Red Merle Australian Shepherd

purebred Australian Shepherd dog will inherit one of two base coat color genes, namely black or red, and either of the two pattern genes, namely solid (self-color) or merle pattern.

The Red Merle Australian Shepherd, contrarily, has a red base coat with a merle pattern. Red Merle Australian Shepherds, or Red Merle Aussies, have a gene pool consisting of mutated MC1R genes, which produce an inordinate level of Pheomelanin (reddish yellow) pigments, and the merle gene, which gives them the signature spotted merle coat.

Apart from their appearance, there is really no difference between a Red Merle Australian Shepherd and a typical Australian Shepherd. Both are excellent and loyal companion dogs that will protect your home and work hard to please you. These dogs work well for workaholics, aspiring athletes, or outgoing people, and they thrive in challenges and competition.

What Do I Need To Know About Red Merle Australian Shepherd?

Before getting a Red Merle Australian Shepherd, you need to understand their grooming needs, dog breeding, and possible genetic links to health and temperament. You also need to tell the coat color pattern difference from other coat colors and patterns, especially if you are new to the breed.

How Do You Get A Red Merle Aussie?

For a breeder to get a Red Merle Aussie, both parents must have the red coat gene. However, that doesn’t mean that both parents need to have red coats themselves; they only need to carry the gene. Some experienced breeders won’t mate two merle dogs together because there is a possibility the puppies could be too white, and dogs without pigment have a risk of vision and hearing problems.

How Big Do Red Merle Aussies Get?

Red Merle Australian Shepherds can get to a weight of between 35 to 70 lbs and 18 to 23 inches tall. Ideally, male Aussies tend to be taller and heavier, while females are on the smaller end.

Physical Appearance

The Red Merle Aussies have a deep chest, arched and moderate neck and their tail should be straight docked or naturally bobbed. Moreover, their head is in proportion to the size of their body, with a flat to a slightly domed skull, almond eyes, and triangular ears.

Image from Instagram:@ataleoftwoausssies

What Color Eyes Do Red Merle Aussies Have?

Red Merle Aussies may come with solid-colored eyes or sometimes flecks of different colors. For solid-colored eyes, they may have either two solid blue eyes or two solid brown eyes, while the ones with flecks either have two solid blue eyes with marbled brown or brown eyes with flecks of blue. They can have different colors or patterns in each eye.

Do All Red Merle Aussies Have Blue Eyes?

No, Red Merle Aussies may have solid-colored eyes but will mostly have their eyes flecked with other colors besides blue. This means that a Red Merle Aussie can have blue eyes marbled or flecked with brown, or vice versa, and it can sometimes have a completely blue eye and a brown eye.

How Long Do Red Merle Australian Shepherds Live?

The Red Merle Australian Shepherds have a lifespan of between 12 to 15 years. However, some health problems can make them live for a shorter period.

Are Red Merle Aussies Healthy?

Generally, Aussies are a healthy breed, but that doesn’t mean that they’re immune to genetic diseases and health problems. For example, vision problems and epilepsy are common. Below are other health problems you should watch out for.

Common Health Issues

Aussies are prone to a few health problems that include;

  • Deafness
  • Skin sensitivities
  • Vision problems, where there is abnormal eye development or missing one or both eyes
  • Joint problems, like hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Cataracts
  • Obesity

This is why you want to ensure the dog passes the specific health exams before getting one. Examples of such tests include hip and elbow evaluation as well as ophthalmologist evaluation.

Always ensure proper health screening is performed on the new dog and if you’re getting it from a breeder, ask for health screenings of the dog, as well.

Image from Instagram:@ginger.theaussiegirl

How To Take Care Of Your Red Merle Aussies?


Aussies need exercise because they are high-energy dogs and won’t be content with sitting around all day. It is important to ensure they exercise at least 30 minutes daily. For example, you can take them for a one-hour walk, run, jump, herd, or play. This helps them remain happy and healthy.


When it comes to feeding the Red Merle Aussie, the merle coat doesn’t make them any different from any other Aussie. As a result, they tend to have big appetites where they need about 4 cups of food every day, depending on their activity level. They enjoy meat-based meals without fillers like corn and soy, and protein is a major ingredient.

