Who’s Your Double Merle Daddy?

Nothing says “Happy Father’s Day” like advertising the stud services of a double merle Collie who can produce an all-merle brood [the breeder removed this page. Here is a cache] of show prospect puppies, right?

Meet Wyndlair Avalanche, a “double dilute” homozygous merle Collie who was purposefully bred to create a sire who would always produce blue merle puppies.

Nothing to see here, folks. No really, the dog can't see shit.

Among Wyndlair Avalanche’s many show ring accomplishments, you’ll notice that none of them are his!  And why would the product of two show champions (Southland’s Beyond the Glory x Twin City Wyndlair Anthem) and the sire of more than a dozen champions himself not have a “Ch.” before his name?  His breeder has the #1 Collie in the USA right now (his son GCH CH Wyndlair Cherokee Vindication), it’s certainly not from lack of effort or resources.

Well, he can’t see to get around the ring because he’s blind due to the merle gene.

I would point out that Wyndlair Avalanche is producing some exquisite puppies.  I have had conversations with one of his co-breeders and, yes, he is blind but he gets around fine and romps with the other dogs and is enjoying life.

In a horrible bit of irony, one of the breeders who has used Avalanche quotes Helen Keller on her webpage, saying “All that we love deeply, becomes a part of us!”  I have to wonder what sort of sick people love a color on their dog so deeply that they are perfectly willing to create and use a diseased and dysfunctional sire just so they can boast:

An all blue merle litter is due mid-March!

Would a half blue merle litter be unacceptable? So unacceptable that they would support the breeding of a Sable Merle with a Blue Merle to produce a litter with 25% double dilute homozygous merles?  It was not a mistake or done out of ignorance.  This dog was created by people who know exactly what the risks are.

This exquisite homozygous blue merle is everything we hoped for from such beautiful parents. He is one of the most exquisite Collies ever bred at Wyndlair. Aiden possesses beautiful length, cleanness & lightness of head with a pretty profile, huge outline, strong rear & breathtaking presence.

From his birth, we knew Aiden was destined to be truly special. As his puppies have completed their championships in amazing style, our belief in him has been affirmed! Congratulations to his many kids on their smashing success in this country and beyond!

Notice how they conveniently leave out that he’s blind.

This lack of ethics in pursuit of aesthetics is what discredits the entire show community and makes all dog breeders susceptible to legal and moral attacks from the Animal Rights movement. It’s one thing to shave poodles into silly topiary, it’s fundamentally worse to intentionally inflict disease upon our dogs for the sake of producing a few more blue merle puppies each litter.

Aesthetic frivolity reveling in cruelty and genetic deformity is an historical mark of the end of empires, the last gasp of corrupt cultures. It is a sign that the pendulum has swung too far. The Spanish Habspburg monarchy immortalized their facial deformities and the collection of genetic oddities they surrounded themselves at court in oil paintings. Before their fall they presided over the first truly global empire, but paranoia and demands for purity of blood ended up in a collection of genetic disorders that not only corrupted the mind but the fertility of the line.

Collies are an iconic show dog, with equal or superior claims to being show royalty versus any other breed who would seek that title. But the tides have turned against the most obvious of the show ring freaks and it’s unlikely that breeding behavior like this will be looked on favorably by the layperson.  They’ve already been twisted way beyond anyone’s fond memories of Lassie or that old farm collie into angular and wedge faced beady eyed freaks.  Now, even today, even with the knowledge of what harm they are doing, we have the breeder of the Nation’s #1 Collie creating and reveling in their blind blue-merle maker.

This is a moral test and the AKC has failed.  Instead of shunning this dog, this breeder, and this behavior; they have bestowed their Breeder of Merit Award on the kennel who used him to produce their “all blue merle litter!”

update: Since one of the breeder’s in question removed their litter advertisement in response to this article, here is a snapshot:

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About Christopher

Christopher Landauer is a fifth generation Colorado native and second generation Border Collie enthusiast. Border Collies have been the Landauer family dogs since the 1960s and Christopher got his first one as a toddler. He began his own modest breeding program with the purchase of Dublin and Celeste in 2006 and currently shares his home with their children Mercury and Gemma as well. His interest in genetics began in AP Chemistry and AP Biology and was honed at Stanford University.