Chances are if you’re reading this article you either know exactly what a Blue Fawn French Bulldog is and can’t get enough, or your Tuesday night Netflix and chill canceled so you’re taking a break from Facebook stalking to browse the web. Either way, you’re in for a treat.
I See London, I See France, I See…French Bulldogs?
Let’s start with a brief history of the breed in general. French Bulldogs—also referred to as “Frenchies”—are one of my top five favorite dogs (I just can’t resist a smooshed face). Contrary to their names, however, they aren’t technically French.
According to The French Bulldog Club of America (FBDCA), these darlings originated in England, where it all began with a Bulldog. Apparently Bulldogs of the 1800s were much different than the lovable little lumps we know today. They were taller with a more athletic build and less exaggerated features. When breeders began experimenting and cultivating the iconic Bulldog appearance, one group of breeders went another route and set out to create a toy version of the breed.
This small companion dog became extremely popular in Nottingham among the lace-makers. Unfortunately, the Industrial Revolution shut down many of the small craft shops in the area forcing the lacemakers—and their pups—to emigrate to France.
Ladies of the Night
In France, their popularity surged and everyone from high society Parisians to ordinary cafe owners opened their homes to them. The FBDCA goes on to note that the pint sized pups were also notorious for being favorites of French ladies of the night (is it just me, or does that term sound way more fancy than what it is).
The French eventually became synonymous with the breed after further perfecting their appearance to include a shorter underjaw and either rose ears (folded back) or bat ears (large and upright).
They soon were donned the name bouledogue francais (yep, it means exactly what it sounds like). The Frenchies were introduced to America by way of wealthy American vacationers in France, and in 1896 they made their debut in the famed Westminster kennel club dog show.
Without Further Ado…The Blue Fawn French Bulldog
Now that we have our daily history lesson out of the way, let’s get down to business. The Blue Fawn French Bulldog is simply a striking color variation of the beloved bat-eared Frenchie. This version of the pup is described by Blue Haven French Bulldogs as having a fawn (light tan) colored base with a blue (a bluish tinged grey) mask, pads and shadings throughout the coat.
Blue Fawn French Bulldogs can also commonly have blue or green eyes in contrast to the brown typically seen in the other color varieties. In addition to their unique appearance, the Blue Fawn French Bulldog can also fly.
Just making sure you’re paying attention. In actuality, there aren’t any differences at all between the French bulldogs aside from appearance.
Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes (and dogs) Blue
Curious how exactly a Blue Fawn French Bulldog gets its lovely shade? Honestly, it gets a little complicated, so I’ll try to explain it in as simple terms as possible.
Think of it like eye color in humans. Blue eyes, for example, are a recessive trait. This means, according to the genetics experts at The University of Utah Genetics Department, that in order for you to have blue eyes, your parents have to each carry a gene for that color. Otherwise, the dominant trait (which is typically brown) will be what is expressed.
In the case of the Blue Fawn French Bulldog, Blue Haven French Bulldogs explains that both parents carry the dilute (blue) gene, but they also both carry the gene for fawn coloring. If one of the parents carried—let’s say for example—the dominant brindle gene instead, the pup could be either solid blue, brindle (brownish with streaks of other colors), or even pied (large white patches).
Drama In The (Bulldog) Club
Although their unique shade doesn’t signify any differences other than in appearance, there has been some controversy surrounding the blue coloring in the Blue Fawn French Bulldog.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), mouse coloring which is considered to be blue by some, is not recognized by the AKC as a breed standard and cannot obtain a full registration. The reasoning behind this as stated by the AKC is that the color is “undesirable” (I disagree).
There are also groups of breeders who believe that this coloring poses health risks to the dog due to the double recessive dilute gene. Dermatology for Animals explains that blue dog alopecia, which as the name suggests, affects mainly dogs with blue or fawn coloring and causes incurable hair breakage and loss. However, this condition can also affect dogs of other colors and isn’t a guaranteed diagnosis just because your Frenchie is blue or fawn.
There also seems to be some dispute over whether the blue shade can even truly be considered the mouse color that is listed as unrecognized. Puppy Love Ranch does a great job of laying out the facts on their website. However, there seems to be a lot of contradicting information on the subject.
If you’re someone who is wanting a Blue Fawn French Bulldog for competitions and shows, you might want to contact the AKC or the organization you’d like to show your pup in before investing. But if you’re like me and just want a smooshed face to cuddle up next to for the new season of Game of Thrones, this won’t matter anyways.
Sitting at the Pup-ular Table
Blue Fawn French Bulldogs and Frenchies, in general, have been steadily surging in popularity after a fifty year period of decline following World War I. This is due in part to a-list celebrities such as Hugh Jackman and Leonardo DiCaprio proudly sporting the breed as well as popular television shows like Modern Family showcasing their lovable charm.
Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook are also to be credited with the sudden rise in interest. Manny the Frenchie and Trotter the Hipster French Bulldog for example, are now internet sensations that have been featured in everything from Audi commercials to American Apparel ads and have even managed a collaboration with Martha Stewart (who we all know has mad street cred).
Bad News Bears
While this increased interest is great for visibility and awareness of the breed, enthusiasts and pet lovers, like myself, ask you to be wary of rogue breeders. Since the increased demand, these breeders will focus on making a quick buck with no regard to health or the breed’s longevity.
Unfortunately, this surge in popularity can also mean a lot of abandoned pups due to owners purchasing them based solely on their looks without first learning if the breed would make a good fit in their home. Make sure if you’re in the market for a Blue Fawn French Bulldog—or any pet—to either adopt a rescue or do your homework on a reputable breeder.
Bonus Fact: Blue Fawn French Bulldogs, and all Frenchies for that matter, can’t swim!