Good Dog’s Coat Color in the French Bulldog Policy

We developed a coat color policy for French Bulldogs that aligns with the French Bulldog Club of America's position.

by Dr. Judi Stella, PhD - Head of Standards & Research at Good Dog

The French Bulldog Club of America (also known as the FBDCA or the parent club) breed standard recognizes only brindle, fawn, white, brindle & white, and fawn & white (known as “pied”) as standard coat colors in French Bulldogs. All other colors including solid black, chocolate/liver, blue, blue fawn, black & tan, black & white, and merle have been deemed disqualifying colors by the FBDCA. Good Dog’s position and policy align with the breed standard, and colors, that the FBDCA recognizes.

Why are these the only Coat Colors and Patterns Recognized by FBDCA?

The FBDCA has been working to preserve and protect the French Bulldog since its establishment in 1897, with only five changes to the standard in all that time. These standard colors were established to protect and preserve the breed. Non-standard colors have been associated with increased risk for health problems and other color variations or patterns result from crossing the French Bulldog with another breed at some point in the past.

Genetically, coat color in purebred French Bulldogs is produced by the E, A, D, K, and S loci. The melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) gene in the E locus controls production of the eumelanin (black) and phaemelanin (red/yellow) pigments. There are 6 known alleles or variants of the gene that produce the melanistic (black) mask, grizzle, black, and shades of red/yellow. The Agouti Signaling Protein (ASIP) on the A locus, has 4 alleles that interact with the MC1R and other genes to produce fawn/sable, wild sable, black and tan, and recessive black. The D or Dilute locus is a recessive gene that lightens black to grey. In French Bulldogs and several other breeds, another as yet unidentified gene can also result in the dilute phenotype. The K Locus, Dominant Black gene, interacts with the ASIP and MC1E genes affecting the expression of eumelanin and phaemelanin and is sometimes associated with the brindle pattern. The S Locus produces white spotting or piebald patterns.

Can Non-Standard Colored French Bulldogs be Registered?

French Bulldogs with non-standard coat colors can be registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC). This occurs because the AKC registry is based on parentage; they do not assess ‘purity.’ The FBDCA, and other countries' breed clubs consider any coat color other than brindle, fawn, white, brindle & white, or fawn & white to be non-standard color and a disqualifying fault.

What is Good Dog’s Policy on French Bulldog Coat Color and Why?

Good Dog stands with the FBDCA position and policies because, as the parent club, they define the breed standard. We are committed to supporting preservationist breeders and the breed standard for purebred French Bulldogs. Good Dog recognizes breeding programs producing purebred French Bulldogs with the following colors as Good Breeders of standard French Bulldogs:

  • Standard Coat Colors
    • white
    • cream
    • fawn
  • Standard Markings and Patterns
    • brindle
    • piebald
    • black masks
    • black shadings
    • white markings

Good Dog recognizes breeding programs producing French Bulldogs with the following colors as Good Breeders of non-standard French Bulldogs:

  • Non-Standard Coat Colors
    • solid black
    • chocolate/liver
    • blue
    • blue fawn
    • black & tan
    • black & white

Good Dog will not recognize breeding programs that produce merle French Bulldogs due to the potential for increased risk of health conditions associated with this mutation, as outlined in Good Dog’s Policy on Merle.

Good Dog is a place for all dogs – whether that is a purebred, crossbred, mixed breed, a puppy or an adult, from a rescue or from a breeder. Our goal is to be a place for the public to learn about all types of dogs and all breeds and find the right dog for them. We hope that by providing education on things such as the difference between a purebred, crossbred, and mixed breed as well as standard coat colors in French Bulldogs, we can help you make an informed decision about which dog is right for you. This will help you avoid disreputable sources, instead connecting you directly with a responsible source for your new puppy.