Rare Colors of the Bulldogs

Blue/ chocolate/ blue and tan/ lilac and merle colored french bulldogs are without a doubt the most controversial of all frenchie colors. They are still considered “rare” but are extremely popular and quickly spreading throughout the world.

It should be noted however that this variation of color, which is a phenotype of the recessive dilution gene and a modification of the black coat color, is referred to as blue, grey or gray, mouse, or mouse gray. The use of “mouse” as a description of this color is debated but we will deal with that issue later on in this article.
The purpose of this article is to articulate the facts of this debated issue in a manner that is unbiased, in order to clear up any confusion and lead the reader to forming their own opinions.
First things first, let us take a look at the facts regarding this debate. I will list the facts below in a very brief and simple form, and then provide some opinions and further commentary or clarification of each fact below this list.

This format should clearly help distinguish between the facts and my own commentary/opinions. If you disagree with the opinions that I will later express that is okay, but if you contest the facts that I present, or assert that these facts are just my opinions, then please contact me to discuss any issues you may have and I will be happy discuss them with you.

♥ Blue (also gray, grey, blue gray, mouse gray, etc.) is one and the same color “mouse” as written in the *Breed Standard . *Note that this refers to the current Breed Standard.

♥ Blue french bulldogs and all variations of this color (including blue brindle, blue brindle pied, blue fawn, blue fawn pied, solid blue, etc.) are disqualifications of the Breed Standard.

♥ Currently, there are no known health issues or health problems that have been proven to be associated with blue french bulldogs.

♥ Blue french bulldogs are registerable through the American Kennel Club and the FCI (NKK, SKK, DKK).

Those are the facts. Period. Below is some commentary …
Blue and Mouse are the same color. Although this was and still is highly debated, according to the FBDCA (French Bulldog Club of America), which is responsible for writing the Breed Standard as adopted by the AKC (American Kennel Club), blue/gray is the color ‘mouse’ that the Breed Standard refers to. This claim is supported and verified to be true by the 2008 Conference which determined that the term ‘mouse’ was added to the standard as a disqualification in accordance with the FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale aka ‘World Canine Organization’)Breed Standard as written in 1995.

This information has been paraphrased from the article “Color and the French Bulldog Breed Standard” published by the French Bulldog Club of America (FBDCA).
All Blue French Bulldogs (including blue brindle, blue brindle pied, blue fawn, blue fawn pied, solid blue, etc.) and all variations of this color are disqualified from the Breed Standard first and foremost by the ‘mouse’ colored coat or hairs within the coat. Most are further disqualified by their blue/gray colored nose and/or light colored eyes. For many breeders, that alone is enough for them to steer clear of breeding blue frenchies; the main goal of breeders being to breed for the breed standard, in order to preserve and maintain the breed. However, with the demand for blue frenchies on the rise, I decided to dig deeper in my own research to find out why blue french bulldogs were disqualified from the breed standard in the first place. Was it because of health concerns associated with the coat color as is thought to be the case in other dog breeds?

There are currently NO KNOWN HELATH ISSUES associated with blue coat color. Does this mean that no blue frenchie will ever have a health issue? Of course not, but the fact is that the coat color has no correlation with health issues and blue frenchies are no more likely to have health issues than any other color. The color of the dog’s coat and its health are NOT RELATED. For this reason, one should be concerned with the quality of the dog and integrity of the breeder, more so than with the color of the dog.

So the question is asked … Why are blue french bulldogs not allowed in the breed standard? When I asked this question the only answer I received was that blue and chocolate (or “mouse” and “liver”) are “undesirable”. This may have been the case when those disqualifications were written, but it seems not to be the case now. Blue french bulldogs are popular and in high demand. So if the only known reason blue was not included was because it was undesirable, and it is desirable now, why shouldn’t the standard include blue french bulldogs and why shouldn’t they be bred? The argument is that they shouldn’t be bred because they are against the breed standard, yet the only reason for this is desirability, which is just subjective and can vary from person to person. So should blue frenchies be bred or not? This option most probably should be left up to the discretion of the breeder.

Personally, I have decided to breed blue frenchies and other colors that are not ¨breed standard¨. My advise to any buyer is to consider the reputation and integrity of the breeder first and foremost and to be concerned primarily with the health of the dog rather than the color.

Another key point is that Blue French Bulldogs are in fact registrable in FCI and AKC registers.
For further recommended research, the French Bulldog Club of America (FBDCA) has written an article “Interpretation of the French Bulldog Standard on Color” expressing their views on this issue.

I believe that as with other colors, the health concerns come from poor breeding judgment and inbreeding, and, as with any other color, there are some blue frenchies that come from inbreeding just as there are many that do not.

Blue frenchies are the result of the recessive dilution gene (D/d) that exists naturally within the breed and is carried by some top Champion french bulldogs. The Blue color occurs when two dogs, each carrying the blue dilution gene, are bred together. Two dogs that are not visibly blue, but carry the dilution gene, can produce a blue french bulldog. Also, when two french bulldogs carrying the blue dilution gene are bred together, not all offspring will necesarily be visually blue.

Chocolate french bulldogs are a similar story. Although they are not as widely available as blue frenchies they are becoming more and more popular and the demand for them is quickly increasing. Like blue frenchies, chocolate (or “liver”) is excluded from the breed standard but with no explanation as to why. There are no known health issues related to chocolate coat color, or any coat color for that matter.

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*Image from WCA