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To get a Blue merle or not

Discussion in 'Sheltie Colors' started by pola5, May 18, 2014.

  1. pola5

    pola5 Forums Novice

    May 18, 2014
    I am very close to making a decision to get a puppy as a family pet- and I have looked at a blue merle puppy 8 weeks- I want some advice - if given the option would you choose a blue over a sable or tri colour? Is it a matter of preference- While I don't intend to breed or show her she is one of two pups the breeder is ' running off' i.e. not keeping to show. Why might she have chosen these pups? If I wanted to show them in the future - maybe there something not quite 'standard ' with them. i don't know how to add a pic - maybe theres nothing wrong but she has to pick .`Do blue merle have the same success in showing arena as other colours ?
    as you can tell I'm very new to this1
  2. Chris

    Chris Premium Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    Welcome! First of all, color is just that: color. Doesn't affect behavior, temperment, etc. I expect your breeder is not keeping certain puppies because he/she doesn't see them as promising show prospects. I've seen merles, sables, and tris win, as well as bi-blacks.

    However, reputable breeders usually won't sell a show prospect to someone unless they know you plan to show -- and that means having some experience with Shelties at a minimum and with showing preferred. Also, a reputable breeder will sell on a spay/neuter contract. This is because the reputable breeder is trying to improve to Shetland Sheepdog as a breed. The pet quality puppies are perfectly fine in 99% of the cases; they just aren't close enough to the Sheltie standard to be competitive or to be "worthy" of being in future gene pools. For example, I own a Sheltie that's the product of a sire and dam who were both the top male and female a few years back. However, he grew too tall to show, and so I got him as a pet.

    So I think you can feel very comfortable in getting a nice Sheltie as a pet -- whatever color you like -- and get to know the breed. Go to shows, maybe join a nearby Sheltie club, and see if that's something you think you might enjoy.
  3. corbinam

    corbinam Moderator

    Oct 14, 2008
    To add to Chris' thoughts, I believe it would be perfectly acceptable for you to ask your breeder what about the available puppies prevents them from being show prospects.

    Anecdotally, I have 2 sables and just brought him a little bi-blue merle :)
  4. Emmasmom

    Emmasmom Forums Sage

    Apr 2, 2010
    Personally, it is personality that matters to me. I have had a sable male in the past, a blue merle in the past, and now have a sable girl, a tri boy and a tri girl. My tri girl was retired at 10 months, with one point to her champion. She is just a doll. Emma - she had an underbite so couldn't be shown. Liam was not show quality but is my love bug and cuddle bunny.

    Ask the breeder. Go to shows. Look at agility/obedience with your new one. The breeder will be a good resource for you in letting you know why they didn't pick the puppies as show quality.

    Welcome. Don't forget to post pictures when you get your little one.
  5. Mom2Melli

    Mom2Melli Forums Enthusiast

    Oct 2, 2013
    Central California
    Color is a choice -- sometimes it is color that makes you gasp and need that dog to be yours. Other times it is other things about the dog you "have to have" despite color. Gender choice is a similar response though over time many people form a preference on a more logical basis.

    If a breeder is not keeping or selling dogs for show, they are not show quality. It could be something so minor you will never ever figure it out without asking. However, the dog is still able to do obedience, rally, agility, scent, etc. etc. Just not conformation showing.

    My rule -- after all things are considered, from price to breeder reputation to gender to color to personality to timing and way more, is if inside I feel like I would never be happy again if someone besides ME had that dog, then it is meant to be.

    Best wishes. Choose wisely but choose what takes your breath away.
  6. Justicemom

    Justicemom Forums Celebrity

    Oct 2, 2009
    You know when I was looking for my boy who turned out to be Birch. I wanted a dog to show and do performance with. I had a very long list of things I wanted in a puppy. I also wanted a bi blue.

