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The Blue Merle Corgi: Everything You Want To Know

Photo of Tamsin De La Harpe

Written by Tamsin De La Harpe

blue merle corgi

The Blue Merle Corgi is a beautiful dog with a marble pattern coat that has splashes of darker shades over a lighter hue. The blue merle coat is famous in breeds like Dachshunds, Great Danes, Australian Shepherds, and Catahoula Leopard Dogs, but our Sassy Welsh Corgis can have the striking and exotic coat too.

And we must admit; a merle Corgi is an exceptionally good-looking floof. Just look at this video:

The signature look of Blue Merle dogs is a gray-blue coat with dark patches of black or dark grey over it. While this dog certainly does not lack in the beauty department, you need to know the good and the bad of owning a Blue Merle Corgi.

So if you’re looking for blue merle Corgi breeders or a blue merle Corgi for sale, read this for everything you need before you get one.

History and Origin of the Blue Merle Corgi

Blue Merle Corgis are usually bred for there coloer. The merle coat, or dapple as it’s known in some breeds, results from a dominant color dilution gene, the M-allele. We’ll get to the specifics of genetics in a bit.

How Do You Get a Blue Corgi?

Blue merle corgi is specific coat color in the Corgi breed. Of the two types of Corgis, Pembroke Welsh and Cardigan Welsh Corgis, only the Cardigan Welsh Corgis can have the blue merle coat. This means that there are no purebred merle Pembroke Corgis.

The history of Blue Merle Corgis is relatively recent, and it followed the rise in popularity of the beautiful blue merle coat.

So basically, Blue Merle Corgis are Cardigan Welsh Corgis with a blue-merle-colored coat. As such, we can know the history of the Blue Merle Corgi by learning about the origin of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi.

The Cardigan and Pembroke Corgi breeds originated in Wales, where people used them as herding dogs. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is the oldest of the two by around 2000 years. Many believe the Celts brought the Cardigan Welsh Corgis to Wales from Eastern Europe around 1200 BC.

Cardigans were bred short and close to the ground to nip at the heels of the cattle without being kicked. The blue merle color is an acceptable color variation of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi dog, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). The AKC recognized the Cardigan Welsh Corgi in 1935, 4 years after they arrived in America.

American Merle Corgi

There is another type of Corgi that may be merle. This is the American Corgi. This is a designer breed where Pembroke and Welsh corgis are crossed, which can result in merle coloring.

What are the Physical Features of a Blue Merle Corgi?

  • Height 10.5 to 12.5 inches
  • Weight
  • males: 30 to 38 pounds
  • female: 25 to 34 pounds
  • Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
  • Nose: Usually black or dappled black & pink
  • Eyes: Eyes always reflect red in the dark. Eye color varies from blue to brown and can be two different colors.

The short legs, long body, and unique coat with a marble pattern of light and dark colors define a Blue Merle Corgi. As Cardigan Welsh Corgis, blue Merles have a long foxlike tail compared to the shorter and mostly docked tail of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. They are also larger and heavier than their Pembroke cousins.

The merle gene can affect one or both eyes, resulting in a bright blue color on either one or both eyes. The gene can also affect only a portion of each eye, creating a breathtaking combination of different colors in each eye.

The possibility of coat and eye color combinations in blue merle Corgis is virtually endless. No two blue merle Cardigan Corgis look the same because of the irregular shapes of the dark and bright color patterns on the coats.

What Makes a Blue Merle Cardigan Welsh Corgi?

A blue merle corgi dog has to have either one merle parent or two. A merle dog carries the “M-allele” gene. The M-allele gene responsible for the merle coat color dilutes parts of a dark coat to a lighter color. This creates a marble pattern.

So if a breeder breeds a merle cardigan corgi with another color dog, about half the litter will be born merle. This is the best way to breed merles, as they have a single dominant (heterozygous pair) M-allele (Mm) or (Mm). They also do not have the health issues that come with a double gene.

If dog breeders breed two merle parents, about a quarter of the litter will have the merle coloring, and these dogs will inherit two dominant merle genes. So they become a double merle. These dogs are mostly white with grey or blue eyes and are prone to deafness and blindness.

