Puppy Mills and Bad Breeding

Given that Midwest Australian Shepherd Rescue is based in the midwest area, we couldn’t help but include information on puppy mills.  

Not familiar with a puppy mill?  A puppy mill is any high-volume breeder that puts the profit over the welfare of these animals. Puppy mills are facilities that cut corners in veterinary care, quality of food, and genetic tests to save money; while also forcing dogs to live in high confinement situations with little-to-no human interaction. Dogs in puppy mills exist solely to produce puppies and are not treated like family pets.

The folks at www.bailingoutbenji.com have put together so much information on where these facilities are located, their inspection and fines from state agencies and the USDA, what pet stores receive puppies from these organizations and so much more, click on the link to explore information on this industry.  

Bad Breeding and Double Merles

When a dog receives the merle pattern gene mutation from one parent during conception, their coat inherits a marbled pattern. This pattern is desirable in a lot of breeds.  When two merle-patterned dogs are bred together, each puppy in the litter has a 25% chance of inheriting that gene from both parents. The resulting offspring is referred to as a double, or homozygous merle. 

Double merles often have a predominantly white coat. Just because a dog has a white coat, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a double merle, as there are other genetic combinations that can produce a white puppy. Due to the decreased pigment on the skin, double merles are at a high risk for hearing and sight impairments.  The merle gene can be found in the following breeds, although the merle gene is appearing in more and more breeds every day: 

  • Australian Shepherd
  • Beauceron
  • Border Collie
  • Cardigan Welsh Corgi
  • Catahoula Leopard Dog
  • Chihuahua
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Collie
  • Dachsund (called dapple)
  • Great Dane (called harlequin)
  • Miniature American Shepherds
  • Mudi
  • Old English Sheepdog
  • Pyrenean Shepherd
  • Shetland Sheepdog