Red Merle Australian Shepherd
Australian shepherds or Aussies are well known for their loyalty, hard work, and intelligence. They use these traits and vitality to help guard and herd animals on big farms. Australian Shepherds are medium-sized dogs weighing between 35-70 pounds with a life span of 12-15 years. Aussies are becoming a popular breed since, apart from their great character traits, these dogs have unique characteristics, making them adorable. There are four color traits: black, red, blue merle, and red merle. If you are new to this breed, the colors might be misleading. You might picture a Red Merle Australian Shepherd as being the color of red pepper or a fire engine. However, Red Merle Australian Shepherd colors can range from very light cinnamon to strawberry red shade. Some Red Merle’s colors are red-brown, brown-black, copper-shaded, and sienna. So, let’s learn a few more exciting things about Red Merle Aussies.
Here are 10 interesting facts about Red Merle Australian Shepherds
1. They are stunningly gorgeous with many possible variations
The word merle is not a color but rather a pattern. So, a red merle indicates the dog has varied red color patterns. Red Merle Aussies have varied markings on their fur, making them bi-color or tricolor. These different color patterns on their chest, belly, back, legs, and tails make the red merle a strikingly beautiful dog. The merle color pattern varies from puppy to puppy, even from the same litter. Every Red Merle Shepherd’s marbled appearance is unique. From champagne and strawberry blonde to shades of reddish brown, Red Merle Aussies have distinct patterns like white colored fur on the chest and belly and copper patched faces or legs. However, their beautiful coats are long and wavy, thus needing constant grooming. Despite the numerous color patterns, the three common variations are red merle and white, red merle tri-Aussie, and solid merle. The red merle and white pattern has two color variations; red merle and white colors. The tri-Aussies feature a red merle coat and red spots on a silver or orange-brown base. The solid merle looks strikingly similar to the other two but with red patches of different shapes and colors. It can be challenging for anyone to classify Aussies into these three variations.
2. Red Merle Shepherds are often hetero-chromatic
The dog’s merles genes often result in the furry pet having different colored eyes. Their striking eye colors range from blue, brown, marbled, or speckled. Red Mele Aussies have so many color pairings, such as:
- One solid blue and the other solid brown
- Brown speckled with blue
- Blue speckled with brown
- Both eyes with different blue and brown marble patterns
Regardless, there are Red Merles with both eyes colored similarly brown or pale blue. This amazing trait makes each Red Merle uniquely beautiful.
3. Despite being called Aussies, they aren’t native to Australia
Despite the name, Red Merle Australian Shepherds did not originate from Australia but rather the Western US. During the Gold Rush, these canine friends were bred in California in the 1840s. Some reports suggest the dogs originated from Basques in Spain. Back in the day, Aussies were used to herd cattle, sheep, and horses due to their protective nature and intelligence. They were selectively bred to herd livestock for farmers. A good number of ranch owners were Australian herders who loved having these dogs to help herd, fetch, carry, and load horses into trailers. To date, Aussies have maintained their versatility, intelligence, and hard work and still help out most herders in their work.
4. The dogs need daily 30-60 Minutes of exercise
Red Merle Shepherds are bursting with energy and excitement, and their hyperactive nature means the need to work or play. They are known for their tireless nature, thus making them excel at herding livestock. However, you may have this tail-wagging friend not for its herding ability but companionship. Aussies, if idle for a long time, tend to be destructive. In this case, have daily exercise routines such as walks, games of fetch, or obedience and tricks training. The dogs are very playful and active and can easily wear out their owner. An hour of daily exercise should be enough for the Red Merle. Also, you can keep your dog occupied with puzzle toys like Buster Cubes.
5. Red Merle’s have a big appetite
Like most dogs, Aussies have extreme appetites and can easily overeat if you’re not careful with their diet. Ideally, an adult Australian Shepherd should weigh 40-45 pounds. However, overfeeding them will result in unhealthy and overweight dogs. A nutritious and high-quality dog diet between 1 ½ – 2 cups daily divided into two meals will ensure your canine friends stays healthy and happy.
6. They excel in sports
Aussies are agile and trainable and thus excel in various dog sports. They are excellent competitors in frisbee, flyball, tracking, and obedience sports. Red Merles enjoy swimming, running, and retrieving and have fun when in competitions. This canine buddy has incredible stamina and is active for long periods.
7. Australian Shepherds are loyal companions
Aussies enjoy company and love to stay close to their owners. When you have this canine friend, it will be your shadow, following you almost everywhere you go. So, if you are the Red Merle’s favorite person, it will follow you to the washroom. The dogs love to be part of the family and be engaged in most activities. Australian Shepherds can protect their owners and be aggressive to strangers. Trained dogs can make for excellent watchdogs. A Red Merle can be an excellent friend if you feed, groom, and play with it.
8. They are great with kids
Red Merle’s companionship makes for an exciting relationship with your kids. These dogs are affectionate with kids, especially if they were exposed when they were puppies. Being intelligent, Aussies can be trained to be soft with children and how not to bother or chase them. Also, train your kids how to interact with the furry pet gently. Regardless, always supervise your dog’s and kids’ interactions.
9. They have had many names
These dogs have been called Spanish Shepherds, California Shepherds, Bob-tails, Blue Heelers, and Pastor Dogs.
10. Red Merle Costs
The Aussie Shepard prices vary depending on the age, pedigree, and dog’s health, among other factors. A Red Merle Australian Shepherd puppy costs between $800 and $3,000. The average cost is on the lower end at $1,300.
The Bottom Line
Red Merle Aussies are stunningly beautiful canine companions that make for great pets. They are intelligent, loyal, hardworking, and excel in sports. However, their hyperactive nature can make them misbehave and be destructive if you don’t exercise them.