Pomp and glamour greeted the inception of merle French Bulldog breeds. However, this was as short-lived as they come. Of late the breeding of these puppies has come under sharp criticism. The brilliant range of colors that dog owners used to love are slowly disappearing.
Back then, the high price tag of these breeds was considered a reserve of a certain class of individuals. Not until the public discovered that breeders used to make money by subjecting merle fresh bulldogs to inhuman misery.
Even as such, little is understood about this colorful and priced dog breed. I have, therefore, put up this article to highlight how this breed is created and associated risks. There’s also a mention of where they are still being sold, for those looking to own one.
Different Types of French Bulldogs
Before I get into today’s topic, lets first have a brief idea of the different breeds of French bulldogs available. These breeds of dogs are adored and loved across the globe as domestic dogs. The manner in which they spread their hind legs when sited makes them fun to be around.
Also known as clown dogs, French bulldogs are known to be nature loving, thanks to the nature of their heads. If it were me, I would classify them as the cutest dogs roaming the planet. Bulldogs are muscular with compact and heavy bones.
Their height ranges from somewhere between 11 and 13 inches with a weight that does not exceed 28 pounds. Known for their round, dark eyes, bat ears, wrinkled face, not hard to spot a French bulldog from miles away.
Despite their adorable yet mean looks, French bulldogs desire plenty of attention and affection. They aren’t to be left unattended to for too long, more so when young. Otherwise, they develop anxiety and destructive behavior.
All in all, French Bulldogs are characterized in accordance with the color of their coats. Here are some of the options you can choose from. The color is dependent on the family genes during breeding. Standard colors include white, brindle, fawn, and cream.
1. Brindle French Bulldog
This type of bulldogs is known for its light-colored strands. Their toes, necks, chest, and heads have a decoration of white. Moreover, their blend of brown and tan coat gives the appeal of sultry from their coats as they walk on your carpet.
A number of other varieties of coat patterns are also in existence. This is apart from the ones I have described above. These are:
- Seal brindle
- Tiger brindle
- Black brindle
- Brindle pied
2. Fawn Bulldogs
Fawn bulldogs spot an elegant mix of cream, reddish tan, golden tan, light tan, and cream coat. Those that have a dark-reddish coloration are also known as red fawn bulldogs. Unlike their brindle counterparts, fawn bulldogs have no patterns. Their coat is smooth throughout, with a single color.
3. Pied Bulldogs
The third group of French Bulldogs is the Pied type. They spot the same shade of white as an eggshell. From time to time, you will find a pied bulldog with a patch or patches of other dark colors.
In some cases, there is a patch that stands out, thus contributing to some of the Frenchie’s attributes. Most of them that I have interacted with have the patch usually around either the left or right eye.
4. Blue-Grey Frenchie
Sound rare, right? That’s because they are. Such bulldogs get their unique appearance from years of gene dilution from either parent. It is this diluted gene that results in a blue-gray pigmentation.
Another common physical characteristic is brownish eyes. Some of the time, their coat is also a diversified composition of brindle.
5. Rare French Bulldogs
Apart from the black French bulldogs that are popular around, there are a host of other bulldogs. The merle French bulldog falls under this category. Others include the blue, lilac, cream, chocolate, sable, and pure back.
Merle French Bulldog and How They Are Bred
This type of French bulldog is one of the rarest and most expensive dog breeds out breeds. Breeders take advantage of the availability of French Bulldogs in up to 20 twenty different colors. They then create a rare, low maintenance dog.
Merle French dogs are not pure breeds. The merle color is generally a mix of other colors, by manipulating ancestral lines, genetics, and hereditary traits. Not to get too technical, hair color of a dog is generated by melanocytes.
A breed with a high number of melanocytes has a high concentration of melanin, thus the color black. Other colors such as liver, chocolate, blue, black, brown, or blue are as a result of high melanin content.
On the other hand, a pup with little melanin develops a yellowish, reddish brown, reddish, among other variations. However, all dog’s breeds have these color-causing melanocytes and not French Bulldogs only.
In case a color combination is unusual in a Frenchie, then it directly impacts on their health prosperity.
