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Colors and Patterns

One of the most favorite characteristics of French Bulldogs owners

is that these dogs come in many wonderful colors and patterns.
Frenchies are so lovable that it is impossible for the owner to
decide which is one would be the most appropriate to select
because each one is so unique and different. Whatever your
particular preference is, it is our job to help you select the most
sustainable option for you when it comes down to Frenchies.
A person can first look into information provided by AKC on Breed
Standard to see what the club says about acceptable and nonacceptable colors. Many people around the world recognize the
fact that there is more than a little confusion on colors and color
patterns as stated in the AKC standard. What they say is that all
terms regarding color and colorations should be taken
subjectively, as there is a great deal of difference of opinion
within the Frenchie community as to which term defines which
The AKC has defined their color standards as following:
Acceptable colors - all brindle, fawn, white, brindle and white,
and any color except those which constitute disqualification. All
colors are acceptable with the exception of solid black, mouse, or
liver; black and tan; black and white; and white with black, which
are disqualifications (for dog shows). Black means black without
a trace of brindle.
After referring to different studies and other information we would
add to your knowledge that colors and color patterns of the
French Bulldog are based on several different genes which
interact with each other to produce the myriad of beautiful colors
and patterns in which this wonderful dog appears. As is the case
with other genes, some are dominant and others are recessive.
For a recessive gene to be expressed, a puppy must inherit the
recessive gene from both the mother and the father. If the

recessive is inherited from one and the dominant from the other,
the dominant will be expressed, but the puppy will also carry the
recessive gene which can be passed on to future generations.
Since the relative rarity and desirability of a Frenchie color and
pattern is a significant factor in the pricing of Frenchie puppies, it
is probably good to have an idea of how the various genes
Without getting too complex and getting into a lot of confusing
DNA verbiage, it can say that brindle is dominant over fawn and a
uniform color is dominant over piedness (white coat with patches
of a dark color). The rare chocolate is also a recessive color in
Frenchies caused by one of four alleles on the B locus (one of
which, the most common, cannot be DNA tested for as yet). The
rare and beautiful blue coloration (diluting black to bluish gray or
chocolate to lilac) is also due to a recessive gene.
Pure black with no brindling is due to a recessive black gene, as is
pure blue (which is created by the double recessive black coupled
with the double recessive dilute [blue] gene). Pure black and pure
blue Frenchies are not permitted in AKC sanctioned conformation
events at this time but hopefully this will change so that these
extraordinarily rare and beautiful dogs can be properly admired
and rewarded. Another color and pattern which is even more rare
and beautiful is the pure black with tan points (created by another
recessive gene, which can also be diluted to a pure blue with tan
points). These gorgeous and extremely rare dogs are also not
allowed currently into AKC sanctioned conformation events
someday hopefully they will.
Pied: In simple terms, a pied Frenchie is basically a white dog
with patches of an acceptable color. These are beautiful dogs and
are all very distinct based on the patterning of the colors.
Brindle: A brindle Frenchie has a coat that is predominantly a
dark color (such as black, chocolate, or blue) with lighter hairs of

another color mixed in (brindling may be heavy or light).

Frequently, there is a patch of white either on the chest, head, or
neck areas of brindle dogs. According to the AKC guidelines, all
brindle dogs have acceptable coloring, including blues and
chocolates, which are both recessive colorings and therefore quite
rare. Many owners are aware of several blue and chocolate
brindle dogs that have been entered into conformation
competitions and have done well

Fawn: This description apparently includes colors that are

referred to as everything from Cream to Red. Creams can range
from deep amber to rich butterscotch to palest gold. Cream is
generally considered to be a dilution of fawn, minus the masking
gene. You can see that there is a wide range of interpretation
about just what the color fawn is, but they are all very pretty (if
you ask us).
Blue or blue brindle: Blue Frenchies are the result of the d or
dilute gene, which they must inherit from both the mother and
the father (kind of like blue eyes in humans). The dilute factor
causes the black hairs to become blue. Pigment on the nose and
pads are also a grayish blue in color, and eyes are often blue or
yellowish gold. Blue dogs are quite rare and command a higher
price than standard colors.
Blue-fawn: This is a color variation of blue, with coloring being
seen most clearly in the masking points on the face. There is a
blue hue on a typical tan coat. Generally, they have green/grey
eyes. These are also very beautiful and rare dogs.
Tiger brindle: This is a term reserved for Frenchies with a coat
pattern comprising a fairly regular pattern of alternating fawn and
black stripes, similar in appearance to the coat of a tiger.

Black (or seal) brindle: These dogs have a coat so dark that it
may appear black, but a closer inspection will reveal at least a
few lighter hairs.
Reverse brindle: These Frenchies are brindle but the fawn color
is more predominant than the dark or black brindling.
Chocolate: This is another rare Frenchie color which can range
from a light milk chocolate brown to a dark chocolate brown. A
chocolate Frenchie will have a brown to light brown nose and nails
and generally brown eyes, occasionally green, hazel, or a piercing
yellow/gold. They both have beautiful rich brown coloring with
very little brindling and should produce some outstanding
chocolate brindle and pied pups.
Sable: Another fairly rare coloring for the Frenchie is sable. Sable
Frenchies have a fawn coat (usually a darker or reddish fawn) with
the hairs being tipped in black, with other black hairs mixed in
fairly evenly into the coat. The black tipping and shading tends to
be heavier on the back, head, and neck; and often the lower legs
are without evidence of black.
Extremely rare Frenchie colors that are disqualified by the
AKC for conformation competitions, but they are
extremely beautiful and command very high prices:
Pure Black and Pure Blue Pure black Frenchies (Frenchies
with a black coat with no brindling) are disqualified for
conformation competitions, probably because it was initially
thought that this was a dominant characteristic and would
overpower other colors. It is now known that pure black is caused
by a recessive gene on the A locus which is rare and must be
inherited from both parents. These are very beautiful and
expensive dogs. The pure blue is even rarer in that pure blue
Frenchies (blue with no brindling) must inherit both the recessive
black gene and the recessive dilute gene from both parents.

Black & tan and Blue & Tan: These are the rarest of the French
Bulldog marking patterns and colors. They are also disqualified for
conformation competitions because initially black & tan was
thought to be a dominant marking pattern, as it is in other canine
breeds like Doberman Pinchers and Rottweilers. It is now known
that black & tan in Frenchies (black with tan points) is the result of
a recessive gene which is very uncommon in Frenchies. Even
more rare is the blue & tan (blue with tan points) since both the
recessive black & tan and the recessive dilute genes must be
inherited from both parents.
Frenchies having any of the colors and patterns shown
immediately above are very beautiful, very rare, and very
expensive; but if you are looking for a unique and special dog that
very few individuals in the world are lucky enough to own, one
may be just what you are looking for. While Frenchies of these
colors and patterns cannot currently be entered into
conformation competitions, they are just as healthy and just as
wonderful in every way as their brothers and sisters which have
more common coloration.
Acceptable, but penalized, coloring:
Ticked pied - This refers to Frenchies that have obvious
freckled markings on the white areas of the body. This is not a
DQ for the AKC, but this pattern tends to be heavily penalized in
show rings everywhere. The more white a Frenchie has, the more
likely it is to have ticking, although there are some pied dogs
which had virtually no ticking. Some individuals really like
Frenchies with a lot of ticking regardless of what the AKC
penalizes, so it is really a matter of personal taste.