English Bulldog Blog

English Bulldog: Standard or Rare Color?

english bulldog standard rare color

English bulldogs, are known for their wrinkled faces and muscular bodies. These dogs are gentle companions that are ideal pets for first-time owners and families. Like most dogs, English bulldogs come in a range of coat colors.

Standard vs Non-standard

Kennel clubs define what are considered standard colors for each breed of dog. While non-standard colors are usually rarer, this is not always the case. 

Standard Colors of English bulldogs

The American Kennel Club (AKC) lists 10 standard colors for English bulldogs.

  • Red and White
  • Red
  • Red Brindle
  • Red Brindle and White
  • White 
  • Fawn
  • Fawn and Brindle
  • Fawn and White
  • Fawn Brindle and White 
  • Fallow

The color red for English bulldogs is a reddish-brown shade. Fawn describes a light brown or yellowish-tan. Fallow can range from a light cream to a pale tan. An entirely white coat is often referred to as platinum.

Brindle refers to a pattern of colors that look similar to tiger stripes, but less pronounced. The most common brindle pattern in English bulldogs is a brown-ish red coat with black stripes.

english bulldog standard rare color

Non-standard Colors of English bulldogs

Any colors that are not recognized by the AKC are considered non-standard.

  • Brindle and White
  • Gray Brindle
  • Black
  • Black and Fawn
  • Black and White
  • Black Fawn and White
  • Black Red and White
  • Brindle
  • Bronze
  • Gray
  • Gray and White
  • Merle
  • Blue
  • Lilac
  • Chocolate

Rare Colors of English bulldogs

Some colors are seen more frequently than others with English bulldogs. The most common color combination is fawn and white.

Black, blue, lilac, chocolate, and merle are currently the rarest colors of coat for English bulldogs. Since many people seek out rarer colors, it is possible that these become more common in the future.

English bulldogs with a lilac coat are unique. Initially, a dog with a black coat is bred with a chocolate breed. Then, the offspring of that combination is bred with a blue coat. This results in a lilac or light purple-ish grey coat.

Merle is a color pattern that is characterized by speckles and spots and is the rarest of all colors for English bulldogs. 

english bulldog standard rare color

What is a Tri-Color Coat?

The word tri means three, so a tri-color English bulldog will have three colors in its coat. Typically a tri-color dog will have two main colors, with a third color around its eyes and cheeks, as well as on the legs and parts of its chest.

english bulldog standard rare color

Eye Colors

Traditionally, English bulldogs had either black or dark brown eyes. While these remain the most common eye colors, English bulldogs less frequently have blue or green eyes. 

Blue or green eyes are more commonly found in rare color coats like blue, chocolate, lilac, or merle.

What Color of English Bulldog Should I Get?

When it comes to choosing a dog, appearance is one of the factors considered. With such a wide range of color options, it can be hard to decide what type to pick.

Rare colors of English bulldogs tend to be more expensive when purchasing from a breeder. If you are getting your dog from a rescue organization or animal shelter, you are more likely to find standard color English bulldogs.

Do Rare-Colored Breeds Have More Health Concerns?

There is controversy as to whether rare colored English bulldogs have more health concerns. Some claim that the breeding process involved in creating these unique colors presents a risk to the dog’s health. 

Issues such as blindness, cleft palate, heart conditions, and joint inflammation are sometimes said to be more common in dogs that have been bred for their rare color. 

english bulldog standard rare color

On the other hand, many owners with rare-colored English bulldogs say their pets have no health issues at all. These individuals claim that health issues are a result of the individual breeder, not the practice as a whole.

Since rare colors and patterns typically bring in a higher price, it is reasonable to assume that some people may get involved in breeding solely for the money. In these cases, the breeding practices may not take into account the best interest of the dogs and their health. 

If you choose to purchase an English bulldog from a breeder, opt for one that has a good reputation for producing healthy dogs. Obtain references from other buyers to inquire about the health of their pets prior to buying your dog.


English bulldogs are found in an array of beautiful colors and patterns. Standard colors tend to be less expensive, whereas rare colors demand a higher price. Always consider the health of the dog as your first priority.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *