merle(redirected from merles)
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a pattern of coat color pigmentation with dark, irregular blotches on a lighter background. Seen in some Collies and Welsh corgis. In shorthaired dogs, e.g. Great Danes and Dachshunds, the similar pattern is called dapple. The trait is sometimes associated with congenital defects such as deafness and heterochromia iridis. In the homozygous state, there are severe ocular defects and deafness.