Merle Poodles: Interesting Facts You Need to Be Aware of

The Merle Poodle is a unique and distinctive breed of dog that is highly sought after for its striking and eye-catching coat pattern. Merle refers to a marbled or speckled fur pattern, often with a distinct design of darker and lighter shades. 

This pattern is found in many dog breeds but is particularly stunning in Poodles. Poodles are already famous due to their intelligence, affectionate personality, and hypoallergenic coat, and the addition of the merle pattern makes them even more desirable. 

In this article, we will explore the history, characteristics, and care requirements of the Merle Poodle and why this breed has become increasingly popular among dog lovers.

What is a Merle Poodle?

The Merle Poodle, known for its unique coat patterns, carries the rare Merle gene.

While admired for its beauty, it’s not recognized by major kennel clubs like the UKC and AKC due to concerns over congenital health issues and ethical breeding practices.

Interesting facts about Merle Poodles

An introduction about merle Poo

1. Ghostly poodles with hidden Merle genetics

Merle poodles, often vibrant, can sometimes appear plain, known as cryptic merles. Though they lack the distinct coat, they carry the merle gene, making breeding considerations crucial due to its hidden genetics.

2. This breed not products of natural breeding. 

Merle poodles aren’t naturally occurring. They result from crossbreeding with a merle gene carrier from another breed. Despite poodle traits and DNA tests, they aren’t purebred due to ancestral gene introduction. To get a merle poodle, a standard poodle must mate with a merle parent.

3. AKC doesn’t recognize

Merle isn’t a natural poodle trait. The AKC sees merle poodles as non-standard, disqualifying them from competitions. Keep this in mind if you plan to showcase your puppy.

4. Double merles

Double merles often show distinct markings or are entirely white but can’t be phantom. They’re at a higher risk of congenital issues, including missing or misshapen ears and eyes, and severe disabilities like blindness or deafness.

5. Merle dogs are prone to health aproblems 

Merle dogs, especially double merles, face numerous health challenges, from sight and hearing issues to bone and heart problems.

Merle poodles inherit both poodle-specific and merle gene-related health risks.

Despite being a non-natural trait and not recognized by the AKC, making them less profitable, merle poodles remain distinct and notable.

6. They are very expensive

Merle Poodles are costly, often three times the price of non-merle ones, averaging around $5,000.

Prices can soar based on color, size, or pedigree, with some breeders charging up to $15,000, equivalent to a car or house down payment.

While they’re sought after for their rarity, they’re an investment for a select few.

Do Merle Poodles change their colors when they grow older?

Yes and no. Merle Poodles might show more grey hair with age, but their distinct coat pattern stays consistent.

Unlike non-Merle Poodles that can have color shifts as they mature, a Merle Poodle’s markings remain unchanged throughout their life.

What Does Merle Poodle Look Like?

Physical appearance of Merle Poo

Merle Poodles, while resembling typical Poodles, have distinct features.

  • Their eyes can be a captivating blue or a mix of colors, sometimes even partially blue.
  • Additionally, their noses might display unique blue or pink shades due to reduced pigmentation.

These subtle differences make them stand out and add to their allure.

Size, height, and weight 

These pups come in not one, not two, but three conventional sizes: standard, miniature, and toy.

But wait, there’s more! For those who can’t get enough of these adorable puppies, there’s the Merle teacup Poodle, which includes the extra-small and oh-so-cute pups begging for cuddles.

Size GroupHeight RangeWeight Range
Standard15-24 inches40-70 pounds
Mini10-15 inches10-20 pounds
Toy9-11 inches6-9 pounds
TeacupBelow 9 inchesUnder 6 pounds
A brief overview of Poo’s size

Temperament and Personality

Merle Poodles are known for being friendly, outgoing, and intelligent, with a high capacity for learning and training.

