A blue fawn French Bulldog has a light brown coat and a grey mask over their face. Their eyes are usually light brown, green or blue.
Blue fawn Frenchies are disqualified from the show bench, but they are popular pets.
Unfortunately however, they are vulnerable to significant health problems, which potential owners ought to know about.
What is a Blue Fawn French Bulldog?
Blue fawn is a specific coat color occurring in the French Bulldog breed.
In every other respect besides color, they resemble a typical French Bulldog.
They stand about a foot high, and weigh up to 28 pounds.
They have large bat-like ears, and a flattened, wrinkled face. Their body is heavy set, and finishes with a short, stubby tail.
The American Kennel Club’s official breed standard for the Frenchie describes three acceptable coat colors:
- Fawn – which can range from very soft, light brown, to a rich, foxy red.
Any of these colors may also have the following markings or patterns laid over the top:
- Black mask
- Black shadings
- White markings
A blue fawn Frenchie has a fawn coat, with a blue mask.
A dog’s mask, unsurprisingly, is the fur over their face, including their muzzle, around their eyes, and over their forehead and ears.
‘Blue’ does not literally mean blue of course, but a soft grey.
It’s only a subtle distinction from the permissible black mask, but one which matters a lot to French Bulldog purists.
The color dilution often extends to blue fawn Frenchies’ eyes too, which may be light brown, blue or green. This is also a point of disqualification from the breed standard.
So next, let’s find out why it is the breed standard is so firmly against color dilution characteristics.
Blue Fawn French Bulldog Genetics
Blue fawn Frenchies have a blue mask because they carry two copies of a recessive gene called the dilution gene.
‘Recessive’ means that the effects of the gene are only expressed when a puppy is born with two copies of it. One passed on to them by their mom, and the other passed on to them by their dad.
The effect of the dilution gene is to reduce the concentration of black pigment in black-pigmented hairs.
So they appear grey instead.
French Bulldogs with color dilution are specifically disqualified from meeting the official breed standard because the dilution gene can have unintended health consequences for Frenchies that express it.
Let’s find out more.
Blue Fawn French Bulldog Health
French Bulldogs are, unfortunately, not a healthy dog breed to begin with. And introducing color dilution to their coat presents still further health risks.
French Bulldogs of all colors have a significantly increased risk of the following conditions, compared to the dog population as a whole:
- Allergies to food, and things in the environment, such as pollens and perfumes.
- Chrondrodystrophy, a form of short-legged dwarfism associated with an increased risk of the painful spinal condition intervertebral disc disease.
- The neurological condition degenerative myelopathy.
- Hip and elbow dysplasia.
- Luxating patellas – knee caps which slip out of position.
- Difficulty giving birth.
- Damage to the surface of their eyes, because they protrude so much.
- Breathing difficulties associated with having a flat face, including tracheal hypoplasia (excessively narrow windpipes). This is part of a group of abnormalities known as Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome. They often require expensive surgery to help dogs breathe safely and regulate their body temperature through panting. Dogs left untreated have a high risk of collapsing and even dying from heat stroke in warm weather.
Blue Fawn French Health Problems
In addition, blue fawn French Bulldogs are vulnerable to a hereditary condition called Color Dilution Alopecia (CDA).
CDA causes itchy, flaky bald patches in their coat. It can be managed to prevent the bare skin itching and getting infected, but it can’t be cured.
Dogs can’t be tested to find out if they carry the faulty gene which causes color dilution alopecia before they breed, and it doesn’t cause symptoms in affected puppies until they are grown up.
So, when buying a blue fawn French Bulldog, you have to be extremely confident in the integrity of your breeder to exclude affected individuals and their siblings from their breeding programme.
Blue Fawn French Bulldog Temperament
Despite their health problems, Frenchies are enjoying a massive surge in popularity.
Which is partly down to their temperament. Frenchies are affectionate and entertaining companions.
They love their human family, and regularly seek out contact with them. Either playing games in the yard if it’s cool enough, or cuddling on a sofa in an air conditioned room when it’s not.
Blue fawn coloring is not associated with any differences in temperament. So they don’t pack any surprises in this department.
Prospective owners should be aware though, that since Frenchies were bred as companion dogs, they tend to cope poorly with being left alone.
They are vulnerable to separation anxiety, which can manifest as destructive behaviors and barking when left alone.
Blue Fawn French Bulldog Grooming
Like all other Frenchies, blue fawn French Bulldogs have a short, tight coat. It requires very little in the way of brushing.
However, blue fawn French Bulldogs with color dilution alopecia might need regular bathing with a gentle vet-prescribed shampoo to prevent infection entering the skin where it is inflamed, and to reduce itchiness.
All French Bulldogs also need special care to keep the wrinkles around their face clean. These warm creases in the skin are an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.
Are Blue Fawn French Bulldogs Rare?
In theory, blue fawn French Bulldogs should be rare.
They are the result of a recessive genetic combination that should normally be masked by other more prevalent genes.
Litters of blue fawn puppies can be easily ‘engineered’ by breeders who want to achieve them. But it’s unusual for breeders to deliberately produce dogs which fall foul of their own breed standard.
However, blue fawn Frenchies have received a lot of attention from pet owners who like the idea of something different and unusual.
And wherever there’s demand, unscrupulous breeders and puppy farms will seek to make a profit.
Which is why blue fawn French Bulldog puppies are regularly offered for sale, and for several thousand dollars each.
Unfortunately, these dogs are usually even more unhealthy than the average Frenchie, because the breeder has bred with color and profit in mind, rather than health.
In fact, good breeders often refuse to charge more for unusual colored puppies on principle, to avoid making them more appealing to profiteering puppy farmers.
Your Blue Fawn French Bulldog
A blue fawn French Bulldogs is a popular dog breed with an unusual coat.
Unfortunately, Frenchies suffer enormously from health problems which humans have knowingly bred into them by pursuing a very extreme body shape.
Blue fawn Frenchies are vulnerable to all of these, with the added risk of developing uncomfortable color dilution alopecia too.
For these reasons, we cannot promote breeding of these puppies, and don’t recommend that you support breeding them by buying one as a puppy.
If your heart is set on a Frenchie, consider rehoming an older dog from a rescue shelter instead.
Frenchies are one of the most common breeds surrendered to shelters, when their families realise they are unable to meet the veterinary bills associated with their care.
Some regions even have rescue, fostering, and adoption agencies dedicated specifically to French Bulldogs.
References and Resources
Bell & Cavanagh. Veterinary Medical Guide to Dog and Cat Breeds. CRC Press. 2012.
Frank. Approach to Alopecia. Clinical Small Animal Internal Medicine. John Wiley & Sons. 2020.
Official Standard of the French Bulldog. American Kennel Club. 2018.
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals