Merle Goldendoodles: A Complete Guide

If you are into designer dog breeds, you must have definitely heard about Merle Goldendoodles.

Merle Goldendoodle is a designer dog with a gorgeous coat pattern. Its charming appearance, sweet personality, and delightful traits make it a popular dog amongst several American households. Merle Goldendoodle is one of the top choices for dog enthusiasts and a popular option with breeders. But is a Merle Goldendoodle the right dog for you? Come, let’s find out.

This article is all about Merle Goldendoodle as a breed, its care practices, lifespan, appearance, temperament, health, and more. The detailed overview of this designer breed will help you decide whether it is the right dog for you or not.

If you have come across the dog breed ‘Merle Goldendoodle recently, you need to check out the guide below:

Merle Goldendoodles

What Is a Merle Goldendoodle?

Merle Goldendoodle is a cross-breed between a purebred Golden Retriever and a purebred Standard Poodle. It is a regular Goldendoodle featuring a lighter base coat color with dark-colored patches.

This unique coat adds up to their beautiful appearance and popularity all across the west. If you leave alone the unique mottling in their lovely coats, Merle Goldendoodles are like other Goldendoodles with nothing major as a difference.

Are Merle Goldendoodles Rare?

Merle Goldendoodles, though, are notedly very rare dogs. They get this unique coat type due to the heterozygote of an incomplete dominant gene. This gene, though, isn’t prominent in Golden Retrievers but somewhere rarely in Poodles.

However, according to breed standards and well-known kennel clubs, merle coloring is a disqualifying trait amongst both Poodle and Golden.

According to some claims, a purebred Poodle can naturally carry the Merle genes, but there isn’t enough evidence supporting the claim. Whereas, if by any chance a Golden Retriever carries Merle Genes, it is undoubtedly a mixed breed. In addition, the Merle effect is also a result of meticulous breeding techniques used during breeding time.

A Merle Goldendoodle is extremely complicated to breed, and that is why these designer dogs are extremely rare.

Merle Goldendoodles

What makes a Merle Goldendoodle a ‘Merle’?

Merle is a coat/ color type of Goldendoodle and is one of the most popular amongst this cross-breed. For a Goldendoodle to achieve that Merle effect, a copy of the Merle Gene (M) is necessary. The dominance of Merle Gene (M) partially dilutes’ Goldendoodles’ coat color.

It basically dilutes ‘Eumelanin,’ a Black pigment that leads to black, brown, blue, and similar shades in a dog’s coat color.

For breeding a Merle Goldendoodle, one of the parent dogs should have Merle Gene (M). It can be either

  • A purebred Golden Retriever with a purebred Standard Poodle having Merle gene.
  • A regular Goldendoodle with a purebred Standard Poodle having Merle gene.
  • A regular Goldendoodle with a Goldendoodle having Merle gene.

For producing a Merle Goldendoodle, breeders carefully pair a Merle and a non-Merle dog. Breeding two copies of Merle Gene isn’t recommended since it can result in several health defects in the litter. It takes several genetic tests and a range of research to ensure that a double Merle breeding combination is safe.

Is Merle A Defect? How do Goldendoodles achieve the Merle effect?

There are several claims that might lead to this claim, but No, Merle is not a defect. Merle is an autosomal, incompletely dominant trait in dogs, a result of an incomplete dominant gene.

As long as they are bred right and given a fit lifestyle, Merle dogs can live happily and healthily as other regular dogs from the bred.

Merle Goldendoodle Classification and Breed Information

There are different types of Merle Goldendoodles, and one can classify them based on size, color, coat style, and more factors. Due to the diverse gene pool of the merle Goldendoodle, a dog enthusiast always has a range of options to choose from.

Merle Goldendoodle Size Description

Merle Goldendoodles come in four different sizes, just like any other Goldendoodle. Here is a quick description of the same:

Toy Merle Goldendoodle: The smallest Merle Goldendoodles who grow no more than 13 inches (height) and 25 pounds (weight). It is a mixed breed between a Goldendoodle and a purebred Toy Poodle, where one of the parent dogs has Merle Gene.

Miniature Merle Goldendoodle: This dog grows between 14 and 17 inches (height) and 26 to 35 pounds (weight). It is a mixed breed between a Goldendoodle and a purebred Miniature Poodle, where one of the parent dogs has Merle Gene.

Medium Merle Goldendoodle: This dog does grow between 18 to 20 inches (height) and 36 to 50 pounds (weight). It is a mixed breed between a Goldendoodle and a purebred medium to large Poodle, where one of the parent dogs has Merle Gene.

Standard Merle Goldendoodle: It is the largest Goldendoodle of all, that grows 21 to 23.6 inches (height) and 51 and 75 pounds (weight). It is a mixed breed between a Goldendoodle and a purebred Standard Poodle, where one of the parent dogs has Merle Gene.

