Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel
A blue roan Cocker Spaniel is classified as a parti-color dog. The coat of such dogs has a blue tint to it. Roan Cocker Spaniels are very rare. Any roaning pattern is accepted in this breed, but the primary color should not exceed 90%.
A blue roan Cocker Spaniel may be taken for a merle Cocker Spaniel. Merle coat coloration means that the dog is solid black or other color with a merle gene that dilutes solid colors. Merle Cocker Spaniels are usually registered as roans, but there are genetic differences between these rare color varieties. Merle dogs often have diluted blue or grey eye color; sometimes only one eye is diluted. Both roan and merle Cocker Spaniels may also have tan points. According to the AKC breed standard tan markings should be restricted to the areas above the eyes, on the cheeks, on the inside of the ears, on the feet or legs, under the tail and on the chest.
Breeders are very careful in breeding dogs with this unusual coat coloration, as two merle dogs produce puppies with serious genetic defects. Responsible breeders never breed merle dogs on purpose, as the offspring of even one merle parent is prone to hearing and vision problems. If you have a blue roan Cocker Spaniel and plan to breed it, make sure that it’s not merle. It may be difficult to differentiate these patterns in adult dogs, but in puppies, they are clearly seen. A short “puppy cut” may also help in determining the coat pattern.
Responsible breeders and dog owners appreciate the wonderful personality of the breed and preserve its best characteristics in future litters. Unusual coat color is never the main aim of a breeder or responsible owner. Breeders try to produce healthy and stable dogs that fit to the breed standard and are able to perform tasks typical of the breed. Reputable breeders will never charge extra for a rare coat color or pattern of a puppy. If a breeder claims that he/she specializes at a certain coat color, such as the blue roan Cocker Spaniel, try to find another specialist.