No Fad Colors for French Bulldogs

French Bulldog Breeder Warning Signs, Part One – Fad Colors

 Updated March 9, 2014 to include Merle

Due to requests, I’m compiling a list of “Bad French Bulldog Breeder Warning Signs”, which you’ll find serialized here. Part One is on Fad Colors in French Bulldogs.


Warning Sign:

Breeder offers “rare” colors, such as Blue, Chocolate, Black and Tan

Why is this an issue?

“Rare” colors are nothing more or less than a marketing scam. There really is nothing rare or unusual about any of the colors listed. In actual fact, they are uncommon simply because ethical breeders choose not to breed for them, because they are ‘DQs’ (a show term which is short for ‘disqualification’).

Dogs in DQ colors cannot be shown in conformation show events, thus breeders who compete in conformation and who register their dogs with their country’s body of registry are unlikely to intentionally breed for them. Additionally, most ethical breeders choose to belong to their national or regional breed clubs, and almost all French Bulldog clubs do not allow intentional breeding of DQ colors by their members.

Any breeder can, by accident, get a puppy of a DQ color in a litter. Reputable breeders simply place these puppies as pets, for the same price as any other puppy. In fact, past breeders who had DQ colors appear would usually place the puppies for free, since their color was considered undesirable.

By pushing these colors as ‘rare’,  Fad Color breeders are attempting to inflate their value, and their price. They want you to become convinced that these puppy have some sort of value added, by virtue of their color, and that this makes them worth a higher price. They are taking advantage of the naivete of novice owners, who might be attracted to the idea of owning something ‘unique’, and who don’t understand the truth behind ‘fad’ colors.

These breeders understand full well that they are scamming you into paying a higher price for a puppy that, years ago, would have been given away for free. Many of them brag, in private, about how the ‘stupid pet people‘ are ‘paying off their mortgages twenty years early‘ (actual quote from a private email that was shared with me).

Some fad colors have been linked to health conditions, specifically, Blues with a condition called color dilution alopecia (this condition is so common in Blue dogs of every breed that it is often referred to as “Blue Dog Alopecia”.

CDA can result in hair loss and chronic skin inflammation. This inflammation can lead to skin ruptures, cracks and injuries, leaving the dogs afflicted by it prone to Staph infections, or even MRSA. In Collie puppies, blue dogs an suffer from an immune linked disorder which can cause them to die within the first few weeks after birth.

Early breeders noted all of these factors, and declared “Blue”, “Mouse” and “Grey” (all of which are now believed to be the same, genetically) in French Bulldogs to be a disqualification because they did not want to see breeding stock afflicted by these devastating conditions. Only a breeder who truly cares about nothing more than the money would resurrect them, at the potential detriment to the breed, and to the puppies produced.

A well thought out breeding program, in French Bulldogs or any other breeds, is essentially a pyramid.

The base of our pyramid is our stable foundation – health and temperament. They are the base on which all else must balance. Above that, we put conformation, then above that movement (which requires both proper health and proper conformation to exist). Above that, we put fanciful preferences, like color or pattern.

Imagine, now, if we invert that pyramid, and try to balance our ENTIRE breeding program on that tiny, unimportant tip? We will never be able to achieve balance, symmetry and harmony in our dogs, and our pyramid will crumble into a heap of unhealthy, improperly conformed, ill tempered dogs.

Color fad breeders don’t care if their breeding program crumbles or fails, because, by the time it does, they will be on to the next new money making scheme. They will leave the breed, and the owners who bought from them, to fend for themselves.

Updated: Merle French Bulldogs – Blind and Deaf Victims of Greed


There is NO such thing as a “purebred” Merle French Bulldogs. French Bulldogs do NOT carry the genetic mutation for merle. To produce merle French Bulldogs, breeders are crossing into other breeds that do carry Merle, most usually Chihuahuas. The cross bred puppies that are produced are then weeded out to select the merled examples, which are then bred back to each other. In some cases, this produces dogs of a genetic make up referred to as homozygous or double merle. Double merle dogs can face health issues ranging from increased fetal mortality rates, deafness, blindness and a host of eye anomalies and structural defects. Intentional introduction of merle, a gene that can and DOES kill, blind or impair the dogs who carry with it, is the most callously horrific example of breeders behaving badly that you can possibly imagine. NO ONE who intentionally breeds for merle French Bulldogs (to be more accurate, merle cross breds) cares about ANYTHING other than the money they can suck out of uncaring or uneducated puppy buyers. 

Purchasing a Merle French Bulldog or Mexican Frenchie is to knowingly hand money over to someone who KNOWS that a large percent of the dogs they produce will be blind, deaf or dead before birth. Your ‘healthy’ merle puppy comes at a higher price than you can imagine – the misery, blindness, suffering or even death of her siblings or family members. It’s like walking into the worst, most heinous example of a puppy mill you can possibly imagine, and rewarding them with  a cash bonus for doing such a good job of torturing animals. Don’t support this greed – please.

I am so outraged and incensed over the idea of someone INTENTIONALLY breeding for Merle French Bulldogs that I’ve created an entire web site to deal with this issue – 

9 replies
  1. Letitia
    Letitia says:

    Thank you SO much for this blog!!

    I have always thought that the blue frenchies were super cute. But of course I would never consider paying $7k for one. I knew that the blue frenchie breeders were essentially scammers, most certainly ripping people off. And I knew the blue frenchies were a DQ color, but never knew WHY. So thanks a bunch for explaining the why. 🙂

  2. Susan
    Susan says:

    Great Scott – for only $7000, I could have had a poop colored French Bulldog?

