Designing: Merle

Created: 6 March 2021, 12:06:46 UTC
Last updated: 5 October 2023, 02:46:35 UTC



Real life examples:


Bullet; White The merle gene desaturates parts of the coat, leaving behind patches and speckles of the base color and markings beneath.
Bullet; White In your ketucari's genotype, merle is denoted by the letters "nMr" (heterozygous) or "MrMr" (homozygous).
Bullet; White In its heterozygous form, merle has a pass rate of 25%. Homozygous merle has a 50% pass rate.

Color and Shape

Merle is always a light, more desaturated shade of the base coat. It can be completely gray, but should never be white. Here is how to create merle:

Step One:
Design the ketucari as if they didn't have merle.

Merle1 by Matriarchs-Haunt

Step Two:
Pick a color lighter and more desaturated than the base color. Make a new layer over the design and fill it with this color.
Merle2 by Matriarchs-Haunt

Step Three:
Erase away patches from the fill layer to reveal the original design underneath, mimicking the merle patterning found in dogs.
Merle3 by Matriarchs-Haunt


Merle can appear anywhere on the body with varying degrees of coverage. It has no minimum or maximum range, but must be immediately noticeable in the design.

Interaction with Other Markings

Bullet; White Merle covers all markings except white marks.


Here are some small accents you can add to your designs to make them more unique!

Bullet; White The layer on which you put your desaturated merle color can be slightly transparent to show the patterning
of the markings underneath. Be careful not to make this too overbearing, such that the merle is barely noticeable. As well, you can add 
a bit of texturing to the marking.
Merle1 by Matriarchs-Haunt