If you’re in awe at the beauty of Merle French Bulldogs, you’re not alone.
These pups have captivated the hearts of thousands of dog lovers around the globe.
French bulldogs are already one of the most popular dogs on the planet.
The beautiful Merle Frenchie and its coat of many colors makes this breed stand out even more.
Truth be told, the Merle Frenchie is but one of approximately 14 variations of French bulldogs, all of which can be distinguished by their coat coloring.
If you’re destined to own a French Bulldog, you’ve got quite a few options to choose from!
What is a Merle French Bulldog?
The Merle Frenchie is the French Bulldog variation that carries the Merle gene, which dictates its coloring.
Whereas traditional Frenchies are generally a solid color, the coat of a Merle French Bulldog is a combination of colors in diverse patterns.
The Merle gene removes pigment on different parts of the dog’s body, leaving behind mottled patches of colors on the pup’s coat, paws and nose.
Even the eyes are impacted by the Merle gene, leaving them a sparkling blue as opposed to a typical Frenchie’s dark-colored eyes.
In fact, Merle Frenchies are the only variation that retain blue eyes their whole life through.
It’s important to note that Merle Frenchies are NOT purebred dogs.
They came about due to selective breeding.
The Merle variation is a crossbreed between a French Bulldog and a merle Chihuahua, which is how the gene is introduced to the breed.
The idea behind this breed was to create a glamourous Frenchie for owners that were looking for a more spectacular looking French bulldog.
Considering the stunning results, the “experiment” was a huge success as the Merle Frenchie was born!
Are Merle Frenchies Rare? Are They Expensive?
Merle French Bulldogs are perhaps the rarest of the French Bulldog breed as well as one of the costliest to buy.
A reputable breeder will adhere to strict guidelines when breeding Merle dogs to avoid puppies with genetic defects.
These guidelines dictate that a breeder only mates a Merle French Bulldog (M/m gene) with a non-Merle French Bulldog (m/m gene) to produce a litter in which half of the puppies may be Merles.
Crossing solid colored French Bulldogs with Merle variations produces the best results.
In contrast, breeding two Merle dogs with dominant M/M genes can cause severe health problems in the pups.
Double Merle breeding has created an uproar in the canine breeding community due to the disastrous genetic results.
Due to strict breeding practices, Merle French Bulldogs are rare and command high prices.
The selling price of a Merle Frenchie pup may start around $6,000 and go up to as high as $15,000, depending on the breeder and coloring of the pup.
High-end puppies are those bred in a safe and ethical manner to guarantee that buyers are receiving a pup that’s as healthy as possible and free of genetic defects.
In addition to paying a high price, Merle Frenchie owners may face high veterinary costs to keep their Frenchie healthy and happy throughout its life.
Merle Frenchies, like many other types of French Bulldogs, are susceptible to serious health issues due to their genetic background.
They’re also ravenous eaters and require a highly-nutritious diet to maintain their health, strength and vitality.
Color Variations and Types
Merle Frenchies can be easily distinguished by their “coat of many colors,” which generally consists of a light colored base coat covered by splatches of dark fur.
Tan, white, red, black, blue, cream and fawn are some of the many colors you’ll find on a Merle Frenchie in all kinds of random patterns.
Three variations that are sought out the most are Black, Blue and Lilac Merle Frenchies as these are some of the rarest dogs alive.
- Black Merle – The dominant gene of the Black Merle French Bulldog is black with other colors, usually tan and fawn, punching through to give this Frenchie its Merle coloring.
- Lilac Merle – Lilac Merle Frenchies are extremely hard to find. The lilac coloring is a blend of chocolate with a diluted blue base which permits the lilac to shine through. Lilac Frenchies have light-colored eyes that don’t change shades as they grow older. This variation is extremely rare and could cost a buyer as much as $30,000! The Lilac Frenchie also has the greatest risk of developing health problems.
- Blue Merle – The Blue Merle French Bulldog is known as the “blue-gene” dog breed due to its bluish coloring. Its fur, however, is actually a black color that’s been diluted to give it a bluish hue. Blue Merle Frenchies have matching blue eyes that stay blue throughout their adult years.
Merle Frenchie Size – How Big is This Pup?
Like most all variations of the French Bulldog, Merle Frenchies are small, sturdy dogs with broad chests and muscular frames.
An adult Merle French Bulldog reaches, on average, about 11-12 inches in height and weighs between 16 and 25 pounds.
If your Frenchie gains in excess of 28 pounds, watch out as it’s approaching obesity.
A “sickly” Merle Frenchie impacted by the Merle gene mutation could be smaller in size and less bulky.
Like all Frenchies, Merle French Bulldogs have a squarish head, bat-like ears, short snout, bug eyes and a small tail.
Typical French Bulldogs were bred to be smaller-sized dogs and the variations follow suit.
In like manner, Merle Frenchies have the same easy-going personality, friendly disposition and lovable qualities of all their Frenchie counterparts.
The unique coat coloring and patterning is what makes this variation stand out.
Merle Frenchies are known for the multi-colored patches covering the pup from head to tail.
The Merle gene can also alter a pup’s eyes, transforming the dark pigment into a bright shade of blue or green, and change the coloring of the pup’s paws and nose to a light shade of pink.
The Merle Frenchie’s outstanding features are its iconic patch coloring and bright colored eyes.
Alterations in eye coloring could indicate the pup is not an authentic Merle Frenchie or that it may be in poor health.
Are Merle Frenchies AKC Recognized?
As mentioned earlier, Merle French Bulldogs are not purebred dogs.
To be a purebred French Bulldog, a pup has to be the offspring of two purebred French Bulldogs.
Merle Frenchies are the product of crossing a French Bulldog with another breed carrying the Merle gene, such as a Chihuahua.
As Merle Frenchies are not a pure breed, they are not recognized by the American Kennel Club, neither can they be registered with the organization.
In addition, the Merle Frenchies’ exotic colors are not acceptable under AKC color standards, which only accepts black, brindle, cream, fawn, pied and white colors for French Bulldogs.
In fact, exotic colored dogs like the Merle Frenchie are often looked down upon by AKC dog show competitors as they’re considered “impure.”
It’s ironic that one of the traits least appreciated by the AKC – the Merle Frenchie’s exotic coat colors – is what dog lovers find most spectacular about the breed and what commands such a high price.
It goes to show that beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder and Merle Frenchies have what it takes to be a champion.