Like other Poodles, they thrive on human companionship and socialization, and they make excellent family pets due to their gentle and loving nature. However, these dogs can be sensitive to being left alone for extended periods, so providing them with enough attention and interaction is essential.

Another characteristic is their talkativeness. These dogs can be pretty vocal and love to communicate with their humans using a range of barks, whines, and other vocalizations. So if you’re looking for a chatty companion, they might be your dog!

Are Merle Poodles a good fit for families?

Merle Poodles are a fantastic addition to any family. These pups adore their family and make excellent companions for children. They are versatile and can adjust to living in various environments, even in smaller homes or apartments.

Nevertheless, they may have vision or hearing problems that require special attention, so they may not be ideal for households with very young children. Merle Poodles’ love for people and adaptability make them an excellent choice for families looking for a loyal and affectionate pet.


Is Poodle easy to train?

When it comes training, the process is similar to training any other dog. These furry friends are intelligent, cooperative, and thus reasonably easy to prepare, mainly when you use positive reinforcement techniques and start early.

However, Merle Poodles with hearing or vision disabilities require a different training method. You must be more patient and consistent with them, using hand signals or verbal cues instead of relying on unnoticed commands. With these unique needs, it’s essential to have a thorough understanding of dog’s unique traits and behaviors.

Exercise Requirements

Merle Poodles are active and playful pups but don’t need much exercise to stay healthy. These puppies can quickly get by with moderate physical activity and are happy just romping around the house. 

However, if you have a dog with vision or hearing problems, you must adjust your exercise routine accordingly. Make sure to choose safe and engaging activities for them so that they can enjoy their playtime to the fullest!

Grooming and Cleaning

To keep your Merle Poodle’s coat healthy and shiny, brush it daily, especially during the shedding season.

If you plan on entering your dog in beauty shows, then frequent bathing is necessary. However, it would help if you only bathed when they get dirty or develop an unpleasant odor for everyday use.

It’s essential to use dog-friendly shampoos when bathing. Human shampoos can be harsh and strip the natural oil and moisture from your dog’s skin and coat, leading to dryness and irritation. On the other hand, doggy shampoos provide a gentle cleanse without damaging your pup’s skin and coat.

Are Merle Poodles Hypoallergenic?

Yes, Merle Poodles are hypoallergenic. Their curly hair traps loose fur, reducing airborne allergens, and they produce less dander than many other breeds, making them suitable for those with allergies.

Food and Diet

Merle Poodles are in dire need of a balanced and nutritious diet, just like all canines. Their daily diet requires a significant amount of protein, carbohydrates, and micronutrients to keep them healthy.

It’s essential to keep your dog away from table scraps and human snacks, as these can lead to obesity in these pups. So, monitoring their food intake is critical, and ensuring you give them the correct portions to keep them in shape.

Common Health Issues

Like any other living creature, these pups are prone to health problems. But wait, there’s more! The Merle gene can also contribute to their overall health, increasing their chances of developing congenital diseases. And if you have a double Merle , buckle up because the odds are even worse!

You might wonder, “What are these health risks associated?” Well, my dear friend, here’s a list for you:

Is Merle Poodle healthy?

1. Congenital blindness and deafness

Did you know that Merle dogs, especially those with a double Merle gene, have a high risk of developing congenital blindness and deafness? It’s true! These poor pups may even be born with missing or malformed eyes or ears. It’s sad, but they can still lead happy and fulfilling lives with proper care!

2.MDR1 mutation

Merle Poos are highly sensitive to Ivermectin, which can be found in many animal deworming medications. This is due to a mutation called MDR1, which can cause serious harm to your furry friend if they ingest even small amounts of the substance. So, keep your dog away from anything containing Ivermectin, including animal feces. It’s not a disease but rather a sensitivity that you should take seriously.

3. Addison’s disease

Addison’s disease, a hormonal disorder, can be a real pain in the neck. This condition is caused by the underproduction of cortisol by the adrenal gland.

