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Merle French Bulldog: Everything You Need To Know

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Merle is a unique color pattern found in many dog breeds. However, it’s rare and part of why merle-colored dogs are so sought after.

The Merle French Bulldog is one of these dogs that has become increasingly popular in recent years.

With the increase in popularity, there has been a lot of misinformation about Merle Frenchies that needs to be discussed.

This is especially true for people looking to buy one or for those who already have one.

In this blog post, we will cover the history of Merle Frenchies, how they are bred, the different types of merles, and answer some frequently asked questions about them.

Let’s dive in.

Blue Merle French Bulldog

What Is A Merle French Bulldog?

A Merle French Bulldog is a dog that has a merle pattern coat color.

The merle pattern is a coat color created by a mutation in the MCIR gene.

This gene is responsible for black and brown pigmentation in dogs.

When this gene is mutated, it can create a merle coat which can be any color from blue to lilac to chocolate.

The merle coat can be either a dominant or recessive trait.

This means that if one parent is merle and the other is not, the offspring will have a 50% chance of being merle.

If both parents are merle, then the puppies will all be merle.

Where Did Merle French Bulldogs Come From?

The Merle French Bulldog is a relatively new breed.

It’s said that the Merle French Bulldog came from a cross breed with merle Chihuahuas.

This is believed to be how the merle coat color was introduced into the French Bulldog gene pool.

The merle coat color has since become a popular way to breed French Bulldogs.

However, there is some controversy over merle French Bulldogs.

This is because the merle coat color can lead to health problems.

We will discuss this in more detail later on.

Are Merle French Bulldogs Purebred?

blue merle tan french bulldog-min

No, Merle French Bulldogs are not considered purebred.

The merle coat color is a result of a genetic mutation or, in most cases, from cross-breeding French Bulldogs with Chihuahuas.

The merle gene is not found in purebred French Bulldogs, and so the Merle Frenchi is not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Merle french bulldogs recognized by other kennel clubs are still to be determined, but it’s unlikely they would be considered.

How Are Merle French Bulldogs Bred?

Merle French Bulldogs are bred by taking one merle-colored parent and breeding it with either another merle-colored parent or a non-merle French Bulldog.

However, breeding two merle dogs is frowned upon due to the increased health risks for the dogs that end up with double merle genes.

The ethical way to breed merle French Bulldogs is by taking one Frenchie merle dog parent and breeding it with a non-merle French Bulldog.

This gives the offspring a 50/50 chance of having the merle gene and also minimizes the risk of health problems.

Why Is Breeding Merle Frenchies So Controversial?

As mentioned before, merle French Bulldogs are controversial because they can have a lot of health risks when bred improperly.

The merle coat color is caused by a mutation in the MCIR gene.

This gene can form a genetic condition that affects hearing, sight and can cause blue eye defects. In fact, research shows that crossing two Merle breeds give the offspring a 25% chance of being double merles.

The big problem with this is double merles have an 86% chance of being deformed, deaf, blind, or color dilution alopecia.

Aside from these issues, they are likely to have neurological problems, immunological disorders, and severe allergies, with the worst-case scenario leading to death.

It’s important to know who is breeding the merle French Bulldogs and make sure to only buy them from a reputable breeder.

The breeders play a massive role in the health of Merle Frenchies. They can be completely healthy when bred properly.

What Is A Double Merle French Bulldog?

merle frenchie

A double Merle French Bulldog is a merle Frenchie that has two merle parents.

When two merles are bred together, there is a 25% chance of the puppies being merle, a 50% chance of the puppies being non-merle, and a 25% chance of the puppies being double merle.

Double merle dogs inherit the merle gene twice. Unlike a common merle dog, a double merle dog’s coat is almost entirely white, with only a few splotches of color throughout it.

The issue with double merles is that they have a very high chance of being born blind, deaf, or both.

Do Merle French Bulldog Have Health Issues?

The gene that causes Merle patterning is also the one that poses a health risk to French Bulldogs.

The merle gene can affect a Frenchies’ hearing, sight and cause blue eye malformations.

Double merle French Bulldogs, in particular, have an increased chance of being born blind, deaf, or both.

They are also more likely to have neurological problems, immunological disorders, and severe allergies.

Even without the double gene, Merle French Bulldogs can suffer from allergies, immune disorders, heart murmurs, hip dysplasia, and eye abnormalities. 

Just like any French Bulldog, the Merle Frenchie will also suffer the same common health issues.

Merle French Bulldog Eyes

merle frenchie eyes

Merle French Bulldogs are prone to some eye abnormalities, as mentioned above.

Merles typically have bright blue eyes or strange-looking eyes (heterochromia iridum). Heterochromia Iridum is a change in the color of the iris.

This can happen in one eye or both. It can be partial (sectoral) or complete.

Complete heterochromia means that one iris is a different color than the other, while sectoral heterochromia means that there are two colors within the same iris.

One blue and one brown, for example.

