|A French bulldog is one of the breed's acceptable colors: cream.|
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, liver, black and tan, black and white, and white with black, which are disqualifications. Black means black without a trace of brindle. - AKC French Bulldog StandardSo, what it basically says that brindle, fawn, white, and brindle and white are acceptable plus any other colors except those listed. Which basically means no other colors. My assumption is that the "other acceptable colors" includes such things as red, cream, sable, fawn piebalds, and dogs with masks. However, those could for the most part be included under the heading of "fawn." It would make much more sense to simply list the acceptable and unacceptable colors without the need to get so pointlessly wordy. Even worse is their wording on what is and is not acceptable pigment intensity to the skin and eyes. Namely, eyes must be dark and noses black except on lightly colored dogs. So, basically blue and liver aren't allowed, but according to this wording, a cream dog such as the one above could have a liver nose and be considered acceptable according to the standard. Anyway, on to the mismarks:
- Blue eyes
- Tan point
- White seen on dogs should be free of ticking spots
- Lack of stripes
- All black dogs must have at least one visible brindle stripe
- Non-black pigment
- "Mouse" (apparently blue and Isabella/fawn)
|This Frenchie has blue eyes|
|A black and tan dog|
|This puppy has ticking|
|A possible black Frenchie|
|A black and white Frenchie|
It is also quite possible that black in French bulldogs is actually recessive black (which is on the Agouti locus), in which case any dog could be carrying the gene. If the right two dogs come together, then a surprise black could appear. The only gene that would prevent a dog with two copies of the recessive black gene from being visibly black would be the recessive red gene.
|A liver Frenchie|
|A blue puppy|
|A blue masked fawn|
Health in the breed is of even greater concern. The French bulldog has a number of issues, including serious breathing problems and a large number of their dogs being unable to give birth naturally. While these are caused by selection for short faces, large heads, and small hips, other problems are caused by a lack of genetic diversity in the breed. This list includes vertebral issues, luxating patella, and allergies. The vast majority of such issues are inherited and the reason why they become common in purebreds is due to selection and breeding methods. Heavy selection narrows genetic diversity by dropping dogs out of the gene pool entirely. By selecting for color, dogs who may be very healthy are being removed from a population due to a silly aesthetic reason. This has the potential of being very problematic for the breed.
Sources are the American Kennel Club, French Bulldog Club of America, Absolut Bullmarket French Bulldogs, and D'Accord Frenchies. Images are from Wikimedia Commons and Flickr.com under Creative Commons licenses: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine.