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Blue-Eyed French Bulldogs: Health, Risks & Eye Color Change

If you’ve seen Blue-Eyed French dogs, there’s no denying they have some of the most memorable faces around. But are you aware of how they get their alluring eyes? What’s even more fascinating is that a blue-eyed Frenchie can alter their eye color. What does this imply for their livelihood and health?

In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about Blue-Eyed French bulldogs and how their magnificent eyes are more than just an aesthete. Read on!

Why Does a French bulldog Have Blue Eyes?

Health problems, pigmentation, and genetics all play a role in altering the eye color of a Blue-Eyed Frenchie. However, genetics is the main reason behind French Bulldogs having their blue eyes. A Frenchie with a long history of blue eyes has a high likelihood of developing the same eye color.

Here are three main reasons that French bulldogs have blue eyes.

Merle Gene

Also known as M-Locus, the presence of this gene in French Bulldogs means they’ll likely develop blue eyes. Although it causes sporadic pigment dilution or lightening of the fur, nose, and eyes, being a carrier doesn’t always ascertain a blue-eyed Frenchie.

ALX4 Gene

In a study that the Embark Veterinary conducted, the genetic profiles of 6000 pooches were analyzed. It revealed that a genetic mutation of the ALX4 gene is more prevalent in blue-eyed pups. A French bulldog that lacks this mutation has a higher likelihood of developing brown eyes.

Levels of Melanin

Melanin is a pigment located in the iris and is responsible for the eye color of pups. Usually, pooches with higher melanin levels in their iris have brown-colored eyes. Contrarily, lower levels of melanin are indicative of lighter eye color.

Health Risks Associated With Blue-Eyed French Bulldogs

Although French bulldogs with blue eyes are majestically beautiful, they are more susceptible to a wealth of health adversities (as discussed below) compared to a Frenchie with brown eyes.

Hearing Loss

Deafness is common in blue-eyed French bulldogs, more so, those carrying the Piebald and Merle genes. While congenital hearing loss is tied to the merle gene, Piebald genes trigger multicolored or spotted coats on pooches.

Stemming from the absence of developed melanin-generating cells known as melanocytes in a dog’s inner ear, Piebald genes may also lead to deafness. Therefore, if you notice a multicolored coat on your blue-eyed Frenchie, they are more susceptible to deafness.

Moreover, they have a higher risk of incurring injury, for example, through a road traffic accident. To rule out congenital hearing loss, conduct the renowned BAER test in a blue-eyed Frenchie puppy as early as 6 weeks in age.

Blindness

Blue-eyed pups may have defective vision. A blue-eyed Frenchie could be a carrier of the dominant gene, merle. Nevertheless, this doesn’t imply that all blue-eyed French bulldogs will eventually suffer blindness. The likelihood is only high when both parents are carriers of the merle gene and pass it to their offspring.

Blue-eyed French bulldogs are also susceptible to other eye defects such as:

  1. Entropion
  2. Cherry eye (when your pup develops blood-shot eyes): It can be a symptom of corneal ulcers or dry eye syndrome
  3. Juvenile cataracts

Giving your dog daily eye supplements can prevent these issues.

Autoimmune Skin Disorders and Allergies

French bulldogs are among the most vulnerable dog breeds to hardening and thickening of their nose skin, commonly referred to as nasal hyperkeratosis.

A French Bulldog Doesn’t Have Blue Eyes

Here’s a twist: the eyes of a French bulldog aren’t blue. Instead, these blue-eyed pups have an entirely colorless iris that lacks pigment. Blue eyes acquire their color in the same fashion as the sky and the ocean.

All the light that penetrates a pup’s eyes bounces back into the atmosphere, creating a blue appearance. The ALX4 gene mutation in blue-eyed French bulldogs seems to lower the pigment production in the eyes, causing them to appear blue.

