Introducing Our New Merle Stud

Welcome Master! Our new Merle Stud!

In 2016, we were fortunate enough to adopt our first ever Merle! His name is Master and he was the father to our first litter of chocolate and black merles!

His puppies were pure ASD Australian Labradoodles and absolutely beautiful! Since then, we have been recognised as Australian Cobberdog breeders by the MDBA. Therefore, allĀ our Merle puppies are now certified as Cobberdogs not Labradoodles.

If you’d like to know the difference between the two, check out our blog post on the four types of Labradoodles. If you’d like more info on the other colours our pups come in, see our colours page.

What does Merle mean?

It might sound misleading, but merle isn’t actually a colour. It’s a colouring trait in a dog’s genetics. It means that the colour is missing from a part of their coat. This is what causes the beautiful and rare effect. Since it’s a mutation in a dog’s genes, no merle pup will ever be the same. Each dog’s coat is completely unique to them. We explain it in more detail on our colours page and in our free handout.

What are the dangers?

The most prominent risk when breeding merles is health. It’s vital breeders NEVER have a litter from two merle parents. It would cause severe health problems like blindness.

What do we do?

To ensure this never happens, we make sure only one parent carries the merle gene. We also don’t retain any solid colour pups from a merle litter. This ensures we never combine future lines with another merle in error.

How it’s going?

We imported our first merle back in 2016 and have not looked back since! They’re gorgeous! Check out our gallery to see more of our merle pups!

Myths about Merle puppies

“They all have health problems.”

This is a belief held by many people, and it’s simply untrue. The only time a pup’s health is affected by the merle gene is when both parents are merle or have merle ancestors. If a dog is homogenous for the merle gene, it’s called a ‘double merle’. Any dog that is a double merle will most definitely have a health problem. No responsible breeder will produce a double merle.

Check out our colours page for more details about the merle gene. Or, if you’re interested in the 36 DNA tests we do to minimise health problems, see our health screening page.

“It’s unethical.”

The merle gene, when produced correctly, doesn’t affect the dog’s health. It only alters eye, coat, nose and paw pad colours. You might find a merle dog with blue, dark or even odd-coloured eyes, with a mottled nose or paw. Their coat is usually chocolate or black with white patches/specks depending on the individual.


“Is there a difference between merle and solid colour puppies?”

Apart from appearance and price, no.

People choose a merle because they like this colouring. There is no difference in temperament or size, so it’s entirely down to personal preference.

The deciding factor, however, for most families, is the price. We only have a few merle pups every year as the mutation that causes it is random. We can never predict how many merles will be in a litter of puppies if any. Since they are so unique, they do cost more than a solid colour pup.

“How do I know a puppy’s parents are not both merles?”

This can be tricky. We recommend asking about the parents and their ancestry. If a breeder does not know or won’t tell you if they are descendants from a merle, it’s a red flag.

Breeding merles requires a lot of knowledge about genetics and a thorough record of each parents’ lines. It’s the only way to ensure you don’t have a double merle litter.

Remember: A solid colour dog can still carry the merle mutation, even if it’s not apparent by their coat. Don’t rely solely on the parents’ appearance.