BlueHaven French Bulldogs

What About the New Fad Frenchies – Long Haired Frenchies and Merles?


  • The French Bulldog has been around since the mid-1800s, and it was first recognized as a breed by the AKC in 1898.  At that time, the breed specifications were introduced, including the bat ears, along with standard coat colors and the short, single layer, smooth coat.


  • This was before DNA testing, but all indications are that the rare coat colors (blue, chocolate, tan points, and pure coats) existed in the original gene pool, but Frenchies with these colors have not been allowed in AKC sanctioned competitions, probably for fear that they were dominant colors that would eventually eliminate the standard colored Frenchies.


  • There is no indication that the merle gene, or the gene for long hair, existed within the Frenchie gene pool at that time.



What is a merle Frenchie?

  • Frenchies come in many beautiful colors and patterns, including piebald (pied) and brindle.  Brindling is a dominant feature which is characterized by lighter colored hairs being mixed in with darker colored hairs with varying intensity and distribution.  A brindle Frenchie with very little brindling is often referred to as a seal brindle.  A brindle Frenchie with more of the light colored hairs than the dark ones is often called a reverse brindle.  


  • Piedness is a recessive feature and is characterized by dark colored patches of various sizes, shapes, and numbers on a base white coat.  A Frenchie with minimal dark patches is called an extreme pied, whereas Frenchies with a lot of color are called blanket pieds or heavy pieds.


  • A merle Frenchie has a coat that is characterized by irregular blotches of various colors on a solid colored Frenchie, or by irregular blotches of various colors in the dark patches of a pied.  They are not to be confused with brindle or pied Frenchies.


  • The merle gene is a dominant gene, so only a single copy of the gene is needed to produce a merle puppy.  This gene probably did not exist in the original Frenchie gene pool and may have been brought in from other breeds, such as the Chihuahua.


  • Two merle dogs should never be bred, because a puppy with a double copy of the merle gene will be very susceptible to hearing and eyesight problems, in addition to other health related issues.


What is a long haired Frenchie?


  • Long haired Frenchies are very similar to normal short haired Frenchies, except that their hair is two to three times the standard length.


  • There is no history of a long haired Frenchie until 1933, and then long haired Frenchies didn’t appear again until the 21st century.  It is therefore probable that this is also an introduced gene from another breed, or other breeds, most probably the Pekingese.


  • The gene responsible for long hair in a Frenchie is a recessive gene, so a copy is needed from both mom and dad in order to express.


Are long haired Frenchies and Merle Frenchies really Frenchies, and can they be AKC registered?


  • Both long haired and merle Frenchies are French Bulldogs and not separate breeds, and they can be registered with the AKC, assuming a proper pedigree, but they are not eligible to participate in AKC sanctioned events.


What is the attraction of long haired and merle Frenchies?


  • For the majority of people wanting a Frenchie, the French Bulldog is a very unique and beautiful breed that makes wonderful family companions, and they are only looking for a good representative of the breed.


  • Many Frenchie lovers are drawn to the myriad of gorgeous colors that they come in, from the standard brindles, fawns, sables, and creams, to the more rare blues, chocolates, lilacs, pure coats, and tan points.  All of these color genes are naturally occurring in the Frenchie gene pool, so clients know that if they are getting a well-bred Frenchie, regardless of color, they are doing their part to help improve the breed.


  • There are some Frenchie lovers that want a Frenchie that is even more unique than what can be obtained through color selection, and the long haired Frenchies and the merle Frenchies have a certain appeal for them.


What is the risk of getting a fad Frenchie, i.e. a long haired or merle Frenchie?


  • It is certainly possible to get a high quality merle or long haired Frenchie, but a great deal of caution should be exercised.  A lot of these fad dogs are being produced by people who have jumped on the bandwagon in an effort to cash in on their current popularity, and the quality of the dogs that they produce is of secondary importance.  Any Frenchie that is not well-bred is susceptible to a variety of health issues.


Can you get a long haired or merle Frenchie from a reputable breeder?


  •  One of the main objectives of any responsible breeder should be to help improve the breed through careful and selective breeding, especially concentrating on health, structure, temperament, and size.  Color is of secondary importance, and any deviations from the established AKC standards need to be carefully considered.


  • There are quite a few reputable breeders that will only breed Frenchies in the standard colors, i.e., black brindles, fawns, sables, creams, and pieds in these colors, because they want to adhere exclusively to the current AKC breed standards in all areas.   


  • There are other reputable breeders, like BlueHaven French Bulldogs, that breed Frenchies in strict accordance to the breed standards, except that they also produce Frenchies in some, or all, of the rare colors, that are created by genes that are naturally occurring in the Frenchie gene pool.  These Frenchies are gorgeous and they are in high demand, and they are just as healthy as Frenchies in standard colors.  The hope is that one day the AKC will allow these gorgeous Frenchies to be entered into AKC sanctioned conformation events, as it is now known that these rare colors are created by rare, recessive genes, so they will not overpower the genes for standard colored Frenchies.


  • There are a few Frenchie breeders, who are known to produce some high-quality dogs, that will also breed for some, or all, of the new fad Frenchies, i.e., merles, long hairs, and miniatures.  Many reputable breeders feel that breeders who do this are not improving the breed, but if careful breeding practices are incorporated to produce these dogs, some very nice dogs will result, and they can make wonderful pets.



  • Fad Frenchies, like the longhairs and the merles (and you can also add miniatures), can be unique and wonderful companions, but extreme caution needs to be exercised in adopting one.  Many of the most experienced and trusted breeders of Frenchies will not breed these fad dogs, as they do not believe that they will be meeting their objective of helping to improve the breed.
Tags :
Former Puppies
Share This :

Recent Posts

Need Frenchie advice?
Give us a call!

BlueHaven French Bulldogs’ website invites customers to easily connect with their team for personalized assistance, inquiries about available French Bulldog puppies, or any other related concerns.

we specialize in breeding and selling high-quality French Bulldog puppies


For more information on current or upcoming puppies, Please Call
BlueHaven at 435-770-5708