WORLD BANS MERLE CHIHUAHUAS
by Lesley Harger and Staff, March 2009
World votes thumbs-down on AKC Chihuahua bloodlines after Chihuahua Club Of America members failed to even DQ merle color for the show ring whereas many international registries forbid it genetically.
You may not have Chihuahuas but if you have AKC dogs, you should be aware of the genetic (and political) ramifications of this historical debacle. The story behind the story is that many Chihuahua breeders say AKC Director interference with ballot resulted in chaos and loss of export opportunity. Complete background links below.
Effective March 2009, The Kennel Club (England) General Committee banned
registration of progeny produced by a merle colored Chihuahua. Taking
the ban a step further than disallowing merles to compete, TKC seeks to
eliminate the merle gene from the Chihuahua breed by essentially,
forbidding the breeding of any Chihuahua of that color.
No puppies will be Kennel Club registered from a mating of merle sire or
dam. If European and Australian breeders are careful not to use American
bloodlines, it is hoped the merle gene can eventually be eradicated from
the Chihuahua, thus removing certain health problems associated with the
Merle has been popularized as a rare “Designer” color by Chihuahua breeders accused of being more concerned with sales than health and type. Some breeders actually doubled-up on the color, breeding two merles together to strengthen the merle color. This practice began to prove disastrous, producing Chihuahuas with health defects such as blindness, deafness, or gruesome deformities as described in this article on merle color genetics by Gloria Lambert.
“I am sending this
newspaper article as requested by a dear friend and well known International judge and top UK breeder Bob Brampton. AKC needs to see what's happening throughout the world with the breeding of the Merle gene into the Chihuahua gene pool. I also personally attended the World Dog Show Chihuahua Conference in Stockholm, Sweden in July 2008, where everyone who attended was very much concerned about the future health and welfare of the Chihuahua breed. Europe is working diligently to shore up its gene pool against the Merle gene, and the UK is leading the way with Australia to ban the registration and breeding of Merle Chihuahuas.
“I only wish that the USA would have followed suit as exporting
Chihuahuas to other countries will now have far greater consequences to
those on the receiving end. And to add the nail in the coffin for
many American breeding programs, Genmark has halted testing for the Merle gene due to
inaccuracies in test results. This can only lead to less and less
exportations of American bred AKC Chihuahuas to other countries. Merle
can lay hidden in what is known as the “phantom merle”, so many of the
UK and European breeders have seriously discussed not importing any
American bred lines because it. AKC needs to take a deeper look at this,
because the fragile purebred American Chihuahua’s gene pool is in dire
jeopardy, now, more than ever before.”
Lesley Harger firstname.lastname@example.org