French Bulldogs With Blue Eyes: The Truth About Blue-Eyed Frenchies (Risks & Facts)

french bulldogs with blue eyes

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If you’ve ever seen French Bulldogs with blue eyes, they have some of the most unforgettable furry faces. But do you know how Frenchies get their blue eyes? Even more impressive is that blue-eyed Frenchies, except for the Blue Fawn Frenchie, can change eye color. But what does this mean for a French Bulldog’s health and livelihood? This guide will teach you about blue-eyed French Bulldogs and how their blue eyes are more than just pretty eye color. Let’s get started!

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. However, genetics is the number one cause of blue-eyed French Bulldogs. If a Frenchie has a long history of blue eyes, they are likely to develop blue eyes.

Here are the three main reasons Frenchies are 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

Melanin levels can influence the eye color of French Bulldogs. Melanin, a pigment in the iris, is another factor determining a dog’s eye color. Generally, dogs with higher melanin levels in their iris tend to have brown eyes. Conversely, a lower concentration of melanin results in lighter eye colors in dogs. So, what causes lower levels of melanin in a dog’s iris?

The gene responsible for modifying eumelanin, the black pigmentation in melanin, in Pit Bulls is known as the “M (merle) locus gene.” This genetic modification results in pigment loss, resulting in various eye colors in French Bulldogs, ranging from pale brown to shades of blue.

Blue-Eyed French Bulldog Health Issues

Are blue-eyed French Bulldogs at higher risk of certain health conditions?

Genetically, blue eyes in dogs do not mean more health issues. It is possible to have a perfectly healthy blue-eyed Frenchie. However, it is important to note that blue-eyed Frenchies may have an increased likelihood of significant health risks compared to brown-eyed Pit Bulls.

Deafness

Deafness, or hearing loss, is common in French Bulldogs with blue eyes. This health issue is present in certain dog breeds that carry 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.

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, for instance, in road traffic accidents. You can rule out congenital deafness by conducting a BAER test in Frenchie puppies as young as six weeks old.

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

If you own a deaf Frenchie, we advise you to learn effective communication methods for deaf dogs. Additionally, consider acquiring a collar specifically designed for deaf dogs and ensure your dog has an identification tag to promote awareness and safety for everyone in their vicinity.

Blindness

French Bulldogs with blue eyes may potentially develop vision defects. The presence of blue eyes in Pit Bulls can indicate that your pet carries the Merle gene, which is a dominant gene. However, it is essential to note that not all blue-eyed French Bulldogs will inevitably become blind. The likelihood of eye defects such as blindness is higher if both parents carry the Merle gene and pass it on to their offspring. Animals that are “double merle,” meaning they have two copies of the merle (M/M) trait, are primarily white and more susceptible to various health issues such as blindness.

Other Eye Health Problems

Frenchies occasionally have eye conditions such as:

  • Cherry eye
  • Juvenile cataracts
  • Entropion

If you have concerns about your Frenchie Bulldog’s health, we suggest considering an at-home dog DNA test. This test can help identify whether your Frenchie carries the gene(s) for blue eyes, other genetic disorders, or complications. We recommend the Embark Dog DNA Breed ID + Health kit, which tests for over 230 genetic health conditions.

By testing your dog, you will gain valuable insights that can enable you to take proactive measures today to manage, treat, or even prevent certain health conditions that may arise later in your dog’s life.

Given the susceptibility of eye problems in Frenchies, supplementing their diet with eye dog supplements like Zesty Paws eye supplement and using dog eye drops to provide long-lasting corneal protection and hydration can be beneficial.

Lastly, French Bulldogs are prone to thickening and hardening skin on the nose, also known as nasal hyperkeratosis. Using a dog nose butter can bring relief or prevent it. Because Frenchies are susceptible to many health issues, we advise looking into pet insurance for French Bulldogs. It’s a great way to cover unexpected health expenses and your finances.

French Bulldogs Don’t Actually Have Blue Eyes

Yes, you heard correctly. Although your French Bulldog’s eyes may appear blue, they are not truly blue.

According to Geneticist Kristopher Irizarry from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences, French Bulldogs and other dogs with blue eyes do not possess actual blue-colored eyes.

While brown eyes in dogs derive their color from melanin, dogs with blue eyes have colorless irises that lack any pigment. The coloration of blue eyes is achieved through a similar mechanism as the blue color of water and the sky. This occurs because all the light entering the eyes of a French Bulldog is scattered back into the atmosphere, creating the optical illusion of a blue appearance.

The mutation of the ALX4 gene in dogs with blue eyes seems to decrease 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, with 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. Female Frenchies have about the same measurements. Their one-of-a-kind large “bat ears” are the breed’s trademark feature, making 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 physical traits among French Bulldogs. They seem alert, curious, and interested at all times.

