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About Aussies > The Colors > Dilute Spots

The Australian Shepherd standard states that "All colors are strong, clear and rich." This is the first line written in the ASCA standard concerning coat color, written over 30 years ago. 

Here are some common questions, with answers, concerning dilute spots being asked by breeders and owners alike:
  1. Where do dilute spots come from?
  2. Is there a test to find out if my Aussie carries the dilute gene
  3. Do they show an underlying problem?
  4. Should we breed dogs with dilute spots?
  5. Do they only appear on merles?
  6. Do all merles have dilute spots?
  7. Are dilute spots normal or common?
  8. Should I buy a puppy with a dilute spot?
  9. Are dilute spots more common on merles than solids?
Here are some pictures of dilute spotted Aussie puppies and dogs. Some were born here and others were not.

 Australian Shepherd Puppy Dilute Spot  This blue merle aussie pup has a large dilute spot on her left side
 Aussie Puppy Dilute Color  This blue merle aussie puppy has dilute spots in almost a zebra format going down his side.
 Australian Shepherd Puppy Dilute Spot The dilute spot on this aussie puppy is harder to see because it is the entire dark spot on her right hip.
Australian Shepherd Color dilute




I'm not sure if this little aussie was supose to be a solid black that is actually dilute or if he is a very light blue merle, but he does have some very obvious white body splashes that are out of the standard. 

Incorrectly referred to as "rare solid grays" (not accepted colors of Aussies)
Australian Shepherd Color dilute




I'm not sure if this little aussie was suppose to be a solid red that is actually dilute or if he is a very light red merle, but he does have some very obvious white body splashes that are out of the Australian Shepherd  standard.

Incorrectly referred to as a "rare solid tans or creams" (not accepted colors of Aussies)
Australian Shepherd Color dilute







I have circled the dilute spot on this aussie to make it easier to see on this red merle
Australian Shepherd Color dilute





I have circled the dilute spot on this aussie to make it easier to see on this red merle
Australian Shepherd Color dilute





I have circled the dilute spots on this aussie to make it easier to see on this red merle
Australian Shepherd Color dilute










I have circled the dilute spot on this aussie to make it easier to see on this red merle

Visit the Australian Shepherd Health and Genetics Institute website for more information about dilutes, harlequin, yellow, and many other mis-marked puppies.

Rev. 15 January 18



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