Meet the merle Chow Chow (or the Oreo Chow).
I know… it sounds really sweet. But, what would you do if I said that these dogs aren’t sweet at all?
What would you do if I said that you should avoid merle Chow Chows at all costs?
The unique coat in merle spots is not something a good dog owner would like to have. It’s a clear sign of unethical breeding programs and manipulation with the pups. Such canines come with lots of potential health issues, so it’s better to steer away from them.
Chow Chows are lovely Teddy-bear dogs. They’re affectionate, protective, and caring. Their thick and smooth coat, along with their black tongue, and a bit of a smushy face are signature signs. You should definitely consider getting a cream Chow Chow or a blue Chow Chow.
But, the merle Chow Chow is not an option, and here’s why!
Explaining The Merle Chow Chow?
The merle Chow Chow is a specimen of Chow Chows featuring the merle coat, also recognizable as the spotted pattern. We can’t tell if this is a purebred Chow Chow because some time in the past, the dog’s line was manipulated and crossed with a dog that was not a merle.
The merle coat is a sign that your dog is either a result of unethical breeding or a scam.
Unfortunately, no matter how beautiful the merle coat is, you shouldn’t wish for a merle puppy of any breed. Merle Chow Chows are marginalized for a reason. There are plenty of other Chow Chow colors to consider.
The Chow Chow breed comes in black, blue, cinnamon, cream, and red. The merle coat is not approved by the American Kennel Club (AKC), and it never will be.
Merle is actually a pattern that covers a dark base coat, with light splashes and spots of grayish-blue color. It’s a result of pigment dilution.
You can equalize merle Chows with albino dogs because they both suffer from genetic problems, and should not be further bred or promoted.
Merle Chow Chows can come as a mix of blue, black, and white – or red, fawn, and white. Either way, they are not welcome. No matter how pretty they are, don’t give in under pressure and get one. Your life might get turned upside down, but in a bad way.
Where Do Merle Chow Chows Come From?
The origin of the merle Chow Chow is still under a huge question mark. We can’t precisely tell when these dogs first appeared. Since the merle coat is a sign of crossbreeding, we can assume there was some playing with the breed some time in the past.
While we can’t put a date on the merle Chow, we can say they’re a product of the past. This is not a fresh coat color, meaning it has been here for a while now. The worst part is, it will be here for a while, too.
People still promote merle as something wonderful. But, merle is not just a rare color. It’s a guarantee that your dog will show signs of severe illnesses.
All of a sudden, the Oreo Chow doesn’t seem so sweet, does it?
A Word On The Merle Coat
Much like his fellow merle Pug, the merle Chow Chow doesn’t get this coat naturally. The merle coat may appear with some dog breeds like Aussie Shepherds. But, it’s natural for them, and simply a result of genetic mutation that triggers the dilution gene.
Chow Chows with the merle coat are simply pooches that aren’t purebred.
Usually, the dilution of the pigment will result in splashes and spots of color that appear to be washed out… almost blue. Black isn’t black anymore; it has a blueish-grayish tone. The base coat is often a darker color, so the merle patterning can be even more visible.
The merle coat is a creation of two merle genes: the m and the M, where the bigger M is the dominant one.
It’s quite simple to understand how the merle genes work.
A puppy that has two M genes will definitely be a merle, and a double one.
Two m genes, and no M genes from the parents, mean the puppy isn’t a merle.
However, if a puppy has just one copy of the M gene, there’s a huge chance he’ll be a merle.
Are Merle Chow Chows Healthy Dogs?
Unfortunately, Merle Chow Chows aren’t healthy dogs.
The Chow Chow dog breed is fairly healthy, but the merle gene carries numerous potential health issues. They can severely impair your dog and make his life miserable. No one wants that, right?
Merle dogs can be heterozygous merles, meaning only one set of the merle genes from one side of the family will be inherited. Such dogs may or may not be ill, but the chances are still high.
But, when a dog is a homozygous merle, with two sets of merle genes inherited from the parents, he’ll most likely have health problems.
The most common issues that affect such dogs are:
blindness or partial blindness
deafness or partial deafness
If a breeder runs any basic DNA test, he’ll find out if the puppy is a merle, and which illnesses he is facing. So, always look for proof of DNA testing when shopping for a puppy.
About The Phenomenon Called The Double Merle Coat
A double merle Chow Chow is what you get when you breed two merle Chow Chows. The puppies from such parents will definitely receive the merle gene. There’s like 0% chance that the puppy won’t be a double merle.
Breeding merle dogs is already considered unethical, but breeding double merle dogs is even more frowned upon. Certain dog breeders tend to do lots of unethical things. A good example is also the mini Chow Chow. Breeding litter runts in order to achieve the small size of these puppies is also wrong.
The breeding controversy, unfortunately, still exists. I don’t believe that people will ever stop breeding and buying merle Chow Chows. But, at least I can warn them about the many dangers of owning a pup that’s a double merle.
No, they’re not as sweet as double-stuffed Oreos. Double merle Chows are very impaired dogs. They suffer from multiple health problems, and that’s a fact. Such puppies are often born blind or even without an eye! And, that’s just a minor issue. Think of the hidden genetic problems that will show up.
The bottom line is: don’t trust any breeder who claims that double-merle Chows are better. They’re not. These dogs carry numerous health issues, and you should avoid them at all costs.
What Is A Crypto Merle Chow Chow?
A crypto merle Chow Chow is something we come across more than we think.
You see… when a breeder skips doing health tests on his puppies, he has no proof that those puppies are 100% healthy. Thus, he has no proof that some of those puppies are merle.
Why is that so?
It’s simple: because puppies can come as crypto merles!
The crypto merle is still a merle, but it’s super hidden, and can’t be noticed that easily. Usually, it’s a spot on the dog’s coat or skin, with a merle pattern that will prove that the said dog is a merle.
Those markings are often overseen, and there’s no way you can see them without thoroughly examining your dog. Even then, you can’t be sure because it can be a matter of the skin under that thick, lucious coat, or a spot in the dog’s mouth that has pigment dilution.
The crypto merle Chow will be a pup up to all breed standards. He will come in any of the standard colors accepted by major clubs, but with one difference: the hidden merle patch.
This is exactly why you need to screen your dog’s DNA.
How Uncommon Is This Coat Color?
If we had to make a comparison between Chow colors, and pick the most unusual one, which one do you think would win?
Well, I can tell you one thing for certain: it wouldn’t be our Oreo Chow. In fact, this coat color would come in third. The absolute winners are cream and pure white Chow Chows.
So, yes… we can say that merle Chows are not common.
Don’t get fooled by their rare status. Although Chow Chows are great family pets, I would never recommend merle Chow Chows to anyone. Having a dog that will spend more time at the vet than at your home is not worth it.
Pick another Chow Chow color. Instead of a blue merle Chow, go with the Blue Chow, for example.
What’s The Average Purchase Price Of A Merle Chow Chow?
Chow Chows are very expensive, especially when you take into consideration the many different colors they come in. Breeders usually base their prices on the coat color, and, of course, the puppy’s pedigree.
If you’ve found a reputable breeder that has a Chow Chow puppy available, you can expect to pay, on average, $3,500. See, the Chow’s price is pretty high. But, these sweet Teddy-bear dogs deserve it.
So, based on the fact that merle is a rare coat color, they should be more expensive, right?
Yes, but that doesn’t mean you should buy them in the first place.
Unreliable breeders and scammers will list a merle Chow Chow as a ‘unique’ dog in order to get more money than they would for a standard Chow. That’s ridiculous. The high price is an obvious sign you should avoid that puppy at all costs.
The breeder’s from this list would never do that!
What’s The Verdict?
Black Chow Chow puppies are wonderful. Red Chow Chows are simply stunning.
But, what about merle Chow Chows? Aren’t they beautiful at all?
Sure, they are! Merle Chow Chows (or Oreo Chow Chows) are beautiful dogs, but at what cost? These pups are extremely ill, and they may spend their life in pain, suffering from numerous health conditions.
I recommend you don’t buy a merle Chow Chow, and pick another color instead. I know… it’s ruff to pick just one Chow Chow color, but no matter which of the standard ones you choose, you won’t make a mistake.
The most important thing is that Chows are wonderful guard dogs, sweet family members, and friends that will stay loyal to you furever!