A Not So Brief History of Blues in North America
Thanks to the ever wonderfully informative Carol Hawke (of “Sonlit” French Bulldogs fame), comes this informative history of the ties between the rise of Blue French Bulldogs and North American French Bulldog breeders.
This is important, because an awful lot of relatively new French Bulldog people associate Blue French Bulldogs most closely with a handful of European French Bulldogs breeders, when in actual fact, Blues can most commonly be traced back to kennels in England, where a closed gene pool and limited range of colors led to the occasional occurrence of dilute fawn Frenchies, in pied, brindle or solidly marked patterns.
UK French Bulldog breeders had traditionally been rigorous about petting out their DQ (short form for ‘disqualified from showing’) colors, although a few slipped through the cracks when they were sold to North America, where they were used in breeding programs. This is how the lovely blue brindle pied male, Banerjee Bon Homme, ended up in the United States with Arlie Alford of Kennel Le Bull renown.
Frankie (as he was known) was sired by Wilcott Edison, a full litter brother to Wilcott Eureka (call name Yuri), who was imported into the USA by Pat Mentiply, of Pelshire French Bulldogs. Yuri was a lovely black masked, fawn pied dog, compact in size, and bred to Carol Hawke’s Cox’s Goodtime Allspice, he sired the littermates Ch Sonlit Europa and Ch Sonlit Daring Esprit (Lily and Duggie). Duggie, Lily and Yuri are all behind my own dogs, as is Ch Player Edwardpuck, sire of Maxine, the first (true) Black and Tan French Bulldog most modern fanciers had ever seen. In spite of this abundance of ‘rare’ color options running strongly through my pedigrees, we’ve never, as of yet, produced a blue French Bulldog, which only proves that, in my opinion, you have to work pretty hard at it to actually get one intentionally. And by ‘working hard’, I mean “Ignore everything else in your breeding program other than ‘what kinds of colors can I get?”, to which – no thanks.
That’s where Carol’s blog (now gone) comes in.
Blue Moon was a slate gray, blue French Bulldog male puppy bred by kennel Lebull, not Sonlit. Blue Moon’s sire was Ch.Lebull’s Bart Simpson, a superb honey pied, black masked fawn dog whose dam was the exquisite brindle, National Specialty BOS bitch, Ch. Sonlit Europa (a littermate to my Duggie) and whose sire was the blue brindle pied import, Banerjee BonHomme. Trophy was linebred on Wilcott and De La Parure breeding through his dam, Lebull’s Violacea.
“Trophy” or Blue Moon was dropped off one day by his breeder in a great hurry. I quickly figured out WHY. He, like all her dogs, had giardia at that time and she had to get them off the property until she found the cause. (Which would to turn out to be the fecal matter left strewn over the property by the pet pigs and a few wild animals actually inherent to the area.) Kennel Lebull, did, in fact, have kennels but they typically went unused. I suspect the proprietor didn’t believe in them. Perhaps they were thought cruel and unnatural, sort of like braziers and panty hose.
updated and reposted
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That picture looks like my 13 year dog that passed away…. 🙁 it brought me memories… they are very sweet dogs…