If your puppy has Addison’s disease, it may experience symptoms such as weakness, dehydration, changes in appetite, and fluctuations in body weight. 

4. Progressive Retinal Atrophy 

PRA is a genetic disease that causes blindness in dogs. The condition starts with night blindness and gradually progresses to complete loss of sight.

This happens because PRA affects the cells in the retina that are responsible for detecting light. Merle Poodles have a higher risk of developing PRA because of their lack of melanin protection in their eyes.

5. Bloat

Bloat is an acute condition that is characterized by a sudden and life-threatening swelling of the abdomen. This happens when gas accumulates in the stomach or intestines, causing them to expand. In severe cases, the stomach may twist, leading to a condition known as gastric torsion.

This can cut off the blood supply to the stomach and other organs, leading to tissue death and potentially fatal complications. Bloat can occur in Merle Poodles and is a medical emergency that requires immediate veterinary attention.

6. Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is a condition that happens when your dog’s thyroid gland produces an excessive amount of thyroid hormone. This can cause various issues, such as weight loss, rapid heartbeat, panting, loss of appetite, and many other health problems. So, monitoring your puppy’s thyroid gland’s function is critical for their overall well-being.

How Long Does Merle Poodle Live?

Merle Poodle’s lifespan can be considered a variable range between 10 and 18 years. 

The duration of their lives can depend on various factors such as their overall genetic health, any underlying congenital issues, and potential hearing or eyesight problems.

How Much is The Price of Merle Poodle?

The price for a Merle Poodle can be pretty exorbitant, typically ranging from $3,000 to $6,000. This is significantly more expensive than regular Poodles. 

However, this high cost can incentivize some breeders to engage in unethical breeding practices, such as inbreeding or overbreeding, to produce more Merle-colored pups for profit. It is essential to do research and buy from reputable breeders to ensure the health and well-being.

Is Merle Poodle Right For Me?

A Merle Poodle might catch your eye if you’re considering getting a dog. These dogs are a sight to behold, but there might be better choices for some.

Before buying, you must ask yourself if you can afford the high price tag. While these dogs are undeniably beautiful, they come with a high price that many people might be unable to justify.

Even if you can afford the cost of a Merle Poodle, you should be aware of the potential health issues that come with the breed. They are more prone to certain health conditions than other breeds, which can be a significant financial burden for their owners.

Ultimately, whether or not a Merle Poodle is right for you depends on your preferences and circumstances. If you decide this breed is for you, research and find a reputable breeder who can provide you with a healthy, happy pup.

List of dogs that are similar to Merle Poodle

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can a blue Merle Poodle have blue eyes?

Yes, a blue Merle Poodle can have blue eyes. They can exhibit various blue shades, and some may even have heterochromatic eyes, where each eye is a distinct color, adding to their unique appeal.

2. Are Merle Poodles purebred? 

No, Merle Poodles are not purebred. They are believed to result from a cross between Poodles and Australian Shepherds, making them hybrid canines.

3. Are Merle Poodles get along with other pets?

Yes, Merle Poodles generally get along with other pets, especially with early socialization. However, they should be monitored around larger or unknown dogs, and their chatty behavior might not sit well with some canines.

4. Are Merle Poodles rare?

Yes, Merle Poodles are rare. They’re less common than most poodle colors, with only the apricot being rarer. The merle gene isn’t naturally occurring in poodles, making them harder to breed.


In conclusion, the Merle Poodle is a unique and stunning dog breed that has captured many dog lovers’ hearts. Their distinctive and eye-catching coat pattern, intelligence, affectionate personality, and hypoallergenic coat make them ideal pets for many households. 

However, it’s important to note that the merle pattern can also be associated with specific health concerns, and as with any breed, responsible breeding and careful attention to their health and well-being is crucial. Nevertheless, the Merle Poodle is an excellent addition to any family looking for a loving, loyal, and beautiful companion.

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