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If you’ve ever seen French Bulldogs with blue eyes, they have some of the most unforgettable furry faces around, but do you know how Frenchies get their blue eyes?
What’s even more impressive is that blue-eyed Frenchies can change eye color except for the Blue Fawn Frenchie, but what does this mean for a French Bulldogs’ health and livelihood?
This guide will teach you everything about blue-eyed French Bulldogs and how their blue eyes are more than just pretty eye color. Let’s get started!
- Why Frenchies Have Blue Eyes?
- Blue-Eyed Frenchie Health Issues
- Blue-Eyed Frenchies Don’t Actually Exit
- Eye Appearance
- French Bulldog Eye Colors (Pictures)
- Eye Color By Coat Color
- French Bulldog Puppies With Blue Eyes
- Do French Bulldogs Eyes Change Color from Blue?
- Temperament & Personality
- Breeding Blue-Eyed Frenchies
- Blue-Eyed Frenchie Video
- Should You Get A Blue-Eyed Frenchie?
Why French Bulldogs Have Blue Eyes?
If the default eye color for most dogs is brown, why do French Bulldogs get blue eyes?
Genetics, pigmentation, and health issues can all play a role in altering your Frenchie’s eye colors. Genetics is, however, the number one cause you’ll get a blue-eyed French Bulldog. If a Frenchie has a long history of blue eyes, they are likely to develop blue eyes.
Here are the three main reasons that make Frenchies likely to get blue eyes.
The Merle Gene
If the merle gene (M-locus) is present in a French Bulldog, they are more likely to have blue eyes. This gene is responsible for random pigment dilution (lightening) of the nose, eyes, and fur. However, being a carrier doesn’t always guarantee blue eyes in Frenchies or any dog.
The ALX4 Gene
A recent study, where 6,000 dogs’ complete genetic profiles were analyzed by Embark Veterinary (one of the largest dog DNA testing companies), found that a genetic mutation near a gene known as ALX4 is strongly associated with blue eyes in dogs. French Bulldogs without this genetic mutation are more likely to develop brown eyes.
Melanin levels may also impact the eye color in French Bulldogs. Melanin (a pigment found in the iris) is another causing factor that determines the eye color of dogs. Typically, dogs with a higher level of melanin in their iris have brown eyes. Conversely, the lower the concentration of melanin, the lighter your dog’s eye color will be.
So, how can a French Bulldog develop blue eyes from lack of melanin (or pigmentation loss)?
The gene, known as the “M (merle) locus gene,” modifies eumelanin, which is the black pigmentation in melanin. This genetic modification results in pigment loss, which creates eye colors in French Bulldogs such as pale brown to blue eye coloration.
In terms of health, what does it mean for a French Bulldog to be blue-eyed? Does it pose a health risk?
Blue-Eyed French Bulldog Health Issues
While blue eyes on your French Bulldog are stunningly beautiful, they can increase the likelihood of significant health problems in your pet as opposed to brown-eyed Frenchies.
Blue-eyed Frenchies are prone to develop the following disorder:
Deafness, or hearing loss, is common in French Bulldogs with blue eyes.
This health issue is present in certain dog breeds that are carriers of the Merle and Piebald genes. Congenital deafness is linked to the merle gene, while the Piebald gene is responsible for spotted or multicolored coats on dogs. It’s known that the Piebald gene can also cause deafness due to a lack of mature melanocytes (melanin-producing cells) within the inner ear.
Retired French Bulldog breeder Karen Dibert says
Frenchies who are all white or all black with no trace of brindle carry the deaf gene and can produce blue-eyed dogs with eye problems. Liver or chocolate colors, as seen commonly (and safely)Karen Dibert
So, if your French Bulldog pup has blue eyes (due to the merle gene) or has a spotted color coat (piebald gene), he may be at a higher risk of hearing loss.
Affected Frenchies are at greater risk of injury through, for instance, road traffic accidents. You can rule out congenital deafness by conducting a BAER test in Frenchie puppies as young as six weeks old.
Blue eyes in dogs can be an indicator of possible vision defects. A Frenchie with blue eyes can signify that they carry the merle genes (a dominant gene).
However, this does not necessarily mean a blue-eyed Frenchie will eventually go blind. If both parents carry the merle gene and passe to an offspring, eye defects such as blindness are more likely to occur.
Other Eye Health Problems
Frenchies occasionally have eye conditions such as:
- Cherry eye
- Juvenile cataracts
If your French Bulldog develops red eyes, it is usually a condition called Cherry Eye. This results in dry, bloodshot, and red eyes. If you notice this, visit your veterinarian. It could also be a symptom of dry eye syndrome or corneal ulcers.
