They have a gene which dilutes their Color
Genetics play a huge part in any creature and in the French Bulldog there are specific genes that determine color. In the Beautiful Blue Frenchie there is a specific recessive gene that needs to be present. In order for it to display this recessive gene it needs to be passed on by both parents. However this does not mean that both parents need to be Blue in Color, it is possible for a range of Frenchies to produce Blue puppies whether they are Black, Lilac or Platinum.
The specific gene which leads to this dilution in color is located in the D Locus. This is often referred to as either the dilution gene or the Blue gene. It is possible for other areas to interact with this and create patterns or combine other colors. For example Lilac, Isabella and Platinum French Bulldogs all contain the Blue gene yet don’t display as Blue in their coloring.
Due to genetics they are rare
Due to the gene being dominated by the Black color gene it is rare to find Blue French Bulldogs. There are however two ways that recessive genes become more predominant. The first relates to targeted breeding programs. If you were to breed two Blue French Bulldogs then all of their offspring will also contain two sets of recessive genes. That does not mean they will be necessarily Blue but it would mean that they’re not Black which is the other coloring present.
You can also get Blue Brindle French Bulldogs
In order to produce a Blue Brindle it requires the above genes to be present to produce the Blue base color. In addition to this the Brindle patterning also needs to be present in it’s genetics. Brindle is very common in French Bulldogs and it is likely that you’ll see more Blue Brindle than Solid Blue French bulldog’s.
Brindle is a dominant gene which means only one copy of the gene needs to be present for the pattern to be displayed. There can however be a huge variety in the striping pattern displayed in a Brindle. It is possible for a Blue Brindle to display stipes all over it’s body similar to a tiger or for it to be isolated to a specific area usually around their flank.
Whilst some Brindle combinations can show as a striking variation between two very different colors this isn’t the case in a Blue Brindle. You will only notice a small difference between lighter Grey/Blue areas and darker Grey/Blue areas. Whilst Solid Blue coats are preferred by breeders there is little difference for those looking only for a pet.
They can also come as Blue Merle
Similar to Brindle Merle is another pattern that can be applied to the Blue coat. For a Merle coat to be present it only requires one copy of the Positive Merle gene to be present. Unlike Brindle though Merle is a rarer pattern to be found and often commands a premium price.
There are risks associated with owning/breeding Merle dogs, whilst there is debate around the health issues a puppy with a single copy of the Merle gene inherit their are large risks with any that possess two copies. You will hear these dogs referred to as Double Merles and it is highly irresponsible to breed two Merle dogs due to this. Below are a list of health issues of which there are a high likelihood of being present in a Double Merle.
- Deafness – There is an increased risk of deafness or hearing issues compared to a regular Frenchie
- Blindness – Dilation of the pupils can be an issue which can lead to night blindness and in most cases complete blindness.
- Further Eye Issues – There is also a risk of eyes being off centre, additional eyelids, missing tissue or in some cases being born without eyes.
- Immune Deficiency – Almost certainty of a having a weakened immune system.
The Merle coat displays itself in a much more patchy fashion than the stipes of Brindle. There is an element of randomness to this and it usually results in small dots on the face and larger patches around the body.
There is also another Coloring in Blue Fawn
This requires the French Bulldog to also require the Blue dilution gene. This time however they also need to possess the Fawn gene this often translates to lighter colors around their eyes nose and paws.
In addition to this you will also see tan points likely on the underside of the Frenchie, this can make a striking contrast to the Blue coat which covers the rest of the dog.
It isn’t a recognised Color by the AKC (American Kennel Club)
Unfortunately there can be additional health concerns around the dilution gene which makes then unrecognised. Kennel Clubs only recognise the natural colors that maximise the health benefits of the breed.
The main issue relates to a skin condition called Color dilution Alopecia (CDA). This can lead to patches of hair thinning or loss and may also include flaky or itchy skin. Whilst this condition is not life threatening there are ways you can help manage this condition. If this condition is spotted, a vet will be able to advise and prescribe a range of treatments such as shampoos or oral antibiotics.
