French Bulldog colors and markings and what are acceptable standards are often debated. Everybody loves Frenchies! As an alert, adaptable, playful, and entirely irresistible small dog breed, they remain popular around the world. On the other hand, the breed’s trademark feature is its “bat ears”, large and erect!
Standard French Bulldog Colors
To want a Frenchie when you see one is an instinctive reaction. Regardless of what color they may be, they are adorable, but still, French Bulldog’s colors are rather extensive, so it is not as simple. Clubs have breed standards, but you will find colors ranging from Sable to Tan, Merle, Chocolate, Pure Black, and even Blue.
Kennel Clubs and French Bulldog Colors
Check out the acceptable solid colors below and the different acceptable markings or patterns. These can be black, white, brindle, piebald markings or black masks. Piebald Frenchie’s are the result of both parents with a recessive piebald gene. Piebald Frenchie pups are often called brindle and white since they have a white background with pigmented spots.
It is not clear why the UK is much stricter when it comes to Frenchie color acceptance compared to the USA. If you should check the USA Kennel club acceptable colors you will find these strict, until you check out the limited acceptable colors for these beauties in the UK. The reason could be because Frenchies have part of their ancestry in the UK, back in 1850, but that is purely speculative.
UK Kennel Clubs have three correct colors:
- Fawn – clear fawn can be with and without a black mask. A fawn-colored Frenchie can have white markings as long as a fawn is a dominating color. Less desirable colors accompanying fawn is red or cream shades, even though it is acceptable. The eyelashes, eye rims, and lips must be black. Fawn is diverse as it ranges from very dark to very light. When it is very dark, it isn’t brown but has a reddish hue. The shade itself should not have black hairs mixed in, nor should it appear dirty or smutty, but clear.
- Brindle – this color pattern is a combination of fawn and black hairs with white markings acceptable providing brindle dominates.
- Pied – brindle pied or fawn pied – these Frenchies have a dominating white coat with brindle patches or white with fawn markings
“Acceptable colors: fawn, cream, white, or combinations of these. Patterns and markings are piebald, brindle, white markings, black markings, and black shadings.”American Kennel Club
Kennel Clubs in the USA have a color standard that is acceptable which include:
- Cream – an eggshell, off white color
- Brindle – this is a wild card that looks anything from almost solid black, to sparse dark spotting or striping. Brindle is one of the oldest French Bulldog colors. Typically, the dominant color is darker with lighter color strands.
- Brindle & White
- Fawn – it can be anything from caramel to light tan, to red fawn which is dark reddish
- Fawn Brindle
- Fawn & White
- White – pure white
- White & Fawn
- White & Brindle
- White & Cream
- White & Fawn Brindle
French Bulldog’s colors are rather complex. While you will encounter many colors, only specific ones are within Kennel Club’s acceptable standards. Before you go out to breed a brilliant blue Frenchie, check out AKC breed standards when you want to have a purebred, club acceptable pup.
The main reason why kennel clubs like the American, Canada, and UK Kennel Clubs do not recognize “exotic” colors, like blue, is that it didn’t exist when colors were established. Also, is the fact that irresponsible breeders are overproducing poor quality and unhealthy pups.
“Rare or exotic colored puppies with unusually colored or patterned coats may seem enticing – but these unusual and striking qualities could signal a problem.”ASPCA.org
While AKC French Bulldog’s Color standards exist, breeders breed pups to create what breeders and people consider rare Frenchies. Responsible breeders and clubs are against this type of breeding, not because they dislike rare colors, but for the potential dangers.
- Liver or chocolate colored Frenchies could suffer from early blindness or juvenile cataracts as a result of being yellow-eyed. Breeders look for dogs with a recessive gene to produce their chocolate fur balls. With their eye color varying from green and silver or yellow to blue, they are not an approved breed.
- Merle colored Frenchies have the most potential health dangers that include vision as well as hearing issues.
- Blue Frenchies can suffer from scaly, dry skin, and hair loss due to its genetic disorder as well as potential yellow or green-eyed, silver, or turquoise blue-eyed dogs which cause visionary problems plus blindness. Magnificently beautiful without a doubt, but potentially terribly unhealthy when it wasn’t bred properly.
- All white or all black Frenchies can result in blue eyes with visionary problems as well as potential deaf genes. Pure black Frenchies are magnificent but going back in history it was determined that these beauties were crossed with English bulldogs. Through time the English Bulldog’s color patterns were wiped away through more crossbreeding with black ratter breeds.
A significant color misconception is that the rarer the pup and the more unusual its color, the better the breed. This is only because of the significantly higher price a rare color fetches and only because dog lovers do not realize that they are indeed buying a dog with potential health problems.
Is it ok to buy a rare-colored Frenchie?
Charming, cuddly, and cute, rare colors add to their appeal.
The problem is that pet parents seek their adorable pup for its looks which is why the unique colors are attractive and sought-after. They do not realize that unique colors are likely because of improper breeding.
Breeders do not breed Frenchies for color specifically and it is taken very seriously. The main goal should always be to preserve and better the breed. Breeder’s goal is to breed for health first and foremost followed by temperament and lastly conformation.
If you are looking for an exotic or rare color, it is ok, but stand your ground and only buy from an accountable breeder. Proper breeders with rare Frenchies lessen the likelihood that due to improper breeding, you will be left with astronomical vet bills and a beautiful puppy that suffers due to illness.
“All other colors like black and white, solid black, chocolate, blue, purple, and highly undesirable.”UK Kennel Club
Top 3 FAQs – French Bulldog Colors
1Do French Bulldogs change color?
No, when you purchase a pup from a reputable breeder, it will have standard colors that will not change. The only time pups change color is when it is a deliberately bred blue Frenchie which will initially have a gray color before changes to its blue hue.
2What is the rarest color of Frenchie breeds?
While blue is very rare in Frenchies, the color that is hardest to find is lilac or as it is otherwise known Isabella color.
3Why are responsible breeders deadset against “rare” Frenchies?
Colors are unacceptable for health reasons and no other reason. The potential of rare colors spreading through high-quality gene pools is present. It can cause significant harm for other breeders who breed and sell puppies in acceptable AKC Breed Standard French Bulldog’s colors.
French Bulldog Colors in Puppies and Seniors
There are plenty of reasons why you should only buy a Frenchie from a reputable breeder. One of the most prominent reasons is because dilute genes occur spontaneously in puppies as they mature. Breeders can produce puppies that are born with dilute genes purely by accident. After it passes all the necessary health checks, breeders may use it in producing a rare-colored dog.
Puppies do not change color except when they are deliberate blue Frenchies which will be a grayish color when born. These puppies will develop their visible blue hue over several weeks. Other puppies like the Isabella Frenchie will be impossible to tell what its future color would be as they may be anything from chocolate to platinum lilac.
A white Frenchie may look like a cream and visa versa but you will be able to tell which one is which as puppies as a white pooch has pink eye rims while cream pups have darker lips and dusky eye rims. The same goes for their eye color as all newborn pups have magnificent blue eyes but like human babies, their eyes will turn around 10 weeks old. Unless it is a rare color, the eyes will turn brown.
The bat-eared oddly beautiful Frenchie has a unique appeal even with plenty of other breeds aesthetically showier and more glamorous. Its easy-going personality, high intelligence, and mischievous nature make it a constant presence which is why you owe it to them to remain steadfast when breeding to remain true and close to breeding standards. While blues and lilacs are beautiful french bulldog colors, keep in mind that these are not natural French Bulldog’s colors and that you are indeed harming the breed.