Breeding of Merle French Bulldog
Basically, Merle is a French name referring to an assortment of patterns on dog’s coats. These can be in patches of odd colors, blue, piebald, or any other mottled patches. Dog breeds with this type of coat are great Danes, dachshund, border collie among others.
A Merle pattern results from the dilution or rather lightening of base coat colors. As a result, only dark patches of the normal melanin traces remain, thus the characteristic Merle French Bulldogs.
Usually, this creation results in a number of sights, hearing and characteristic blue eyes defects. The truth is, no French Bulldog has the merle gene. This is what I meant by merles are not pure breeds.
Generally, it is Chihuahuas that carry the merle gene. Cross breeding the two, results in a Merle French Bulldog puppy. Some of the time, breeders go as far as crossing the puppies too, to create a breed which they claim to be pure breed Merle French Bulldog.
Depending on the dominant gene being diluted, other versions of merles also exist. Blue, lilac, and black merle bulldogs are just a mention of these breeds. They all fall under the category of rare French Bulldogs. Let’s discuss in detail some of these rare breeds.
Blue Merle French Bulldogs
First up, a blue Merle French Bulldog is what most dog parents call the blue-gene dog breed. In reality, this is just a diluted base color. You can call them black French dogs whose black hair has been diluted into a form of blue.
A practical example of how this variant of black results is in playing around with paint. If you have black paint, then you add a little bit of white paint, you get a dark charcoal coloration. By adding more white, the color turns in hue to slate grey.
It is the slate grey that I hear most of you refer to as blue. If you consider the color spectrum, hundreds of blue shades can be derived, starting from the black base. These French bulldogs self-color their pads, pads, eyeliner, and nose.
A careful examination of blue merle French bulldog puppies shows reveals an interesting phenomenon. The eyes maintain a bright blue appearance throughout their growth to adulthood. Plus, their eyes stay lighter that in standard French Bulldogs. Frenchie lovers can also have tints of amber, light green, or hazel-eyed beautiful Merle French Bulldogs.
Black Merle French Bulldog
Another common breed of merles is the black merle French bulldog. A rare black color occurs when the black gene is dominant, thus eventually pushing out other coat colors. Most of the time, bulldogs are black, tan, or fawn.
Of the three, the dominant gene becomes noticeable over the other two, giving the merle Frenchie its name.
Lilac Merle French Bulldog
Of all the rare fad French bulldogs, it is the lilac-colored that is the most sought after. That being said, these can cost upwards of $30,000. Being very rare also makes finding one a tall order. The lilac merle French bulldog is basically a Frenchie with a combination of blue and chocolate in the coat base color.
A lilac merle Frenchie can be found in two color variations of purple-like color and champagne color. Just like the previous case of blue color, the same dilution process occurs, creating the lilac appearance.
Eyes stay light colored much of their life, alongside an array of health complications.
Where Can One Find a Merle French Bulldog for Sale?
French bulldogs are truly amazing. It’s no wonder many of you strive to at least own one. And when it’s an extraordinary breed, then stakes become much higher. Unfortunately, not many know where to find a merle French bulldog for sale.
That’s because there aren’t many breeders out there, owing to the complications involved in breeding one. Also, following a spate of rogue breeders, most states now control the sale of these puppies, unless certain criteria are met.
These developments notwithstanding, I have come across a handful of adverts on merle French dog sales. I wouldn’t expressly say which breeders are the best since it’s hard to identify them. As such, it is paramount that you make a careful choice on which ones to deal with.
For the best merle French bulldog puppies, here are the conditions which the breeder must meet. A guarantee of the same should be availed to you.
- First, proof of DNA tests from a relevant canine department is a must. A DNA profiling of the breed should also be available. This is the only way of getting assurances that the breed you are getting is indeed a Merle French bulldog. A DNA profiling is also proof of the coloring as well as genetic makeup.
- In case the puppy is not yet registered with the American Kennel Club, make arrangements to do so immediately. Usually, the buyer or adopting person caters for any additional charges in the course of registration.
- Insist on giving your puppy a full veterinary examination before delivery or adoption. An accompanying health guarantee is an added advantage. The guarantee differs in a year, depending on the breeder. A longer provision is the ideal option.
