Merle Gene
The Merle Gene

The term Merle is used to describe the unique spotted markings on the
Pomeranian's coat.  The Merle gene is a diluting gene that effects the dark coat
colors normally seen in dogs.  This strong dominant gene combines with the solid
colors to create the Merle pattern or the multi-color patches all over the dog's
body.  For a dog to be a Merle, it must have a Merle parent.  Dogs with the Merle
gene may have blue eyes, one blue and one brown eye, or brown eyes.  Two
Merles must never be bred together as there is a 25% chance per puppy that it will
result in a defective homozygous Double-Merle.  This will result in the
Pomeranian's coat being diluted twice and is typically white or may have a few
white spots.  These puppies can have birth defects such as blindness, deafness
and/or defective or missing organs.  Merles should only be bred with non-Merle
mates of dark color.  Merles should not be bred with light color dogs as all of the
offspring will possess the Merle gene and the Merle markings might not be visible
on a lighter colored dog.