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#1
Old 08-26-2011, 05:43 PM
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Merle "Rat Terriers" are not Rat Terriers

Merle Rat Terriers are a hybrid breed. They are a cross of Chihuahua and Rat Terrier. Further more-- Chihuahua's are not even part of the Rat Terrier breed history. Chihuahua was not even attempted to be introduced into Rat Terriers until the late 1980's and yes, merle was most likely crossed in then.

NONE of the reputable registries even allow this color pattern. If your breed has a history of merle, then by all measns you should take a risk with the pattern, but if your breed does not, like Rat Terriers then this should be avoided. Merle has very well known health issues. Most thought if you stay away from breeding merle to merle it would be fine. In 2005 a documented study prooves this is not true. A puppy from 2 non-merle parents has a less chance of getting health issue related to this patter than a puppy with a single merle parent. NOT double merel SINGLE merle.

Breeders should always breed for the betterment of the breed. There is not 1 good reason for merle to be introduced, but there are a LOT of bad reason why we should not. And if this is not even suppose to be part of the breed.. Then WHY?

Even UKCI (Uninted Kennels Club International) says it is a disqualification yet they register them ?????

Here are a few link to back me up...>
The 2005 study proving single merle puppies having a greater health risk http://lsu.edu/deafness/ClarkPNASMerle.pdf
The in depth article about why merle is bad and why it is not part of a Rat Terrier.
http://photos.imageevent.com/kndkenn...erle/merle.doc

I welcome any talks on this topic. If you have proof that merle is totally safe and is part of a TRUE PUREBRED Rat Terrier.. I would love to read it.

I love this breed and I fight for it.. and many many many people want to sweep this documented study under the carpet. They wish it was a lie but it ain't going away.
#2
Old 08-26-2011, 05:54 PM
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Moderating

Moved to MPSIMS from Great Debates.
#3
Old 08-26-2011, 06:38 PM
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Obligatory link
#4
Old 08-26-2011, 07:03 PM
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Not sure where this came from, but I have nevber seen or heard of a merle Rattie. Don't think I've seen one that is anything but tri-color like my little Sammy.

Interesting.
#5
Old 08-26-2011, 07:24 PM
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Huh. I never knew merle was associated with health problems. I always thought it was just a pretty color variation.
#6
Old 08-26-2011, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darlaj View Post
Merle Rat Terriers are a hybrid breed.
On the one hand, all dogs are hybrids, but that was obvious.

On another hand, this particular mix is problematic. I don't know why coat color would be associated with health problems, but it happens in cats, too. Maybe if you homebrewed one without the inbreeding it might work better.

ETA: Nasty little mousers and ratters have a special place in my heart. Whether it's "Killkillkill!" or "Let's give this deadish one to Daddy."

Last edited by dropzone; 08-26-2011 at 09:24 PM.
#7
Old 08-27-2011, 10:48 PM
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Darlaj, what do you propose for dogs that are currently identified as Merle Rat Terriers? Have them recognized as a unique breed? Depending how far the gene has spread, there may be no other way to 'preserve' what you call the Rat Terrier.
#8
Old 08-27-2011, 11:16 PM
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This is just bizarre... Darlaj joined the board JUST to start this discussion, dropped her bombshell and walked away, never to return??

Come back, Darlaj... we want to learn more about merle Rat Terriers!
#9
Old 08-28-2011, 12:26 AM
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They are not recognized, which can be a good thing. Various organizations recognize crippled examples of breed as "correct." Up the block there's a German Shepherd that is crippled into the lowered-haunches standard and can barely walk, while there's another that can run and play all day. Which is the better example of breed?
#10
Old 08-28-2011, 12:41 AM
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My ex live in girl friend brought home a rat terrier/chihuahua mix one day. To say that I was unhappy about that would be a huge understatement. I never liked little dogs and I already had a chow chow living in the home. It had rat terrier coloration (white, black, brown) and a little chihuahua shaped head. It weighed maybe nine pounds. Most people took her for a Jack Russel puppy. I don't know about this merle shit. The breeder called it a rat-chi.

