French Bulldog Standard Marking
The Black Masks are the foundation of this breed.
They have solid black across the muzzle and sometimes
across the eyes as well, hence the term "black mask".
Above is a Black Mask Red Fawn.
Above is a Black Mask Fawn with black across the eyes and muzzle.
Another variation using the Black Mask is Black Mask Fawn & White Piebald
Above Right is a Black Mask Brindle with White
French Bulldog Standard Breed Colors
These are the colors and markings allowed by the AKC French Bulldog Breed Standard to promote good health. Colors not allowed by the AKC are because dogs bred in those colors carry genetic defects and traits harmful to our breed.
***If you do not see a color on this page you were thinking Frenchies came in see the bottom of the page for disallowed colors. BLUE is disallowed by the breed standard and should NOT BE BRED for health reasons.
Brindle color refers to a dog that is black with a pattern of red, brown or fawn hairs throughout the black.
Breed standard requires only a trace of brindle therefore just a few hairs will qualify a dog that appears primarily black to be called brindle. The dog left is an example of a mostly black with a trace of brindle called Brindle & White.
Above is a tiger brindle which has fawn & red tiger stripped through the black. It is called Brindle on the pedigree. A marking of Black Mask should also be added for future pedigree references.
Above is a black mask tiger brindle with white (Left)
next to a puppy without much brindling.
Black Mask Brindle is called a Reverse Brindle when there is more fawn than black.
White and Fawn (pie-bald)
White and Brindle (pie-bald)
White and Brindle or White and Fawn as the Breed standard designates are also called by it's pattern name "pie-bald" or "pieds" which refers to a dog that is mostly white with markings and spots of another color.
White & Brindle
Pieds can have a double hood or a single hood
There are also Red Fawn Pieds (above) and "Honey/Lemon" and Fawn Pieds (below), but called White & Fawn on AKC registration.
Piedbalds can also have the black mask marking like the red fawn pied.
Creams and Fawns
What is a cream French Bulldog? Many light fawn French Bulldogs are mistaken for a cream.
A true cream Frenchie will look slightly off white throughout – solid color. Its a recessive dilute from the fawn coat.
They have no markings on them, they have black pigment, black noses, black eye rims, black paw pads, and black lips. The DNA of a true cream French Bulldog is different than the one of the light fawn.
The fawn French Bulldog colors come in different shades, from very light, almost cream looking ones, to a deep red fawn. They can have a mask, like the one pictured above, or be maskless.
Any colors you do not see above are NOT Rare and therefore worth more money$$$. They were rare because reputable breeders won't produce them because they will not better the breed. Now they are every where because unscrupulous breeders just want to make a lot of money breeding unhealthy colors and traits detrimental to the breed. These colors are disqualified in the breed standard.
Below are the colors NOT allowed and the reason why:
BLUE or Lilac is called Mouse in the breed standard and is not allowed because in produces yellow, blue or green eyed dogs which can develop blindness. The Blue/Mouse color also produces dogs with Follicular dysplasia -gradual hair loss starting as young age causing dry scaly skin susceptible to bacterial infections. No cure and condition becomes increasingly worse. Blue should not be registered as Fawn on AKC registration. Just because your BLUE puppy with yellow eyes can see now and has good skin doesn't mean it won't loose its sight and develop allergy skin problems later.
BLUE Merle The Merle Gene with white can produce severe eye malformations and hearing impairments. To consistently produce Merle dog are cross bred with other breeds where Merle is common color such as Chihuahuas.
Diluted or dappled coat
Varied color of the iris
A small eye (microphthalmia)
Pupil that is off-center (corectopia)
Congenital hearing loss
Black and Tan- TOO Dominate a color combination. If allowed to be bred it will overtake all colors and eliminate every other color from the breed. Also produces French bulldog with more terrier like traits.
Black and Tan Blue Merle- All the skin and eye problems listed above. Produces ugly diluted colors.
ALL White - carries the deaf gene and produces blue eyed dogs with eye issues..
White and Black with NO trace of brindle- carries the deaf gene and can produce blue eyed dogs with eye problems.
Black and White with NO trace of brindle- carries the deaf gene.
Solid Black with no trace of brindle-TOO dominate a Color. Will over take & eliminate all other colors in the breed.
Liver or Chocolate-- Produces yellow eyed dogs which can cause early blindness and juvenile cataracts.
Fluffy or Long Haired-- If you want a long haired Blue or Merle Frenchie WHY?
Besides being crossed with other breeds to get "fluffy" look in non standard colors you get the bonus of all the health problems above. Don't know what more health issues arise from breeding long haired French bulldogs yet, but being cross bred with Chihuahuas and other breeds to get longer hair will take away from the Frenchie's sweet disposition they are so prized for.
Fluffy Blue Sable frenchie pup sold for 22K
Fluffy frenchie pup sold for 20K
Blue gene carrier
Blue & Tan
ALL ABOUT BLUE frenchies!
Unfortunately for Blue French Bulldogs, and some other breeds which express this dilute gene, they can suffer from a genetic condition known as color dilution alopecia (CDA). This is a recessive and inherited condition and arises due to a faulty version of the dilution gene.
You may also see a blue French Bulldog with blue eyes. Again, this is seen as desirable by some but will run the same risks of CDA. We encourage owners never to select a dog for their coat or eye color over their health and wellbeing.
The following information is on the French Bulldog Club of America website and the AKC Gazette both address why BLUE and other colors are not allowed in our breed.
ABOUT WHITE AND MERLE (Blue/Mouse) FRENCH BULLDOG BREEDING
Excerpt from Blog by AKC and International Dog Show Judge Carol Hawke dated April 16, 2012
It is antithesis (that means the exact opposite) of the character of the dog which is sweet, loyal, dignified and trusting. Yellow eyes are reserved for dog breeds that serve to protect or warn. The average French Bulldog will welcome strangers into your home. They are not guard dogs or protection dogs and do not serve this function.
Another excerpt from Blog by AKC and International Dog Show Judge Carol Hawke dated April 20, 2012
Coat Color & Pigment Related French Bulldog Health Issues
WOW, I've just run across the SINGULARLY MOST IMPORTANT research article on color in French Bulldogs I've ever seen. It's linked right below this paragraph. If you haven't read it, READ IT and follow ALL the links on the page. The historical content is INCREDIBLE. The color research IS IMPECCABLE. Never seen a BLUE MERLE Frenchie? You will find one here. What colors are linked with sight, hearing defects? You will find them ALL HERE. Why should you never breed pied to pied? READ IT HERE. SUPER INFO - don't miss it, folks!!!
Blue Merle Fluffy french pup sold for 22K
Sadly, the merle gene doesn’t only make the dogs look different. There are a lot of health issues that come with this gene. This gene can cause hearing, sight, and blue eye defects.
To add to that, if you mix two Merle Frenchies it will even be worse. There is actually a 86% chance of those dogs being deformed, deaf or blind!
They can even have neurological defects, immune disorders, and extensive allergies. In the worst case, those poor puppies die!
Do you think this is worth it? I think not. No matter how pretty they are, it’s not worth it. I am sure you would rather have a healthy dog.
I don’t think you’re a bad person if you have one of these dogs. But, the fact is it’s not really okay.
Lastly, I want to add that the Merle French Bulldog has the shortest lifespan.
If there are no health difficulties or other complications, a Merle French Bulldog can expect to live for about ten years. Nonetheless, merle French Bulldogs are predisposed to visual and hearing problems, especially in double merles, due to their hereditary propensity. More...