Chocolate French Bulldog – Everything you Need to Know

Chocolate French Bulldog

What is a Chocolate French Bulldog?

A Chocolate French Bulldog can be referred to by a variety of different names. It is common to hear them also referred to as Brown/Liver although the terms can be confusing due to there being two types of Chocolate Frenchie.

The first way a Chocolate French Bulldog can be produced is through the recessive Cocoa gene. This is often represented as two sets of Co in genetic code. If this is capitalised as in Co then the dominant gene is present and the Chocolate effect will not be displayed. However if there are two non capitalised as in coco this means two sets of recessive genes are present and the Frenchie will display Chocolate coloring.

The second way a Frenchie can be Chocolate relates to the gene located in the B Locus. This is often referred to as the Brown gene or Testable Chocolate. Similar to the Cocoa gene this also requires two recessive genes. The recessive genes are represented as bb in the genetic code when the chocolate coloring is present. If one of the dominant genes is present which is represented as B then the chocolate color will be suppressed. It is thought that around 10% of chocolate Frenchie’s are the testable chocolate variant and 90% are Cocoa.

What Chocolate Color Combinations are there?

There are a number of different combinations within the Chocolate coloring which come with different degrees of commonality.

Chocolate Brindle French Bulldog

Brindle is a pattern which is fairly common in French Bulldogs. The pattern displays itself as what is often described as tiger stripes and they will display as darker stripes through the Chocolate coat. Brindle itself is a Dominant gene which means if one copy of this is present the Brindle effect will be displayed.

Brindle French Bulldog

Chocolate Fawn French Bulldog

Chocolate Fawn refers to a coat which appears Chocolate in color but is due to the differing Fawn shades. Fawn itself can display as anything from a light brown almost white in color to a dark shade which appears Chocolate. There can also be the combination of Chocolate genetics and Fawn. This results in the regular Chocolate coloring you would expect from a Chocolate French Bulldog.

Chocolate Tri Color French Bulldog

Tri Color refers not to the number of colors but the rare genetics it possesses in it’s DNA. It is possible for a Chocolate to be classed as Tri Color if it also carries genes such as the fluffy gene and Merle.

Chocolate Merle French Bulldog

Merle is a gene which affects the patterning that can display on a Frenchie. It appears in patches of fur in a different shade from the Chocolate base coat. In order for this patterning to appear it requires the presence of a dominant Merle gene. There are however health risks involved with the Merle genetics.

Double Merle Chocolate French Bulldog

The largest risk relates to the presence of two positive Merle genes this is often referred to as a Double Merle. Unfortunately these puppies are born with severe health issues and should be expected to live a short life. Some of the health issues that are likely to be seen are:

  • 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 some 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 – A high risk of a having a weakened immune system.

Due to the above risks it is very important never to breed two Merle dogs together. If this happens then it should be expected that 1 in 4 puppies will be born as Double Merles.

In addition to the health issues suffered by Double Merles there are also risks to the health of Single Merle dogs. Whilst not at the same severity and debated by a number of people the same health issues have been spotted in Merles. There has not been a comprehensive study on French Bulldogs specifically but across dog breeds as a whole there have been findings. You can read the study published in the US National Library of Medicine which shows a link between the single Merle gene and the above health issues predominantly hearing loss.

French Bulldog History

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.

French Bulldog 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.

Ear Infections

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.

Corneal Ulcers

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.

How much does a Chocolate French Bulldog Cost?

This is somewhat dependent on the genetics leading to the Chocolate coloring. Due to the additional rarity from the Brown/Testable Chocolate this will often come with a higher price tag. This is due to it being part of the genetic make up of the Isabella shade which often comes with a hefty price tag.

A Cocoa Chocolate French Bulldog would be expected to sell in the region of $2,000+. This is similar to the more common colors such as Fawn. This is due to a number or breeding programs making Chocolate more common.

The Brown/Testable Chocolate is expected to make up around 10% of the Chocolate colored French Bulldogs in existence. Due to this it should be expected when this is evidenced a higher price will be demanded. You should expect to see prices in the region of $3,000+.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *