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Post by KMyers on Thu Dec 20 2018, 15:32

We recently lost our staffy, Infinity, and I have been looking for a new puppy to add to our family. I found an ad online for staffordshire bull terrier puppies for sale near me. When I contacted the seller, this is the picture he sent me. I have NEVER seen or heard of Merle staffys. He claims their full blooded....does anyone have any insight in this? Do Merle staffys exist? Or is this a mix with something else?Merle staffys?!? 1c8f1910

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Post by Nifty staffy on Thu Dec 20 2018, 17:43

Hi & welcome to the forum  wave

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Post by Nifty staffy on Thu Dec 20 2018, 17:49

Hello and welcome.
What an unusual colour for staffies. You can have a look at this older thread here which will give you some explanation
http://staffy-bull-terrier.niceboard.com/t20226-merle-colour-patterning-in-the-staffordshire-bull-terrier

It is possible that they are fullblooded (as is my b&t) but they should never be bred from and are certainly not acceptable in the KC.

I would certainly want to see both parents (in the flesh) and it would seem that merles are particularly prone to some very heartbreaking disorders. If you find one that has a clean bill of health and you’re not wanting to breed, I’m sure it could be a great companion of an unusual colour.


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Post by gillybrent on Thu Dec 20 2018, 17:52

They are NOT full blooded. The merle gene can only have been introduced through an illegal outcross.

Merle was NEVER in the Stafford when it was conceived.

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Post by Nifty staffy on Sun Dec 23 2018, 12:26

It depends on what you mean by full blooded.

If it’s born from parents who have full SBT KC breed papers, it’s quite possible.
If it means tracing back to original dogs that created and founded the breed, probably not.

But in most breeds of domesticated animals, there have been outcrosses to “improve” the breed and to limit the inbreeding factor. In that that case, you will get throwbacks to this breeding including colours that weren’t originally in the breed.

I think I’d much rather have the odd outcross gene than chronic inbreeding, but that’s just my opinion.


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Post by gillybrent on Sun Dec 23 2018, 20:43

For the last 80 years there have been no authorised out crosses in the Stafford breed.

The merle gene was not present in the 1930s,so someone, somewhere along the line has introduced a metle dog(s) and lied about the mating. It's that simple.

Any merle Stafford therefore, has an unauthorised outcross & is not full blood Stafford.

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Post by Nifty staffy on Sun Dec 23 2018, 20:59

Ok, but then how can any merle have KC papers then (given that they stopped authorizing merles in 2010) ?

Maybe the UK KC rules to breeding are different to over here ...
KC papers are only given if both parents have KC papers AND that they have been “confirmed” (breed approved). Without confirmation, no dog is authorized to breed and any offspring cannot have KC papers, even if the parents are confirmed after birth of pups.


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Post by gillybrent on Tue Dec 25 2018, 08:31

The KC do not inspect puppies, they rely on breeder honesty. Merle pups nowadays are registered as blue or red & white.

Neither do they 'confirm' dogs before issuing papers.

I very much doubt that the KC have the physical resources to inspect every litter, or to instruct judges etc to inspect.

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Post by Nifty staffy on Tue Dec 25 2018, 15:45

gillybrent wrote:The KC do not inspect puppies, they rely on breeder honesty. Merle pups nowadays are registered as blue or red & white.

Neither do they 'confirm' dogs before issuing papers.

I very much doubt that the KC have the physical resources to inspect every litter, or to instruct judges etc to inspect.

Ah, ok. Now I understand your aversion to “pure bred” dogs not meeting breed standards Smile

Our system here requires breeding dogs to have both documents.
KC papers are issued to any pup born from KC registered and confirmed parents (both) with 4 generations of lineage specified.
It is the responsibility of anyone wanting to breed to get their KC papered dogs breed-confirmed (otherwise any progeny cannot be issued with KC papers). Confirmation takes place during canine expositions or during special confirmation sessions. You can present your staffy as from 12 months of age (some other breeds have other age criteria) and you must pay for the inspection.
The judge will check paperwork and then check your dog to breed specifications (teeth, height, coat colour, testicles if male, ears : rose or half pricked only, tail set, behaviour, etc). Only if the dog meets all breed requirements can the dog and their pedigree be confirmed and hence authorised to breed.

No dog that is not confirmed (not presented or refused during inspection) should breed, part bred staffies can also be subject to BSL here as potentially seen as pit bulls ...
I do think it is a good measure to try to maintain a minimum in terms of breed type.

That’s why my Nifty could never pass breed confirmation (even if I had wanted to present her) as she was born with a deformed tail. Probability of it being a genetic disorder ? Practically zero, but she doesn’t meet breed requirements, end of. She is pure SBT though, I have the papers to prove it and no problems with BSL here because of it. Opium Black is the same, unconfirmable but pure bred SBT too.
As to Opium Black being b&t, I have looked back 6 generations and none of the ancestors are b&t. I think the father is the carrier of the gene and maybe it did come about from unauthorized outcrosses somewhere along the lines. But if, according to our system, the parents have been approved then why shouldn’t she be a SBT ?
What is certainly true is that she isn’t authorized to produce any registered SBT puppies so future generations are protected.

Maybe the UK KC could consider putting a similar system into place. Would help to preserve some breed characteristics being bred to extremes.


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Post by gillybrent on Fri Dec 28 2018, 10:41

I think that would be an excellent idea. Unfortunately the UK KC is so stuck in the past that they are unlikely to take on such a radical change!

The B & T gene wasn't present when the breed was first conceived, neither was the merle patterning, so both are a result of an illegal outcross (or more) somewhere down the line.

Opium Black's parents must both carry the B & T gene, or she would be a carrier & not B & T.

If there's a recessive gene, it can take many generations for it to actually show in offspring - If one parent is B & T then there will almost certainly be B & T pups. However, if only one is a carrier, you won't see the patterning in the pups, they will just be either clear or carrier themselves. It's only if both parents are carriers that the colour pattern will show.

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Post by Nifty staffy on Fri Dec 28 2018, 12:13

It is a shame for the UK KC as the UK is generally light years ahead for alot of things.

The next step they are working towards here is to make the testing for the genetic diseases compulsory. Even if it is common sense, it’s another measure to protect the breed and the offspring from backyard breeding purely for profit.

Thanks for the information on the colour gene.
I suspected the father as the breeders have 2 females (totally unrelated) and both have given a b&t pup by the same father.
Curiously we see b&t pups here from time to time but never seen merle offered.


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Post by gillybrent on Fri Dec 28 2018, 22:52

The B&T gene will be present in both parents, or it wouldn't manifest in the pups.

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