English Bulldog Colors

Standard and Non standard colors

The English Bulldog coat comes in a variety of colors
There are standard and non standard colors
Standard colors are colors approved by the kennel clubs

The English Bulldog, is not recognised in any colour
that is not listed in the breed standard by the Kennel Clubs
For example black, lilac and chocolate colors
are all marked on their pedigree as unrecognised colors

So what standard and non standard colors are there?


Fawn/ Fallow

A combination of the standard colors
like red and white
are considered a standard color

Non Standard Colors



Black Mask
White Markings

What is your favorite Bulldog color?
1524 votes

Are non standard colors more prone to health problems?

There is a lot of debat wether Bulldogs with non standard colors
are more likely to have breed specific health problems
However in my research, I could find a lot of peoples opinions
but I could not find any scientific research or statistics on this subject

So the next question would be:
Are non standard colors more prone to health problems
or are bad breeders more likely to breed non standard colors
for financial reasons?

In the Netherlands, we rarely see
non standard colored Bulldogs,
in fact, we never had one in the rescue,
so I cannot judge from my own experience
But here is some helpful input from our members:

Jane Grace:
I follow several bulldog rescues
and they report seeing more health issues
with non-standard coloured dogs
than the regular coloured ones.
They see more occurrences of cleft palates,
spina bifida and hydrocephalus.
The non standard colours are very sought after
here in the US, unfortunately they come
at a cost to the dogs by way of health.

Sandra Williams:
I have a Merle English and a Merle french
and have had no health issues at all

Andrea Phillips:
We are also seeing more heart and spine defects
withing color dogs. When you breed recessive genes
that’s what happens though

Janet Williams:
I think the health issues arise from
getting one that are not reputable breeder’s.
Or from breeder that has not been in business for long.
Some just recently start for the money.

Michelle Barrett:
I have a blue tri female, absolutely no health issues
I really honestly don’t believe color
has anything to do,with health issues
I’ve seen, plenty of standard colors,
with tons of issues…comes down, to breeder.

Stephanie Fox:
Many (not all) breeders who breed for color
do so simply to make money with the color fad.
They do not breed for the health of the dog.
That’s the problem.
Do not encourage these people by buying faddish colors.
Instead, do your research and find an ethical breeder
near you, go visit the facilities and ask questions.

Kevin Hill:
I think you will find that the reason ‘coloureded’ bulldogs
seem to have a higher rate of health issue
is the fact breeders are chasing that market.
Provided adequate research is completed on both parents
there should be no higher ‘risk’ factor with coloureds than standard.

Missy Wolfe:
The reason non standard colors
report higher rates of health problems
is because people will breed for color,
when they should be breeding for quality.
Just because someone has a ‘rare’ colored dog,
doesn’t mean they should breed it.
Too many backyard breeders milling out
whatever they can bank on.
You have to look at the dog objectively.
If the dog in question wasn’t a ‘rare’ or ‘designer’ color,
would you still want it? Would you still breed it?
Not every bulldog needs to reproduce

Michelle Stamper:
I agree it is a breeding issue
but a bulldog is beautiful regardless of color
Red and white and white are my favorites….but I am biased

Do you think non standard colored Bulldogs are prone to more Health problems?
341 votes

Personal opinion

To me, the color of their coat is not important,
just like with humans it is the inside that counts
To me health and character are the two most important things
when choosing a Bulldog and all other things
like colors, markings or other looks are irrelevant
If I would have to choose a favorite color
I would probably choose dark brindle
or the classic red and white

Yes, the English Bulldog’s appearance is unique …
However it is the Bulldog’s character
that is the most unique and special of the Bulldog breed

When kennel clubs talk about the standard
they refer to build, stance, color and markings
When I talk about the Bulldog standard,
I am thinking about general health,
trying to exclude any breed specific health problems
(which we see a lot in our Rescue)
and preserving that special character

So rather a Bulldog, that will not win any prices,
but has no breathing problems, good conditioning
and no breed specific health problems

A Bulldog with a long, healthy and happy doglife
A floppy ear, different markings or longer legs
have no health disadvantageous
and will only make them more unique ☺
I think, I can speak for most Bulldog owners when stating:
health and character are so much more important than looks

The English Bulldog is already both
an expensive and highly wanted breed
Which unfortunately attracts a lot of bad breeders,
who are only in it to make money

Adding non standard colors to the mix
will increase the amount of bad breeders,
who are breeding specifically for certain colors or features
like ‘miniature’ or ‘rare coloured’ Bulldogs to make even more money

That does not mean every
non standard color Bulldog breeder
is a bad breeder!

Certainly not, but the percentage
of fashion breeders and puppy mill breeders is higher
So make sure to do proper research before choosing your breeder
There are good breeders with a lot of love for the breed,
a lot of experience and who will place health and character first

We have a lot members with very healthy and happy
non standard colored Bulldogs
The color of the Bulldog doesn’t matter to me,
I’m not against the non standard colors
or people who do have a preference for certain colors
I do love seeing those chocolate, tri colored and lilac Bulldogs
In my opinion, there is no way to be sure wether
some health issues are linked to non standard colors
without proper research

I think it would really help to get opinions
from veterinarian experts on this subject
and have proper scientific research done
with a respectable sample size of the Bulldog population

That way we can either determine that
the colors of the breed have no impact on their health
or that there are specific health problems
tied to the non standard colors,
so we can address those problems
and prevent unnecassary suffering
from breed or color specific health problems

All Bulldogs are Beautiful!

• What is your favorite English Bulldog color?

• Do you think non standard colored Bulldogs
are prone to more health problems?

Let us know in the Comments
or on the Baggy Bulldog Forum

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