    Well when push came to shove, I ended up with Birch who is not conformation show quality as he is too big plus a few other small things as it turns out. He is also a blue merle not a bi blue. He did how ever fit everything else I wanted. I was in love. But at 10 weeks when he already looked like he was going oversize I gave him back to my friend, his breeder, and took the pick bi blue male home who was very safe on size.

    I cried all night and the next and took the pick boy back. I wanted that big blue merle and I didn't want anyone else to have him even if it meant I didn't get my "show" puppy. As it was, Birch is everything I hoped he would be and more. He is my heart along with my Justice.

    Ironicly, that pick bi blue boy didn't make it either. That puppy was Irene's Spruce. He went oversized at 14 months with 10 points and a major. I think Spruce is 17" tall and Birch is 16.5" Go figure, that's Shelties.

    To answer that OP, I don't know about Ireland but all colors do well here except for Sable Merles which can be difficult and of course CHW which can't be shown in AKC. There are Sable judges and AOAC judges and judges who don't care and we know who those are.

    Ask the breeder why the dog is not show quality, it could be size, bite issues, some minor head quality etc. If you are just getting a pet, it is a matter of preference on color. I prefer blues. I do not care that much for sables even though I own one. But in the end color is only one thing to consider, personality trumps all for me.
  7. Silaria

    Silaria Forums Sage

    Sep 19, 2008
    Aspinwall, PA
    As everyone else said, color is simply that. Some prefer a specific color and others color is way down on the list of important things.

    As for why the breeder is selling them... ask. You want to feel comfortable talking to your breeder and asking questions. You want to feel confident your breeder will give you an honest answer. Your breeder will be your BEST resource regarding the dog for it's entire life.

    My two dogs, which are litter mates, were the show prospects from one of my breeder's litters. My boy, who came home at 7 months was simply too small for a male (14.5 inches and light boned). My girl, who came home when she was 3, didn't show well because her head is too small. Both of them are the right size and good structure. They are PERFECT for Rally and Agility just not conformation. Their "flaws" per the standard are very minor. I know what their flaws are because I asked and my breeder was honest enough to tell me.

    Good luck in your puppy search. I hope you find one to fill your heart soon whether it is this particular dog or not.
  8. corbinam

    corbinam Moderator

    Oct 14, 2008

    We were a sable family. When we were ready for a puppy, we looked at sables. We were on multiple puppy lists--all sables. Our search started 8 months ago, and things kept happening and there was never a puppy for us. I was getting discouraged. And then I realized--the right breeder (and puppies!) were right in front of me the whole time. I hadn't even considered it because of color--which at the end of the day is irrelevant.

    I found the perfect puppy for me, I hope you have the same good luck!
  9. Toffee's Mom

    Toffee's Mom Forums Sage

    Aug 31, 2009
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Which is EXACTLY WHY I was the only who didn't figure out what puppy you were getting, lol
    I never ever even considered you could go blue, lol

    I don't care for colour but I had envisioned bi black puppy and ended up with Shelli's bi blue 'reject' Spruce at 16 months, lol. He's a perfect goofy, cuddly companion for me to do agility and Discdog with.
    I have no interest to show, myself
    I can't imagine why you think you might want to change your mind and wanting to show at a later date? My advice would be to really make up your mind before choosing the puppy, if you want to show you need a show puppy, otherwise don't show and neuter/spay your puppy at the appropriate age instead :D
    Colour is just a preference :D
    Around here most Shelties are sable so the sables seem to be favoured in the ring, but then a stunning blue comes along and all of a sudden the show ring seems to be full of them, and people come up to me with blue envy... lol
    Show world is weird ;)
  10. Calliesmom

    Calliesmom Moderator

    Mar 29, 2008
    near Mobile, AL
    you weren't the only one who had no clue....
    I was sure that another sable was coming home to Lexi and Bentley- I was immensely surprised to see the pic of the little biblue boy:yes:
    in a short while, there will be the sheltie rainbow in Ohio:winkgrin:

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