General Care of a Blue Merle Corgi

  • Shedding: They shed daily and seasonally, making them heavy shedders
  • Hypoallergenic: Not hypoallergenic
  • Energy: Plenty of energy due to their herding ancestry
  • Housing: Adaptable to apartment living provided the owners meet their exercise. But can be prone to excessive barking and can bother neighbors.
  • Temperament: loyal, affectionate, alert, a bit more laid back, and less social than the Pembroke Welsh Corgi
  • Trainability: Relatively easy to train with a high drive to please but has a strong independent streak.

Grooming the Blue Merle Corgi

Blue Merle Corgis have standard daily grooming needs, such as brushing their coats and teeth, clipping their nails, and having monthly baths. However, they are heavy shedders and need frequent de-shedding. Corgis have medium-length fur and don’t need trims, but going to the parlor for a blow-out when they shed heavily will make a huge difference.

If you want to see a groomer taking the best care of a blue merle corgi puppy, see our favorite girl with dogs video:

Did you catch the mistake when she called the puppy a Pembroke and not a Cardigan?

Monthly washes with a gentle shampoo keep the coat shiny and healthy. Only wash your dog more than twice a month when you must because they smell or have rolled in something nasty. Excessive baths with harsh shampoos strip your dog’s coat of its natural oils, leaving it dry and lackluster.

It’s best to brush your Blue Merle’s coat at least twice a week to remove tangles and to limit shed hair in your house. Brushing your dog’s coat also distributes its natural oils resulting in a silkier, healthier coat. Additionally, trim your Corgi’s nails every few weeks or when you can hear clicking sounds as they walk.

Brushing your dog’s teeth thrice a week and even daily, if possible, is essential. Or you can use a good doggy mouthwash. Poor dental hygiene results in the formation of plaque and tartar, which can cause severe diseases like periodontitis. You can also buy dental chews and chew toys to improve your dog’s oral health.

Energy & Exercise

Blue Merle Corgis are compact bundles of energy. True to their herding ancestry, Blue Merle Corgis would stay on their feet all day if they could. The high energy levels don’t mean you can’t have your Blue Merle Corgi in your apartment, provided you provide daily exercise to your pooch.

Daily mental and physical exercise is crucial to your dog’s happiness and overall health. A daily walk for thirty minutes to an hour should suffice. If you have a closed yard, your corgi can get more exercise running around. Mental exercises include food puzzles, sniffing for hidden treats, and activity flip boards.

Blue Merle Corgis that don’t get enough mental and physical exercise may act out in destructive behaviors. These behaviors include barking and chewing on household items due to bottled-up energy. Your canine can also do a power run through the house to show you it’s time for a workout. Avoid exercises with a lot of jumping and stairs because Corgis’ low backs are prone to injury.

Ideally, a Corgi loves to have a job like herding. So if anybody in your area gives herding classes, enroll your dog. You can see this video for an idea of what Corgis love to do naturally.

Food & Diet Requirements

Corgis, in general, are known to hold on to those pounds, so you must be watchful of their diet. Unfortunately, most of today’s food contains fillers, excessive carbohydrates, chemicals, and fillers. All these can lead to an imbalanced microbiome resulting in diabetes, cancer, food allergies, and obesity.

With this in mind, it’s best to work closely with your vet in building your dog’s healthy feeding regimen. As a general rule, aim to feed your dog about 2 to 3% of their body weight and split it into two meals daily. Other factors to consider are your dog’s activity, size, and weight.

Dogs should have a protein-based diet, preferably healthy animal protein like poultry and occasionally fish. Animal protein supplies dogs with all the essential amino acids and fatty acids and is easily digestible.

Aim for foods with at least 25 to 30% protein content for your Blue Merle’s optimum nutrition unless your dog has kidney or liver problems that limit their protein intake.

Most packaged foods come with portion instructions depending on your dog’s age and weight. You can supplement your dog’s diet with an occasional few teaspoons of fish oil (but never cod liver oil, as this can lead to vitamin A or D toxicosis).