    I’ll stick with my handsome brindle lap rug.

  3. Lisa Robinson
    Lisa Robinson says:

    Bah a measly $7000, thats for the least blue of the blues out here on the west coast.
    $8000-$10,000 is the average price.

    kinda sick actually….small compact car or badly bred bulldog?

  4. Karen
    Karen says:

    As a new French bulldog owner (puppy is 6 1/2 months) I find this information very helpful. Please keep it up. We picked our puppy because she was black and white and looked exactly like the face of our American bulldog who passed in August of last year (only 80 pounds smaller).

  5. Joanna Kimball
    Joanna Kimball says:

    Just one clarification – grey collie syndrome has nothing to do with the dd blue dilute. Grey collies are grey because of the immune disorder, not because they’re genetically blue, and avoiding dd blue (which that breed does do) won’t help reduce the disease.

    At this point I agree with breed clubs not wanting to introduce dd blue in their standards because of the CDA (though it should be pointed out that there are breeds with vast numbers of dd dogs – Weims are one of them – that seem to be perfectly healthy), but I anticipate that my opinion will change over the next few years as they narrow down the causes for CDA and develop a genetic test for it.

    And of course there are no health problems associated with chocolate or black and tan.

    My own personal feeling is that no good dog is a bad color, but that good breeders generally avoid the rarer colors because it is so dang hard to breed well as it is. People have this perception that we have a vast number of dogs to choose from as we plan our breedings, so if we’re doing (say) a fawn breeding or black breeding or fill-in-the-blank-with-your-breed’s-most-common-color, it must be easy and we’re all being snobby and insular to not breed to the blue/brown/spotted/unspotted dogs. They don’t realize that most of the time we’re fighting to find even two or three possibilities in the entire country in that most common color, and are often having to ship semen or resurrect dead dogs or otherwise stand on our heads to do a decent breeding. When you cut the possible pool down to just a few dogs because you’re choosing a rare color, the process becomes exponentially harder and in many cases impossible.

    That’s why most good breeders stick to the “boring” colors, not because we don’t personally find them attractive or because we wouldn’t like to use them if we could. And that’s the enduring reason we are very unlikely to ever use the rare colors, even if there were no health problems associated with them, and why purchasers should be so wary. It’s difficult to find a good breeder in the common colors. It’s about ten times harder to find a good breeder in the uncommon-but-still-accepted colors. It is a needle in a haystack to find even a borderline-decent breeder in the colors not accepted under a breed’s standard; the few I know are performance breeders who have imported dogs in FCI but not AKC colors. So PLEASE, do yourself a favor and realize that you don’t buy a dog for its color any more than you buy a house for its paint job. It’s just stupid.

  6. H. Houlahan
    H. Houlahan says:

    A rare color is not necessarily an unhealthy color — to start with. But designating it a disqualification can make it so, at least by association.

    Yes, there are certain colors such as dilutes and homozygous merle and albino that are genetically linked to various health defects, up to and including death. I’ve always had a special spot in my heart for registries and breed clubs that specifically allow these color patterns in the cosmetic standards they promulgate, and breeders, buyers, and judges who happily leave a trail of suffering dogs and bucketed puppies in their all-important quest for The Pretty.

    But consider the white German shepherd.

    White in GSDs is not albino, it’s not really even white, and it is no more harmful to the dog than yellow is to a Labrador.

    But being born white was a bucketing offense from very early in the breed, mostly derived from proto-Nazi eugenics notions of white color in animals being “degenerate.” So it’s a “disqualification” world-wide. As sensible individuals kept piling up the evidence that whiteness was not a defect in the breed, the reasons for the puppy-drownings kept shifting. My favorite is that a bad guy can see the white dog coming in the dark, but I suppose the prize has to go to the patriotic German who declared that the white hair would show up too much on a soldier’s dress uniform.

    Here in Norteamerica, where people don’t much do as they are told unless they are showing dogs for ribbons, someone seized on the idea of the white GSD as “rare,” probably back in the 60’s, and krazy kolor breeding commenced. The gene pools nearly definitively diverged. In fact, the UKC now registers “white shepherds” as a separate breed — yay for a new closed gene pool, atta boy Wayne!

    Two interesting results of that speciation process, as it were:

    1) I have never seen a white GSD with a decent temperament. Nervous, twitchy bags of nerves, every one. The best one I ever saw was from a mixed litter (white and sable pups in the litter) and that dog was marginal. As well, their health is atrocious, particularly IRT heart defects and allergies. Worse than general GSD health.

    2) You will never, ever see a white GSD with the freakishly exaggerated physical structure of the show specimens on either side of the Atlantic. They have been spared that torture by being excluded. (And any white pups still born in the show lines are quietly tucked into the freezer while Momma is outside for a pee, for the crime of being born the wrong color — because breeders are dog lovers.)

    The sensible thing is for breed standards to allow all colors that actually occur in the breeds in question and are not genetically linked (not incidentally linked) to any genetic health issues. Then let the market decide what colors are either useful or The Pretty.

    • frogdogz
      frogdogz says:

      The sensible thing is for breed standards to allow all colors that actually occur in the breeds in question and are not genetically linked (not incidentally linked) to any genetic health issues. Then let the market decide what colors are either useful or The Pretty.

      I agree. As I’ve always tried to point out, I don’t actually dislike any of the colors/patterns Frenchies come in, with the exception of the ones linked to health issues. The only thing I dislike are how the DQ colors bring the krazy kolor pimps out in full force. Allowing them all would level the playing field, drop the prices and make the pimps wander off in search of a new breed to exploit.

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