - but I'll do this for his breeder. :)
     
  9. Calliesmom

    Calliesmom Moderator

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    I'll be interested to learn the results......
     
  10. Chris

    Chris Premium Member

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    Fascinating. Thanks, Ashley, for this clearly explained post!
     

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