Colors and patterns of the French Bulldog

I have been involved with breeding for over 30 yrs. I feel like I have had a front row seat to watching colors and hair coats evolve in the 
french bulldog breed. I am going to break the evolution down for you the best I can from memory.

When I started breeding french bulldogs there were three recognized colors in AKC and two coat patterns:




within these three colors of french bulldogs there are variants.

lets look at brindle. 
brindle in my opinion is a pattern not a color but what do I know? 
black brindle
tiger brindle
reverse brindle
blue brindle
blue tiger brindle
blue reverse brindle

lets look at fawn. 

There are a lot of shades of fawn from a light tan to a dark rich red fawn color.

black masked fawn would could be any shade of fawn with a black face.
fawn would could be any shade of fawn with no black mask on the face.

fawn sable would could be any shade of fawn but with black tips to the body hair usually on the back, giving the look of sable.
Now the fawn sable can have a mask thus making in a black masked fawn sable, or not have a mask making it a maskless fawn sable.

lets look at cream.
creams come in different shades of cream so you could have a cream french bulldog that looks almost white, 
or your cream french bulldog could be dark enough it looks like a light fawn. 
cream french bulldogs and born white typically and darken in color as they mature.
a typical cream will be a soft light yellow tinged coat with black skin. the muzzle can be shaded in black and the pigment around the eyes will be black. 
that is also how you would know your french bulldog was cream and not a white french bulldog.

there is another color that is a real french bulldog color and that is blue. 

blues can be different shades of blue from light to dark. 

blue can also combine with fawn and cream to make blue fawns and blue creams ( so body color fawn or cream but the body shading will be blue)

blue french bulldogs are not allowed in akc show rings as show breeders do not accept the blue color and want to discourage their existence.

Black is a tricky color because akc doesn't like a black dog with no brindle and consider it a flaw. 
I assume you could still show in an akc show but would have points deducted for lack of brindling.
black french bulldogs played a part in making black and tan french bulldogs.

Black and tan french bulldogs are newer to the french bulldog world and I will discuss that more on my evolution page. 

chocolate can come in two different kinds chocolate:

cocoa which is a darker chocolate and genetically only shows up in french bulldogs

testable chocolate is a lighter chocolate and was the result of the frenchie color evolution.

both kinds of chocolate can be in merle or have lighter points or be pied or brindle.

lilac is a lighter blue and to know for sure the french bulldog is a lilac you would need to do a color dna test.

Isabella is a lighter blue and to know for sure the french bulldog is an isabella you would need to do a color dna test.

ok lets talk about patterns:


the oldest patterns are pied, and brindle.

pied french bulldogs are a white dog with a spotted body. spots can be big medium or small and in any shape or color on the body to be considered pied.

ticking is the little dots of color that show up in the white areas on your french bulldog.

pointed is referring to tan colored points of any shade on a black dog or a blue dog. I have seen tan points on fawn sables also.

brindle are colored stripes in the body coat.

merle is a color pattern with color on color and sometimes several different shades all spotted onto another color.

So you can have several different colors in the merle patterns since any color can be involved. 

ok lets talk about french bulldog hair.

wire haired

a fluffy french bulldog has long hair.

a hairless french bulldog has little to no hair

a wire haired french bulldog has a more wire feeling hair coat

a curly haired french bulldog has curly hair.