Ranges from golden
to mahogany and is the most common color. If you are
confused as to whether you have a mahogany sable or
a tricolor, part your dog's hair. If you see brown
under the black, you have a mahogany sable. If you
see only black or gray, you have a tricolor.
black body coat with tan and white markings. Tricolor
is sometimes confused with mahogany sable, see "sable" above.
from powder blue to gun-metal gray, with varying
amounts of black, white and tan markings. Genetically,
a blue merle is a tricolor with a dilute gene (the
merle gene) applied over the base coat of black.
In effect, where the dilute gene touches the black,
it dilutes to a shade of gray.
black coated dog, but without the tan markings.
the same as a blue merle, but without the tan markings.
A sable dog with the
dilute merle gene applied over it. Sable merle is considered
by some to be a controversial color as it is not directly
addressed by the AKC Standard for Shetland Sheepdogs.
There are no health issues associated with the sable
merle, just as there are none with the blue merle.
Only in double strength (double-dilute) does the merle
gene cause any problems.