Like I said, I never much cared for yapper dogs but I eventually fell in love with little Piper. That dog had more personality per pound than any dog I have ever known. It was really smart too. The way she and my chow would carry on was hilarious. I miss that little pup.
#11
Old 08-28-2011, 01:52 AM
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The role of Yappers and Chows is intimate: The Yappers wake up the Chows. It's their job. And my Little Girls are little and cute but nothing like cuddly. Cuddly isn't their job. Their job is to wake up the Chows and Mom and Dad and maybe draw some blood despite their size.
#12
Old 08-28-2011, 11:00 AM
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After googling, I found Darla on facebook and it looks like the reason she is posting about this everywhere she can is that some pro-merle people were trying to prevent her from expressing her anti-merle views on a facebook discussion group for rat terrier breeders.

I do agree with the general idea that it is wrong to breed animals for a certain look at the expense of their health.
Mixed breed dogs are not technically "hybrids" (since chihuahuas and rat terriers are the same species) but it does bother me that so many people nowadays try to make mutts sound like they are new breeds instead of admitting they are mutts.
I have a cocker spaniel/poodle mix - some people call it a "cockapoo" and act like it's a real breed, but I am okay with admitting she is a mutt. I adopted her from a shelter fairly cheaply. I think it's crazy that some people pay much more than I did to adopt the same kind of mutt from a "breeder" who breeds poodle mix mutts.
Personally I actually prefer mutts in many cases because of the people who breed purebreds for the wrong things. Among the purebreds, I like sporting dogs and working dogs who are still bred for health and vigor rather than a certain look.
#13
Old 08-28-2011, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dropzone View Post
The role of Yappers and Chows is intimate: The Yappers wake up the Chows. It's their job. And my Little Girls are little and cute but nothing like cuddly. Cuddly isn't their job. Their job is to wake up the Chows and Mom and Dad and maybe draw some blood despite their size.
That's pretty much how things went around here. Chows don't give a shit about much of anything. Sure, they'll take the occasional treat from you if they can be bothered to get up and there are no strings attached. That little Yapper though, she'd catch and kill gophers that were nearly half her size.
#14
Old 08-28-2011, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darlaj View Post
Merle Rat Terriers are a hybrid breed. They are a cross of Chihuahua and Rat Terrier. Further more-- Chihuahua's are not even part of the Rat Terrier breed history. Chihuahua was not even attempted to be introduced into Rat Terriers until the late 1980's and yes, merle was most likely crossed in then.

<snip>

.
Being a dog geek and curious, I did a little googling because I've never seen a merle chihuahua - according to what I read, there seems to be disagreement about whether they do or not.
This site says no.
This says yes, but as you point out, it's undesireable and linked to health problems, including blindness and deafness.

Those are possibly not the most authoritative cites, just the result of a quick google on chihuahua merle gene.

Toy and designer/poo/cute/teacup/"rare" little dogs have become such a fashion accessory lately that it wouldn't surprise me that people are trying to cross-breed "rare merle rat terriers." What a shame. Rat terriers are wonderful, tough little dogs.

Double merle breedings are a terrible idea, from what I understand. In any breed.
#15
Old 08-29-2011, 08:55 AM
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Well, this is a known issue in pit bulls. The American Pit Bull Terrier can be any color except merle. There are no merle genes in the purebred lines, so they indicate outcrossing; but also, there are health problems associated with merle coloration.

Sometimes you will see pits mixed with Catahoula Leopard Dogs -- those can look merle; I'm not sure if they really are "merle" or if that's just similar-looking.
#16
Old 08-29-2011, 01:08 PM
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Ever wonder what you get when you cross a pug/rat terrier with a chihuahua?

Of course you do.
#17
Old 08-29-2011, 04:59 PM
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Probably, the confusion came from the many people who believe that Chihuahuas are really long-legged rats.
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