"Utopia Merlin" known to his friends as Smer. This handsome lad was bred by Michele Walker of Utopia Poodles, based in Florida, USA. She has been breeding Merle poodles for a number of years and it is with thanks that we have imported what we believe to be the UK's first Blue Merle Miniature Poodle.
He is two years old and stands a shade under 16". He is a pedigree Miniature Poodle, CKC and DLRC Registered. From Merle parentage, he has already sired Merle pups for Michele. He holds a current BVA clear certificate.
Merle is a color combination, it is a solid base color (usually red/brown or black) with lighter blue/gray or reddish patches, which gives a mottled or uneven speckled effect. Although most breeds that can have merle coats also typically have white markings (such as around the neck, under the belly, and so on), and often tan points (typically between the white and the darker parts of the coat), these are separate colors from the merle; some dogs do appear completely merled with no white or tan markings. Merle can also alter other colors and patterns besides the usual liver or black. These combinations, such as brindle merle, are not typically accepted in breed standards.
The UK Kennel Club will not register a Merle Poodle as a Merle but rather as the base colour of the coat i.e. a black/red/brown. In addition to altering base coat color, merle also modifies eye color and coloring on the nose and paw pads. The merle gene modifies the dark pigment in the eyes, occasionally changing dark eyes to blue, or part of the eye to be colored blue. Since merle causes random modifications, however, both dark-eyed, blue-eyed, and odd coloured eyes are possible. Color on paw pads and nose may be mottled pink and black.
As the UK Kennel Club do not accept the Merle colouring we decided that rather than have factually paperwork that we would register Smer with the Dog Lovers Registration Cluc (DLRC) as they record the true colour of the dog on the registration papers.
We hope to train Smer for agility and he can help to fly the flag for Poodles in the UK. Poodles are a diminishing breed, for reasons I personally cannot fathom. Poodles are extremely people-oriented dogs and generally eager to please. Poodles are adaptable and easy to train, they are highly intelligent. Like most dogs, they appreciate daily exercise, such as a walk or a play session. Most are fairly agile and athletic.