However, finding quality meals for your dog can be a challenge. For this reason, we recommend Pet Plate for vet-developed meals that are freshly prepared, delicious, nutritious, free of by-products, and safe for the specific dog breed.


When it comes to finding the right multivitamins to supplement your dog’s diet, you need to consider plenty of things, including the dogs breed. While some people swear by glucosamine when it comes to a joint supplement, other powerful ingredients like turmeric (curcumin), MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), and chondroitin are also important.

Dental Water Additives

Although Dental water additives should not replace brushing, they are an easy way to prevent the buildup of bacteria and tartar formation in the dog’s mouth. It also helps prevent bad breath, gum disease and protects their gums and teeth.

Do Red Merle Aussies Get Jealous? Temperaments Of Red Merle Australian Shepherds

The Red Merle Aussies have an athletic and versatile temperament since they are super smart and loyal to their owners. They love to be a part of you and your family; however, they can be a bit nervous when it comes to strangers until they get to know them well.

However, most Red Merle Australian Shepherds can be tempted to become jealous of their family or people who are closely related to them. This is because they have sentimental issues and are very touchy. Some signs of jealousy include anorexia, nervousness, rejection, fretting, etc.

On the other hand, their loyal nature can also be a bad thing. This is because if you leave them behind for a long time, they can easily suffer separation anxiety since they want to always be by your side.

Do Red Merle Australian Shepherds Like To Cuddle?

Since Red Merle Australian Shepherds are very strong-willed, they like to cuddle and be affectionate with their family. However, they can only cuddle when they want to, so you shouldn’t be surprised if they refuse to cuddle at a specific time.

Image from Instagram:@theaussiegeppetto

Do Red Merle Australian Shepherds Like To Be Held?

Red Merle Aussies can be quite clingy since they crave human love and companionship as well as inclusion in everything you do. For this reason, they will want to be held to feel the love and join in everything you do to feel they are not alone. However, if the dog is held inappropriately, it can easily become aggressive or sometimes cause injury to the human.

Do Red Merle Australian Shepherds Bark A Lot?

Generally, Australian shepherds are a noisy breed, and they will bark at other animals, strangers, or noises. However, they are not incessant barkers unless they are left home alone or are isolated from the family. It can be a bit challenging to stop him from barking unless you use a ‘speak’ command.

Do Red Merle Australian Shepherd Shed? Grooming Tips For Red Merle Australian Shepherds

Red Merle Australian Shepherds shed but not too much. This breed sheds all year round but more during the spring and fall when they blow to lose their winter coat. So, if you’re looking for a dog that doesn’t shed at all, then this might not be the best option for you.

Brush Their Coats

As much as you won’t need to brush their coats daily, you will need to do so at least once a week. Frequent brushing using a deshedding brush like the FURminator Undercoat Tool helps to control shedding. Brushing their coats will help remove the shedding hair rather than them dropping all over your house.

Trim Their Nails

Trim their nails every few weeks to avoid injuries from painful tears. If you hear the clicking sound of their nails while walking, then it’s time to trim their nails.


The Red Merle dog should be bathed every 6 to 8 weeks using a dog-specific shampoo like the Pro Pet Works All Natural 5 In 1 Oatmeal Shampoo to clean out stains, leaving their coat looking healthy and tangle-free. However, be careful not to bathe the dog so many times because it can strip away the natural oils on its coat.

How Much Is A Red Merle Australian Shepherd? While most Aussies will have a price of anywhere from $600 to $3,000, you should expect to pay a bit more for a Red Merle Australian Shepherd. The price goes up since they are so rare to find or breed. However, the prices can vary depending on several factors, including the dog itself and the quality of the breeder.

What Is The Difference Between Red Merle And Blue Merle Aussies? Blue merle is simply a black dog with a merle pattern or black patches on gray, while a red merle is a liver dog with a merle pattern or simply red patches on beige. The merle gene is only to determine whether or not the specific dog is a merle.

Do Red Merle Aussies Swim? Most Red Merle Aussies love to swim. Since they enjoy vigorous exercises, swimming is an ideal activity to engage them. In addition, swimming can provide them with relief from the heat of the sun. Although most Aussies do like water, it is important to know that individual dogs have their likes and dislikes, and some may not like water. Therefore, while they are young, socialization and training are important to ensure they get used to swimming.

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Pete Decker