What You Need to Know about Blue English Bulldogs

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Photo from Adoist

Blue is the second rarest color in the English bulldog breed, next to black. Because it is out of the ordinary, there are pet enthusiasts who prefer to have dogs in this color. Some are even willing to pay thousands of dollars just to have an English bulldog puppy with a rare coat color like blue.

While blue is such a stunning color, there are controversies in breeding dogs with this type of coat. Learn more about that here, how it exists and why it’s a better idea to go for bulldogs in standard colors than those with fad coloring or those that are not widely accepted by kennel clubs.

English Bulldog Colors

According to the American Kennel Club’s breed standard for English bulldogs or British bulldogs, the only accepted colors and markings are white, fawn, fallow, brindle, red and white, piebald, and a combination of these. Ticking, white streaks, and a black mask are also some of the markings allowed for this breed. Here are the descriptions of the standard colors for English bulldogs:

Fawn – this is also called the red fawn and it comes with a soft glow. Many pet parents are confused with this coat color because it comes in many shades. It is often mistaken for chocolate but it’s actually a yellowish tan. Fawn is a lighter shade of brown and dogs with this coloring typically have a melanistic mask.

Red – it usually comes with white, but the red color is more dominant. You will be able to see the white spots on some areas of the face and also on the legs. Aside from red and white, English bulldogs also come in a solid red coat and omit the white shade.

Piebald – bulldogs with piebald coat usually have well-defined color patches. The color should be pure, otherwise, it will be considered as a defective color. It is also preferred that the patches are distributed in a well-proportioned manner for a dog to be considered a piebald.

White – these bulldogs have a purely white appearance from their nose all the way down to the tail. However, it is possible to see white bulldogs with freckles on the chest area or on the muzzle. White should not be mistaken for albino, which may also occur in English bulldogs. True albinos have pinkish hues around their eyes and also exhibit pink noses and blue eyes. A real white dog, on the other hand, should have ticking or flecks of color.

Brindle – these patterns, which look like tiger stripes may also appear in various shades, although the often seen one is the red brindle which is the most preferred color of bulldogs as per breed standard. The base is a dark shade while the stripes normally appear in black, making the pattern more visible. Some dogs may even have more of this pattern and only minimal amounts of other colors, like white. This is referred to as reverse brindle.

Other than the ones mentioned above, it is also possible to see dogs in other colors like black and chocolate. However, these colors are not desired as per the breed standard. Solid black bulldogs are objectionable. Dogs with undesirable features are not acknowledged in the show ring. They may be eligible for registration in the AKC and various kennel clubs but they cannot compete in dog shows.

Color is one of the factors people consider when buying a pup. The color matters for aesthetic appeal but it is important to take it into consideration because it may impact a dog’s overall health. It’s also worth noting that a dog’s color may have an impact on its personality. Previous studies suggest that chocolate-colored dogs have a shorter lifespan compared to black or yellow colored dogs.

Origin

A blue English bulldog is a result of intentional alteration of the dog’s gene. It does not naturally occur among this breed. Blue occurs due to the presence of the dilute gene. The dilute gene is the reason why black gets a lighter appearance. It also alters the black pigment in the nose and lips with blue color.

In 2009, bulldogs with rare colors have become a hot topic. There were people who believe these dogs do not possess the same quality as dogs with standard color. There were even opinions that these designer dogs are a result of bad breeding. Some believe these dogs are a product of inbreeding but this isn’t always the case. Not all breeders of blue English bulldogs are in it just for the money. Some have years of experience and they are doing it out of their passion for English bulldogs.

However, the breeders of blue English bulldogs defend that color is the only thing that sets these dogs apart from those with generally accepted coloring. In reality, breeding is all about trial and error. Just because a dog is from a champion bloodline does not mean it will automatically produce a perfectly healthy litter.

DNA tests can confirm if a bulldog is carrying the dilute gene. For example, a “Dd” result in a DNA test means the bulldog is carrying the dilute gene but it still cannot be considered as a true blue dog. If the result is “dd,” the English bulldog is really a blue one. A true blue English bulldog should have a slate gray appearance.

Appearance

A blue English bulldog looks like a typical English bulldog with its stocky body, wrinkly face, large head and drooping cheeks. But unlike the usual colors we see with the breed, these dogs exhibit an exotic appearance. These dogs are known for their gray coat and not really the blue shade most people think of.

Blue English bulldogs have a shiny coat. When put against the sun, their coat appears to be gray. When you rub the hair backward, you will able to see that the second layer of their coat has a fawn coloring. But in rare instances, it is possible to come across Blue English bulldogs with a maroon undertone. These dogs are carrying the seal gene.

The blue English bulldog should not be mistaken for the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog. It is a larger dog created to be a guard dog for families. Alapaha Blue Bloods normally appear in white color but often come with different amounts of red, black, and brown. Blue English bulldogs look gray instead of blue for which they are known for.

Health

It is no secret that English bulldogs are among the unhealthiest breeds. Regardless of the coat color you are planning to choose, these dogs face serious health problems and this is the reason why they also have a short lifespan. Many of them live an average of 10 years but some dogs were not able to survive that long because they go through a number of health problems.

It’s worth noting that many of these dogs are brachycephalic. Their flat face makes them more prone to major respiratory problems. Second, their stocky and heavy body makes them more prone to hip dysplasia. Other than these, blue English bulldogs may face some of the other conditions common to the breed, like severe skin allergy, joint and ligament injuries, as well as overheating.

Price

The cost of buying a blue English bulldog will depend on a number of factors including your location, the years of experience of your prospect breeder, and the supply and demand for these dogs. Apparently, a breeder may charge a higher price for each pup if there is a high demand for English bulldogs in your area but there are only a few breeders.

In the United States, the cost of an English bulldog puppy is $1,500 and above for those with standard color. The rare ones can go all the way up to $4,000, especially if they come with papers and AKC registration. Puppies should already have their first vet visit, complete de-worming, and vaccinations appropriate for their age. Because these dogs are considered to be rare, there’s only a small possibility that you will be able to find these dogs in animal rescue centers.

Conclusion

A blue English bulldog is a beautiful and rare coloring but it’s not really blue. It is actually just a diluted shade of black, which happens to be one of the fad colorings for the English bulldog breed. The dog may be eligible for registration in canine associations but it may not enjoy all the perks currently given to those with the standard coloring. This means the dog cannot join conformation shows since the coat color is not recognized as per breed standard. Other than these, there is nothing more to worry about having a blue English bulldog. Their health and temperament are not far from those with standard colors.

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