All of the controversy over French Bulldog colors (it’s a Frenchie list thing – if it’s not this, it’s ear size or weight) made me contemplate the need to hear from both sides of the argument, both pro and con.
First up is long time French Bulldog breeder and recent Blue French Bulldog convert Trudy Bettinger. She was kind enough to answer some questions for me, and to share some photographs of her blues.
Tell me a bit about your background in French Bulldogs, pre Blues. How long have you been breeding French Bulldogs, and do you show?
I have owned Frenchies since 1990, and have owner/handled numerous Frenchies to their AKC championships, and have BRED more than 50 French Bulldog champions including group placing and Best In Specialty Winners.
When did you get your first blue, and did you breed him/her?
I bought my first blue Frenchies in 2002 and yes, I bred them sparingly.
What do you like about Blues?
Silly question; they are French Bulldogs. What is not to like? Although some colors in this breed appeal to me more than others, I do not hate any color, and simply love the breed no matter what color or size they come in. But, I have always been a fan of the color blue and have actually bred and/or owned blue shar-pei and blue neapolitan mastiffs, so would have no valid reason to dislike the color in French Bulldogs. I am more concerned about breed type and health issues than what color the Frenchie’s hair happens to be.
Some people seem to be worried that blue is linked to health issues – have you experienced that with your Blues?
Blue French Bulldogs are FRENCH BULLDOGS that happen to have blue hair. They come from the same gene pool as brindle, cream, fawn, etc. and because there are so few BLUES in existence, I would love to meet anyone who can produce factual data linking specific health issues affecting the French Bulldog breed to blue coat color.
As stated, Blue French Bulldogs don’t have their own separate and distinct gene pool, so they can be affected by any health issue that occurs in our breed, but I am very conscientious about all of the Frenchies that are in my breeding program (no matter the color), so routinely screen my dogs for known health issues affecting French Bulldogs.
Do you think “blue” and the color “mouse”, as referred to in the standard, are the same thing?
I think that those people that are against the color BLUE want to claim that BLUE and MOUSE are interchangeable. BUT, I have researched numerous AKC recognized breeds and their standards, and whether it be Australian Shepherd, Australian Cattle Dog, Italian Greyhound, Chow Chow, Chinese Shar-pei, Neapolitan Mastiff, etc. the correct description for said coat color(s)is BLUE……no mention of ‘mouse’.
One of the main complaints I’ve heard about Blues is their ‘light’ eye. Do you think this can be bred away from?
I certainly do think it is possible to breed away from the very pale yellowy eyes. In fact, the eyes in Blue Frenchies, whether they be blue fawn or blue brindle (pieds), range from a light yellow/grey to dark brown. If you look at BLUE IG’s, for example, their eye color is dark, and very light eyes in that breed are to be ‘faulted’ but not Disqualified.
There is NO DISQUALIFICATION in the French Bulldog breed standard for EYE COLOR, so what is the beef?????
Our creams, fawns, brindles, and black mask fawns are already plagued with yellow, orange, pale brown eyes, so to blame BLUES for that issue is absurd, and AGAIN, there is no DQ related to eye color.
Do you want to be able to show your Blues?
I would be ecstatic if I could show my blues in AKC conformation events and would be really thrilled to have the first BLUE AKC CHAMPION!! How cool would that be?
Do you think the FBDCA should address the issue of Blues, and if so, what would you like them to do?
The FBDCA should be addressing our ambiguous breed standard in general, not just this particular color issue. Our standard says ALL BRINDLES are ACCEPTED, but blues and blue pieds are BRINDLE, so that should mean noone has anything to bitch about. Our standard says Nose black. Nose other than black is a disqualifying fault, except in the case of the lighter colored dogs, where a lighter colored nose is acceptable but not desirable. WELL, blues are ‘dilute’ so their noses will not be black, but lighter in color just like their hair. The vast majority of creams don’t have BLACK noses; most of them have brown noses, except for those that get their little noses painted by their handlers before they jet into the show ring. And what exactly is a TRACE OF BRINDLE??? Brindle is a PATTERN. How can 3 little light hairs on a black dog constitute a ‘pattern’???
Why do you think Blues are so controversial?
Hahaha…….I bred one of the very first BLUE SHAR-PEI in the USA many, many moons ago and although the color was not addressed in the standard (meaning no DQ or fault), you would have thought the world was coming to an end. Those that didn’t have them, wanted to buy them and then got irate if they couldn’t get one so they trashed them from here to kingdom come.
In reality, there is no valid reason for anyone to go into such a tirade over something so ridiculous as the coat color of a dog in a breed that comes in a variety of colors and markings. BLUE is a ‘naturally occurring’ color in our breed, and a multitude of other AKC recognized breeds. Furthermore, there is no factual data to support any claim that there are mystery diseases associated with the blue coat color in our breed, and French Bulldogs regardless of their hair color should be adored by all. If you don’t like the color blue, then don’t buy one, don’t own one, and if one pops up in your next litter, just sell the baby to someone who does love the color.
Are you jealous that your dogs aren’t plaid?
You might be kidding, but I don’t do plaid…….hahaha.
You can learn more about Trudy’s Blue dogs on her website – www.blue-frenchbulldogs.com. All photos in this post are courtesy of Trudy Bettinger and BlueFrenchBulldogs.Com – Copyright reserved.