At the request of the Bull Terrier Breed Clubs, the Kennel Club has agreed that it will no longer accept the registration of any merle Bull Terrier puppies produced from matings which take place on or after 1st March 2011.
Coat colour in the Bull Terrier is complex because a range of colours is acceptable. Merle patterning, patches of lighter colour appearing in the coat, is the result of the M gene in the dog. There are two alleles of this gene: MM (merle) and M+ (non-merle), with merle (MM) being dominant to non-merle (M+). In some breeds, the effect of the merle allele (MM) is termed ‘dapple’.
Unfortunately, the effects of the merle allele (MM) are not confined to coat patterning and we know that there can be an increased risk of impaired hearing and sight associated with it, particularly in dogs that are homozygous for MM (dogs that carry two copies of the MM allele).
However, because the colour has not hitherto been encountered in the United Kingdom in Bull Terriers, and the fact that it is not a natural colour in the breed, the General Committee of the Kennel Club has agreed that with effect from 1st March 2011, it will not accept the registration of any merle Bull Terrier puppies produced from matings which take place on or after this date.
11 January 2011
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