As with all popular pure-bred dogs, there are preferences for color in French Bulldogs. Standards for these accepted colors are set by both Club/Show standards and by tradition.
French Bulldogs—When Color Matters
Color is only an issue in a French Bulldog when the owner is looking for an animal of show quality. According to Kennel Club standards, some colors and/or combinations or patterns are not allowable in a show-worthy dog.
French Bulldogs do sometimes present with colors that are not considered allowable by show standards. When this happens, a French Bulldog is disqualified from showing and as breeding stock (and is required to be altered so that it cannot breed); these animals are designated as companion dogs or pet quality. They are excellent choices for the owner who has no interest in showing, and the color in no way affects any other aspect of the dog. In fact, because the animal is not of show quality and cannot be bred, it may come with a lower price-tag.
Acceptable French Bulldog Colors
Each club standard can vary, but the most commonly accepted colors of the French Bulldog are as follows:
All brindle colors and brindle and white combinations are accepted
All fawn colors are accepted
All white dogs are accepted
Any other color that is not specifically identified as grounds for disqualification are accepted
Disqualifying French Bulldog Colors
The following colors disqualify French Bulldogs as show stock by the most widely recognized standards:
Solid black—by solid black, what is meant is that the French Bulldog does not have a trace of a white hair or brindle
Black and tan—similar to a Doberman's coloring
Black and white
White with black
The difficulty in determining qualifying colors in the French Bulldog is that there is some misperception and debate concerning what each color disqualification looks like. To ensure you are buying a dog of acceptable color, it is important to make sure the breeder is very knowledgeable in these regards.
The color of the eyes and nose of the French Bulldog also must meet standards for acceptability. Eyes should be dark with no white that shows when the dog looks straight ahead. Lighter colored eyes are accepted in lighter colored dogs, however. The accepted nose color for the French Bulldog is black; some exception for lighter colored French Bulldogs is made and lighter versions are allowed, but not preferred.
Potential French Bulldog owners looking for show-quality animals will need to pay close attention to the requirements for color in the French Bulldog; those looking for a happy companion can be much less picky, though, and will enjoy a much wider range of dogs from which to choose their lifelong pet.