Taliesen Collies
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Michigan Rough Collie Breeder of AKC Rough Collies & Rough Collie Puppies
in Sable & White, Blue Merle, Sable Merle & Tri-color Coat Colors
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Collie Coat Color Inheritance
The Collie Concept by Bobbee Roos
Coat Color Descriptions
S = Sable 
Dominant over tricolor. Shadings may run from straw through red to dark mahogany.
PS = Pure Sable 
Usually a clear shade of straw of orange red with dark maskings or fringes. These individuals carry no tricolor gene and can
produce only sable color regardless PS of what color is combined with them. 

(Go to Parent/Progeny Chart - Charts I, II, III, X, XIV, XVI,XIX)
tS = Tri factored Sable   Sable Collies carrying the tricolor gene in conjunction with the dominant sable gene. Usually (but not always) a dark orange to a very dark mahogany in color with dark masking and fringes. 

(Go to Parent/Progeny Chart - Charts II, III, IV, V, IX)

tri = Tricolor 
Recessive to sable. Black Collies with white and tan markings on sides of muzzle, above the eyes, sides of cheeks, chest and inner margins of legs.

(Go to Parent/Progeny Chart - Charts II, ,IV VI, VII, XI, XII, XV, XVII)
M = Merle 
A dominant dilution gene which in combination with sable or tri genes produces merled collies.

BM = Blue Merle 
Bluish gray with black splotching, carrying sable markings in the same pattern as the tricolor. Color results from the interaction of the dominant dilution gene (M) with the tricolor gene (t).

(Go to Parent/Progeny Chart -Charts, VII, VIII, IX, X, XVIII)
SM = Sable Merle 
Sable spotted tri Collies. Color results from the interaction of the dominant dilution gene (M) on the sable color. At birth, all sable merles exhibit a bluish tinge on tail and muzzle which disappears in a few weeks.  Brownish merling on body or head may or may not remain at maturity, and thus these individuals, if they have dark eyes can be mistaken for a "normal" sable. However, many sable merles inherit blue or blue flecked eyes, a sure sign of a merle.
tSM= Tri factored Sable Merle
Usually a darker sable color than the PSM with dark brown merling which quite frequently is still visible at maturity. The tricolor gene is present in conjunction with the sable and merle gene.

(Go to Parent/Progeny Chart - Charts XIII, XIV)
PSM = Pure Sable Merle 
Usually a light or even "washed out" sable at birth with brown merling.  At maturity, quite often these Collies lose their merling and coat color becomes a clearer red. No tricolor gene is present in their makeup.

(Go to Parent/Progeny Chart - Chart XV)
W = White 
These collies are the result of a cross between either two white parents or white factored parents. Color is carried on a recessive gene (w) and is inherited INDEPENDENTLY of sable, tri or blue merle and may occur in combination with ANY of them.
A blue headed white is just as sound and normal a Collie as the tri or sable headed white. These are not to be confused with the white merle whose "white" color results from the double dominant dilution merle gene, where as the white color of a blue headed white results from the recessive gene (ww) and its blue color from the normal interaction of the merle gene with tricolor.

(Go to Parent/Progeny Chart - Charts XVI, XVIII)
Wf = White factored 
Colored dogs usually with large white frill, heavy white tail tip, possibly a body splash of white hairs and white extending upward from hind feet over stifle to meet the white under body.  (Go to Parent/Progeny Chart - Charts XVII, XVIII)

nonWf = Non White factored
Regular colored Collies NOT carrying the recessive white factor. (Go to Parent/Progeny Chart - Chart XIX)
WM = White Merle
resulting from the combination of two merled parents. These Collies inherit the dominant dilution gene (M) from both parents. Thus, color is diminished almost to the vanishing point by the gene in duplex. They are almost white in appearance and may or may not have a few merling spots. Eyes, IF present, are pale blue; skin, including the eyelids, lips, and nose. And pads are pigment-less except within an area of merling; hearing and sight severely impaired. These dogs are commonly destroyed at birth.

(Ed. Note. Since this treatise was prepared in 1969 it has been learned that the white merles are not necessarily defective and many have sight and hearing.  This information is expanded in continuation of chapter by the author.) If a white merle is raised to maturity and is from a BM to BM cross, it can be bred to a tricolor and will produce 100% blue merles.

(Go to Parent/Progeny Chart - Charts VIII, XI)

This is not true of white merles carrying the PS genes or the tS genes when bred to a tri.