Merle Goldendoodle Color Classification

Besides size, Merle Goldendoodles come in a variety of colors as well. Here are four different color classifications that define this beautiful cross-breed.

Blue Merle Goldendoodles: They have a Black coat which, due to the dominance of Merle genes, has a grey, black, and white marbled effect. They are popularly known for having Pink noses and Blue eyes as well.

Merle Phantom Goldendoodles: They are a beautiful combination of cream, light golden, red, brown, gray, and silver shades. Apart from having a colorful coat, they also have unique markings on the chest, legs, tails, and eyebrows.

Merle Parti Goldendoodles: They predominantly have cream, black, brown, red, and apricot patches.

Chocolate Merle Goldendoodle: They adorn a chocolate coat with a Merle pattern. Their coat features dark golden or brown patches. These dogs are also commonly known as Red Merle Goldendoodles.

Merle Goldendoodle Coat Feature Classification

A Merle Goldendoodles’ coat can have distinctive features, including:

Wavy and Curly Coat Merle Goldendoodle: They are slightly difficult to maintain and require the highest grooming requirements. The Curly coat type shed the least among the three. However, Wavy Coat Merle Goldendoodles shed slightly more.

Straight Coat Merle Goldendoodle: They are easy to maintain but shed heavily.

Are Merle Goldendoodle Hypoallergenic?

Merle Goldendoodles are Hypoallergenic, all thanks to their Poodle genes. The curly and wavy Merle Goldendoodles are non-shedding dogs, whereas the straight hair Merle Goldendoodles shed a lot. The latter isn’t suitable for people with allergies.

Merle Goldendoodle and their Different Generations

F1 Merle Goldendoodle or First Generation Merle Goldendoodle is a cross-breed between a purebred Golden Retriever and a Merle Poodle.

F1b Merle Goldendoodle or the double backcross Merle Goldendoodles. They are a cross-breed between two F1 Goldendoodles, of which one has Merle Gene.

F2b Merle Goldendoodle or second-generation backcross. These dogs are a cross-breed between a Poodle/ an F1 Goldendoodle and an F1b Goldendoodle, of which one has Merle Gene.

Multigenerational Merle Goldendoodle. They are a cross-breed between two F2b Merle Goldendoodles and can carry any ratio of parentage.

Merle Goldendoodle Behavior and Temperament

Merle Goldendoodles are loving, friendly, and playful dogs. They have a calm and easy-going temperament and are always well-behaved. Merle Goldendoodles love getting along with both humans and other pets. They are an ideal addition to large families and multi-pet households. In fact, they don’t even get separation anxiety easily and can also make it in nuclear families and apartment lifestyles.

Merle Goldendoodle Exercise and Training

Merle Goldendoodles are playful and energetic dogs who need plenty of exercises daily. Take them on a long walk, enjoy a running session or play a game of fetch with them.

The basics of training are definitely mandatory with them, but a strict training session isn’t necessary. The best part is Merle Goldendoodles are easy to train and don’t require a professional dog trainer for the most part.

Merle Goldendoodle Dietary Needs

A dry kibble diet is perfectly fine for a Merle Goldendoodle.

Though with homecooked meals, a protein, fiber, and carb-rich diet with fewer fats are recommended.

Merle Goldendoodle Health Issues

Merle Goldendoodle is a pretty healthy breed with a long lifespan of 10 to 15 years. However, a few health problems that often hit this breed include:

  • Bloating/ Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus or GDV
  • Congenital disabilities, including deafness
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Color dilution alopecia
  • Partial or complete Blindness

Merle Goldendoodle Price

Buying estimate for a Merle Goldendoodle can range anywhere from $2000 to $3500.

What is a Phantom merle Goldendoodle?

A phantom Goldendoodle has a pigmentation pattern consisting of two colors in specific locations. For example, the coat may be primarily one color with markings of another color on the eyebrows, muzzle, chest, lower legs, and sometimes inside the ears or under the tail.

How do you get blue merle Goldendoodle?

One way to make a Blue Merle is to have one merle parent and either a poodle or a Goldendoodle. You’ll see this lovely effect in Goldendoodles that have a border collie or an Australian shepherd as the other parent.

Labradoodle Merle- What about them?

Just like Merle Goldendoodle, Labradoodle Merle is another breed with beautiful coat color. Merle isn’t actually the shade but the pattern of color which make these Labradoodles attractive.

Apart from their unique coat, Labradoodle Merle is also blessed with noticeable Blue eyes that add to their attractiveness. For a designer dog breed lover, Labradoodle Merle is one of the most popular picks.

Wrapping up…

Merle Goldendoodles’ excellent coat style and loving behavior make them one of the best dogs to own. They aren’t just attractive but even one of the easiest dogs to have at home. Whether you are a family of two or a large household, Merle Goldendoodles will make a great addition to your tribe.