Eye Color Characteristics

According to the United Kennel Club breed standard for French Bulldogs, eyes in Frenchies should be dark in color, wide apart, set low down in the skull, as far from the ears as possible, round in form, moderate size, neither sunken nor bulging. In lighter-colored dogs, lighter-colored eyes are acceptable. No haw and no white of the eye showing when looking forward. Anything outside this description, including blue eyes, is considered a serious fault and not a standard.

French Bulldog Coat Color & The Relationship With Blue Eyes

Yes, the coat color of a French Bulldog is related to the occurrence of blue eyes. The presence of blue eyes in French Bulldogs is often associated with certain coat colors and patterns, such as merle, white coats, or genes such as the Piebald gene, which is responsible for a pattern of unpigmented spots (or black and white patches) on a dog’s coat. However, it’s important to note that not all French Bulldogs with these coat colors or patterns will have blue eyes, as other genetic and environmental factors can also influence eye color.

On the other hand, solid coat colors are determined by the levels of melanin. Eumelanin, a type of melanin, produces the black pigment in a dog’s coat. However, genes like the Merle gene can affect the production of eumelanin in a dog’s cells. This alteration prevents the cells from producing a full-strength black pigment, resulting in various coat color shades ranging from gray, brown, tan, and everything in between.

Blue-eyed French Bulldogs with brown, black, grey, and silver coat colors are probably the most difficult and rarest of all blue-eyed Frenchies. Why? Because the melanin levels are full-on black or closer to the black pigmentation. Also, the Merle gene is less likely to be present among these color coats.

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 Eye Colors — By Coat Color

Here are some blue-eyed French Bulldog pictures with different coat colors.

Brown-Eyed French Bulldog

French Bulldogs with brown 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, which may look greenish.

Merle 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 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.

Blue-Eyed French Bulldog

French Bulldogs are born with blue eyes due to initial low melanin. As they grow, melanin increases, typically darkening their eyes. Some genetically retain blue eyes.

French Bulldog Grey Blue Eyes

A rare beautiful Grey Frenchie blue eyes.

White Frenchie With Blue Eyes

Watch this white French Bulldog with blue eyes have fun.

Other less common eye colors in French Bulldogs include:

  • Grey-eyed French Bulldog
  • Green-eyed French Bulldog

Blue-Eyed French Bulldog Puppy

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 the entire litter tested to ensure 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.

When Will Frenchie’s Eye Color Start to Change?

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. Eye color shades range from light brown, dark brown, and amber to rare permanent blue.

Blue-Eyed French Bulldog Price

From our research, breeders usually sell French puppies with good bloodlines at starting prices of $4000 to $15000. Reputable breeders will charge more as it costs a lot of money to keep dogs healthy to breed. They may also up the cost if you are looking for a blue-eyed French Bulldog with a specific coat color or other traits.

French Bulldogs With Blue Eyes For Sale

If you are looking for French Bulldogs with blue eye puppies for sale, begin by looking at your local shelter and breeder. New pets are added every day, and they need their forever home. The AKC Marketplace is another good place. However, it’s rare to find blue-eyed Frenchies on either option. The best place to find French Bulldogs with blue eyes for sale is PuppySpot. They are the best place to find healthy, pre-screened puppies from U.S.-based reputable breeders at a great price.

Blue-Eyed Frenchie In Action

Watch this adorable Frenchie puppy with blue eyes play around!

Temperament & Personality of a French Bulldog

According to the American Kennel Club, the Frenchie is playful, alert, adaptable, and intelligent. 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, another distinctive characteristic of this breed. Frenchies are always alert and aware of their surroundings, making them excellent watchdogs. Frenchies are comfortable companions with an affectionate nature but not unduly boisterous.

Breeding French Bulldog With Blue Eyes

One reason why breeding French Bulldogs with blue eyes is sometimes frowned upon, considered unethical, and inhumane by some is because of the increased likelihood of health issues in the puppies. When two merle (Mm) carrier dogs are bred together, the chance of producing a double merle (MM) litter increases significantly. Double merle puppies are extremely prone to genetic diseases such as deafness and blindness.

While blue-eyed French Bulldogs can still produce healthy offspring, their puppies are more susceptible to congenital health issues than puppies born from a single merle carrier (Mm) and a non-carrier (m/m).

To ensure responsible breeding practices, breeding a Merle French Bulldog is recommended only with a non-merle/non-cryptic Merle dog. When breeding Frenchies, selecting a female and male from healthy bloodlines is essential. Breeding Frenchies with blue eyes should follow the same standards as breeding non-blue-eyed Frenchies.

It is advised to wait until the female French Bulldog is two years old and after her second heat cycle before breeding. It is also important not to breed female French Bulldogs in two consecutive heat seasons to allow sufficient time for recovery. The expected litter size typically ranges between 3 and 7 puppies.

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, 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 into 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 among 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. As a flat-faced breed, Frenchies are prone to breathing difficulties and may require extra care.

If you are set on getting a Frenchie, the canine author of The French Bulldog Bible, Susanne Saben, offers the best advice to raise a happy, healthy French Bulldog.

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.


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