Merle French Bulldog Hearing

Some merle dogs are born deaf. The merle gene affects the neural crest cells.

These are the cells that develop into the structures of the head, including the ears and eyes.

When these cells don’t develop properly, it can cause a merle dog to be born deaf or blind.

The good news is that as long as merle French Bulldogs are bred responsibly, they can be just as healthy as any other Frenchie.

It’s important to do your research and only buy merle French Bulldogs from a reputable breeder.

What Types Of Merle French Bulldogs Are There?

Merle can affect all coat colors, so there is a large list of colorful merle Frenchies.

Frenchies can be tan, white, black, red, blue, brindle, and fawn. So the French Bulldog can have the merle gene and any color!

Here are some of the most popular Merle French Bulldogs:

Blue Merle French Bulldog

blue merle french bulldog

The Blue Merle French Bulldog is one of the newest merle colors.

The Blue Merle Frenchie has blue patches on their coat.

This color is very striking and different from any other merle color.

Blue merle french bulldogs also tend to have blue eyes.

A Blue Merle French Bulldog can cost between $10,000 – $30,000 depending on the breeder.

Blue Fawn Merle French Bulldog

blue fawn merle french bulldog

The Blue Fawn Merle French Bulldog is a merle that has a blue and fawn color in their coat.

This color is very rare and desired by many Frenchie lovers.

A Blue Fawn Merle French Bulldog can cost between $4,500 – $10,000 depending on the breeder.

Isabella Merle French Bulldog (“True Lilac”)

The Isabella Merle French Bulldog is the rarest color.

This color is also known as “true lilac”.

This merle color is a light purple color and tends to be some of the most expensive French Bulldogs.

A Isabella Merle French Bulldog can cost between $10,000 – $50,000 depending on the breeder.

Further Reading: Complete Isabella French Bulldog Guide (Quick Answers!)

Chocolate Merle French Bulldog

Chocolate merle french bulldog

The Chocolate Merle French Bulldog has a chocolate brown color coat.

A Chocolate Merle French Bulldog usually costs between $4,500 – $8,000 depending on the breeder.

Pied Merle French Bulldog

Pied merle french bulldog

The Pied Merle French Bulldog has a white coat with dark color patches with a merle pattern.

The Pied coloring is also referred to as “Piebald” which is a gene that causes pigment removal, similar to the merle gene.

This is one of the most desired merle colors.

A Pied Merle French Bulldog can cost between $4,500 – $8,000 depending on the breeder.

Black Merle French Bulldog

black merle french bulldog

Like the Chocolate Merle Frenchie, the Black Merle French Bulldog has a black coat with merle markings.

A Pied Merle French Bulldog can cost between $4,500 – $8,000 depending on the breeder.

Fluffy Merle Frenchie

Fluffy merle french bulldog

The Fluffy Merle Frenchie has the merle gene and the gene that causes their coat to be longer and fuller.

This results in a Fluffy French Bulldog with a merle coat. The Merle Fluffy Frenchie can have a variety of colors in its coat.

A Fluffly Merle French Bulldog can cost between $12,000 – $50,000 depending on the breeder.

What is The Rarest Merle French Bulldog?

The rarest Merle French Bulldog color is the Isabella Merle French Bulldog.

The Isabella Merle French Bulldogs have a color that is very hard to find and is very desired by dog lovers.

In addition, the rarest Merle Frenchie in general would be the Fluffy Merle. If the Fluffly Merle Frenchie also has a very rare color then that just increases its rarity.

So overall, an Isabella Merle Fluffly French Bulldog is likely the most rare French bulldog combination.

What Is The Price Of A Merle French Bulldog?

merle frenchie

Merle French Bulldog puppies can range depending on the color, type, breeder, and your location.

The average cost of a regular French Bulldog is roughly $3,500. When you factor in the rarity of the merle gene and some of the special colors, prices can get high.

Merle French Bulldog puppies can cost anywhere from $4,000 to $8,000.

However, some Merle French Bulldogs can cost upwards of $20,000 – $50,000 depending on the color and type.

For example, a Fluffy Isabella French Bulldog Is an extremely rare combination so it could be upwards of $50,000 or more.

However, be very careful when you see a Merle Frenchie Puppy going for low prices.

Always make sure you are getting your Merle Frenchie from a reputable breeder.

There are many unscrupulous breeders out there who are looking to make a quick buck by selling rare breed colors.

Final thoughts

Merle French Bulldogs are one of the most popular dog breeds due to their beautiful color pattern.

The most important thing when looking for a Merle Frenchie is to make sure you purchase from a reputable breeder who can provide healthy merle puppies.

When looking for a merle Frenchie, always make sure you do your research to ensure you are getting a healthy puppy.

Other posts you might find interesting:

First 16 Weeks With a French Bulldog: Week By Week Guide

The Blue Eyed French Bulldog: 9 Things You Need To Know

Why Do French Bulldogs Eyes Water? 8 Causes + Helpful Tips