- Ensure all the required preventive measures and immunization are up to date. These include preventive treatments against ticks, fleas, and warms. Moreover, before you make any purchase, ask for the vaccination history so that you know what to expect.
Health Information to Know Before Buying a Merle French Bulldog
Buying a merle French bulldog is riddled with “buyers beware” notices. The main reason for this is their susceptibility to a number of health complications. Because it’s impossible for merles to be purebreds, the crossing subjects the breeds to a bunch of complications.
For starters, research shows that crossing a merle and merle averages a 25% double merles. Also known as double merles, these breeds have an 86% chance of being blind, deformed, or otherwise deaf.
Apart from deformities, double merles are linked to neurological defects, allergies, and immune disorders. In worse case scenarios, there are instances of death.
Rare color species of French bulldogs are prone to these conditions due to a genetic disorder referred to as Color Dilution Alopecia. It is no wonder merle French bulldogs develop stunted hair growth that ultimately causes hair loss.
To date, a solution for this disorder hasn’t been developed yet. All hope is not lost though. You can still care for your Bulldog preventing them from going bald over time. The first step is to avoid using harsh and strong products for their grooming.
Worse still, blue merle French bulldogs are known to have a skin inflammatory condition that ruptures their skin. Afterward, staph infections creep in. coupled with a weak immune system, the life spans of the rare colored French Bulldogs becomes very limited. In fact, most of the newborns die after a couple of weeks.
Merle French Bulldog Health Risks
The merle patterning is created by a particular gene in the dog. Rather sadly, this gene does not only result in the colorful merle patterns that you love. It also elevates the risks of sigh deformation, especially if the dog is a carrier of two of these genes.
It is with this realization that some kennel registration committees agree that this dog breed is no longer viable. They have gone as far as rejecting the registration of these breeds. Here are some of the eye deformities that have been reported in Merle French Bulldogs.
Deformed (Small) Eyes (Micropthalmia)
This eye condition refers to the development of small eyes that are not usual. It could be on both or one eye. Its characterized by the presence of nictitating membrane still covering the eye socket.
Missing Eye(s) (Anopthalmia)
In a situation where one or both of the eyes are missing, the condition is known as Anopthalmia. Sometimes, the eyes are present but are so deep within the sockets that the nictitating membrane covers them.
Also known as eccentric pupils, it’s a case of Micropthalmia, but with multiple defects. Cataracts and ocular degeneration accompany the condition. As the condition progresses, lens material becomes liquefied, thus leaking into the eye.
Coloboma (Starburst Pupil)
A Coloboma eye condition is the manifestation of an eye cleft. Like in the other cases, cataracts may or may not be present in this abnormality. Of the previous health defects, it is Starburst that is probably the deadliest. There have been numerous reports of deafness and blindness being associated with Coloboma.
Relationship Between Color Dilution Alopecia and Health Risks
Color dilution alopecia is a recurring condition common is virtually every dog breed with a blue coat. It’s not a preserve of the Merle French Bulldogs. What this ailment does in disrupt the pigment distribution within hair follicles.
Principally, the pigments clump within a hair shaft alters how light refracts when it hits a pigment. The clumps cause hair follicles to stunt in growth, forcing baldness over time. There is no cure for this condition, with available measures simply for preventing secondary infections.
To wrap things up, I think you are now well versed with all the rare colored French Bulldogs. It is in this category that merle French bulldogs fall into. To help potential dog owners adopt the right dog breed, the American Kennel Club has identified the acceptable French bulldogs.
White, fawn, pied, brindle, and cream French bulldogs top this list. Contrarily, this organization has blacklisted a host of other colors such as liver, lilac, white-black, blue, black-tan, and mouse-grey.
Take it from me, when you are buying a merle French bulldog, prioritize their health over appearance. As such, it is important to get in touch with a reputable and integrity breeder. There is no denying the fact that the colors too are desirable to some people.
However, the health of the dog should come first. More so when the colorations lead to the inception of different health complications, organ defects, and deformations. Therefore, it all boils down to what you want versus what’s healthy and appropriate.