Isabella French Bulldog – Everything You Need to Know

The Isabella French Bulldog is a rare and highly sought after color. It requires a specific combination of recessive genes making targeted breeding the only reliable way to produce them.

What is an Isabella French Bulldog?

An Isabella French Bulldog refers to a specific combination of genes to produce a color referred to as Isabella. It is a diluted version of the Brown color and appears as a Light Brown/Grey Coat. In addition to their lighter coat they will likely have a lighter nose often appearing as a red nose or pink nose. It is still however possible for them to have a more traditional Black nose.

The specific gene combination to produce an Isabella French Bulldog relates to the D Locus (Dilution Gene) and the B Locus which can produce either Black or Brown coats. As both Brown and dilution are recessive traits it requires both parents to possess and pass these on to their puppies. The B Locus can either have the dominant B or recessive b if one of these genes is dominant the puppy will have a Black coat. Likewise if one of the D Locus gene is the dominant D the coat will retain either it’s Black or Brown coloring. The table below outlines the different combinations and the colors they produce. A Capital Letter indicates a dominant gene and non capital indicates a recessive gene.

B Locus (Coat Color Gene)D Locus (Dilution Gene)Color Produced
Genetics require to produce an Isabella French Bulldog

The above makes the assumptions that other parts of the Frenchie’s genetics have no effect on the pattern/coloring. Due to these additional factors it makes it even more difficult to produce an Isabella in reality.

Explained by Love My Pups

Is Lilac and Isabella the same?

It is often believed that Lilac and Isabella are the same but there is a difference in their genetics. An Isabella Frenchie requires the base color of Brown from the B Locus and the dilution gene from the D Locus. A Lilac still requires the D Locus to be present for dilution but it will have the Chocolate coloring from genes referred to as the coco Gene.

It is only recently that the Cocoa gene was discovered and has become testable. In order for the Chocolate coloring to appear it requires copies of two recessive genes as is the same with Brown. It is worth noting that Cocoa is a lot more common in French Bulldogs than Brown and it is not obvious visually as to the difference.

The same is true for Lilac and Isabella, Lilac is a lot more common than Isabella. It is not always clear as to which it is without a DNA test. Further to this if an Isabella and a Lilac were to breed surprisingly they likely wouldn’t produce any Lilac or Isabella puppies. The below table outlines the colors doing so would produce.

Genes possessedMale – bbCoCodd (Isabella)
Female – BBcocodd (Lilac)Puppy – BbCocodd (Blue)

It is possible for a Lilac or Isabella to also carry one copy of either Brown or Chocolate genetics which would make it possible but there would still be a number of Blue puppies.

Newshade Lilac/Double Lilac or Newshade Isabella/Double Isabella

So what happens if a French Bulldog has both the genes for Lilac and Isabella? This is currently referred to as Newshade Lilac/Double Lilac or Newshade Isabella/Double Isabella these are incredibly rare and will usually display in a very similar way to Lilac/Isabella.

How can you tell a French Bulldog is Isabella?

The simple answer is that the only guaranteed way to know is through a DNA test. It is also possible to determine through seeing DNA results of the parents also. If the parents don’t have the Brown b genes and instead have the Cocoa gene co then the offspring will be Lilac.

How much does an Isabella French Bulldog cost?

When buying an Isabella it is important first to establish it is Isabella from it’s genetics. It is likely that a breeder with proof of this will be charging in the region of $10,000 due to it’s rarity. If you are seeing an Isabella advertised at a cost which is a lot lower than this amount then it is more likely to be Lilac or possibly another combination which is displaying in a similar fashion to Isabella.

French Bulldog Health Concerns

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.

Final Thoughts

The Isabella coloring is a stunning look on a French Bulldog but it is important to do a thorough check when buying to ensure you are not being miss-sold an Isabella. It also important to be prepared for the additional health issues that come along with the French Bulldog Breed.

Leave a Comment

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