A friend recently posted about the impact that Megan Markle's beagle riding around with the Queen had on the breed. It got me thinking about the French Bulldog, and as I photograph them a lot, I feel that whilst I inadvertently advertise the breed I have an obligation knowing what I do about them to share that information with anyone who is interested in buying or rescuing one.
The French Bulldog Club of England has this to say:
"Beware if you see adverts like these: For Sale “Rare” colours, Blue, Blue Pied, Blue Fawn, Slate, Lilac etc. There is nothing rare or unusual about any of the colours listed above. They are uncommon because serious breeders who have the welfare of the breed at heart choose not to breed them. "Rare" colours are nothing more nor less than a marketing scam.
Why? Because long ago in the past these colours were found to have health problems not usually found in the breed. Some fad colours have been linked to health conditions, specifically, blues with a condition called colour dilution alopecia this condition is so common in blue dogs of every breed that it is often referred to as “Blue Dog Alopecia”. This condition can result in hair loss and chronic skin inflammation. This inflammation can lead to skin ruptures, cracks and injuries, leaving the dogs afflicted by it, prone to Staph infections, or even MRSA. In some breeds blue dogs can suffer from an immune linked disorder which can cause puppies to die within the first few weeks after birth.
Over 100 years ago early breeders of French Bulldogs worldwide, noted all of these factors, and declared “Blue”, “Mouse” and “Grey” to be undesirable because they did not want to see the breed afflicted by these devastating conditions. Because of this, it is obvious that ethical breeders are unlikely to intentionally breed for those dilute colours. Additionally, most reputable breeders choose to belong to their national or regional breed club, and all French Bulldog Clubs have a Code of Ethics which their members follow. This code states that a breeder will only breed to the Breed Standard for the improvement of the breed and not for monetary gain.
Very very occasionally a reputable breeder may unintentionally, get a puppy of a non standard colour in a litter. This puppy would simply be placed in a pet home, never to be bred from. In fact, past breeders who had odd colours appear would usually place the puppies for free, since their colour was considered highly undesirable.
Some people are attempting to hoodwink buyers into believing these so called rare puppies are highly sort after and will inflate their value. These people are scamming you into paying a ridiculously high price for a puppy that, years ago, would have been given away for free. They are taking advantage of the naivety of novice owners, who might be attracted to the idea of owning something ‘different’, and who don’t understand the truth behind ‘fad’ colours.
How have some unscrupulous people managed to get the breeding stock which produce these undesirable colours ? Undoubtedly from other unscrupulous people mainly in Eastern Europe. Frenchies in all shades and pattens of Blue should be registered as “Colour Not Recognised” in the UK. If their KC registration document says otherwise, then the integrity of the breeder should come into question.
Only a breeder who cares about nothing except making money would resurrect these colours, to the potential detriment to the breed, and to the puppies produced. When they run into problems, they will leave the breed, and the owners who bought from them, to fend for themselves and they will move on to the next new money making scheme.
For Sale “Rare colours”, Chocolate, Liver or Black & Tan. Again there is nothing rare or unusual about any of the colours listed above. They are uncommon because ethical breeders choose not to breed them. These colours are not naturally occurring in French Bulldogs. Where have they come from? - its most likely that other breeds have been introduced intentionally to produce these colours. Beware, it may not only be the colour that has been introduced, what about other traits, especially temperament. Did you know that Black & Tan is such a dominant colouring that eventually it will smother all other colours in the breed and they will eventually disappear.
For Sale “ French Bulldog Cross". There is no such thing as a designer cross breed dog – that's just a posh name for a mongrel. Don't believe the hype that they are healthier than pedigree dogs, there is absolutely no proof. If you cross-breed two dogs from two breeds that have the same genetic disease that is caused by the same genetic basis and you don't do the tests for it, you can still produce puppies that have the disease. There is absolutely no guarantee when crossing two different breeds that you will only get the best traits of both parents in the puppies. Instead of the desirable traits, the resulting litter may have a combination of the undesirable traits of the two pure-bred breeds. With a pure-bred dog, the main benefit is you know pretty much exactly what you're getting in terms of temperament, exercise, grooming requirements, size, lifespan and potential health issues. The predictability of pure-breds is the reason for them to exist. A first generation cross gives none of this certainty.
There are no breeding guidelines produced for breeders of cross-breeds, unlike those for pedigree dog breeders. Finding a breeder who does health testing and considers hereditary compatibility of breeding stock is as important for a cross-breed as it is for a pure-bred. There are many ridiculously-named cross-breeds being produced with little care and attention by
the unscrupulous, money-grabbing, uncaring, or just plain ignorant. And they are bought in some
numbers by a gullible public. Bizarre crosses are done solely to combine the breed names into a
funny mix e.g. shih tzu x bulldog etc. It seems that anything with a funny name causes as much
merriment as one would expect from those who have more money than sense."
If you are indeed looking to purchase or rescue a French Bulldog then I hope that the above is of will be of some use to you.