A Lilac Merle French Bulldog is a rare and distinct variety of the French Bulldog breed, known for its unique coat color and pattern. The “lilac” refers to the dog’s coat color, which has a pale greyish-brown hue with a pinkish tint, often considered a dilute form of the chocolate color. The term “merle” describes the mottled or patchy pattern in their coat, which can include varying shades of the lilac color mixed with lighter colors. This striking appearance is the result of a specific genetic combination, and because of this, Lilac Merle Frenchies are often highly sought after by enthusiasts and can be quite expensive.
Lilac Merle French Bulldog History & Origin
The Lilac Merle French Bulldog is a product of selective breeding that combines the recessive lilac gene, which dilutes the typical dark coat color, with the merle gene, which creates the marbled pattern. The exact origin is not well-documented, but it is a relatively recent development resulting from breeders’ efforts to create dogs with unique and aesthetically appealing traits. This coloration is not recognized by traditional breed standards, like those of the American Kennel Club (AKC), because the merle pattern is not a naturally occurring color within the breed and raises concerns about potential health issues associated with the merle gene.
Lilac Merle French Bulldog Physical Characteristics
- Unique Coat Color: The Lilac Merle French Bulldog boasts a distinctive silvery-brown coat with a bluish or lavender hue, a result of specific dilute genes. The merle pattern adds irregular, darker patches, creating a unique marbled look for each dog.
- Breed Standard Features: These dogs retain the muscular, compact frame and heavy bone structure typical of French Bulldogs, contributing to their charming and stout physique.
- Distinctive Facial Features: They have the characteristic short face of the breed, with the signature ‘bat ears,’ large, upright, and attentive.
- Coat Texture and Maintenance: Their coat is short, smooth, and fine, necessitating regular grooming to maintain its condition and manage moderate shedding.
Lilac Merle French Bulldog Personality & Temperament
- Affectionate and Sociable: They are known for their loving nature, enjoying close contact and cuddles with their owners. They thrive on attention and are generally friendly towards people and other pets.
- Playful and Lively: Despite their laid-back appearance, they can be quite playful and energetic, especially as puppies. They love engaging in play but can tire easily due to their brachycephalic nature.
- Alert and Curious: These dogs are often alert and curious about their surroundings, showing a keen interest in the activities going on around them. This can make them excellent companions for daily activities.
- Stubborn Streaks: Training a Lilac Merle French Bulldog can sometimes be challenging due to their stubborn streak. Consistent and positive training methods work best.
- Good for Families: Their generally amiable disposition makes them well-suited for families, and they typically get along well with children if appropriately socialized from a young age.
Are Lilac Merle French Bulldogs Rare?
Yes, Lilac Merle French Bulldogs are considered rare due to the specific genetic combination required to produce their distinctive coat color and pattern. The lilac coloration arises from a combination of chocolate and blue dilution genes, both of which are recessive, while the merle pattern adds another layer of rarity. Because this coloration is uncommon and breeding such dogs must be done carefully to avoid health issues associated with the merle gene, Lilac Merle Frenchies can be quite rare and often command higher prices than more standard colors.
What Makes Lilac Merle French Bulldogs Rare?
- Unique Coloring: The lilac merle color in French Bulldogs is a combination of a light greyish coat with patches of diluted brown and tan, creating a distinctive and appealing appearance.
- Complex Genetics: The merle gene is a dilution gene that creates a mottled pattern in the coat. When combined with the genes for the lilac color (which is itself a combination of chocolate and blue dilutions), it results in the rare lilac merle coloration.
- Breeding Challenges: Breeding dogs to achieve the lilac merle coloration is challenging and requires specific genetic combinations from both parents.
- Health Concerns: The merle gene can be associated with health issues, including eye and ear problems, making ethical breeding practices crucial.
- High Demand: The unique appearance of lilac merle French Bulldogs makes them highly sought after.
- AKC Standards: The American Kennel Club (AKC) does not recognize the lilac merle color in its standard for French Bulldogs, which discourages some breeders from producing them.
- Ethical Considerations: Some breeders avoid producing lilac merle French Bulldogs due to the potential health risks associated with the merle gene.
How much are Lilac Merle French Bulldogs?
Lilac Merle French Bulldogs can cost anywhere from $6,000 to $20,000. The price for a Lilac Merle French Bulldog is significantly higher than that of standard-color French Bulldogs due to their rarity and the unique breeding processes required to achieve this specific coat color.
The cost reflects the demand for this exotic variation as well as the additional care and genetic testing ethical breeders invest in to ensure the health of the puppies. Additionally, because the Merle gene can be associated with health complications, responsible breeders will conduct thorough health screenings, which can also contribute to the higher price.
Lilac Merle French Bulldog Health Issues
- Eye Abnormalities: The merle gene can cause abnormalities in eye development. This can range from mild cases, such as odd-colored eyes, to severe cases, such as increased risk of blindness.
- Deafness: There is a higher incidence of congenital deafness in dogs with the Merle gene. This is due to the lack of pigment in the inner ear, which can affect its development and function.
- Skin Problems: The unique coat color sometimes comes with skin issues. They can be prone to skin allergies and infections, which require ongoing care and management.