If you want to keep your Frenchie’s eye health on point, daily eye care bites like Zesty Paws Eye Supplement can promote good eye health on your pup. We also recommend pet insurance for your Frenchie.
This breed is susceptible to a myriad of health problems. Read our Pet Insurance Guide For French Bulldogs to learn what other health concerns plague this breed and why you should consider pet insurance for your Frenchie.
*Skin allergies and autoimmune skin disorders also are common in Frenchies. French Bulldogs are breeds most prone to suffering from thickening and hardening of the skin on the nose, also known as nasal hyperkeratosis. This dog nose butter can bring relief to your dog’s dry nose.
French Bulldogs Don’t Actually Have Blue Eyes
Your French Bulldog blue eyes aren’t really blue!
Frenchies, or any blue-eyed dog for that matter, don’t actually have blue eyes at all, according to Geneticist Kristopher Irizarry of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences.
Dogs with blue eyes have a completely colorless iris with no pigment at all. Blue eyes get their color the same way water and the sky get their blue color. This means that all the light that enters the dog’s eyes is scattered back into the atmosphere, and as a result, it creates the appearance of blue.
The mutation of the ALX4 gene in dogs with blue eyes seems to result in decreased pigment production in the eye. The lack of pigment causes the eye to appear blue.
French Bulldogs With Blue Eyes Appearance
Does a brown-eyed French Bulldog differ in appearance from a blue-eyed Frenchie?
Blue-Eyed vs Brown-Eyed French Bulldogs
French Bulldogs with blue eyes differ from their brown-eyed counterparts in their eye color.
In general, the French Bulldog resembles a Bulldog in miniature as they have a stocky and muscular appearance. Frenchies look active and intelligent with a smooth coat and medium or small body structure.
Males can grow between 11 to 13 inches tall and weigh 20 to 28 pounds. Females Frenchies have about the same measurements. Their one-of-a-kind large “bat ears” are the breed’s trademark feature and make them one of the world’s most popular small dog breeds.
A large and square head, with heavy wrinkles rolled above the extremely short nose, are common psychical traits among French Bulldogs. They seem alert, curious, and interested at all times.
French Bulldog Eye Colors
According to the AKC’s breed standard for French Bulldogs, Frenchies’ eyes should be round in form, of moderate size, neither sunken nor bulging. French Bulldog eyes should be wide apart and set low down in the skull and as far from the ear as possible.
So, what color eyes do French Bulldogs have?
The following French Bulldog eye color chart will show all the eye colors that French Bulldogs can have.
Brown-eyed French Bulldog
French Bulldogs with brow eyes are the most common eye coloration in Frenchies. Their brown eyes are due to high levels of melanin and the possible absence of the merle gene. These colors range from dark brown to light hazel that may look greenish.
Blue-eyed French Bulldog
Piercing blue eyes are not a defining trait of French Bulldogs. You may find Frenchies with darker blue eyes, while others may have a lighter blue eye coloration. The main reason for blue eyes in Frenchies can be found in M-locus and S-locus genes.
Black-eyed French Bulldog
French Bulldogs with black eyes or approaching brown-black are the preferred eye coloration by the AKC breed standard. Their dark eyes are due to high levels of melanin.
Other less common eye colors in French Bulldogs include:
- Grey-eyed French Bulldog
- Green-eyed French Bulldog
Blue-Eyed Frenchies By Coat Color
You may be wondering if the color of the French Bulldog’s coat is related to having blue eyes.
The short answer is yes.
As mentioned above, the Piebald gene is responsible for a pattern of unpigmented spots (or black and white patches) on a dog’s coat. This lack of pigmentation is also linked to blue eyes in dogs, as we previously stated.
You can find blue-eyed French Bulldogs with the following coat colors:
- White French Bulldog with blue eyes
- Black French Bulldog with blue eyes
- Grey French Bulldog with blue eyes
- Fawn French Bulldog with blue eyes
- Blue French Bulldog with blue eyes
French Bulldog Puppies With Blue Eyes
When buying a French Bulldog puppy with blue eyes, be sure this breed fits your personality and your family’s lifestyle.
Our advice before getting a blue-eyed French bulldog is to be concerned mainly with the health of your puppy rather than eye color.
Think about the standing and integrity of the breeder. A reputable breeder should provide a record of genetic health testing done on the parents and your Frenchie puppy.