Brown-Eyed vs Blue-Eyed French Bulldogs: Similarities

Although they differ in eye-color, a blue-eyed Frenchie and their brown-eyed counterparts share a few commonalities. For starters, they have a muscular and stocky appearance that’s closely similar to bulldogs in miniature. French bulldogs are also intelligent and active with a smooth coat.

brown eyes french bulldog close up

Secondly, a male Frenchie typically grows to weigh anywhere between 20lbs and 28lbs with a height ranging from 11 to 13 inches. Their female counterparts have about the same measurements.

Thirdly, their large and unique bat ears are the marker of a Frenchie and make them among the most popular pooch breeds across the globe. A big, square, heavily-wrinkled head coupled with an overly short nose are other common physical traits that set French bulldogs apart from the pack. Furthermore, they constantly seem interested, alert, and curious.

French Bulldogs: Eye Appearance and Color

A Frenchie has round moderate-sized eyes that are neither bulging nor sunken. They’re also set low in the skull, far from the ears, and wide apart. French bulldogs can be categorized by eye-color, as discussed below.

Brown-Eyed Frenchie

french bulldog posing sitting on rug

Most French bulldogs typically have brown eyes as a result of the possible absence of the merle gene and high melanin levels. The shades of brown range from a light hazel that appears greenish to a dark brown.

Black-Eyed Frenchie

black eyed french bulldog close up

Due to their high melanin levels, these pups have a deep brown eye color that is easily mistakable for black.

Blue-Eyed Frenchie

Piercing blue eyes is not one of the defining traits of a French bulldog. However, you may find a Frenchie with sky blue eyes while others may have darker blue eye coloration. The main reason for this coloration in French bulldogs is the presence of the S-locus and M-locus genes.

blue eyed frenchie

Other less common eye colors in a Frenchie are:

  • Green
  • Grey

Blue-Eyed French Bulldogs: Coat Color

If you’re curious about whether the coat color of a French bulldog is related to their eye color, the answer is yes. As we previously mentioned, Piebald genes cause multicolored (white and black patches) or spotted coats due to the lack of pigmentation that’s also tied to these pups having blue eyes.

You can find a blue-eyed Frenchie with the following coat colors:

  • Black
  • White
  • Fawn
  • Grey
  • Blue

Frenchie Blue-Eyed Puppies

Before adopting a blue-eyed French bulldog puppy, ensure they gel with your personality and the lifestyle of your household. We recommend focusing more on your puppy’s health rather than the eye-color.

Additionally, consider the integrity and standing of the breeder. Remember, reputable breeders should deliver a record of genetic health tests on the Frenchie puppy and their parents because blindness and deafness are more common in blue-eyed pooches. A trusted breeder will have entire litters tested to rule out these health issues.

Does A Blue-Eyed Frenchie Change Color?

All puppies are born with blue eyes due to the lack of melanin production until they’re a few weeks old. Although most pups end up with dark brown eyes, the alluring Siberian husky and other breeds are the exceptions.

The eyes of your blue-eyed Frenchie puppy typically change to their permanent coloration anywhere between 9 and 16 weeks since birth. True color shades vary from amber, dark brown, and light brown to permanent and piercing blue.

Personality and Temperament: Blue-Eyed French Bulldogs

white bulldog on jogging track

Here’s what you can expect from a blue-eyed Frenchie.

Companionship and Loyalty

These compact pups are gentle, friendly, sensitive, and crave attention. They’re comfortable companions without being unduly boisterous. Blue-eyed French bulldogs are also incredibly loyal.

Reputation

Although these dogs are relatively active, they’re unfairly categorized as lazy. Nonetheless, with a little push, they can be upbeat and delight in short but frequent walks. A blue-eyed Frenchie is also good-natured around other dogs, children, and strangers and doesn’t prefer being left alone.

Popularity

A blue-eyed Frenchie is increasingly popular despite their unusual coloring. It’s, therefore, no surprise that they ranked as the 4th most popular dog breeds worldwide.

Trainability

Despite their stubborn nature, training blue-eyed French bulldogs is a walk in the park. While they enjoy pleasing their owners, they lack the stamina and energy, so immense time and care are needed.

Given their love for food, training a blue-eyed Frenchie can involve using positive reinforcement in the form of various food-based treats. We recommend leash training when a Frenchie puppy is a few months old. Lastly, keep in mind they cannot swim.

Intelligence and Power

Blue-eyed French bulldogs have average intelligence and lack great stamina or high levels of energy. Therefore, they shouldn’t do strenuous exercise as they’re highly susceptible to overheating.

Socialization

Early discipline and socialization are advisable with all dog breeds, and a blue-eyed Frenchie is no exception. Their unaggressive nature means their low levels of energy are unlikely to be depleted. These dogs revel in company and playtime.

Behavior

Blue-eyed French bulldogs are well-mannered, extroverted, and upbeat. They demand constant attention and company. As a result of their compact bodies and low energy levels, they make excellent city pets.

Moreover, they gel well with other dogs. Although these pups are minimal barkers, they’ll bark aggressively if there’s a reason for excitement. Another unique trait of this breed is that they snort excessively.

Alert

A blue-eyed Frenchie is constantly aware of their environment, making them great watchdogs.

French Bulldogs: History

black bulldog running

The Frenchie bulldog began as a miniature pup in England in the mid-1800s. When the Industrial Revolution was at its peak, workers began traveling to and settling in France. It’s a no-brainer they brought their French bulldogs with them.

It was at this point that the breed acquired the name, ‘Frenchie.’ Keep in mind that these early French bulldog variations differ in appearance from their modern counterparts. As their popularity soared in France, breeders started crossbreeding these pups with Pugs and Terriers, giving rise to the currently renowned ‘bat ears.’

While they didn’t originate in France, these bat-eared pups were bred in England before landing in France. It was the French that refined these breeds into what they are today. They delighted in this breed so much that they named it Bouledogues Français.”

The breed soared in popularity until it gained recognition in 1898 by the American Kennel Club (AKC). However, it wasn’t until 1940 that 100 French bulldogs were registered with this kennel club even though the breed had ranked among the top 10 breeds in the US, Great Britain, and Australia.

How to Train a Blue-Eyed Frenchie Puppy

Blue-eyed French bulldogs should be trained as puppies at just a few weeks old. Granted, they lack an abundance of energy and can be stubborn. However, they require going out in public and knowing how to obey orders for socialization and safety purposes. As is the case with all puppies, there’s a myriad of recommended types of training, as discussed below.

Formulate Fundamental Command Words

Find keywords ranging from wait and stop to sit and consistently use them. Using small treats as rewards is highly effective in early training.

training white bulldog outdoor

Crate

Purchase a crate and ensure your puppy frequently goes into it. By doing so, you’re training them to make the crate their nest. For the first few days, you’ll need to lock your pet in the cage every time they go in for them to understand they must sleep in there. As a result, transporting your pet in this cage will become a breeze.

Potty Training

It could be a miss or hot for a new blue-eyed French bulldog puppy that lacks control and easily gets excited. Nevertheless, odor sprays and mats are examples of available products that lure in puppies to pee or poop at the same spot every time.

Walking on a Leash

Road awareness coupled with voice commands is a lifesaver (quite literally) for a blue-eyed French bulldog puppy as they become upbeat when excited and can tug on the leash during a walk.

Closing Remarks

Generally, blue-eyed French bulldogs make excellent pets and gel with single dog owners or families. If you gravitate towards lapdogs and are enamored of sunken faces, then these pups are right up your alley. Although they have an endearing personality, remember, they’re susceptible to a few health issues and may demand extra care.

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Michael Brady

Michael is an animal-lover who specializes in marketing. He started running Dog Food Care with his mother, Sarah, after leaving his office job. Michael gained enough flexibility in his schedule to be able to adopt a dog of his own and welcomed Emmie the dachshund into his home in 2020.