Avoid vitamin and mineral supplements unless your vet advises it.

The Health of a Blue Merle Corgi

There are certain health risks to blue merle dogs of any breed, especially when dealing with irresponsible breeders. Double merle dogs with two merle parents have an increased risk of ear and eye issues that can result in permanent deafness and blindness.

So before you get a blue merle, always check that the parents are not both merles, and the breeder has tested for the diseases listed below.

On top of that, normal Blue Merle Corgis with one dominant M-allele can experience the following health issues:

Severe Health Issues in the Blue Merle Corgi

  • Blindness;
  • Deafness – 2.7 % chance of deafness in one year. 0.9% chance of deafness in both ears;
  • Microphthalmia – The eyes are smaller than usual, causing increased ocular pressure, which can cause pain and loss of sight;
  • Hip dysplasia and joint problems related to disproportionately short legs;
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (where the retina gradually stops working); and
  • Degenerative myelopathy (nerve and spine disease).

Mild-to-Moderate Health Problems

  • Night blindness;
  • A cleft in the iris;
  • Digestive issues;
  • Allergies;
  • Obesity; and
  • Dental issues.

Note that, left unchecked, all of these issues can lead to more severe complications.

Occasional Health Problems to also Check for in Blue Merle Corgi

  • Born without eyes
  • Von Willebrand’s disease
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease (IDD)]
  • Patent ductus arteriosis (PDA) (a congenital heart problem)


A well-bred Blue Merle Corgi has a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years, which is good for a dog. A proper diet and adequate mental and physical exercise will see that you get the most out of the years you have with your furry friend.

It’s important to test your dog for any genetic issues that may cause problems as they age. Also, ask your breeder for full genetic tests on their dogs. Since Cardigan Welsh Corgis are the only ones of the Corgis with the proper genetic composition for a merle coat, a Pembroke Blue Merle is likely a crossbreed.

The Pembroke crossbreed of a Cardigan Blue Merle Corgi and a Pembroke Corgi has more issues and a shorter lifespan. A Cowboy Corgi is another crossbreed between the Australian Cattle dog and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and fortunately, they don’t have many health issues.

Trainability & Temperament of a Blue Merle Corgi

A blue merle Corgi is an affectionate, loyal, and vigilant dog that blends seamlessly with your family. They are known for being sassy, assertive, and loads of fun.

Cardigan Welsh Corgis are typically more laid back and less open to strangers than Pembrokes. This doesn’t make them any less lovable because they have endless love to give once they open up.

You can expect a fair amount of barking, but not the kind that gets to your skin. Corgis are good with kids. But, be sure to monitor your very young children because every dog has limits, and young children often seem determined to push them.

Corgis are highly intelligent, as seen in most herding dogs. This intelligence and their strong drive to please make for a highly trainable dog. Positive reinforcement will make training your Corgi more effective but look out for those calories because Corgis are prone to obesity.

Sociability with Other Dogs

Cardigan Welsh Corgis are good with other dogs. However, this is only true when they are properly socialized from a young age. It would be best if you socialized your dog with various animals and many people to ensure your Corgi is friendly to everyone.

Suitable Home

Active Dog Parents

Blue Merle Corgis are energetic dogs that need plenty of exercise as an outlet. People who live active lifestyles with brisk walks daily make eligible households for these Corgis.

People Who Aren’t Allergic

Blue merle Corgis aren’t hypoallergenic and may trigger allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to pet dander.

Smaller Spaces

The Corgis are adaptable to living in smaller spaces. But they ar active dogs and do better with a yard or on a farm.

How Much Will I Expect to Pay for a Blue Merle Puppy?

The AKC website gives a value of $1000 to $2200 for a Cardigan Welsh Puppy. But the blue merle corgi price may be higher since this is very sought after color.


Blue merle Corgis are Cardigan Welsh Corgis in the color blue merle. Double merle corgis can result from irresponsible breeding and have a high chance of being deaf or blind. Blue Merle Corgis shed daily, so they aren’t hypoallergenic. Blue Merles need daily walks because they are high-energy dogs.

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Tamsin De La Harpe


Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.