Remember that deafness and blindness are more probable in blue-eyed dogs. Responsible breeders will have entire litters tested to ensure that all can hear and be clear of eye defects. If not, you should request they do.
Choose reputable and responsible breeders. The AKC MarketPlace is an excellent start to start your search and find Frenchie puppies on sale in your area.
When possible, always consider fostering and adopting.
Will My Frenchie Puppy Have Blue Eyes For Ever?
Do French Bulldogs’ eyes change color?
All puppies are born with blue eyes because melanin production in the eyes does not begin until the pups are a few weeks old, so their eyes appear blue until this point.
Blue-eyed Frenchies are striking, to say the least, but do blue-eyed French Bulldog puppies stay blue? Not for long!
The majority of dogs end up with dark brown eyes. Some breeds are the exception (i.e., the Siberian Husky).
Your Frenchie’s eyes usually change to their permanent coloration several weeks down the line. Since birth, it often takes 9 to 12 weeks for a puppy’s eye color to settle in and “stay.” The permanent eye color change can even happen as late as 16 weeks in age.
Eye color shades can range from light brown, dark brown, and amber to rare permanent blue.
Temperament & Personality of a French Bulldog
What can you expect from French Bulldog?
The Frenchie is playful, alert, adaptable, and intelligent, according to the American Kennel Club. They are even-tempered for the most part, but they require attention.
They are minimal barkers but will start barking when it finds cause for excitement. They tend to snort quite a bit, which is another distinctive characteristic of this breed.
Frenchies are alert and aware of their surroundings at all times; this makes them excellent watchdogs. Frenchies are comfortable companions with an affectionate
nature but not unduly boisterous.
Breeding French Bulldog With Blue Eyes
Breeding two blue-eyed dogs are considered unethical and inhumane by some. “Why?” you ask.
Well, when two Merle gene carriers are bred their litter, then becomes known as “double merle;” This puts the little at higher risk for health issues, as we previously discussed. Only Frenchies in which both ears are normal and healthy should be used for breeding.
Blue-eyed French Bulldogs can produce healthy offspring, but there is a higher probability of getting puppies with congenital health issues such as deafness or blindness. Litters from a Marle carrier bred with a non-carrier are less likely to exhibit any health issues.
When breeding French Bulldogs, make sure the female and male come from healthy bloodlines. Breeding Frenchies with blue eyes is no different than breeding non-blue eyes Frenchies.
Wait until the female is 2 years old and after her second heat cycle. Don’t breed female Frenchies in 2 consecutive heat seasons. She needs the proper time to recover.
You should expect a litter size between 3 and 4 puppies, with 7 being the most often reported number for French Bulldogs.
Blue-Eyed Frenchie In Action
Watch this adorable Frenchie puppy with blue eyes play around!
History of The French Bulldogs
The French Bulldog breed started as a miniature bulldog in England around the 1850s.
During the height of the Industrial Revolution, industrial workers began to travel and settle in France. Of course, they took their French bulldogs with them, where the breed acquired their “Frenchie” moniker.
These early versions of the French bulldog were not precisely what modern French Bulldogs look like. As their popularity spread across France, breeders began to crossbreed these dogs with perhaps terriers and pugs and, along the way, developed their now-famous bat ears.
These so-called “bat ears” (or “bats,” as they were called) were bred in England before the breed landed in France (although the dogs did not originate in France). It was the French who cultivated the breeds to what they are today.
The French loved this breed so much that they even gave it its French name, “Bouledogues Français.”
The breed’s popularity arose over time and was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1898. Until 1940 only one hundred French bulldogs were registered with the AKC, but the breed had already established itself of the top ten best breeds in Great Britain, Australia, and the United States.
Should You Get A French Bulldog With Blue Eyes?
Generally, Frenchies make good pets and are great with families or single dog owners. If lapdogs are your thing and you find pushed-in faces adorable, then the French Bulldog is an excellent breed for you.
Frenchies get along well with other pets and adapt quickly to new situations. They do not require many outdoor exercises, so if you are an active person who likes to take your pets on runs, you may want to consider a different breed.
They can be stubborn, but at heart, they’re people pleasers and therefore easy to train, says the AKC. Be mindful that, as a flat-faced breed, Frenchies are prone to breathing difficulties and may require extra care.
If you are set on getting a Frenchie, canine author Susanne Saben offers the best advice to raise a happy, healthy French Bulldog. A must-read for any Frenchie dog parent.
One of the biggest downfalls to owning one is the health concerns we covered in this article. You need to do your research to find a healthy blue-eyed Frenchie.