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Merle Color In Cocker Spaniels - Definitions


What is a Merle color?

Merle is a pattern with patches of intermingled colored and white hairs and other patches of solid color such as red or black.

Heterozygous & Homozygous genes

Each gene is made up of two representative alleles - one inherited from the maternal source (mother) and the other inherited from the paternal source (father)

When a gene is homozygous, both alleles for that gene are the same (ie both the mother and father contributed the same version of the gene)

When a gene is heterozygous, each allele is different

Phenotype & Genotype

Phenotype – An observable physical characteristics of an organism as determined by both genetic and environmental influences

Genotype – The genetic make-up of an organism as opposed to its physical characteristics


A mutation is a permanent change in the DNA sequence of a gene

Cryptic Merle Mutation

A cryptic Merle is a dog that does NOT present with the overt Merle phenotype but does possess the Merle genotype. It has the potential to produce Merle offspring, but the mechanism by which this occurs is unknown


Hair loss

Cyclic Neutropenia

An abnormal condition in which the number of neutrophils in the bloodstream is decreased. Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell that defends the body against bacterial infection. Neutropenia affects the body's ability to fight off infections

Retrotransposon & SINE

SINE is a short interspersed element and are “jumping genes” that belong to the retrotransposon class of mobile genetic elements

These genes are capable of propagating in a host genome by a ‘copy and paste’ mechanism

Most SINE insertions occur within regions of the genome that have no functional significance

Occasionally they can insert into regions where they can interrupt a necessary gene as is the case for Merle


Report of the Nominating Committees

The National Nominating Committee (Stephanie Kaul, chair; Laurie Ferland; Wilma Parker; Elaine Mathis and Clyde Shaw) present the following nominees:

President:  Linda Moore, Texas

1st Vice President:  Tony Stallard, Ohio

2nd Vice President:  Regina Beinhauer, Pennsylvania

Directors, Class of 2019 (3 year terms):  Mary Napper, Texas; Mark Ragusa, Connecticut; James Davis, Massachusetts

The Zone I Nominating Committee (Dee Torgerson-Rismyhr, chair; Judi Kline and Bill Hughes) present the following nominees:

Director: Bonnie Pike, New Hampshire

Alternate Director:  Stacy Dobmeier, Pennsylvania

The Zone II Nominating Committee (Linda Donaldson, chair; Kathy Reid and Jane Williams) present the following nominees:

Director:  Lindy Bennett, Florida

Alternate Director:  Karin Linde Klerholm, Florida

The Zone III Nominating Committee (Laura Heidrich, chair; Annalisa Arnett and Pam Doyle) present the following nominees:

Director:  Bonnie Buell, Indiana

Alternate Director:  Lisa Arnett, Michigan

The Zone IV Nominating Committee (Doug McFarlane, chair; Mariecel Torres-Young and Rosemary Logrie) present the following nominees:

Director:  Colleen Keough, California

Alternate Director:  Kathy Egeland-Brock, Washington

The Zone V Nominating Committee (Julie Virosteck, chair; Kathryn Watson, and Jeff Wright) present the following nominees:

Director:  Barbara Shaw, Texas

Alternate Director:  Sharon Elliott, Texas

Additional Nominations:  The bylaws, Article IV Section 2 provide that additional nominations may be made by written petition addressed to the Secretary and received at the Club’s regular address P.O. Box 4194, Frankfort, KY 40604-4194) on or before November 15th.  Details as to petition requirements and accompanying documentation requirements can be found on the ASC web site by clicking on Documents in the left hand column and then Bylaws.  Or CLICK HERE

Kathy Patterson 
ASC Secretary 

Conformation, Obedience, Rally Results

ASC July 2015 National Specialty Show Videos! (click on links below)

Best in Futurity
Junior Showmanship
Best of Breed

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