mnp13 wrote:I have many historical Pit Bull books, and no photos of merle dogs come to mind. But I'm not going to argue with you.
And there is no "fallacy" of the dangers of merle breedings. Merle + Merle creates genetic problems that lead to deafness and blindness. No inbreeding necessary.
Please do not take this as an argument but a discussion. I am just a fan and historian of the breed and have studied it deeply through hundreds of pedigrees and historical documentation.
Stratton printed 1976 "This Is The American Pit Bull Terrier" p.50 a drawing dated 1962
Colby printed 1999 "Colby's Book Of The American Pit Bull Terrier" p.164
Fat Bills 2 eyes also was a Merle. I have read he was blind in one eye but I am not sure how true this was. He may have been blind or maybe people just thought he was blind based on the coloration of his Merle eye. I recently saw Fat Bill at a show in TN and would have loved to ask him if this was a reality or a myth. I was not discussing Merle with anyone at the time so I did not think to ask. A review of his pedigree however does show significant inbreeding so it would be hard to make an accurate determination if he was blind what the actual cause was.
The ADBA also recognizes the Merle as part of the Pit Bull history: "In talking to breeders and doing additional research
, it is apparent that this color pattern is not "new’ to the breed
. What is new to the breed is using the correct term merle to describe this color pattern. In 2001 at the urging of our fanciers, a list of ‘ACCEPTED TERMS TO DESCRIBE COLORS’ was adopted in an effort to enhance common understanding among fanciers of the breed. Up to this time these dogs with the merle color pattern were described as spotted, mottled, incorrectly as brindle , and in some incidences not addressed in the color description of the dog at all. In formulating the ‘ACCEPTED TERMS TO DESCRIBE COLORS’ within our breed, the ADBA sought out breeders and did a literature search of accepted canine references to come up with the terms that would be accepted to most accurately describe colors and color patterns. It was felt at that time, that the most accurate description of this color pattern is the term ‘merle’. In certain bloodlines we have verified merle dogs back four and five generations in the pedigree. " - http://www.adbadog.com/p_pdetails.asp?fspid=47
And yes you are correct Merle + Merle does have negative health effects potentially associated with it. Most Pit Bull Merle breeders however know this potential condition and stay away from it. Merle by itself though as in Merle to non-Merle there is no proven negative health implications. I have seen many examples of these. Not for sure if the Merle to Merle is true or not as I have not seen any proof of such a breeding in the Pit Bull community. I would love to hear what other breed owners where Merle is accepted who have bred Merle to Merle have to say as well as any proof they can provide. I do not discount the possibility on it. What is interesting however is that the same ADBA and UKC that deny the Merle for the Pit Bull breed and yet recognize its history within the breed openly register other breeds where the gene is known to exist. If they truly believe their argument on health why do they contradict their self with these other breeds and continue with their registration?
To use the health argument to justify the eliminating it from the breed however was propaganda. If they were serious about wanting to eliminate negative health impact they would also not register other breeds with the gene and would have also addressed inbreeding. To address inbreeding however and systematically un-register dogs as they did the Merle Pit Bull and its ancestry would have decimated their stud books and thus practically put themselves out of business. There are over 500 genetic illnesses that could be virtually eliminated simply by stopping inbreeding, yet very few registries or breeders are willing to honestly
deal with the inbreeding issue and recognize what science has proven.
Their whole attempt was specifically aimed at eliminating Merle however for no other true reason than they felt it was a fad. This same type of propaganda at one time also almost had the Old Family Red Nose depleted to extinction. Fortunately Dan McCoy, Bob Hemphill and Gaboon Trahan understood what was going on, acquired some of the last of the strain and brought it back. Now it is one of the most popular.