English Bulldog Blog

6 Types of Merle English Bulldogs Coat Types! Things To Know

merle english bulldogs

We all agree that bringing a stocky bulldog to your family will add a huge dose of joy. They’re famous for their grumpy appearance and gentle souls and come in so many adorable colors. However, have you ever though about owning Merle English bulldogs? This type of rare English bulldog is often high in price due to a rare gene combination.

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How Is a Merle English Bulldog Made?

To produce merle English bulldogs, breeders make a selection of dogs that should be used for breeding. The merle pattern is a result of a specific gene known as the M gene. When breeders aim to produce a merle puppy, at least one parent must carry this gene. 

However, breeding merle dogs is more like playing a complex game of genetic chess. Breeders need to be super cautious because pairing two merle carriers can lead to a double dose of the merle gene in pups, which is linked to serious health issues, including skin problems, allergies, and even deafness.

To make sure that they’ll get a healthy litter of merle English bulldogs, breeders perform health checks and genetic tests. If both of the parents carry merle genes, then it would not be a good idea to breed them. Selective breeding plays an important role when mating two adult bulldogs.

6 Coat Color Varieties of Merle English Bulldogs

1- Blue Merle English Bulldogs

Blue merle English Bulldogs boast a striking coat with shades of blue and gray, often accompanied by beautiful blue eyes. Their appearance is mesmerizing, making them highly sought after. This type of merle English bulldogs is the most common and the most wanted type. Besides in English bulldogs, this coat color is one of the most popular rare colors in the French bulldog breed too.

2- Chocolate Merle English Bulldogs

The chocolate merle variety is equally enchanting, with a rich brown base and lighter tan or cream marbling. This coat color exudes warmth and depth, adding to the breed’s allure. The chocolate merle bulldogs often have hazelnut eyes or silver eyes. Some puppies can also come with light blue eye color.

3- Lilac Merle English Bulldogs

Lilac merles are a rare find, with a stunning coat that combines cool blues and warm browns. This unique color combination creates a soft, ethereal look that is utterly captivating. To achieve the lilac color in a merle pattern, a dog must inherit two particular types of genes: one that dilutes the black pigment (the Dilution gene, d) to a lighter shade and another that produces the merle pattern (the Merle gene, M).

The lilac color in English Bulldogs is achieved through the presence of two copies of the recessive dilution gene (dd) in combination with at least one copy of the merle gene (M). This genetic makeup dilutes the traditional black pigment to a lighter, warmer tone, which, when combined with the merle pattern, results in the lilac merle appearance.

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4- Black Merle English Bulldogs

Black merle English Bulldogs feature a dark base coat with lighter patches that can range from gray to silver. This dramatic contrast gives them a bold and striking appearance. One of the most fascinating aspects of the Black Merle English Bulldog is how their coat color can influence their overall appearance, including their eyes.

 It’s not uncommon for merle bulldogs to have blue or heterochromatic eyes, adding to their unique and captivating aesthetic. This feature, coupled with their robust and muscular physique, makes them a subject of admiration and intrigue.

5- Red Merle English Bulldogs

Red merle English Bulldogs have a warm, reddish coat with marbling that can vary from pale to vibrant shades of red. Their coats are like autumn leaves, full of rich and warm tones.  Red Merle English bulldogs often come with brown or silver-colored eyes which make them look even more unique and exotic.

6- Tri-Color Merle English Bulldogs

Tri-color merle bulldogs are a spectacle of color. They combine three distinct colors in their coat pattern. This variety often includes black, white, and tan, creating a unique and beautiful palette for each dog.

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What Is The Most Expensive Type of Merle English Bulldogs?

Considering the dog’s genes and coat color combination, we can tell that lilac merle and blue merle English bulldogs are the rarest and most expensive types. Their price usually ranges between $ 2,000 to $ 10,000. The final price is formed depending on the carried genes, the puppy’s parents’ health, and the money that a breeder spends on the care. 

As we all know, English bulldog moms go through C-section which is an additional cost for the breeder. Besides, bulldog moms usually don’t deliver many puppies. The average number of bulldog puppies a breeder can expect is between 2 and 4. And, when you put on paper all those things, breeders invest a lot of money, energy, and time in breeding merle English bulldogs.

Are Merle Bulldogs Recognized by The AKC?

Unfortunately, merle bulldogs are not recognized by the AKC. The AKC recognizes several color patterns for English Bulldogs, but these are primarily solid colors or combinations without the merle pattern. According to the AKC, the standard colors for English Bulldogs include:

  • Brindle and White
  • All Brindle
  • Solid White
  • Solid Red
  • Fawn
  • Fallen
  • Piebald

So, in case you want only to own a bulldog as a companion, then one of the rare-colored pooches can be one of the choices.

The lifespan of Merle Bulldogs

The lifespan of merle bulldogs ranges from 8 to 12 years. It’s also important to note that not only genes but also care and diet play an important role. Therefore, as an owner of these pooches, make sure you feed your dog with a well-balanced diet. Do not buy the cheapest dog food brand from a local pet store. Carefully read the label and pick only food that is free of artificial flavors and colors. Unfortunately, marle bulldogs have a higher tendency to suffer from skin problems and allergies, so this is an important thing to consider.

Using the appropriate dog cosmetics can also have a beneficial effect on your merle bulldog’s lifespan. This includes picking the right shampoo, using the appropriate brush from grooming, and protecting their skin from harmful environmental elements. One of the best ways to protect the sensitive bulldog’s skin is to dress them in the appropriate clothes. 

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For the summer season, you can choose lightweight cotton shirts, while for the winter season, your bulldog will require wearing padded jackets.

Possible Health Concerns of Merle English Bulldogs

As we already mentioned, these beautiful dogs are prone to certain health issues. 

Since deafness takes the first place, you have to ask a breeder whether he performed the hearing test. This condition usually occurs when two merle dogs are mated.

Allergies take second place in the lives of merle bulldogs. Therefore, to prevent these pooches from such problems, make sure you invest in their diet. Besides, when you take them outside, make sure you protect their bodies from seasonal pollen and other allergens.

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Is a Merle Bulldog The Right Pick For Your Family?

Regardless of what coat color of English bulldog you choose for your family, one thing is sure. Every type of rare-colored bulldog is unique in its own way. Both brindle, merle or pied English bulldogs are famous for their friendly and gentle natures. Since they belong to low-energy breeds, they’ll be a good pick  for apartment living conditions. Merle bulldogs also behave very friendly toward kids so we shouldn’t be surprised why they often a favorite pick for big families.


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