- Respiratory Issues: Like all French Bulldogs, the Lilac Merle variety is brachycephalic, meaning they have a short skull shape, leading to breathing difficulties, overheating, and other respiratory system problems.
- Reproductive Challenges: Merle French Bulldogs can have complications related to reproduction due to the potential for creating double merle offspring, which have a high risk of severe health issues.
- Color Dilution Alopecia: The dilute color in Lilac Merles can be linked with a condition known as color dilution alopecia. This genetic disorder can cause hair thinning or loss and may also result in itchy skin and bacterial skin infections.
Difference Between Lilac Merle & Blue Merle French Bulldog
|Feature||Lilac Merle French Bulldog||Blue Merle French Bulldog|
|Base Color||The base color is a mix of chocolate and blue.||The base color tends to be a dark grey/blue.|
|Merle Pattern||Has lighter patches which are a diluted lilac.||Has lighter patches which are a diluted blue.|
|Nose Color||May have a pink or lavender-colored nose.||Usually has a grey or slate-colored nose.|
|Eye Color||Often has lighter eyes, possibly blue or hazel.||Eyes may be blue, but can also be darker.|
|Genetic Makeup||Carries both chocolate and blue dilution genes.||Carries the gene for blue dilution.|
|Coat Color Genetics||Typically a double dilute (d/d, b/b).||Usually a single dilute (d/d).|
|Health Considerations||Higher risk of color dilution alopecia.||Risk of deafness and eye problems associated with the merle gene.|
|Rarity and Price||Often more rare and expensive due to the unique color.||Less rare than lilac but still highly sought after and pricey.|
|AKC Recognition||Not recognized as a standard color.||Not recognized as a standard color.|
Lilac Merle French Bulldog Grooming & Maintenance Needs
- Brushing: Their short, smooth coat is relatively easy to groom. Brushing them once a week with a soft-bristle brush or a rubber grooming mitt can help remove loose hair and distribute skin oils.
- Bathing: Bathe your Lilac Merle French Bulldog once every month or as needed. Use a dog shampoo that is gentle on the skin, as some dogs can have sensitive skin, especially those with light or merle coats.
- Wrinkle Care: French Bulldogs have wrinkles on their face and skin folds. It’s essential to clean these areas regularly to prevent bacterial infections. Use a damp cloth to clean inside the folds and then dry them thoroughly.
- Ear Care: Their ears should be checked weekly for dirt, redness, or a bad odor that can indicate an infection. Clean the ears with a cotton ball dampened with a gentle, pH-balanced ear cleaner recommended by your vet.
- Nail Trimming: Regular nail trims are necessary. If you can hear their nails clicking on the floor, they’re too long. Monthly trimming is usually sufficient.
- Dental Hygiene: Brushing your dog’s teeth or using dental chews can help prevent bad breath, gum disease, and other mouth infections.
- Diet and Nutrition: Provide a balanced diet suitable for their age, size, and activity level. Because of their unique coat color, Lilac Merle French Bulldogs can be prone to skin allergies, so it might be beneficial to look for foods that support skin health.
- Exercise: While French Bulldogs do not require a lot of exercise, they do need regular, moderate exercise to maintain their weight. Be cautious of over-exercising them, especially in hot or humid weather.
- Temperature Regulation: French Bulldogs can easily become cold or overheat due to their short coats and brachycephalic nature. Keep your Lilac Merle French Bulldog in a comfortable and controlled climate.
- Regular Veterinary Checkups: Regular checkups are crucial to monitor the health of any dog. Because the Merle gene can sometimes be associated with certain genetic health issues, including deafness and eye problems, it’s particularly important to keep up with veterinary visits.
- Breeding Considerations: If you are considering breeding your Lilac Merle French Bulldog, it’s essential to understand the genetics behind the Merle coloration. Breeding two merle dogs can lead to health problems for the puppies due to the doubling of the merle gene.
- Sun Sensitivity: Light-colored dogs and those with merle coats can be more sensitive to the sun, so it’s wise to avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight and consider using a pet-safe sunscreen on exposed skin.
- Skin Conditions: The unique genetic makeup that creates the lilac merle coloration may also make the dog more susceptible to skin conditions. Be vigilant for any signs of irritation or allergies.
Is a Lilac Merle French Bulldog worth buying?
Whether a Lilac Merle French Bulldog is worth buying is subjective and depends on personal preference, the buyer’s willingness to address potential health concerns and the higher costs associated with the breed’s unique coloration. They are highly sought after for their rare coat color, which can make them quite desirable.
How does a Tan Merle different from a lilac Merle Frenchie?
A Tan Merle French Bulldog has a different base coat color, typically featuring shades of tan with the merle pattern of darker spots or patches, while a Lilac Merle has a unique greyish or silvery base coat with the merle pattern. The difference is purely in the coloration resulting from different genetic combinations.
Is Lilac Merle French Bulldog expensive?
Lilac Merle French Bulldogs are generally expensive due to their rarity and unique coloring. The cost is driven up by the demand for this specific aesthetic and the fact that Merle is a less common pattern, coupled with the expenses breeders incur in ethically breeding these dogs.