Lilac French Bulldog – What you Need to Know

Lilac French Bulldog

Lilac is a rare color found in French Bulldogs requiring a combination of two pairs of recessive genes. This unique color is in high demand with a number of specialist breeding programs dedicated to producing Lilac Puppies.

What is a Lilac French Bulldog?

Lilac is the combination of two sets of recessive genes in a Frenchie. These are the dilution gene also known as the Blue gene and the Chocolate gene. There are two different ways to produce chocolate coloring but only one of these can be used to create a Lilac Frenchie.

The first gene required is the dilution gene also known as the Blue gene. This is located in the D Locus and turns the base color of the Frenchie into a lighter shade. For example this turns a Black coat into a lighter shade which is known as Blue hence why it is known as the Blue gene.

The second gene required is chocolate. Whilst there are two different ways to produce the chocolate coloring Lilac requires a specific one of the two. The required gene is known as the Cocoa gene and until recently wasn’t testable in their DNA. Like the dilution gene this is also recessive meaning that both parents need to pass on a copy of the gene for it to appear. You can check the presence of this gene through a DNA test

What is the difference between a Blue and Lilac French Bulldog?

Whilst different in appearance there is still a number of similarities between Blue and Lilac. Every Lilac Frenchie will also have the Blue gene and due to this they are capable of producing Blue puppies. For example if you bred a Blue Frenchie with no chocolate genes and a Lilac Frenchie then you would expect all their offspring to be Blue (Other genes permitting).

The main difference between the two is the addition of the chocolate gene in the Lilac Frenchie. If this was removed then they would also be Blue in Color.

What is the difference between an Isabella and Lilac French Bulldog?

This is where it gets slightly more complicated as there is little difference in terms of looks between Isabella and Lilac. They do however have a different set of genes which results in their coloring. Isabella is where the other Chocolate gene comes into play. There are two different ways that a Frenchie can display the chocolate coloring, the first being the Cocoa gene for Lilac. However the other way is in the B Locus this is also a recessive gene and can sometimes be referred to as Brown or Testable Chocolate.

An Isabella French Bulldog despite being similar in look is a lot rarer than Lilac. It is believed that around 10% of Lilac/Isabella colored Frenchies are Isabella. It is advised if you are buying an Isabella that genetics are tested of either the parents or the puppy to ensure it is isn’t actually Lilac.

Do Lilac Frenchies 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.

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.

Do Lilac French Bulldogs Shed?

How much a French Bulldog will shed depends on the climate and time of year. Unfortunately for anyone who has allergies they’re not hypoallergenic and Lilac Frenchies shed as much as any other French bulldog.

In regions where there are clear summer and winter seasons you should expect to see more shedding through the summer. This is due to the removal of their winter coat. In climates which are warmer all year round you should expect to see them shedding their coat 2-3 times a year.

Can you get a Lilac & Tan French Bulldog?

Lilac & Tan French Bulldogs are incredibly rare due to the addition of another recessive gene. There is no genetic reason however that they can’t be produced.

The additional gene required to produce a Lilac & Tan Frenchie is referred to as the Tan gene. In order for this to present itself the Fawn gene which is common in Frenchie’s can not be present. The reason for this is due to Fawn being dominant over the Tan gene.

What is a Lilac Merle Frenchie?

Merle itself is a patterning rather than a color. Merle itself is rare within French Bulldogs but unlike other rare genes it is actually a dominant trait. One of the reasons it is rare however is due to reluctance to breed Merles due to potential health risks involved. Whilst the health risks of a dog containing one copy of the Merle gene is debatable, where a French Bulldog has two copies of this gene it is referred to as a Double Merle which will almost certainly have significant health issues. Some of these 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 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.

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