They weren’t always called French Bulldog’s
Surprisingly the first French Bulldogs weren’t bred in France but in England. They were originally bred from the English Bulldog breed and were referred to as Toy Bulldogs. It was the lace industry cantered around Nottingham where they were at the height of popularity.
They were largely migrated to France along with the lace industry itself where they were renamed Bouledogue Francais. From here they were popularised and often referred to in tandem with the nightlife of Paris at the turn of the 20th Century. There are many iconic images of women working in Parisian Brothels accompanied by their French Bulldogs and it was captured within postcards of the time.
Eventually the popularity of this breed began to spread worldwide and has been popular amongst a range of people. They were once the pet of choice of Tatiana Romanov of the Russian Royal Family and there is even one recorded as going down sadly on the titanic.
They don’t reproduce naturally
Due to the physical characteristics that have been bred into Frenchie’s over the years it has limited their ability to naturally reproduce. This relates to a number of factors most notable their short legs, narrow hips and compact body. It is not impossible that some Frenchie’s wouldn’t be able to reproduce naturally it is just unlikely.
Unsurprisingly there are still ways for them to reproduce and this requires breeders to artificially inseminate them. I will spare the details but if you want to know how this process works then read this article.
If you have or have ever looked into buying a Frenchie then you will be aware that they aren’t cheap. For the lower end you are still likely looking in the region of $2,000 + with premiums added for certain colors/patterns.
For a Blue French Bulldog you are likely looking at the following prices.
|Blue French Bulldog||Price|
|Solid Blue French Bulldog||$2,000 – $3,000|
|Blue Merle French Bulldog||$2,000 – $3,000|
|Blue Fawn French Bulldog||$2,000 – $3,000|
They aren’t able to swim
There are a number of reasons that lead to there difficulty swimming and also as to why they shouldn’t swim.
The first reason relates to their body shape and size, they have a large bulky body which doesn’t naturally float as well as other dogs. In addition to this they only have short legs which makes getting any sort of movement and floatation incredibly difficult.
The second reason relates to health concerns around them swimming. They struggle to regulate their temperature whilst this normally relates to cooling they also aren’t as insulated as other dogs which makes keeping warm difficult also. Due to this exposure to the cold temperatures aren’t recommended. Also due to their short faces and breathing issues it makes it more difficult for them to keep their face above water in addition to their lack of physical prowess.
They often have health issues
It is widely accepted that French Bulldogs have a large number of health concerns. Whilst good breeding can alleviate some of the issues below is a list of common health problems, how to spot them and manage them if possible.
Whilst not unique to Frenchies they are known to suffer more than other breeds. This will usually display in red/raw patches often around their paws. Also it can show through watery eyes, ear infections or sneezing. If you suspect allergy issues it is best to discuss with a vet around possible treatments.
Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome (BAS)
Due to their short snouts it can lead to issues around their breathing. This usually results in snoring and noisy breathing. It can however lead to retching, regurgitaion and vomiting and it certainly lowers their tolerance to heat. Due to this it’s best to ensure they are not over exposed to heat as this can quickly turn into heat stroke due to their inability to cool themselves quickly.
Skin Fold Dermatitis
Whilst we love their wrinkles and skinfolds it can lead to issues within these folds. It is important these areas are checked for redness and sores, you will usually see your Frenchie attempting to lick/scratch any irritated areas.
Due to the shape of the French Bulldog they can have issues in keeping their ears clean. Often these areas become breeding grounds for bacteria. In order to clean them the first rule is not to put anything inside the ear, this often just compacts any dirt within the ear. It is best to use an ear cleaner to break down the dirt.
As a result of the eyes standing more predominately on their face they are at risk of eye issues. They can also be born with small amounts of tissue sticking out of their eye. If you notice this or any redness/lumps around the eye your best bet is a trip to the vet.
Back and Spine issues
Unfortunately it is more common in Frenchies for them to have issues around their back and necks. This often results in back pain and sometimes slipped discs. Often these issues will display themselves later in life and it is best to consult a vet.